A great thing about having a car for a week is you have the ability to find the little things that you learn to love and others that grow annoying over time. Everything I love about the little Saab seems to focus on the powertrain, suspension/roadholding, steering and looks. My (and those of passengers) minor grievances come from the inside.
The 9-2x has what I consider the worst sunroof set up I?ve seen. There are two buttons, one for the tilt function and one for sliding open/close. Most setups I?ve seen are either one button to do both, or the dial like in Dave?s Audi A4 wagon he?s testing this week. Also, there is no one-touch operation. To open, you have to hold the button until it?s done. And to close, you have to press the button twice while holding it. The sunroof stops halfway (??) forcing you to press the button again and hold it to make it close all the way. My wife curses the buttons every time we?re in the car.
The center console is just the perfect size for a stack of CD?s. It does appear that there once was (or is for the Subarus) a folding cup holder for the rear seat passengers which has been covered over with a cheap plastic dummy cover. One good kick from an unruly child and it will probably push in. I received this complaint from the sister-in-law who spent some time riding in the back seat and wondered where the cup holders were.
I really like the way the two main air vents look and work. They feel good in the hand and easy to direct the air. This picture you can see the other dummy-switch covers. I know one blank is for the HID headlight option. A lot of automakers use the switch covers, and they all look bad. I?m not just singling out Saab/Subaru here. What options didn?t you get?
I hate to make this the ?negative? day, but these little annoyances really don?t pop up until a few days in the car. The Saab 9-2x has been nothing but fun to drive even with the automatic. The turbo-lag would be easier dealt with via a five-speed (or the STI?s 6) but I found the car liveable in stop and go traffic even though I have heard complaints about the Subaru automatic. And about the manual-controversy, I was contacted by Saab about the car but there were no manuals available in the test fleet in the North East. It seems the cars are built for journalists that can?t drive sticks. Maybe you shouldn?t be an automotive journalist if that?s a challenge. Strange.
Tomorrow will be judgment day for the Saab and my last full day with the wagon.