That’s what Royal Ford experienced in his testing of the Saab 9-3 2.0T, whose brand is owned by General Motors.
Ford found the test vehicle, with its 2.0-litre, turbo-charged, four-cylinder engine generating 210 horsepower, a ‘pretty nice car’. Safety features included front, side, and head airbags; antilock braking system; traction and stability controls, all priced around $27,000. A nice car, indeed.
But it was the sedan’s interior that frustrated the reviewer, which he blames on GM’s “savings scouring”. He found cheap plastic on the dash and gauges, all ruining what had been a nice assortment of textured door panels and wood trim.
Ford was looking towards Saab as a competitor to Volvo (owned by Ford Motor Co). Instead, he found it paling against Hyundai/ Kia.