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Saab 9-5 2.3t 185 bhp

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      12.06.2002 07:26
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      This is an update on my earlier review. I have just given my Saab 9-5 a proper test run: 3200 miles over 3-weeks from Belfast to the South of France via Wales & England. The car was fully laden, with every available space taken for a camping holiday for four. Driving conditions for the outward 1200 mile journey were awful, with heavy traffic, rain and lots of spray. The return trip conditions were warm and dry. Overall, the car performed superbly. The Saab's forte is as a cruiser and it didn't disappoint. The 2.3 light pressure turbo automatic produced plenty of power for safe, rapid motorway driving. The Saab is not the sharpest handling car, but this is the only time (in 6 similar trips) that I have not noticed a deterioration in handling due to the extra weight in the boot. Fuel consumption was surprisingly good also. The outward trip returned a credible 38.7 mpg and I managed 41 mpg on the return section from Folkestone to Oxford - that was via the M25!! On the downside, I really missed the flexibility of a hatchback. The Saab has a large boot, but the restricted opening and height proved to be a handicap for this type of trip. I also discovered that the Sports mode setting really doesn't make much of a difference at motorway speeds. It is, however, useful for A - road overtaking and for those occasions where a little extra oomph makes a difference, such as joining traffic from a slip-road or inner-city acceleration. This trip was my first opportunity to use cruise control and I'm far from convinced about its usefulness. The roads were just too busy for it. My conclusion so far? I stepped out of this car after 1200 miles driving over 2 days feeling as if I had been for a 10 minute jaunt to the local supermarket. It was incredibly comfortable and added significantly to the enjoyment of the holiday. The Saab will not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is a magnificent long distance machine and
      I cant find anything serious to complain about so far. More updates will follow.

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