Yes, it’s still too early in the year to be worrying about Seasonal Affective Disorder and how long it’s going to take me to shift the snow from my front door in the mornings, but the fact our long-termer is a convertible makes the approaching end of summer even more tragic.
To say the good times will be gone is unfair as there’s no doubt the car would perform just as well when its roof is covered in ice as it does when 30°C heat beats down on your forehead and the lid is neatly tucked away inside the boot.
But it’s just not the same. Experiencing the Saab in warm weather has proved to be brilliant fun and we are fortunate enough to have a car whose cream leather trim and black metallic paint complement each other well.
I have two niggles about the car. One is the wear and tear marks starting to show on the cream interior of the roof, no doubt caused by its regular foldings. It is only slight but it’s also beginning to look crumpled in some areas – and that’s with only 7,000 miles on the clock.
The other complaint is a strange noise coming from the boot area. It sounds like something is sliding across the rear shelf as you turn a corner, so maybe it’s to do with the compartment in the boot that houses the roof once it’s retracted, but I can’t be sure.
Although not intrusively noisy, it’s a regular enough occurrence to grate. I can’t be sure whether it happens when the roof’s down as the cabin wind noise drowns out any other sounds.
Although showing some signs of wear, the roof is actually very durable and some friends’ fears of flimsy material ripping or being easy prey for thieves seem unfounded.
Several people I have talked to recently who are either current or past owners of Saab models have spoken of their fondness for the brand and I can see why. Although our 9-3 doesn’t offer a drive that’ll make the hair stand up on the back of your neck it’s a comfortable cruiser and in convertible form looks fantastic.
Model: Saab 9-3 Convertible 2.0t Linear
Price (OTR): £25,505 (£27,505 as tested)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 212
Company car tax bill (2005/6) 40% tax-payer: £245 a month Insurance group: 15E
Combined mpg: 31.7
Test mpg: 30.8
CAP Monitor residual value: £10,675/41%
Expenditure to date: Nil
Typical contract hire rate: £427
Figures based on three years/60,000 miles