The last time was when I agreed to help her make Bob the Builder cakes, where I could be found picking egg shells out of the cake mixture during the process. The first time was when I brought our long-term Saab 9-3 Convertible home. The delight on her face was clear – as I’m sure was mine when I was handed the keys to the car on a glorious summer day.
First impressions are that it’s a stunner, with the cream leather seats and black metallic paint complementing each other beautifully, although such a colour does show up dirt and wash marks clearly.
And if five-year-old Mia was as concerned about residual values after three years and 60,000 miles and how they compare with the car’s key rivals as she was about how cool she looks in front of her school friends, then the smile wouldn’t be wiped from her face.
The entry-level model competes in a sector which includes the Audi A4 Cabriolet 1.8T, BMW 318Ci SE convertible and Volvo’s C70 2.0T Convertible.
There’s a not a bad car among the bunch but it is the German marques which top the residual value league table, although not by a big amount.
The Saab is expected to fetch £10,675, or 41% of its original price, at disposal time, according to CAP. The Audi will retain £11,275 (45%), the BMW £12,150 (46%) and the Volvo £9,275 (38%).
Residual value predictions of more than 40% prove the popularity of convertibles in the used marketplace.
Regarding fuel economy, I haven’t had the car long enough to calculate my own test figure but a previous tester achieved 28.6mpg, which we expect to improve over time.
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: 28.6
CAP Monitor residual value: £10,675/41%
Expenditure to date: Nil
Typical contract hire rate:£427
Figures based on three-years/ 60,000-miles