Fleet News

Saab 9-3 2.2TiD Vector - 5,747 miles

Review

A LITTLE more time than usual has elapsed since we last included an update on our long-term Saab.

The trouble is it has been off the road. A few weeks ago, the car warned of an engine malfunction and would only travel in 'limp home' mode, which means little power over 2,000rpm and a top speed of 60mph.

A call to the Saab GB press office – which supplied us with the car – resulted in it being taken back to the company's own garage rather than our booking it into the local dealer.

A week or so passed before we called for an update and although Saab confirmed there was something wrong with the car, it was difficult to pin down what was causing it. It seemed to be a fault with one of the cylinders and engineers reported there was a record of an earlier defect in the system.

Readers might remember a similar intermittent problem was reported in our first test when the car began misbehaving in the same way and a visit to the garage seemed to rectify it, or so we thought.

Another frustrating aspect about all this from our point of view is that as the car was on a three-month loan, it should have gone back to Saab by now anyway and this should have been the third and final update.

We have asked if we can have a car back for at least a couple of weeks when Saab gets to the bottom of the trouble to prove it can run smoothly without incident.

It is also worth pointing out that we have run a Vauxhall Vectra since November 2002 that uses the same 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine as the Saab and it hasn't missed a beat in more than 12,000 miles.

Imagine the headaches such a situation would cause for a fleet manager.

Company car tax bill 2003/04 (40% taxpayer): £153 per month

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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