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  1. #1
    The Norwegian Rognmoe's Avatar
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    21 Sep 2011
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    Red face Potential new Saab owner

    Hi, all!

    New to the forum, and as the title suggests, I'm considering buying a Saab when I sell my current car. There is tons of great information here, and everyone seems very friendly, which one cannot say about most other car forums(Subaru forums spring immediately to mind). Anyway, on to my questions -

    This car will be my daily driver, so I'm a fan of the 9-3's gas mileage, and since I live in Colorado, it tends to snow from time to time. Everyone says to get a Subaru, but I'm really not a fan. Nothing against them, I think they're perfectly good cars, they just bore me, as do most of the people who tend to drive them. Enter Saab, and the ones I'm considering. How different is the handling in poor conditions between the 2002 generation with traction control and the 2003, with traction control and ESP? And for that matter, the 2002 with traction control and the 2000, without.

    My wife has a Honda Civic, no traction control or anything, and its a real trooper in the snow, but there were a few times where it failed me (well, I guess it was a mutual failing of driver and machine), so it would be nice to have the car help work things out.

    I really don't want an all-wheel-drive car, because I don't need it for 95% of the year, and I don't feel like paying for the generally poor fuel economy.

    Any words of wisdom, opinions, or anything else will be much appreciated!

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  2. #2
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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    30 Jul 2010
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    Rochester, New York, USA
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    1973 96
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    My 900 doesn't have TCS, but from what I have heard, the early TCS wasn't very good. I've got a decent set of snow tires on all fours, and I have yet to find something I couldn't drive through. I've made it up decent grades, with a foot of unplowed heavy snow on it. I only had to stop to chisel off my headlights. I have no idea about ESP

    With snow tires, they are great cars in the snow. First year I had it, I tried getting away with all-season, and while it was better that other cars I had driven with all-season, I did manage to slide into a curb when I lost traction around a corner. But I think that was the tires, not the car. So I went and got dedicated snows.

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  3. #3
    Frank
    Saab Enthusiast nordwulf's Avatar
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    30 Jul 2010
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    NW Michigan, USA
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Welcome potential new Saab owner!

    ESP really is a very important safety feature in winter conditions. No matter how skilled of a driver you are, ESP will always do a better job than the driver to control the car in a skid. (well, unless you're name is Erik Carlsson or Per Eklund..)

    I often try to make my Saab skid just to feel how ESP cuts engine power and applies the brake to each individual wheel. Or try to skid and brake hard at the same time. It really is amazing how you can't get into trouble, even when you try to make the car to. It actually saved me several times when I wasn't trying to do it on purpose.

    I was in the same boat when deciding to get a Saab with XWD or not. Like you, I figured it would be nice to have but I may only use it a few times a year and didn't really care for the extra maintenance, weight, mileage penalty and cost. Together with winter tires, a Saab with TCS, ESP and ABS will be able to get you through most bad weather.

    This Saab video is in Swedish but you don't need to understand the presenter to see what ESP does.



    From my favorite car show


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  4. #4
    The Norwegian Rognmoe's Avatar
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    21 Sep 2011
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    Wow. I definitely learned something new today. Thank you, and thank you, Tiff. Very interesting. ESP will definitely be in my next car. I'll take the car nannying me and cutting power over getting put in the ditch :-)

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