convertible at its best

Phuti Mpyane

I've never claimed to be a genius and will not do so now or in the future, but this Saab is my choice.

The 9-3 Aero convertible is available in two engines - a 2,0T Linear and in turbo-charged 2,8-litre V6 Aero.

Perhaps it's my attraction to open-top cars that draws me to them and the Saab is no exception. Convertibles have a certain charm and image about them and with the Scandinavian company's wide expertise, particularly in pampering and safety, the Aero version is the one to have.

There are no drastic changes to the details. Its deceptively snug interior is still dominated by sumptuous, thickly-padded and well-shaped leather seats and a multitude of buttons on that airplane-inspired dashboard.

The seats, if you didn't know, are developed with the help of human-bone specialists or more correctly, chiropractors, and are among the most comfortable to sit on.

Everything that was there in the old car is retained. A new two-tone leather option is eye-catching. Also, to give more visual balance, the inner wall lining the shape of the car has been spiced up to match the exterior paint. With the new grille, Saab has given its entire range the same kind of rage we loved to see in the Viggen spec of many years ago and it's more evident in the open top car. Driving the cars at a race track highlighted the superior handling as we tossed them into corners; clearly an advantage that is needed on real roads.

Safety items have also grown extensively to include ESP, EBD, CBC, and TCS across the range. The Aero remains a magnificent tool for cruising. Though they are perceived to be boring and for 60-year-olds, Saab has some pretty impressive driving behind it. Anyone who needs proof must get hold of a DVD of Saab stunt driver shows and they will understand. Back to the Aero convertible; it's a fine car and one that is overlooked for cabrios from Audi and BMW.

Saab people, or geniuses, will forever be a part of life and will continue to sign on the dotted line. It's a mesmerizing car that is pumped full of luxury and safety features and with the possibility of peeling the roof off, you can cool the body after a long spell researching the thesis of why people love Saab.


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