Saab 9-3 is getting GM-ified

Sun-Times News Group
One of the things that attracted me to the 9-3 was its quirky nature. I liked the waffle
cone air vents and the cup holder that pops out of the dash and the key that looks like a wine stopper and the ignition on the center console and the unique audio interface. Thatís what made the 9-3 a Saab and not just another GM product.
While much of the Saabness remains, I am starting to see some GMification.
The most obvious place the 9-3 has been GMified is the audio interface. It has that large center dial on the dash to adjust the volume surrounded by the preset buttons and topped by a glowing green digital screen that displays station information. Itís certainly more user friendly than the previous interface. But itís generic and unattractive.
Some of the interior materials have also been GMified. By that I mean they do not show the level of quality that should be associated with a luxury brand. Take the quirky cup holder as an example. Itís still just as quirky, but itís also incredibly flimsy in a way that I donít remember. I thought Iíd break the holder just by putting an 8-ounce water bottle in it.
Then there was the issue of the sliding armrest. Iím short enough and sit far forward enough that I donít even touch the armrest. But I had a passenger during the test week who kept bumping it with his elbow, and it would shoot forward or backward depending on where he hit it. I donít know if it was broken or poor planning, but either way it didnít win any points with this driver...
And, for the record, when people ask me what car Iíd buy, I do still answer: Saab 9-3. =========Saab, Onstar and GM - they blow
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