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Love it or hate it, average car at average price. logo 7/16/2015 Greg Maldonado

This isn't your typical 1990's and older Saab. You won't get the blazing midrange speed nor the amazing cabin view of the outside world, but you will get a decent family sedan that gets decent MPG and has top-of-the-line safety features.In base form the 2.0 Linear Sports Sedan is a slow, safe family car with a little bit of Saab watered down into the GM-inspired plastic interior and bodywork. For the Saab purist, stay away from this car; you will despise it and all the GM parts that went into making it. If you can overlook that stained heritage and settle into the comfortable leather/vinyl seats, adjust the electric mirrors for best view, and get the steering wheel tilted and positioned to your liking, you'll find this car is quite tolerable and easy to drive. You just won't drive it very quick. The small turbo has enough boost to keep up with all but the fastest traffic, but it lacks the serious boost power to be entertaining. The handling is predictable and pleasant. This is a sedan you can toss into a corner and not really worry about, thanks to the generous traction control and the FWD handling. In wild weather that same traction control system helps keep you firmly planted on the road, and with a good set of winter tires you can go places that seem impossible.I bought mine in Beige Metallic, used as a program car, with 120,000 miles on the odometer and have owned it almost exactly one year. In that year the most expensive repair has been replacing the pitted windshield, and the battery. I have repaired/replaced many items that were worn from age, including bumper inserts, windshield glass and rear glass surround, trim pieces, hoses, lamps, door seals, and misc fasteners. I have added a better sound system and upgraded the engine management computer as well as the turbo, but have not altered the body or interior. It now drives with a more sporty feel while still maintaining the overall factory look. I drive 98% city with very little open highway. My city MPG hovers around 21mpg while the best estimate I have for Highway is 38mpg.That said, this car doesn't respond well to modifications. The Trionic8 computer system which controls the car prevents most quick-and-dirty bolt-on items from adding any significant improvement. The T8 system in the Linear is intended for daily-driver and economy, and does what it can to keep performance at that level. That T8 system can be upgraded (similar to "chipping" on other cars), and a few other items can be upgraded to help increase performance up to around the base Aero specs with minimal effort and expense, thus providing the Linear with a little bit more sportiness. Of course, as with any car, if you throw large amounts of money at it you can get it to perform to your budget, if you want.As everything is run on a BUS computer system, and Saab having now gone out of business, locating a technician to work on the car can be a slight hassle. While the same TECHII diagnostics system for the same years of GM models can be used on these models of Saab, not many GM dealerships have the knowledge to repair Saab cars.Oh, yes. The ignition is on the center console, there is a pop-n-swing-out cupholder on the dash, and the dashboard has a Night Mode which turns off all the interior illumination and gauges except for the most basic speedometer and management controls. This car has one of the highest safety and crash ratings for the model year.Pros: Safe. Reliable. Great handling. Good view from the cabin with no blind spots. Good fuel economy. Inexpensive to repair (comparable to same years of GM vehicles for most repairs - lots of parts interchange to other makes and models). Good air conditioning system. Easy to maintain and repair if you are self-motivated.Build quality is average. There is a lot of plastic and cheapness in the interior. Externally everything fits together well and feels solid. Sound system is good but not outstanding, lacking fidelity and power.Cons: No performance from the economy engine and computer. Computer BUS system requires diagnostics equipment to diagnose car troubles. Lack of repair technician support. Difficult to upgrade performance using normal methods. Sound system upgrade is near impossible due to the use of fiber-optic system. Heating system could be better due to a very odd mix-control system which leaves cold spots by design. Climate control motors are prone to breaking gears.Overall the Saab-ness of this car barely shines through the GM whitewashing, with excellent safety but sleep-inducing sportiness. It is an overall average family sedan with some interesting little twists to the common interior controls.

Average Rating : 5


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