THERE was a serious touch of déjà vu when I went to pick up the Saab 9-3 Sportwagon, particularly as it seems to have been around longer than our creator.
Obviously some things grow old nicely, Felicity Kendall and Pamela Stephenson spring to mind, but surely there must be a cut off date.
Nevertheless the Swedish brand remains at the forefront of top end executive motoring.
Okay, there are a few things that need to be addressed but, then again, it is one incredible motoring marque.
It had been ages since I last got behind the wheel of a Saab in any shape or form, possibly much to the amusement of the poor sales bloke who helped me familiarise myself with the car.
Finding the slot for the ignition key was a small embarrassment to say the least. Yes, it was tucked behind the handbrake and gear lever and not on the steering column.
Several minutes later I was on my way and I have to say for a very, very enjoyable few days driving.
Forget the age of the design, yes it has been freshened up, but this is still one heck of a brilliant car.
I didn’t want to like it because nothing has really changed.....except under the bonnet where there are more driving enhancements than you could begin to believe.
This car is absolutely solid. I honestly believe it could go ten rounds with World heavyweight boxing champ David Haye and give him a right seeing too.
From the minute you shut the door there is a resounding clunk that gives you every confidence.
The finish outside and in is second to none.
There are no fiddly bits that drop off the moment you touch them. Everything is solid and classy and you only need to go a short distance to appreciate its unquestionable refinement.
Silky smooth, comfortable, refined - and the 2.0-litre turbo engine is so quiet I could actually hear myself singing –and that’s monumentally bad.
The manual gearbox was highly responsive and you could really slip through it without batting an eyelid.
Top speed is 143mph, easily achievable, while it takes just over eight seconds to go from rest to 62mph.
And while we are talking figures the Saab is easy on the juice with a combined figure of just under 35 miles to the gallon.
Now when it comes to standard spec then this beauty has more goodies than an MP’s expense account.....yes, that amount!
Normally this is reflected in a hugely inflated price tag. Thankfully not, in the case of the Saab, a mere £25,995, considerably less than a second house in Westminster area.
Saab 9-3 Sportwagon
Mechanical: 210ps, 1,998cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 143mph
0-62mph: 8.2 seconds
Combined mpg: 34.2
CO2 emissions: 174g/km
BIK rating: 20%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles