My Little Deuce Coupe

Its not a motorbike, but put the windows down, open the sun roof and push the pedal until the turbocharger kicks in, and the feeling is pretty similar.

My new car is a 2007 Saab 9-3 2.0T. Its very well equipped, with more features than I know how to use, and it goes like the wind. The 210 horses are responsive, taking off from stopped in seconds, sipping gas even with the turbo engaged – after three days with me, the average gas mileage is down to 8.7 7.2 litres/100km (from 18 when I got it!) of combined highway and city driving. The disc brakes make you feel confident with that much power. Handling could be better for a vehicle of its class, despite a tight suspension, but its still acceptable. The interior is roomy (although the backseat of the 9-5 was roomier) and comfortable; even with the GM influence, Saab’s clever engineering still shines through.

New, this particular car went for about $40,000 but at 4 years old, we got a pretty good deal at $11,700. With money from the liquidation of the other vehicles, we’re financing about $9,500. It wasn’t exactly in our financial plan, but we should be able to take care of that quickly, and still have a pretty sexy, but practical ride parked along-side the family van. More importantly, I am no longer a stationary object slowly going insane. Today I ran a bunch of errands – alone – and with the bum leg able to hold maybe 20% of my weight, I am starting to feel like a self-actuating adult again.

Here’s a picture, and a gratuitous list of the features I’m still figuring out…

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  • rain sensor — automatically adjusts windshield wiper speed
  • headlight leveling — automatically points the headlights up and down to maintain viewing distance on angles
  • calculate arrival time — enter your destination distance and it’ll tell you when you’ll arrive based on your average speed. if you set a target average, it’ll tell you when you’ll arrive at that speed
  • % oil life remaining
  • convenience unlock — unlocks the doors and opens the windows/sunroof if you press and hold the unlock button on the remote (for hot days)
  • auto climate control — set the desired temperature and it automatically adjusts to keep it there
  • heated mirrors
  • auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • pinch protect windows — stops the window from rolling up if a certain amount of pressure is detected
  • glove box cooling
  • and… a horn :-p
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