Safer sex and safer cars are good things, assuming that one values life more than the pleasure gained via the alternative.  Just as there are many varieties of condoms for one’s choosing, there are quite a few carmakers that emphasize their commitment to safety.  This generally leads to a slightly tedious and boring car with less engaging experience, like –I don’t know- sex and condoms. Saabs are, however, a bit different. They’re Swedish (as is Volvo, but hey, I stretched this to write two articles –the new S60 review is forthcoming, I promise-), and Sweden is known for three things: Inexpensive furniture, social responsibility, and attractive/liberated women.


Saab’s are safe, fun, eco-friendly, practical, relatively posh, and pretty damn good-looking with a design philosophy born out of the brand’s aviation industry heritage.  The basic design of the current Saab 9-3 has been around for nearly a decade, but it is still one of the best looking cars in its class.  The optional Haldex XWD (read: cross-wheel drive) is simply the best all-wheel drive system available on any car, and list of standard kit could practically fill the Dead Sea Scrolls!  The ride quality is almost Jag-like, and some pretty damn good handling more than makes up for some of the durable but hard plastics of the interior (the brilliant cup holder being the exception).  Saabs like all Swedish cars are known for their comfortable seats, ability to fit all sized drivers, cargo area (for shopping at IKEA or the baggage that accompanies your current partner), and back seats which are large enough to make use of the condoms that can be properly stored in the cooled and insulated glove-box (in case you didn’t know: latex and heat do not mix- on a side note: the polyurethane condoms, which are hypoallergenic as well, can also be safely kept in a wallet-). You might be able to get the Hugh Grant Special in a BMW (he did after all), but Saabs are built for shagging (disclaimer: you can also do this in a Volvo, but it is quite poor form to bang the neighbor’s au pair in back of their V70 –not that it cannot be done-)!


Against the newer competition the 9-3 pretty much holds it own.  Dynamically this is not a 3-series BMW, and that is actually a good thing for once. The current E90 generation Bimmer is simply not as good as the old E46, which was still best in class when put out to pasture six years ago. Plus, the BMW is ubiquitous, ugly, less safe, dangerously un-reliable (Google: 3-series fuel pump +crash), difficult to find with even the most basic features –cough, folding back seats, cough-, comes with i-Drive for a navigation interface, and the damn car is not even available with a bloody spare wheel (ask my uncle about being stranded in Lower Alabama due to BMW’s short-sited specing of oversized wheels with so-called “run-flats”).  Audi’s A4 2.0T Quattro is on paper an exact match for the similarly speced Saab 2.0T XWD, but the Audi has a less sophisticated all-wheel drive system and is down on power.  In equipping an A4 to a similar standard as the Saab, one will be stuck with the dreaded MMI (better than the BMW’s i-Drive, but not by much), Dame Edna headlights, an electronic parking brake –no handbrake turns for you-, oversized wheels to ruin the ride quality of the first Audi in a decade to not be a kidney buster, and the brand image of being a total cock and/or social climbing badge whore who finds BMW’s popularity too “down market” which now unfortunately accompanies Audi ownership; Prince Charles and Kate Middleton both drive Audis.


Ignoring the fact that Saab is in financial trouble; they make a damn good car. Supporting this company in buying one of their safe, fun, and durable cars can help save the brand. Do you really want to live in the world where your only automotive options are some Fords, 10 varieties of VW, Far-Eastern appliances, or something else from Germany? Ok, the Americans and Italians still make cars, but you’ll probably catch herpes from the kind of girl who lusts after you Mustang or Brera. No, the sexually liberated, intelligent, champagne Socialist you’re looking to pull will gladly get in your Eco-Power Saab, even if it has never seen a drop of Ethanol (she doesn’t have to know). Buy a Saab and use protection; the risk/reward equation is excellent for both.