SAAB vs. Wind Turbines

For the first few months of owning the new 9-3 TTiD, I fastidiously recorded the fuel economy; how many miles it could manage per tank, how that translated into mpg, but then I got bored.

For some unknown reason, car manufacturers like to give us completely fabricated mpg figures for new cars; tested on a perfectly flat track, no wind, no braking, minimal acceleration and 13″ wheels only as wide as those on my mountain bike. My wife seems to be the only person in the world that gets close to the official figures, and I still don’t know how she does it.

Anyway, I happened to pass some gorgeous new 450ft high wind turbines at the weekend, and got to thinking about economy and clean energy, which made me think about my 9-3, after all, not only did I fall in love with its looks and luxuriousness, I loved the fact that it was one of the fastest diesel cars on the market with reasonably environmentally friendly credentials of just 119 CO2.

My 9-3 left the SAAB showroom some 8 months ago now, and has returned pretty consistent economy; not the official 60+ combined figure SAAB advertised, but consistent all the same. I do a real world mix of city, country and longer distance motorway driving, and am averaging 41mpg, which translates into around 550 miles per tank. There have been anomalies: 620 something miles from a journey to Cornwall, and 490 something miles mid Winter when I didn’t do much besides sit in snow, rain and lots of traffic, but on average, 41mpg.

I like to think my choice of car, overall is a good one, one that will easily do a few hundred thousand miles, one that lasts long enough for a number of people to own and enjoy it, and one that, over its life will have a reasonably low impact on the environment.

So next time I fly by the beautiful turbines, enjoying the winding country roads and the Hirsch 9-3’s power, I’ll look, smile and be reminded i’m also driving a car with pretty good economy too.


6 thoughts on “SAAB vs. Wind Turbines

  1. Another fantastic photograph. I just wanted to compliment you on your site. I have been following it quite regularly since falling on it while trying to sort out wheel options for my 2008 9-3 Turbo X (my third 9-3). The pictures of your 9-3 quickly settled my wheel search – although I am still having some trouble sourcing Hirsch wheels in Canada. It appears things with Hirsch are slightly out of sorts since the bankruptcy proceedings began. In the interim, I have acquired some Hirsch alloy pedals and leather door handles (to be installed shortly), also inspired by your 9-3.

    I look forward to your updates on the 900 convertible this summer. Let’s hope things turn out for the best for Saab in the coming months.


    • Hi Mike

      Thanks for your compliments, It really is nice to know people are liking and using the site.

      It’s a shame we haven’t had much communication from Hirsch regarding SAAB’s current situation, It would be good to know their views. I think SAAB owners really believe in companies such as Hirsch and MapTun and they may become increasingly important in the future for owners.

      I would have loved an Aero X, but the TTiD has such great economy (better for the UK) and with the Hirsch 200 a great amount of power. Would love to see a few photos when you have the Hirsch goodies fitted.

      900 convertible will be returning from the mechanic next week, than some tlc and it’ll be ready for sunny days.

      My wife is from Canada, she’ll be happy we’re spreading the SAAB love their too, she’s fallen in love with her 9-3 SportCombi.


      • Paul,

        I’ll be more than happy to send you a few pictures once I have the Hirsch accessories fitted.

        I can attest to the fact that the Turbo X doesn’t sip fuel. However, the all wheel drive (and winter tires) makes it perform like a turbocharged tank in the winter. I was in the mountains skiing several weeks back and ~100 cms of snow fell in 48 hours, crazy. The Turbo X didn’t once think of getting stuck.

        Glad your wife is loving her SportCombi.


      • Paul,

        I finally received my Hirsch wheels last month and have had all of my Hirsch goodies installed. Feel free to send me an email and I will forward some pictures – I am quite happy with the finished product.


  2. Hi Paul, great website I love the look of your hirsched TTID. I too own a MY09 Aero TTID – love it to bits but it hasnt been easy – needed a new a/c condenser, new alternator and recently EGR valve put car in limp mode and it needed cleaning out. Car’s just done 56k.

    I’ve been contemplating the Hirsch power upgrade for a while and was wondering what your opinion of it is? Did you test drive a non Hirsch TTID and is the £ worth it? The other thing I’ve noticed is trying to find a local Saab Hirsch dealer – most of them in the North West went when Saab went Bankrupt.


    • Hi Mark

      Thanks for your comments, i’m not getting to do as much as I want on here at the moment, but great to get feedback. Sad to hear you’ve had a few problems though, I’m sure things are going to go wrong with my 9-3 at some point. Luckily, my local SAAB dealer seems to be well up for supporting its long standing, loyal customers, they’ve recenetly moved premises and I’m happy to see, that as well as stocking Mitsubishi, they still have the flags flying for SAAB (they’ve also got some seriously nice ones for sale too). They also did all of the Hirsch upgrades on mine when it was new last year.

      Mine was only a TTiD 160 so the Hirsch ECU upgrade to 200 was hugely noticable, the power just seems to be super smooth and just goes on, other diesels I tried had some poor flat spots, this really doesn’t.
      I believe my dealer is currently running a 10% discount at the moment so would imagine other dealers will be too.

      Be great to hear if you do go with the upgrade, let me know.

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