[18x05] February 26th, 2012

[18x05] February 26th, 2012


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Katsura

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Feb 27, 2012
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Saab 9-5 (OG, 3rd one)
9-5's do have a couple of typical problems that unfortunately are of the kind that leave you stranded. Crankshaft position sensor, fuel pump, ignition cassette.

Here's someone in the know :) but most of the items you quoted are 'long term consumables' that should be swapped out at a certain age, and it's it takes quite a while for them to need to be replaced.
P.S> DI Cassette - haha, those who know their 9-5 will always keep a spare in the boot, it's a 10 minute job (these things tend to not go wrong for at least 60000 miles or so, and some can last a lot longer).
 

Katsura

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I don't want to get into an argument about Saab here, but their electronic systems are not known for being reliable. I did some research (I was looking into 2005+ cars) and they had numerous problems with all kinds of fiddly electronic parts that didn't seem like it would be worth the trouble. While I could probably live with it and fix things that had cheap replacement parts, the problem is when you go to sell it if crap doesn't work you lose out on a lot of potential buyers.

The mechanical bits weren't too concerning to me, but the electronics that govern them are sketchy.

As a point of reference, we ended up with a 2005 Ford Explorer, loaded to the hilt that's just about to cross 100k miles. It only had 70k miles on it when we bought it, and so far other than oil and tires, the only thing I had go wrong was the EGR valve. $90 and 15 minutes later and it was trouble free. Only problem is that its 4-liter V6 sucks gas worse than my 6-liter GTO.

And I am just pointing out sometimes how reputations are just unfounded.
Now that you mention it I DID need to replace a couple of light bulbs for the car to pass the road safety cert...

Talk about electronic system, Saabs are designed with safety and user friendly in mind.
How many modern cars you see that still does not either warn you, or just allows you to leave the main beam on when you go out and lock your car? Nice surprise to come back to a flat battery huh? (I have seen various Toyotas, Hyndais, etc still do this)

The tail/ brake lights are all double/ tripled. So if one set burns out you have back ups still working (if the brake light burns out, the rear light automatically switches over to double as brake light too)
 

Murcie_LP640

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9/10. Great episode, especially the SAAB segment.

Never in a million years would I have the Merc over the Maserati though. I'm usually a big fan of the Black Series efforts but the C63 Black has gone way too far in the "ostentatiousness" department. But the Maserati I reckon is absolutely glorious. Don't give a shit about the racing harness either, I want one. Badly.
 

aaurora

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I remember it differently. When it was first suggested, Hammond was not included in the bet at all, even though he mentioned "having to do it while pleasuring himself", or words to that effect.

Yeah, he wasn't technically included in the bet. I did hope they'd do some kind of joke about it, though.
 
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I fell asleep. Entire episode was so predictable.
Does falling asleep equate to you giving it a 3? How can you accurately judge the episode if you were to tired to watch it properly?
In what way was the episode predictable?? India Special? Yes. 18x05? No.
 

JimCorrigan

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Again a solid episode. 8/10. Gave it a 9 just because it is so nice to have classic top gear back.

Hey, a mad Dutchman at least tried to save Saab. It really was GM causing the final bankruptcy by not allowing Saab to be sold to the Chinese. The Chinese were willing to invest in it.
While GM definitely deserves its share of the blame, for the way they RAN Saab during their tenor (despite the segment's mentions that Saab re-did as many parts as possible on the "badge-swap" cars, there was still WAY too much diluting of the Saab brand under GM; see 9-7X, 9-2X), I wouldn't blame them for blocking the sale to the Chinese. That was done out of survival, and justly so. GM has a large market in China, and had any Chinese company invested in Saab, that would give them access to a huge reserve of GM-engineered projects. China seems to think of patent law as a suggestion, and GM had every right to be concerned that Chinese ownership of Saab would lend itself to those companies blatantly copying GM's projects, and therefore profiting directly from GM's work (without GM getting any compensation). Had that not been an issue, I have no reason to doubt GM would have okay'ed the sale.
 
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Leadfoot866

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Does falling asleep equate to you giving it a 3? How can you accurately judge the episode if you were to tired to watch it properly?
In what way was the episode predictable?? India Special? Yes. 18x05? No.

Oh boy, sorry for going off-topic, but...

Lancia, you're talking to a guy who described the Lamborghini Aventador as "boring."
He's a little weird, so don't bother arguing (believe me, I tried).

Am I the only one who finds this car completely boring? Looks like every other lambo and designed like every other lambo. Find a chassis and put a lot of power into it. Done.

Why does it only rev to 8000?

I don't understand what the fuss is all about...it's JUST another lamborghini. Nothing revolutionary, nothing different, just a "typical" lambo.
 

Pininfarina_

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Does falling asleep equate to you giving it a 3? How can you accurately judge the episode if you were to tired to watch it properly?
In what way was the episode predictable?? India Special? Yes. 18x05? No.

You know that half asleep state where your eyes are really heavy and your mind blanks out but you're still listening? I was there.

Oh boy, sorry for going off-topic, but...

Lancia, you're talking to a guy who described the Lamborghini Aventador as "boring."
He's a little weird, so don't bother arguing (believe me, I tried).

Oh gosh heaven forbid that I have an opinion.
 
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the Interceptor

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Very good episode.

- the rally car vs. glider thing is getting old, nonetheless this piece was shot very well and was thrilling to watch. They need new ideas for these kinds of things though
- the news were a bit boring (EDIT: watched it again and liked the news better)
- the Maserati vs. the Merc black was awesome. Not because of the cars (I don't like any of them particularly: the Maserati is badly proportioned, and the Merc looks just vulgar and overdone), but because of the conclusion. I had the impression that Jeremy actually meant what he said, that he likes neither of the cars although they both have good points, but because they fail at useability even if you can live with a compromise or two
- I didn't really care about the SIARPC as I don't watch Dr. Who, but he was okay - I've seen much worse on TG
- the Saab bit was very good. They took their time to tell the story, made no stupid jokes, didn't drop no pianos on Saabs, had a drive on the open road and a natural chat about their feelings towards the cars

Overall an 8/10 for me, almost a 9.
 
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fisheye

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While GM definitely deserves its share of the blame, for the way they RAN Saab during their tenor (despite the segment's mentions that Saab re-did as many parts as possible on the "badge-swap" cars, there was still WAY too much diluting of the Saab brand under GM; see 9-7X, 9-2X), I wouldn't blame them for blocking the sale to the Chinese. That was done out of survival, and justly so. GM has a large market in China, and had any Chinese company invested in Saab, that would give them access to a huge reserve of GM-engineered projects. China seems to think of patent law as a suggestion, and GM had every right to be concerned that Chinese ownership of Saab would lend itself to those companies blatantly copying GM's projects, and therefore profiting directly from GM's work (without GM getting any compensation). Had that not been an issue, I have no reason to doubt GM would have okay'ed the sale.
You could be right. In the news today though: GM prevented a Turkish firm from investing in Saab. It's not only China.
 

wikkedsnaab

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Tasmania, Australia.
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Mercedes Benz 190D 2.5, Honda VFR800Fi
It was a very good regular episode... but the Saab bit made it great. And a bit sad.

My Saab (a 1988 900 Aero T16) was my first car. It had a lot of kays on it when I bought it, and I added a whole lot more. The bonnet paint was crazed, the body kit didn't sit straight. Every few months it needed something replaced, usually expensive. But by god it was fun. And curiously practical. Name another 3 door coupe you could move house with? That car is now long gone, but every time I see another, I miss it dearly. Eventually I'll get another, probably a convertible of a similar era. Such an iconic shape - can't confuse it for anything else - and great performance that you can actually use on the roads.

Clarkson and May did a stellar job on the segment. Yes, they perhaps could have mentioned the freewheeling clutch (that prevented oil starvation on off-throttle downhill runs) which become available on the 92's successor, the 93. They also could have perhaps also mentioned its substantial rallying successes, the fact that the C900's wrap around dash and windshield were arguably 'jet like' or the number of automotive 'firsts' Saab introduced.... but then again they could have also noted many other Saab foibles (C900 gearbox, 9-5 oil slugging) too <_<

The boys summed up best why Saab was great - it was an uncompromising company. Unfortunately a bit too uncompromising for their own good, as it turns out. Hopefully they find a buyer and rise again from the ashes.

Cheers, Ben.
 

lardroom

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Jan 17, 2012
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2002 Toyota Celica
Another good episode. No real bad bits to the episode, though Richard was a little childish with the forced screaming in the Skoda. Was more interested in the jet-powered man than in the car, though as always, Finnish driving ability impresses. Are the audience members getting cuter or is the lady wrangler just doing a better job? I love the look of the Maserati even if it's slow and dim-witted. I loved the Saab segment. Not only is it a James and Jeremy segment, but a great tribute to a quirky car maker. SIARC was also good but I liked Tennant better as Doctor Who. 9/10.
 

somnif

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Feb 28, 2012
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I enjoyed the episode but it has left me with one nagging question. Does anyone know where I can find a full video of Clarkson driving the joystick'd saab 9000? Episode records of old top gear seem to be sketchy at best and youtube is just giving me a blank stare when I try to search for it.
 

JTSnooks

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Cumming, GA, USA
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2005 Pontiac GTO
You are aware of the corrosion issues?

No, and a quick Google search didn't turn up anything. Got a link?

Here's someone in the know :) but most of the items you quoted are 'long term consumables' that should be swapped out at a certain age, and it's it takes quite a while for them to need to be replaced.
P.S> DI Cassette - haha, those who know their 9-5 will always keep a spare in the boot, it's a 10 minute job (these things tend to not go wrong for at least 60000 miles or so, and some can last a lot longer).

You have to carry parts around in your trunk? Doesn't sound very reliable to me...

And I am just pointing out sometimes how reputations are just unfounded.
Now that you mention it I DID need to replace a couple of light bulbs for the car to pass the road safety cert...

Talk about electronic system, Saabs are designed with safety and user friendly in mind.
How many modern cars you see that still does not either warn you, or just allows you to leave the main beam on when you go out and lock your car? Nice surprise to come back to a flat battery huh? (I have seen various Toyotas, Hyndais, etc still do this)

The tail/ brake lights are all double/ tripled. So if one set burns out you have back ups still working (if the brake light burns out, the rear light automatically switches over to double as brake light too)

Don't get me started on Toyota. I can't stand anything they've made the last 10 years. Every GM car I've driven and most Fords (which is a lot, considering I rent probably 15 cars every year) have automatic headlights as standard equipment, yet not a single Toyota I've rented does. It can be quite a hassle when you jump into an unfamiliar car in a lighted parking garage and don't realize the lights aren't on before leaving. Fiddling with a poorly ergonomically-designed car's controls in a completely dark interior at night trying to find the headlight switch is not a lot of fun.
 

pepitko

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Prague, CZ
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Audi A5, Ducati M796
Overall another solid episode, 7 or 8, haven't decided yet. They are catering more to their car enthusiast audience now, have they been taking our criticism seriously? This was especially visible in the Saab film, which was actually quite moving and sad, very well done from both James and Jeremy. Richard's rally car thing was fun and a good film to mix up an overall rather car serious episode, even though they did re-use the footage from the latest TG dvd.

Also, I get the feeling now that Jeremy and especially James seem to be more comfortable with more car related (serious?) films, instead of the gags, so it's probably very good that they have cut back on the gags.
 
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