You can’t have a road trip without a car. So some weeks before we took off, the Frogette and I acquired a new set of wheels.
We figured that, with Saab still not sure that it’ll be a company in a year, we could get a sweet deal. And so we picked up a used 9-3 Sportcombi—Swedish for “wagon” I suppose—at a rock-bottom price. Now I’ve never owned a “luxury” car, and though this thing probably doesn’t compare to your average BMW, it really does have all the bells and whistles. It also has more indicators than a Space Shuttle, more beeps than R2D2, and one additional thing: RULES!
No starting the car when it’s not in park…and your foot’s on the brake. No fog lights (front or rear) unless your headlights are on. (Daytime running-lights are not good enough.) Want more AC…or heat? No problem, but every chance it gets the Saab gets it puts the system back into “auto” mode. No shutting off the headlights period. This car will warn you when you’re going too fast, get too close to a pedestrian (…or a car, or a post, or your garage door…even when it’s open), get too close to empty, unlatch your seat belt, leave a light on, window open, or parking brake un-engaged.
Definitely the Swedes think they’ve got a better way: Socialistic paternalism embodied in a car.