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Also driven: Saab 9-3 convertible, Škoda Superb, Chrysler Grand Voyager


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Saab 9-3 convertible
Price: £34,424
Engine: 2.8-litre V6, 250bhp

Young exec or mid-life crisis, the 9-3 is styled to appeal to a broad audience and there’s room inside for four adults – just. But the electric seat mechanism that allows access to the rear is frustratingly slow, as is the roof.

Although fast and smooth, performance was a little disappointing for a 2.8 turbo and the average 24.5mpg was poor.

The finish inside and out is excellent, although the ugly slab of plastic Saab insists on using as a dashboard is a letdown.
Luke Neal

Škoda Superb
Price: £22,245
Engine: 2.8 V6 193bhp auto

The Superb is a car for those in the know. Excellent build quality, good ride and handling – in fact all the attributes of its VW Passat sibling but bigger and cheaper.

The issue with this variant, however, is the automatic ’box. It’s lazy and is a constant detraction. It takes almost 1.5sec longer than the manual to sprint to 62mph, while change-down takes an age as the ’box seems permanently confused – count the seconds before it selects the right gear.

Stick with the manual.
Stephen Briers

Chrysler Grand Voyager 2.8 CRD Limited XS
Price: £32,365
Engine: 2.8-litre common rail diesel, 150bhp

Chrysler is rightly proud of its Stow ‘n Go system. It’s a clever piece of engineering that provides up to 4,690 litres of space.

But the Stow ‘n Go logo on the side doors is a shame. Our car came in black so the silver insignia looked tacky. The 2.8-litre CRD engine is the largest diesel in the range, but it’s no sprinter. It ambles to 62mph in 12secs.
Heather Brookes

First drive: Chrysler 300C

Revitalised Chrysler is giving most of Britain’s business car segment a wide berth with its new 300C executive model, which went on sale in mid-June.

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