My 2 cents on the 2010 Saab 9-5

Have you recovered yet?
I’m still waking up. Was that all a dream last night? Did we really see the 2010 Saab 9-5 a month before the embargo date? Wow.
You’ve all had your say on the car in comments, so now I’m going to take a moment to have mine, if that’s OK.
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Caution – Images only
As always, I’ll add my standard caution to the nay-sayers out there. All we’ve seen are images. The real thing always looks better in the metal.
The other thing to remember is that Saab designs tend to grow on people over time. I was ready to skewer my own eyeballs when I first saw the Dame Edna version of the Saab 9-5 a few years ago and now I think it’s evolved into a very endearing look.
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Exterior
What I believe we’re looking at here is a Vector spec, TTID version of the new 9-5. Of course, the badge reads TTiD4, which I can only assume means that they’ve managed to incorporate the XWD system with the TTiD engine.
2010Saab9-5ABfront.JPG
Like many of you, my first glimpse of the front of this car left me a little underwhelmed. I wouldn’t go so far as to say disappointed, but it didn’t grab me by the collar and scream “look at me!!” like I thought it might.
That was my first glimpse. And those were my expectations.
The reality for the 2010 Saab 9-5 is that it’s not necessarily meant to be something that demands visual drooling at first glance. It’s meant to be a large, well built, conservatively styled sedan with outstanding driving characteristics and a good dose of Swedish style.
On those accounts, I think it’s delivered and delivered well.
The more I’ve looked at it from different angles and studied the details of this car, the more I’ve come to like it. It’s got presence due to it’s sheer size and it’s got class. It’s not showy, but it’s not apologetic, either. It’s self assured. As a Saab person, I’ve got to say that I really like that.
If the front is therefore at a point where I’m satisfied, it’s the back end that gets my Saab juices flowing.
2010Saab9-5ABrear.JPG
Those rear lights are killers and the stance from this view is just brilliant! Maybe it’s the hill they’re shooting on, but whatever it is, I really like this.
This is where the conservative styling of the front is spiced up with a little bit of attitude and purpose. I can only image how good the Aero version will look and the rear end of the Aero is VERY important as that’s what many a Teutonic driver will see on the Autobahns 🙂
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Interior
Now this is the part that’s really got me excited.
This is only my personal opinion, but for me, it’s the perfect evolution of the Saab interior concept into the age we live in. Saab interiors have, by and large, always been well designed. It’s one of my favourite things about Saabs. This design brings the Saab ethos into the 21st century and from what I can see, it finally gets the materials Saab have deserved as standard from the factory.
2010Saab9-5ABinteriorfull.JPG
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2010Saab9-5ABinteriorstack.JPG
Yes, some things have changed and some of those changes are moves away from what we’re used to. The dials in three separate clusters, the fonts being a little different, the turbo gauge especially.
It’s called evolution.
The big thing to me is that whilst it’s all looking a bit different, it’s still all very coherent and I can easily accept it as a modern Saab interior.
I’m a big fan of the button dash, as you know, so this is like a hallelujah moment for me, to see that beautiful center stack. It’s the 9-4x concept interior made real and in production trim. I can only hope it feels as good as it looks.
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Some dot points……

  • People’s thoughts on the headrests are noted, and shared.
  • The wheels are stunning!
  • I can’t believe I’m going to write this, but I’m actually a little disappointed that it has the Griffin on the front. New time, new car: the wordmark looks fantastic and I, for one, wouldn’t have minded if they’d used the wordmark only.
  • The rear lights are incredibly sexy.
  • The J-vent hasn’t won me over yet.
  • And yes, I too am wondering what that is in the middle of the speedo.

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Over all…..
I was a little surprised by the conservatism in this design at first, but I can’t wait to see one on the road. I think it’s going to look absolutely magnificent in motion. Perhaps it doesn’t have as distinctive a silhouette as I’d like to see, but I’ll wait for a more desireable Aero model and more importantly, I’ll wait until I see it for myself.
The interior is absolutely stunning. Remember, it’s this interior that’ll form the basis for the interior in the next Saab 9-3 facelift in a year or so from now. These interior photos, more than anything else, have filled me to overflowing with hope and belief.
The final thing to remember with this car is……. it’s a car. More than anything, it’s about the driving.
Few have had the chance to do any driving yet, but those who have say that it’s absolutely fantastic. Go back through the Road Test archives to see test drives of the 9-5 mules by the Swedish media. They were all quite complimentary.
I’m totally rapt to have seen this car and am even more eager now to see and drive the real thing. I think it’s going to be – in Saab terms – a big success.

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