Saab 9-5 roadshow in Hungary part 3: One guy’s thoughts

Ivan is my partner in the Saab Design T-Shirt shop and earlier this week, he went along and viewed the new Saab 9-5 as part of the European roadshow.
I featured some photos from Ivan and one his mates (Hammer) a few days ago. Today I’d like to share Ivan’s thoughts about the car in full.
——
The Hungarian Saab900 Club had the chance to see the new 9-5 just before the official PR event.
First we had a casual conversation with Andrew Prest, Managing Director of Polar Mobil (Central-East-European HQ of Saab). He talked about the last year of the GM era, the current situation with the Koenigsegg deal and the investor background behind it. He also mentioned the future plans and we received a lot of information about the new 9-5.
Then the covers were removed and we could see the cars in real life!
My first thought was: it’s huge! And of course, looks much better than on the photos. There were two “handmade” prototypes, a Vector and an Aero with BioPower and XWD.
Exterior: sleek, elegant, stylish, impressive but not brutally aggressive. The profile contour and how the roofline falls to the back of the car, and the angle of the side windows remind me a bit to the classic old Saabs. From the front view I miss the more obvious traditional “2 vertical – 1 horizontal” dividers, even if there is some kind of “allusion”. However, I like the new style and it harmonizes with all the new concept and production models from the Aero X.
Saab 9-5 in Hungary Both the front and rear light shape reminds a bit to the horn of the Viking helmet. 🙂 I like the light tube and we realized how smart is it: instead of using the Audi-like multiplied leds, it has only light sources at the start and the end, the light tube is a special “optical fiber” with many small slots on it. The same solution runs along the luggage compartment door at the back of the car.
The ice cube design at the rear lights is also very unique and I really like those icy-look glasses in both of front and rear lights.
Finishing of the metallic decorations is good and the smooth shiny satin like parts are much more elegant to me, compared with the reflecting chrome finish on the similar parts of other cars.
I was a bit disappointed realizing that the difference between Aero and Vector is very hard to see. OK, I know that Saab has never used very aggressive optical effects on Aeros, but it deserves some more sporty spoilers and a sleek rear wing, I think.
I also like the two-tone finished side mirrors with the integrated lights.
Overall, it’s a well proportioned, modern, premium sedan, with definite Saabish character and many eye-catching and smart small details.
Interior: again, it’s huge! I’m a reasonably short guy (165 cm), so of course I have no problem with headroom and I could almost straighten my legs sitting on the back seats. Comfort and ergonomics are obvious and the materials feel good and of better quality than in previous cars.
Saab 9-5 in Hungary I noticed carefully applied, strong isolations on the doors, so the car should be really quiet inside. I have to get used to with the new “tube” like instruments, I prefer the all-in-one-unit as it is in my Viggen, however I know this new style requires new solutions. The central unit with the infotainment and AC controls is really beautiful, the layout and controls are logical and easy to use.
The information screen inside the speedometer speaks Hungarian (woohoo!) and the HUD is a smart feature. The steering wheel feels good and I like its grip and size. I really enjoyed the big sunroof.
As far as I know the entertainment system is quite advanced, USB, harddisk, DVD, independent outputs for the front and rear seats (I can listen to radio or some MP3 while driving and the passengers at the rear can be watching a DVD).
Saab 9-5 in Hungary One thing I noticed for some criticism: the headrest of the front seats and the built in video display below look like a cheap plastic and the shape also doesn’t fit to the style and quality of the interior, I think.
Anyway, it’s a very comfortable and well designed interior with all of the great things we like in Saab.
I really enjoyed every minute of the show and it was very exciting to take photos, to touch and feel the car. If the quality is ok – and according to Andy the quality control will be extremely strict – the new 9-5 has a good chance to become a good selling car and gain a good reputation for Saab.

wpDiscuz