Saab 9-5 customer deliveries begin

Deliveries of the new 9-5 may have actually begun before now, but this is the first private delivery I’ve heard about, so it deserves a place here on the front page.

The story comes to us via comments, from ‘mcwill’ and there are more photos here.

Congratulations to ‘mcwill’. This is fantastic stuff. Another stage along the road. It all feels more real now!

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I’ve just taken delivery of my new 9-5 a 2.0T XWD Aero in Glacier Silver with a few additional toys (HUD, drive sense, DAB, Sat Nav & premium leather), and yes I’m like a kid at Christmas, I’ve waited a long time to get here. I’m sure my dealer was fed up with me forever asking: – “Can we order yet?”

Sitting in the car for the first time you certainly get the impression that this is a thoroughly modern beast. Rather than reiterate how it feels on the road which has been better explained by Swade and others (very nice by the way) I thought I would share items that are new or improved over previous Saabs (this is my 6th – yes I’m a Saab addict). Although this is probably just the tip of the iceberg as I only picked up the car this morning.

HUD – At first I thought the choice of HUD was a bad mistake because at first it was very distracting but after about a minute something in your brain decides that it’s not going to go away so it will ignore it unless you focus on it. After this point it’s great, Nav instructions overlay the normal HUD accompanied by a countdown bar to the turn. Very nice, very simple, very Saab.

Parking Brake – I’m certainly not used to yet….. instead of a manual lever there is now a small switch to lift to engage the brake. All I can say is it’s a good job I’m used to leaving the car in reverse.

ipod/iphone – I know, not exactly a core feature, but this is a big improvement for me. In my previous car there was no end of wires cluttering up the dashboard connecting music and phones to the car. Now there is an usb socket in the central storage area that accepts a normal iphone lead. If you plug your iphone into this, the car’s touch screen display gives you full access to the playlists and tracks on the device. (Although not the video and I have yet to discover how to skip a track via the steering wheel controls.) I was also glad to see that it also charges the iphone, something that not all car kits do. The “infotainment” systems also comes with Bluetooth functionality so the phone is also paired to the car for hands-free calling, and again the phones address book is integrated into the car’s display.

Sat Nav – This I think will be the disappointing element of my time with the car, for the last umpty million years I had had no built in sat nav and instead relied on a TomTom unit stuck on the windscreen. The built in sat nav feels like a step backwards I’m afraid with no support for Postcode entry (a later comment confirms that this is included – SW), detailed maps (the HUD overlay helps here) or a traffic congestion overlay.

DAB – Yes, I’ll finally be able to listen to the cricket again. (In the UK, the BBC only broadcast cricket coverage on Radio 4 long wave (long since removed from car radios) and a DAB channel.

I haven’t had much chance to play around and the above are the things that struck me most on the 50 min drive back from the dealership. I’m almost looking forward to the 300 miles I need to drive tomorrow!

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