I want my colours back.

I love my dame redna, but often when I drive in the dark I get the impression that something is wrong.

First of all, the speedo has no low speed and high speed section with different scaling, but maybe the most annoying is that it is an all white speedo.

I think with the new 9-5 they have changed a couple of things, and the instruments look better.

Now we have once again a split speedo, and the needles are not white any more, but I keep getting the impression that something is wrong with the colours used.

But lately on the description of the Independence Day Special Edition 9-3 Swade wrote:

Orange turbo instrument needle (a-la C900 and Turbo X)

And I thought, is this what I’m missing?

Well, this is how the instrument cluster of my OG 9-3 used to look.

Call me old fashioned if you want, but I want my colours back. I want amber needles and green scales. I don’t know why, I think it looks better and it is different. I hope Saab in the NG 9-3 backs off from the white-red scales from the late GM era.

74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 8 months ago

Hum……well…. errr… yup, old fashioned…. 😉

J Fan
Guest
J Fan
5 years 8 months ago

I agree, the old orange needles were very nice and had a look of quality. I have a memory sitting in my father’s then brand new 9000 in ’93, stopped in traffic at night looking at the SID thinking how cool it was. Then a Golf Mk III pulled up beside us and I saw the dials. They just looked so cheap… Probably that memory of the Golf alone will prevent me from ever buying such a car! It’s the details that count.. as they say.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff
5 years 8 months ago
I want Saab to start using LEDs that can change color, it’s a minimal expense that companies like Ford and Jaguar/Land Rover have shown is very easy to do. Skip to about 1:30 to see what I’m talking about in this video showing the LRX concept. I’m anti-LCD screens replacing traditional needles, I like an analog look, but I definitely think Saab could put in “mood” lighting if you will that changes the look, and would be very cool if they could do it with the DriveSense option, as has been mentioned here before (I forgot who came up with… Read more »
zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 8 months ago

I never realised how great the dash of the OG9-3 was, I just love those orange needles. Maybe we should petition Victor and kindly ask for them to return. 😉

zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 8 months ago

Oh and put SID back on top of the dash too like in my 9-3SS. Please.

74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 8 months ago

+1 on the Sid, its entertaining for the non-saab passengers.

Mike
Guest
Mike
5 years 8 months ago

Agreed. The OG 9-3 dash is just about perfect. I use a similar pic I grabbed from the GM media site as my work computer desktop.

Dmitry Platonoff
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

As a user interface designer, I absolutely love the old 9-3/9-5 instrument cluster. It’s so wonderfully clean and simple, easy to read and uncluttered. No chrome, no accents, no separate wells, no unnecessary ticks every 2 mm. Just a handful of needles on a solid black background. Perfection. Wish they kept it this way.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff
5 years 8 months ago

I totally agree, that’s one of the things I absolutely love about my OG9-3. The IP is perfect in every way…besides the dead pixels on my SID.

Nicola
Guest
Nicola
5 years 8 months ago

+1

9-3 OG Dash = Design & Ergonomy Masterwork.

Colors, should be used to optimize reading,
instead they should NOT be used to comply with your mood like in a Jacuzzi shower set.
Sorry Jeff… 🙂

Toby
Guest
Toby
5 years 8 months ago

You can still buy a new SID- you’ll probably get away with $300 if it bothers you, I did as it really niggled me and was unreadable. Love my instruments-totally intuitive and I love the slightly old fashioned orange and green analogue look-to me its a bit military-all the jets had green MFD’s when the og9-3 was about I guess that’s where it came from-I cant think of a saab that wasn’t green and orange-I hope it comes back that would be cool!

74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 8 months ago

I like our push button dash, especially at night.

zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 8 months ago

Hell yeh!!!!! I dont like the cheap dash.

Hans H
Guest
Hans H
5 years 8 months ago

I vote for orange and green.

JIMMY
Guest
JIMMY
5 years 8 months ago
The instrument cluster in the dame Edna edition is right out of the GM design book — no design. The C900 had a great cluster, the 9k improved on it with better lighting and illuminated needles. The early 9-5 perfected it — only to be thrown away with Edna. The new 9-5 is pretty good, but it’s still a really cluttered design — all those little silver rings and wells are just decoration — and they don’t help to read the instruments at all. Fortunately the HUD makes the speedo sort of obsolete. I want the orange needles back —… Read more »
Olav
Guest
Olav
5 years 8 months ago

Well put, I second every word! 🙂

Cheers from Norway
-Olav-
Always on the longest road home when out there with my SAAB. Always!

Ted Y
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

I love my pushbutton dash. I’m not in agreement about orange needles, seem old fashioned. How about making colors user-configurable, shouldn’t be too hard nowadays.

OddJob
Guest
OddJob
5 years 8 months ago

I totally agree with you Red – green scales and orange needles, that’s the only way a Saab instrument should be designed, it’s so perfectly clear and easy to read. These colour combinations where researched and developed in co-operation with Saab aircraft engineers in the late60ies. You’ll find them in all Saabs from the 96/99 model year 71 until the NG 9-3 and the 2006 DE 9-5. This kind of ergonomics is a piece of Saab heritage that has been somewhat forgotten and need to be brought back into future models.

Donald North
Guest
Donald North
5 years 8 months ago

I agree, SAAB needs to bring back the green scales and orange needles. This was originally selected based on research into eye fatigue. SAAB needs to do what provides an excellent user experience – not what’s fashionable – and then promote why it’s better.

David Wishart
Guest
David Wishart
5 years 8 months ago

I agree. The point of gauges is to inform, not just look cool. However, now I have yet another reason to be happy with my OG9-3. I’m also happy with my manual HVAC controls, which can be easily adjusted while driving, and without taking my eyes off the road.

Toby
Guest
Toby
5 years 8 months ago

I love my 900 HVAC system the way it hisses at you when you crank it from screen to cabin or cabin to footwell pshhhhhhhcahhhhhhhh like Darth Vader having an asthma attack-its superb!! bring back the a the wheezing HVAC!!

signs
Guest
signs
5 years 8 months ago

LOL. You just convinced me any difference is good if it’s by Saab. I feel the same way

GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 8 months ago

Ah yes, I almost forgot that great sound. I agree that those big switches were much better than the stupid little ones that you have to hunt for in the dark with gloves on. It looks like the new 9-5 has quite some not used real estate on the mid-console, maybe they can fill that up with some nice chunky switches.

2-don
Guest
2-don
5 years 8 months ago

I’d be happy with a replacement for the plastic dash 🙂 And the 03-06 button dash was really nice to look at!

Quixcube
Guest
Quixcube
5 years 8 months ago

The only thing I didn’t like about the original 9-5 gauges was the scrunch-up in scaling after 90mph. The OG 9-3 had a constant scale or the entire speedo and it seemed much better to me. The scale shift after 90 mph seemed to say “keep it slow” IMHO.

I would pay for an aftermarket mod that would bring the carrot colored needles back.

x
Guest
x
5 years 8 months ago

Have to disagree! The “scale change” speedo is one of SAABs great inventions. I think it’s cool and really enhances readability in the important speed range.

Doctor Donk
Guest
Doctor Donk
5 years 8 months ago

+1 great thing. But while i had 9000 i though it was not that good.

matt
Guest
matt
5 years 8 months ago

I love the green lights on the dials. You just can’t beat the green glow at night, and against the orange needles, fantastic. I would like to see the return of this style. And yes about the SID, I can’t read mine, but the just needs a little work. And I have the instrument panel down so I don’t have to look at any of the buttons anymore

GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 8 months ago

Yup, orange on green. Great for night driving.
That or a completely configurable OLED screen.

Phoenix
Guest
Phoenix
5 years 8 months ago

I go for the OLED variant in that case. Even if Saabista like the old style it would have been crushed in the media if a new car had the old style dials.

JeremyP
Guest
JeremyP
5 years 8 months ago
Since you mentioned the SID above, I figured I could take a detour as well. Make the ESP On/Off a button on the dash. My wife’s 2008 9-3 is a PITA to: 1. Scroll through to ‘Settings’ 2. Press Select 3. Scroll through to ESP 4. Press Select 5. Toggle Between ESP On/ESP Off 6. Press Select to Set 7. Press Clear or reverse out of the exit portion of the menu 8. Switch display back to Temp, DTE, MPG, Etc Almost as bad as texting while driving! If you encounter a steep hill while driving and need to turn… Read more »
MarkoA
Guest
MarkoA
5 years 8 months ago

Do you need to switch off ESP often? I know it´s now more complicated to switch off, but maybe for a reason. ESP saves lives.

Pierre
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

Saab was listening. I noted the other day in a 2011 9-3 that the ESP switch is back on the dash, where it originally was to the right of the instrument housing.

Peter
Guest
Peter
5 years 8 months ago

I noticed the change on the ’11s last week as well. I do not think they were “listening” so much as they didn’t want the 9-3 to have something that the Turbo4 9-5 did not. No Sport Mode on any Sentronic 9-3s or Turbo4 9-5s for MY2011.

Seb C
Guest
Seb C
5 years 8 months ago

Totally agree that the instrument cluster in the OG9-3 and same era 9-5 was much better than what came afterwards. In fact, interior quality in general had been on a steady decline since then (although it seems not only in Saabs), we’re all hoping that will be turned around by Spyker. Orange+green on black seems like a good place to start.

PT
Guest
PT
5 years 8 months ago

I’m a fan of the orange/green/black combo and think that SAAB does dash lighting really ,really well. However -I also like clean, white dials so the newer ones still look ok to me too. Nevertheless, the green theme of saab lighting is terrific. A lovely counterpoint to the orange one by BMW which is another personal favourite.

One feature of the beloved Night-Panel which is very popular in our (naughty) household is how the speedo only lights up to 140km/h…..until you exceed 140 and then it goes all the way. How thoughtful.

900_S
Guest
900_S
5 years 8 months ago
I’m usually all for more color, but I think the orange and green are a little too old-fashioned for the more modern/futuristic style Saab seems to be going for. That might explain all the black and silvers lately. I really like the newer (Dame Edna) dash pictured, but I haven’t driven many cars besides my C900 much at night. I sometimes peek at other dashes while on the road at night and usually judge them all to be annoying or ugly. I didn’t know that combination is supposed to be the best for reading the gauges at night. I imagine… Read more »
Michael
Guest
Michael
5 years 8 months ago
That’s not a question of fashion or taste. It’s all about cone vision. Our eyes are best suited for certain colours – like green and orange. We see them better and more clear than others, and the worst colour for eyes is blue. We have two types of cells in our eye. There are rod cells that are the most sensitive to the light. They are concentrated at the outer edges of the retina and used in peripheral vision. Rod cells are almost entirely responsible for night vision. The second type is cone cells that are responsible for color vision,… Read more »
Michael
Guest
Michael
5 years 8 months ago

And you can make these colors look cool and modern, it’s the matter of form and typeface, not of using bad science-fiction blueish looks and glaring faux metal.

Jr.
Guest
Jr.
5 years 8 months ago

With only there hours of daylight during the winters up here in the north of Sweden, you get to do a lot of driving in the dark. And my 2004 9-5 Aero has the perfect interior for it. The green light is soothing for your eyes, and the night panel gets extensive use.

I do want a new Saab, but I don’t like the new lightning scheme. Even though it’s better than a dame edna and much, much better than say a Passat, it’s still not as great as my current Saab.

signs
Guest
signs
5 years 8 months ago

Oh yeah, the dashboard… To me it’s not primarily about the button vs dial layouts, though I love the original 9-5 dash. I simply think that Saab has always had incredibly aesthetic, evocative, Saaby really, dashboards.

That’s where the GM-ification of Saab hit in a very visible way in the last years, and I now have hopes to see something like the real Saab again, maybe even in just a few short months (it’s shaping up to be a great year!).

signs
Guest
signs
5 years 8 months ago

Ah, and have to add of course… that it’s really about beautiful function. Like PT above about how the night panel works. It’s not even the feature, it’s the way it’s done.

Daniel B
Guest
Daniel B
5 years 8 months ago
Hi RED, I just had the exact thoughts about the instrument cluster in my Dame Edna (2010 TiD GriffinSport) this weekend while driving a 9-3 2010 SC. Saabs used to feel DIFFERENT driving, and looking at the instruments in the dark could be a nice way to pass time… Anyway, What I DO like about the cluster in my Dame E is: The depth of the wells ( not to flat and not to deep ( like the NG 9-5)) The silver of the inside of the wells The little more “worked out” theme of the cluster ( don´t need… Read more »
Daniel B
Guest
Daniel B
5 years 8 months ago

Sorry for the bad spelling… Busy day at work….:)

Chris
Guest
Chris
5 years 8 months ago

I totally agree with Red on this issue.
Saab should think twice about that .

Patrik B
Guest
Patrik B
5 years 8 months ago
I think that we are kicking in open doors here as we all seems to agree that the orange/green instrument panel on the first generation of the 9-5 is very easy to read and comfortable in most driving conditions. The problem with it is that I believe that some marketing people thinks that it isn’t cool. And that they must add a lot of colors, touch screens and button clusters with a fancy design. Less is more so keep it simple! As someone said; I would pay for un upgrade to my 2010 9-3 to make it look more like… Read more »
ARO
Guest
ARO
5 years 8 months ago

Am I missing something here?
During the day the numbers are white on black on the OG 9-5 and green on black at night due to the backlighting. That is a daytime photo of the NG9-5 dash, white numbers on black face. What’s the problem?
The early E30 BMW 3 series dashpod, considered one of THE best ever dash designs did the same, white numbers during the day and colored (orange wash) at night.

Red J
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

ARO,
as you can see here
the NG 9-5 is green on white 24/7, no matter if its day or night.

Zizou
Guest
Zizou
5 years 8 months ago

I agree too, Red you speak me from the heart! That is the good old fashioned way Saab should take course again!
And yes, I also want my buttons back on my dashboard!

Red J
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

Nice to hear that I’m not the only one 🙂

I’ve tagged the post as 2012 9-3, because I think the interior colour theme for that car is still not fixed, and maybe somebody out there gives it a thought.

Mikaik
Guest
Mikaik
5 years 8 months ago
I agree with the previous comments about the colour scheme, but…we all have to bear in mind that Saab must appeal to a larger category than that represented by daily readers of SU. Now, ask yourself, would a neutral customer buy a car whose dashboard looks like in the 90’s?! To some extent, Saab has to be in line with other automakers, in order to survive. They cannot survive on die-hard fans alone, they have to appeal to new customers. Just try to look at the bright side, the 9-5 is better looking, both in and out, than most cars… Read more »
Daniel B
Guest
Daniel B
5 years 8 months ago

HI,

I Agree that the NG 9-5 is VERY nice compared to alot of cars out there, BUT I also think that in order to compete with Audi, Volvo, BMW the materials and finishes must be up to par with those brands.

BUT I disagree that Saab has to have dashboards “in line with other automakers”.
If you say that you are different, If you want to attract a market that want´s to feel different driving a Saab, You have to di more that SAY that you´re different.
YOU HAVE TO BE DIFFERENT,
Say what you are.
Execute what you say.

/Daniel

Daniel B
Guest
Daniel B
5 years 8 months ago

Again,

sorry for the bad spelling…

“You have to do more than SAY that you´re different”…

Saabluster
Guest
Saabluster
5 years 8 months ago

Agree we need the orange needles back even if they do look old-fashioned. They just work better and that is what Saab is supposed to be about. I’m sure those Swedes can figure out a way to make the overall look more contemporary while keeping the more functional color scheme.

Thylmuc
Guest
Thylmuc
5 years 8 months ago
Probably was a hard time for Saab; no successor to the 9-5 and how to sell an ageing car. The Dame Edna revision certainly involved a lot of cost cutting, and that’s what we can see on the dash. Otoh, the late 9-5 was a bargain (as seen by the shock moments a lot of people had when the NG 9-5 was introduced, myself included), and imho exterior design was an improvement. I however agree that Saab should return to their previous, more scientific approach to user interfaces. This also includes the menus. Since research has shown that more, but… Read more »
Nils
Guest
Nils
5 years 8 months ago
Red J, it is great that you brought this up! I was planning to write to Swade to suggest just this topic. I went for a test drive of a 9-3 SC TTid last week, and one of the things that bothered me was the dashboard with the chrome-plastic rings around the dials and the rim around the instrument panel. Otherwise the current 9-3 cockpit is nicely laid out, the speedo dial is correct and the controls for the climate control and heating are great. I like the fact that they are placed high up on the dashboard, this is… Read more »
Gustaf
Guest
Gustaf
5 years 8 months ago

Like Jörgen Trued already mentioned in this post
“Usage of green light, orange hands is best
No “chrome rings”, white hands, partial hands”

+1!

RS
Guest
RS
5 years 8 months ago
If not OLED, at least a white, an orange and maybe a green LED in the needles of the JC 9-3 to choose from? The orange cruise text in between the green numbers in the OG 9-3 is surprisingly annoying (says someone who put a sticker on the blue high beam light in the 900). Orange needles are better looking during daytime (in the summer) but ones the pitch black winter comes nothing beats the simplicity in the NG 9-3 (03-04). It’s interesting what you can find in the SU archives. I think this is the perfect color combo in… Read more »
Anddeu
Guest
Anddeu
5 years 8 months ago

The first thought I had when I read about the orange needles was: “That is something I am missing too!”

Lucantropo
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

The biggest problem on the 9-5NG instrument panel is the colour of the cockpit numbers.. WHITE!!!! A lot more violent than the white indicators on the 9-3NG (which has still green numbers). Definitely not important if the indicators are green or not.. numbers are white and that’s terribly uncomfortable when driving by night.

I’m completey agree.. the better cockpit with better colours is the 9-3OG one, green numbers, orange indicators, different scale for the speedo.. no white colour. There’s no competition. Saab has made a big mistake following a more fashionated cockpit… that’s not what a Saab customer looks for.

Motoradd
Guest
Motoradd
5 years 8 months ago
The Orange and Green instumentation colour scheme is much kinder to your eyes than the white only on long drives in the dark. Driving both Dame Edna 9-5’s annd GM900’s/OG 9-3’s I much prefer the Orange/Green lighting in these dark winter months. The white instruments have to be turned up during the day and turned down during the night. I don’t thank that the Dame Edna’s have the automatic instrument lighting sensor control that the GM900’s / OG900’s have. I they do it, doesn’t work. Sometimes the old ways are better than the new. However we live in an age… Read more »
Bernard
Guest
Bernard
5 years 8 months ago
I am surprised that no one has mentioned how much better the old steering wheel looked (and worked). It was a great example of functional Scandinavian design. I don’t think that Saab should worry too much about they instruments looking “old.” It’s all about function and classic simple design. Besides, as a friend with an early 944 explained to me: “my instruments looked modern when I bought the car, then they looked old when the 944 was refreshed in the mid-80s, then it looked modern again a few years after that, then old again and now it’s ultra-modern.” The “new”… Read more »
RS
Guest
RS
5 years 8 months ago

Good point. My initial reaction to the NG 9-3 was that they’d made a mistake with the ‘three spoke’ steering wheel (you can’t hold on to it at 6 o’clock’).
I’m so used to it by now that it doesn’t bother me much anymore, but thanks for reminding 😉

Michael
Guest
Michael
5 years 8 months ago

I agree, the old steering wheel looks and feels much, much better. The buttons should be big enough to use in gloves, of course, and all unnecessary information must be taken away.

Michael
Guest
Michael
5 years 8 months ago

Can’t help but mention Apple products again 🙂 Remove unnecessary and make everything else best and with style. For me, that’s what the new Saab should be to become successful and different – perfection in necessary functions, cutting-edge (but reasonable! Prius is not the case!) technology, and scandinavian design – light and elegant.

Magnus Olert
Guest
Magnus Olert
5 years 8 months ago

Just to get som inspiration:

Saab JAS 39 Gripen C/D:

Saab JAS 39 Gripen A/B:

Saab JA 37 Viggen (scroll down):
http://www.freefalcon.com/forum/showthread.php?15586-AJS37-cockpit-WIP/page2

Saab AJSH 37 Viggen:
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Sweden—Air/Saab-AJSH37-Viggen/1559362/L/

Saab J 35OE Draken (Austrian version):
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Austria—Air/Saab-J35Oe-MkII/1099340/L/&sid=b89dfe18e9d748439bac7305df619e23

Altough I also like the orange needled I note that there isn’t many to find in the cockpits!

nodrog
Guest
nodrog
5 years 8 months ago

Compressed speedo, scrunched up speedo, whatever you call it, this feature of the first 9-3 and 9-5 is the most intelligent and “different” dashboard idea ever, especially in the United States where it is almost never legal to go over 75mph. If I am already illegal, I am not so concerned whether I am 35mph over or 40mph over. I would love to see this come back. And yes orange and green. The night panel effect of illuminating only the lower half is also extremely entertaining.

Thierry
Guest
Thierry
5 years 8 months ago

Love the old dash, orange for Saab is a little bit Dutch now, Green for Saab is green since ages…Feels much more comfortable, warmer, than the new dashes.

RMinNJ
Guest
RMinNJ
5 years 8 months ago
I guess GM Saab felt the orange and green instruments were dated or old fashioned. Younger buyers may expect the dash to look like their cellphone (joke). I know in the Ford Fusion (#1 selling car in the USA of late or close to it) the dash is a blue..much like a one’s bluetooth device. .. While it looks modern the color seems horrendous for nighttime driving. I much prefer Saab go back to the orange and green…it looks Saab to me and not dated. The dash should be a safe, functional device…not some desktop that one customizes with the… Read more »
LesH
Guest
LesH
5 years 8 months ago

I love the look of the OG9-5 instrument panel. Simple and easy to read with 270 degrees of motion on the speedo, 180 degrees of which is dedicated to most commonly used range of speeds and the rest of the range compressed into 90 degrees.

I guess you couldn’t plug&play the OG panel into a Dame Edna as there is no allocation for SID info in the old panel.

saabdriver
Guest
saabdriver
5 years 8 months ago

I do also think that the 9-5 dashboard is a downgrade compared with the OG 9-5. A part of the SAAB design DNA is just gone.

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