What makes a car feel old?

We live in a world were the announcement of a rumour of a newer version of a product renders the current product obsolete. I’m quite old school, and search for a product that covers my needs at a good price, and if this is the last years model that is price reduced, and on the other side the current model has features I wasn’t looking for, I buy the last years model.

Dame Redna

Maybe this is the reason I feel quite comfortable with Dame Redna, my Dame Edna 9-5, and why I don’t understand comments like the ones in the Autocar review of the 9-3 I mentioned in my last post.

But on the other side, there are people telling that the car is already 13 years old, and other brands have already presented the third generation of their cars since the 9-5 was presented in 1998. But I don’t really care, because the car drives well, and still looks modern, and it has features like cooled seats that are quite new or even not available on some more modern cars.

Old 9-5

So what do you think makes a car feel old? Is it only the fact that the car has already been sold for more years than its competitors, or is it because it looks dated, or is it only because the infotainment system is not as modern as your latest gizmo, which by the way will be old fashioned not later than 12 moths later?

900 classic cab
Guest
5 years 1 month ago

For me a car is only old when it’s design and security features really are outdated. As we all know, this doesn’t happen quite often on SAABs as in many of their competitors πŸ™‚
Yes, I would like a more recent infotainment, or at least the change to update my 2005 navigation DVD (and for a reasonable price), but at least I know my car will still give an exciting feeling just by looking at it.

adamb
Member
5 years 1 month ago

A new model of a new car isn’t like a new computer or smart phone. It will still get you to your destination at the same time and via the same method. If new models of cars had such huge leaps in ability then I’m sure we’d all buy new models of car when they came out, that’s not to say that we won’t all be driving electric cars in 20 years time.

Khrisdk
Member
5 years 1 month ago
I don’t think anybody can answer that question There are people that will argue that a newer car is always better. There are also people that would argue that a lot of basical technical automotive refinement is taken out of newer cars as supposed to older models due to standardisation of components An OG900 theoretically has better underpinnings than a NG9-3. It just lacks a couple of other features Some would argue that the older engines are more wellbuild than newer engines..Just take a look at the discussions over B2x4 vs.B2x5 When we talk about newer cars, as those of… Read more »
sgns
Member
5 years 1 month ago
Another cool post! πŸ™‚ Me? I think it’s a mixture. Gadget people will notice the tech stuff. Motor people – probably not as much. Very practical people, even less. People’s perspectives vary. Still cars IMO largely do act as fashion items. So their age is almost always visible. The thing is that when there is value in the design to begin with – like in various lovely Saab models from 900 and onwards – that often trumps the issue of age for people who know their cars and even regular people. Finally, there’s this use value aspect to it all.… Read more »
Khrisdk
Member
5 years 1 month ago

Hehe.With your use of code as an example I would compare newer cars to .NET programming.

SpinM
Member
5 years 1 month ago
The thing is technology does not evolve (in a usefull sense) as fast as design must change to please users. It’s a part of human psiche – when we have something in use for a long time we become bored and wish for something different. When a certain model of a car is on the market for many years, people will get used to it and it will seem old. That is especially true when that model does not appear to be standing out of the crowd and the crowd chnages in the meantime. One solution to this problem is… Read more »
Doctor Donk
Member
5 years 1 month ago

Matte black wheels is the must

xlx
Member
5 years 1 month ago
i felt inside of this old. Last year I had the opportunity to sit in a Skoda Favorit built ~1990. In spite I had 2 of them in that years (92-96), loved them at that time, this “recent” experience was exactly old. Atmosphere of huge buttons, extra large ashtray (i liked) and of “plastic dashboard music” all the time. Flashback on my daddys accident in it, which nobody knows how he survived it = security features. I started to feel about a car is old, when it needed to go every 2nd month to the service, because something failed. The… Read more »
OliverH
Member
5 years 1 month ago
My MY2003 95 Saab-Performance don’t feel old. The car makes so much fun.. I’ve a lot respect on this rolling IT wonders. A couple of different network systems, more control units that I could count ( πŸ˜‰ ) – I don’t feel comfortable with. I and P bus is enough. The 95 is faster than I would like to drive. My definition of Saab in the past: 4 cylinder and turbo, safety, practical in use (storage room), driving a different car. Have a look on the evolution of Volvo 850 station wagon. I wouldn’t by this today lifestyle, sporty car.… Read more »
DreamChaser
Member
5 years 1 month ago
Interesting… I always look for Progress in a new product, but what really is Progress? Take airliners for example; park a brand new Airbus A330 right next to an old Concorde; people who don’t know anything about aircraft would surely think the A330 is an older machine, not so.. But where’s the Progress; Concorde could fly from Europe to the US in less than half the time it takes the ‘modern’ Airbus, much higher in smoother air for a more comfortabler ride. The A330 in essence does exactly the same as the first generation of transatlantic passenger jets, like the… Read more »
Eagle63
Member
5 years 1 month ago

I agree; an old (retired) AirTransat friend of mine really didn’t like the company’s shift from flying the iconic L-1011 TriStar to the newer A330 at all; he loved the ergonomics and flying qualities of the old TriStar…

SAABoy
Member
5 years 1 month ago

are C900s or 9000 outdated in terms of security?

nordican
Member
5 years 1 month ago

Not really, certainly not the 9000….

Eagle63
Member
5 years 1 month ago

Always liked the 9000 interior and ‘cockpit’, very good timeless ergonomics and lots of space for extra instrumentation..

Quixcube
Member
5 years 1 month ago
Engineering doesn’t stand still. The design goals of one generation are recreated in the next, and by using newer materials and manufacturing techniques, those goals are often furthered. When a new model is released, it is compared to the outgoing model (and competitors) in terms of it’s features, NVH (noise, vibration, harshness), and it’s efficiency. The current turbo gas 4 engine in the 9-3 is outdated compared to the 9-5 (and Griffin) not because the old engine was bad, but because engineers improved it with direct injection and other refinements like a dual scroll turbo that weren’t possible (or feasible)… Read more »
SAABoy
Member
5 years 1 month ago

Do you drive any old SAABs? Do you feel unsafe?

mike saunders
Member
5 years 1 month ago

The newer cars are unquestionably safer than the older cars, which were safer still than the first Saabs.

Everything evolves.

Quixcube
Member
5 years 1 month ago
Yes. As I said, I drive a 1999 9-3 and a 2003 9-5. They are not as safe as the current 9-3 or the current 9-5. Time has passed them by in that regard. My 9-3 is less safe than my daily commuter which is a 2006 Honda Civic. The Civic is a lesser car than the Saabs are, if age is removed temporarily from the equation, because the Civic is an econobox and the Saabs are entry premium. But because the Civic is newer and the baseline has moved up every year for all cars, the Civic is a… Read more »
RS
Member
5 years 1 month ago

That said an OG 9-3 still has a better NCAP side impact score than a MY12 Civic.
The other thing is in which car are you more likely to crash? With better lights and ‘Swedish’ bad weather handling I’d personally still pick an older Saab over any Asian car on a rainy night.

Quixcube
Member
5 years 1 month ago

Perhaps the 2003 and up 9-3 is equivalent to the 2006 Civic in NCAP tests, but the GM 900 / 9-3 is not. You should check NCAP again. In 1997 is doesn’t even earn 2 full stars. They reinforced it for 1999, but that only did so much. The Saab is charming, and was safe by the standards of the 1990s, but that’s a long time ago.

RS
Member
5 years 1 month ago

Quixcube, I know about the GM900’s lousy NCAP rating. Therefore you can’t say the car is GM900/9-3 in terms of safety when the 9-3 got four starts and full score on the side impact which is still better than any Civic’s ever built (this was my point).
I’d still rather be traveling in a 9-3 in case someone don’t see you coming on a rainy night and decides to ram you in the driver side door.

Ken H
Member
5 years 1 month ago

“My 9-3 is less safe than my daily commuter which is a 2006 Honda Civic.”

Now, how can you tell that for sure? If you plan to crash in a test lab, maybe. But please don’t forget that Saab has a very good track record come to real world safety. Does the Civic have active headrests?
Unlike you, I don’t think it’s that obvious at all…

SVX92
Member
5 years 1 month ago

Having seen, touched and drooled on the new metallic black combi at SOC, I can say it is “emotion” that is stirred makes our existing cars obsolete. Give GM credit, in their heyday, they did just that …churn out beautiful new product that the consumer craved. Unless you are in a lease, do we really need a car before the one we have reaches ten years old?

looking for new car
Member
5 years 1 month ago

In all these months on this site, I have no idea what (and why) a Dame Edna is, and while you’re at it, I’d love an explanation of the NG vs. OG – new vs. old? I have a 2003 aero wagon and before that I had a 1995(?) 900S (which was my favorite car, btw). Thanks. I need a glossary! Unfortunately, my son was sick and we couldn’t make it to the SOC to get an in person explanation.

MitchbSC
Member
5 years 1 month ago
About 2006, the 9-5 model had an exterior refresh. The headlamps are often compared to the signature eyewear of the “Dame Edna Everage” character created by comedian Barry Humphries. Correct on NG vs. OG. NG = new or next generation OG = old generation To address the article question, I bought my 2009 9-5 SC precisely because it was 13 years old. Many of the serious bugs were worked out. I put up years of half-cooked stuff in recent Chevy, Pontiac, and GMC models. New isn’t necessarily etter.. I don’t like manufacturers nav. I prefer Garmin or iPhone-based nav software.… Read more »
SVX92
Member
5 years 1 month ago

I think the 9-5’s last refresh looks more Lone Ranger than Dame Edna. (dame edna is an English comedian in drag w unique glasses. (google dame Edna) I think the glasses look more like the last generation BMW 5series headlights.

Yes, I understand it as old generation and new or next generation.

Hope your son feels better. My buddy thinks I’m crazy. Denise and I drove 5 hours to stop in for the day to drive the 9-4x and 9-5.

spacy
Guest
5 years 1 month ago

.
re; (dame edna is an English comedian in drag w unique glasses. (google dame Edna)

Australiian

SVX92
Member
5 years 1 month ago

Thanks!

looking for new car
Member
5 years 1 month ago
Lol, that’s weird! I had no idea. But I can see the resemblance to one of the photos on the official website. Never heard of Dame Edna. Figured was named after British royalty or something. Thanks for the good wishes. He’ll be better in a few days, I hope. Bronchitis, which is keeping us indoors. We had hoped to drive the 9-4x, but will have to wait for another day. Loved the 9-5, but what I really wanted was the new 9-5 SC. Here’s hoping! Tomorrow morning, I’ll have to take a careful look at my car’s headlights. Thanks!
mike saunders
Member
5 years 1 month ago
Red, the 9-3 feels hopelessly dated, even the 2011 that I rented last week in Fort Lauderdale…and turned in 24 hours later in favor of a VW CC. It felt poky and pedestrian when compared to the CC, with fewer interior features and none of the acceleration. The cars were driven back to back on the same roads with Saab-friendly family members in the car who echoed my assessment. The 9-3 is not in the same class as some of the cars it supposedly competes against. It was a sad confirmation of what the market has been saying for years,… Read more »
Chris Carrier
Member
5 years 1 month ago

Really, you hated it so much that you couldn’t stand it for more than a day as a rental? My God, you must have a garage full of 2012’s by now.

mike saunders
Member
5 years 1 month ago

Chris, It was really boring to drive and the rental company had various other models I wanted to try, so there was no point in keeping it. I did choose it first though, exhibiting the same knee-jerk fanboi streak that has kept me driving Saabs since 1988.

…and if I had a 2012 it would be fundamentally the same as a 2011…which is nearly unchanged from a 2010, and pretty much the same as a 2009…etc., ad infinitum. That’s the whole problem.

900_S
Member
5 years 1 month ago
Wow, what a great looking 9-5, Red J! As far as the question goes… I’m not into all the gadgets and stuff. I don’t need Netflix or satellite navigation in my car. For me, the car is about the drive–and the quality of the drive is determined by (for me) handling, style, and comfort. How long does it take me to become bored with the interior? How long before I become uncomfortable driving? How well does the car handle the road? Some cars are pretty obvious about which decade they came from. That terrible digital dash phase in the ’80s,… Read more »
SteveW
Member
5 years 1 month ago

Improved Space efficiency while maintaining safety levels is definitely an advantage of up to date technology/design. I had an Octavia combi and looked at the 9-3 and OG9-5 combis and neither could match the luggage capacity with the back seats up πŸ™ this was a show stopper as when we go away the Octavia is full. I so not want a roof box btw. I am just hoping that the new 9-3 will offer greater rear leg room and luggage space than the outgoing model.

LarsG
Member
5 years 1 month ago
Everything is relative. Some here compared various airplanes. A friend to me that flew Saab J29 (Tunnan) and since J35 (Draken) means that the comfort for the pilot had been improved appreciably in J35 and they are two different types of airplanes. Someone compared with computer technology. I know that programming in net offers bigger possibilities to the programmers, but for me VB6 is sufficient for the programme I want to do and nevertheless is compatible with both 32 and 64 bit computers. My Saab 900 convertibles -97 is in design well in level with my 9-3 convertibles -09. To… Read more »
nordican
Member
5 years 1 month ago

+1

Rafael
Member
5 years 1 month ago
The first thing should be to define what a new car is. The present tendency of having to do face-liftings every 3/4 years is only a need driven by the stupid consumist-mind that the ignorance of the population has been driven in. All models are somehow updated periodically (the same car can have some new options one year which were not available the year before; or new components can be updated due to new improvements introduced by the providers). So, I would distinguish between the “external aspects” (i.e. the external design) and the internal ones. Personally, I find MUCH nicer… Read more »
SAAB-CAAB
Member
5 years 1 month ago
Is hanging on to ones car for let’s say ten years not one of the root causes for SAAB’s current difficulties? If the SAAB community is not prepared to buy a new version every few years, SAAB will remain to be in trouble. Otherwise explained: if a brand cannot persuad its customers to replace frequently, it has a problem.. Such a brand may lack innovation capacity or marketing skills. Personnaly I think that if you don’t see the difference between an e.g. 9-5 Dame Edna with Toyota Corolla rear lights and a 9-5 NG, you need to visit an optician.… Read more »
aki
Member
5 years 1 month ago

I think there is a differnce between fashion designing and classics that can be remodeled to look fashionable(eg. Porsche 911), and still look great. The 9-5 OG is in my opinion one of those examples.
But then you have cars like Audi who make great cars and seem to have come to a dead end in design language because you can hardly tell them apart from the front and back(A4-A6-A5). on the other end there are cars that wonderfully morph in to new models like for example Alpha Romeo or Jaguar.

Rafael
Member
5 years 1 month ago
You’ve pointed out a very good example: Jaguar (I leave Alfa out because, if someone is able to surprise the market with top designs, that is Alfa Romeo). That brand was almost out of the market. Two completely new models out (XF and XJ) and, voilΓ‘. But, to be honest, they needed the change because: a) they failed with some of the previous models (S and X type); b) their flagship, the XJ, was an evolutio from a car first launched in 1968! (as Ian Collum said, their potential buyers could not drive anymore or were already dead). But, given… Read more »
Rafael
Member
5 years 1 month ago

Well, in external design I would say that the 9.3 is still fresh. And in internals, I bet that the number of improvements w.r.t. MY 2004 is amazing (this should be better answered by some technician with better knowledge).

Patrik B
Member
5 years 1 month ago
“New” is all in the eye of the beholder. For me it mean that when we decided to sell our 9-5 SC -01 a 9-5 SC -09 wasn’t an option because it was basically the same car but some things felt a little bit “cheaper”. That is why we took a decision to temporarily drive a 9-3 SC while waiting for the ng 9-5 SC. So for me it mean that I want a different and newer car when switching cars. Now as I buy my cars as a private person this isn’t a common problem but I can see… Read more »
looking for new car
Member
5 years 1 month ago
First off, sorry, but I don’t know how to reply A’s a sub-reply on my phone, so this will look out of order. Thank you for the glossary. To me, DE means Delaware, but I’d guess it stands for diesel engine here. As for JC, I has no idea. And re: old vs. new, the only reason I am going to sell my current car (03 aero wagon) is for safety reasons. No rear airbags, and less than stellar crash tests in certain respects, as it turns out. Learning about new cars, there are a number of safety improvements I’d… Read more »
SVX92
Member
5 years 1 month ago

I believe the next 9-3 is referred by some as the JC9-3 for designer Jason castriota

gustaf
Member
5 years 1 month ago
pretensioners You mean like in the 9000? πŸ™‚ “Part of Saab’s success in Passive Safety (protecting passengers in accidents) has been it’s seat belt technology. In the Saab 9000, (USA model ) there are pyro-technic charges built into the seat belt pretensioner assy located in the body wells behind the front doors which instantly tighten the seat belts in event of collision, pulling the front seat occupants tightly into the seat and preventing the ‘Whiplash’ we see with crash dummies in TV ads. The Pretensioner tightens the belt approx. 4″ in event of a forward crash exceeding 11 mph. Also… Read more »
looking for new car
Member
5 years 1 month ago

yes, exactly. Now Saab and Volvo offer them in both the front and back seats. The back seat is the weak link in my car. Thanks!

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