More on the Saab 9-5 and headroom

We had a discussion recently about the headroom in the Saab 9-5 and today, we have some photographic proof….of sorts.
After the previous post, Ken B got in touch and offered to take some photos as he was heading to the Frankfurt show over the weekend.
What we have below is some photographic evidence of the proportions of the 9-5 as far as Ken fitting in is concerned. You should read his notes, however, as Ken points out that he is proportioned in such a manner that he’s quite tall in the upper body for a guy of his height. That means headroom for him is generally more crucial than legroom.
I’ll let Ken take it away and you can see his photos, which note the placement of the sunroof and the interior light.
The light assembly for the back seat passengers is in the traditional location in the 9-5 without a sunroof and in the new and awkward location on models with the new extra-large sunroof. Even though the sunroof open up-and-out instead of down-and-in, there’s a second piece of glass behind the traditional glass. This both extends the area that permits light to enter the cabin and requires that the light assembly be moved very far back.
Before addressing head room, I need to say two things.
First, at Turbo X Driving Academy, the trainers told me that my normal seating position was terrible and recommended a much more upright position. (Specifically, they want me to plant my shoulders against the seat, reach my arm out to the wheel, and drape my hand over the wheel. That is, my wrist joint should be atop the wheel and the hand should be able to freely drop down on the back side of the wheel. This means that I sit both closer and more upright than I did before. It took a while to get used to this, but it’s a great position for hard driving.
Second, I am oddly proportioned. I am 6′ 1″ tall with a 32″ inseam. That means that most of my height is from the waist up. Normally-proportioned people who are 6′ 1″ or below should have no problems, but folks with long upper bodies, neck, and/or giant heads may be uncomfortable in this vehicle, particularly if they sit more upright, as described above.
As I feared from the specs, both the front seat and back seat have insufficient headroom for me. In the back seat, I could not sit up straight and had to tilt my head a bit (toward the camera in that shot). In the front seat, even with the seat moved down as far as possible, the part of the roof that’s between the sunroof and the “oh shit” handle (as a friend of mine calls them) bangs against my head. I have this to a lesser extent with the Turbo X, but this is more severe and enough of a problem that I won’t buy the 9-5.
The Audi A4 sedan without a sunroof was fine for me. The A4 wagon with sunroof was OK, too. Audi did not have an A4 sedan with sunroof at the show. The BMW 3-series was non-enterable unless I were to take a contortion class.
The interior lamp position with the sunroof installed…..
Whacky location (with sunroof).jpg
The interior light on a roof without the sunroof….
Normal position (no sunroof).jpg
The sunroof, which opens up and out….
Sunroof opens out instad of in.jpg
Ken in the front seat of the 9-5…
Head against roof -- front seat.jpg
Ken in the rear seat of the 9-5….
Head against roof -- back seat.jpg
As I’ve mentioned from my own experience with the car, I had no problems with headroom at all. I’m just a shade below 6ft 1-inch myself (though of more than average girth) and had no issues with interior space at all.
Again, see the car for yourself when the opportunity arises and then you’ll know.
My thanks to Ken for taking and sending on the photos and his thoughts.

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