The 2010 Saab 9-5 and head room

Carlos_Saab writes the following as a question in comments:

I´m a happy owner of a Saab 93 cabrio and I would like to change my car for the new 95. I have read all the information available about the new 95, and I have to confess that I´m a little worried about the possible lack of headroom both the rear and front seats.
I have compared the data between my current car and the new 95 and I have realized that, surprisingly, my Saab cabrio has 1 cm more of headroom in both the rear and front seats.
I would like to order the sunroof in my future Saab 95, so I think I´m going to lose more room yet.

With regards to comparisons with the convertible, it appears accurate to say that there is less room in the 9-5 in that measurement compared with the convertible, however not to the extent that Carlos mentions.
The front seat headroom – measured from seat to roof – is only 1 millimeter different (964mm in the 9-5 compared to 965mm in the 9-3 cabrio) and the rear seat headroom is 6mm greater in the convertible (934mm copmared to 942mm).
Having noted the statistics, I can tell you from my own experience that I never felt cramped for headroom in either the front or rear seats of the 9-5.
There is a noticeable issue where the 9-5 is installed with a sunroof but I wouldn’t be surprised if Saab have taken measures to ensure that those measurements exists with or without the roof. The sunroof, like all modern ones installed in cars today, retracts between the roof skin and the interior roof panel. There’s no front seat impedance that I could see on the interior head room with the roof installed.
In the back seat, however, Saab have chosen to install the interior light behind the sunroof, which is a placement that’s neither attractive, practical or useful.
The sunroof is quite large, so this means that with the interior light behind the roof, any controls on that light are difficult to operate from the front seat. I didn’t note if there were any alternative interior light controls in the front, which I probably should have done.
Secondly, the interior light is a bulky unit so to integrate this into the interior roof panel, Saab have sculpted the panel with the bulky light in the middle and scolloped channels for passenger headroom on either side.
There is still plenty of headroom there for ‘outer’ passengers in the rear. A central passenger probably has headroom as well, but their forward vision may be impeded by the interior light.
As mentioned, I sat in the back (I’m 6ft 1inch) and had no problems at all, but it does feel a little crowded simply because of that interior lamp.
It’s difficult to explain this rear seat sunroof situation without people being able to see it. I should have taken a photo but didn’t. If anyone’s going to the Frankfurt show over the weekend then perhaps they could get a shot for us and I’ll add it to this post.
Suffice to say, though, that I didn’t feel any of the roof panel touching my head whether I was in the front or rear. In addition, the legroom and shoulder room in the 9-5 is quite generous and you tend to notice those eye-level things much more readily than headroom. I only find that I notice headroom when it’s a specific problem.
Figures tell you one thing. The best measurement you can do is to sit in the car yourself and feel all of the interior space elements combined. I know that’s not easy to do for most people at the moment as the cars are only available in Frankfurt, but seeing and experiencing it for yourself really is the best measurement you’ll get.
Hopefully it won’t be too long before more people get access to the new Saab 9-5.

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