2012 Saab 9-5 interior update

The Saab 9-5 SportCombi will essentially be a 2012 model and the cars (there were two of them) on display at the Geneva Motor Show both had the same updated interior dash panel fitted.

It’s believed that this will be available on both the sedan and the wagon from MY2012. There were whispers about some dark wood and brushed aluminium as well, but those were not confirmed so let’s not get too excited just yet.

This certainly seems to be on the way, though. We tried to get some photos of it up close at the show but the results were a little lacklustre, with glare and hotspots showing up here and there. I asked Saab’s professional hired gun, Charlie McGee, to get a good shot for us and here’s what he served up (fantastic work, one again.

A great addition, if you ask me.

46 thoughts on “2012 Saab 9-5 interior update”

  1. That should help all those with ‘audi envy’. Looks very neat, quality and not flash, I like it a lot.

  2. What about the owners of the 2010/2011 models that bought the car despite the ugly plastic dash but did so because they wanted the company to survive? Seems like the ones that stood up for the brand now have to deal with the consequences?

    • Buying a car because you want the brand to survive? That’s pushing it a bit, ain’t it? Of course everyone who bought a MY 2011 NG 9-5 will have had the added satisfaction of having helped Saab by buying their product. But I don’t believe for one second that someone bought a 9-5 while critically disliking the black plastic dash.

    • I’m one of them and frankly, I would not bother about that. It only shows you’re one of those who helped Saab rebuild.
      And I wonder how many of the people complaining about it have actually driven the car. Because once you start driving, you couldn’t care less about the design of that plastic piece. It has a nice feel, and I think this is more important, as it’s more likely to touch it rather than see it (at least if you have a HUD).
      It’s not very exciting, but at least it’s neutral.

      • I agree. I didn’t like the dash, but still bought the car because I loved it otherwise. Now (3 weeks of ownership), I don’t notice it. Even my wife likes it… In fact, I was telling her that Saab may be changing it, and maybe we could retrofit someday, and she said “what?!!? I like it the way it is!”.

        We both hated the plastic wood in the non-Aero so we ended up with an Aero (2010). I might have stuck with a non-Aero if I could have got a non-plastic wood trim (although, got to admit the XWD and v6 are nice)…

        To RobertPs’ point, I do recall hearing folks talk about changing the light wood for the darker and switching Aero “metal” for wood with the OG9-5 so maybe this would be possible with the NG 9-5.


    • With all due respect, Robert, your logic would suggest that no car company (SAAB included) reserves the right to improve or upgrade their vehicles with each model year. Luckily, they do.

      The one nice thing about this upgrade is that those who purchased a 2010/2011 9-5, despite the black dashboard finish (which I have seen in person it is is a quality piece), might have the option to change it out with the newer material.

      For example, I changed out my 9-3 Linear black plastic shift surround with the Aero brushed aluminum surround and it made a world of difference. It was a pricey little piece of plastic but it was worth it to me.

    • Well, back in 1998, about a month or two after my father bought the C70 T5, Volvo reduced the price by about Β£6,000. I wouldn’t be too concerned about a dash upgrade…

      On the plus side, I’m sure the existing dashboards can be altered. I’m not into this kind of thing anymore – but when I was younger I would have loved this:

      I know there are companies that specialise in doing this for dashboards. You can pretty much have any pattern/design you want. I have no information regarding its durability.

    • I see both sides on this… (and I might add, my wife also said “why bother?” when I mentioned upgrading it). I don’t get the consternation, though. The dash piece will undoubtedly be available as a part — just buy one and swap it out. Or did you mean that we should get them for free?

      • It would be a very nice gesture if they could offer us the part at cost.

        Not a big priority for me personally. I’d be tickled pink if it happened though. πŸ™‚

  3. Automotorsport.se is also reporting about three different materials.
    Graphite fibre ( the one in the picture), dark wood and brushed metal.
    But I don’t think we will see the other two materials in the next couple of months.

    Still, this picture from Rune is a mystery to me, is this maybe the dark wood?

    • I think you have been misled by an undersized (damn u flickr! 500×333 is soooo 1994!) and slightly underexposed photo.

      I’ve sent you the full Monty by e-mail now. My belief is that not only is it the same fascia, but also the same car. How many 9-5 SCs can there be..? πŸ˜›

      • There are a few, I see a couple of different cars every now and then. White SC with US tail, black ones, grey ones and one red. So there must be at least five of them out there πŸ™‚

      • Tell me the chassis number and I can tell you if it was the same car.
        But on any case, now that I’ve seen the full picture, I must admit, that I see the structure of the Graphite fibre.

        Mystery solved !! πŸ˜‰

        • Yeah. I am sorry I did not look closer sooner. The next anniversary celebration I will bluntly refuse to leave the museum until I’m allowed to sit for a minute inside the new car whilst making brrrrmbrmmm noises. πŸ™‚ (and of course snap a closeup of the interior)

          • Lol @ Rune…I could just see you sat in a car in the Saab Museum making brumm-brumm noises. I think its great the 2012 will get the new interior as it will tidy thinks up a bit but I highly doubt anyone who dropped hard earned cash on a car that they truly didnt want wouldnt have bought their 2010/11. I love the new 9-5 but unfortunately I cant afford one right now.

  4. I think it looks great, although not as cool as the ice-green fascia we were first shown a couple of years back.

  5. Looks goodand I think the public will like it, but then again, I never minded the flat plastic anyway (reminds me of some of the older cars). The plastic pretending to be wood on the dash trim and console? that is another story. Never have been a fan of fake wood. I would rather have plastic just pretend to be plastic in all its plastic glory. The brushed metal or carbon look much nicer than the ‘wood’ in my opinion, at least until a real wood solution is found for the console.

    In other news, can’t wait to swap the fake wood of my console and door panels of my 08 9-3 for the Carbon Effect trim from a 9-3X.

    • Why does always people think that the wood is fake? Saab have at least in the past used real wood veneers for their panels. Wood veneer is infact what you find in high end cars such as Bentleys too, of course, with Saab the wood veneer is glued onto a plastic panel in in a Bentley its glued to a wooden panel, but the surface that you can see is made of the same kind of wood veneers.

      Fake wood is normally what you find in cheaper cars. Metal and carbon can be fake too.

      • Edis,
        some of them may drive Rolls Royce where you can not only choose the wood, but also the tree. πŸ˜‰

        I think Rolls and Maybach are the only ones using “real” wood.

        • Well sort of Red. In the US, supposedly, the trim in the Cadillacs STS, XLR and DTS and Escalades are “real” GM wood from the the mystical GM tree.

        • Then you think wrong.

          On more exclusive wooden panels wood veneers are used. The wood veneers are produced by cutting the wood into very thin slices and these slices are then glued onto wood or plastic panels and coated with a thick layer of laquer. Often the root is used, Saab have for instance usually used walnut root in their panels.

          By the way, National Geographic Ultimate Factories Bentley can be worth a look if you want to see how wooden panels are made.

          • Edis,
            I know what wood veneers is. What I mean with “real” wood is a piece of wood and not veneer. Rolls Royce don’t use veneer for their wooden interiors.

            I from my side wouldn’t pay the price of real wood as is used in a Rolls Royce, and think that real wood veneer is the better material for current cars with extreme 3 dimensional surfaces.

      • I am ok with veneers, and I do like wood interiors. The last gen 9-5 had some nice wood on the dash over the years, and the current 9-3 has had some nice trim sets as well (see the premium package cars from various years or the anniversary editions). I have also seen some cars with real wood that looks awful (some Cadillacs come to mind)

        I am a bit more happy with fake Carbon Fiber (ie our carbon effect trim) than the fake metal (see the console and door panels on a 9-3 aero) as the tactile effect is very similar to the real thing. Just my opinion. The good news is that Saab is beginning to offer more options and Hrisch should broaden that even more. Its great to have a bit of choice for all tastes.

  6. I was on the Saab iPhone app yesterday and noticed that in either one of the pictures or in the navigation features for the 9-3, the 2012 model has been updated to include the same carbon effect dash and trim treatment as the one seen above for the 9-5. I would include said picture but I deleted the app after I got done looking through it.

    Personally, I am not a huge fan of the trim because it looks like it’s trying to be carbon fiber, and faux trim just never receives high marks by reviewers. But it’s better than the flat black plastic I guess.

  7. it looks pretty good to me. Much better to have textured plastic of carbon fiber or whatever than fake wood.

    Does anyone have an inkling when 9-3SC model ranges and equipment lists will be published?

  8. it’s definitely good to have more options for the interior-design, but to be honest I love the cocoa-matte synthetic, very decent and high-quality – and best – you don’t see finger-prints. It would be a pity to see a cheapy-shiny-wooden-fake in this car…..

  9. Sorry to go off topic …but did Saab North America not release sales figures for February?

  10. Well, my Saab has a metal dash painted a light shade of grey. It’s very pleasant and easy to clean, and everyone who gets into my Saab comments on how great the dash looks, especially with the Gran Turismo 850 emblem on the glove box door. I don’t need a plastic dash pretending to be something else, I have the real thing, a painted steel dash. It’s a major reason I bought the car.My friend Jan Ake told me when he bought his 1964 Saab the previous owner had painted the dash pink. He painted it grey right away because it was so cool.

  11. I own a Rainsong guitar that is made entirely of carbon fiber. I didn’t buy it for the look, but for the sound. After I had it for a while, I really love how it looks. The cool thing about it, is that the instructions say it should be cleaned and polished with car wax! I love the new carbon fiber look of the 9-5 dash panel panel. I wonder if it can be cleaned with car polish too? Also, in the 9-5 I now own, I clean and polish the wood dash with Martin Guitar polish and it looks spectacular!

  12. It adds visual texture to that part of the interior which the plain plastic doesn’t have. Looks great IMHO.

    As for plood or wood, no thanks… I am starting to think it does not fit with the car’s interior design theme, even if visually it may lookkind of good in a brownish-tan interior.

    • Xactly!! Wood as design element is great but only when combined with “authentic materials” leather and/or metal – a combination of wood and synthetics looks πŸ™ pathetic …

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