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?

53 thoughts on “What makes a car feel old?”

  1. For me a car is only old when it’s design and security features really are outdated.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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 today, they are caught in a mismash of government regulations and safety ratings to a much higher degree than earlier.

    I am also oldfashioned, and someone who tinkers a little with my car.
    I have ABS and Trionic as the main technological features
    I don’t really think I need more, and regarding infotainment I would rather build my own than to be stuck with factory standards

    What makes a car old today is the lack of features, fuel economy and safety. At least in the eyes of most journalists and buyers.
    The trend is alway more, (or less with regards to fuel efficiency)

    That dosn’t mean that an older design could not be better for your need, and even better than some new cars

    But OK, I’m almost stoneage when it comes to cars so what do i know…
    They just have to be fun primarily, the rest is icing on the cake

  4. 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. (Here we go, Apple people) Something that is well-done and works great to begin with doesn’t automatically benefit from being done in a new way. It’s about how the design enables you to use it. I love my old Macs. And they do their work (what they were bought for) just as great as when I bought them. Programmers love their vi and Emacs (though the same person may not like both :]) text editors, which work quite great today, even as the first versions came out 1976. Great code doesn’t really age in itself – it’s mostly its usage environment that changes and eventually makes a rewrite necessary.

    Cars obviously wear out more easily than code, so that’s different – but since planned obsolescence and what not became the norm in manufacturing, what you get with a new car isn’t necessarily better. Since cars got more tech nowadays, they’re becoming more and more like computers/software (probably like robots, we’re just not there yet) – you’re sometimes a fool to buy and rely on the first version for anything important, because it WILL have bugs and uncaught mistakes and design problems. So it’s not just whether it feels old – it’s also that if you want something that definitely works, it probably SHOULD be a bit old, tried, and fixed. It takes some practice and perspective to appreciate things!

  5. 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 to change the form without changing content (like the recent generation of VW passat) and the other is to make a product that is instantly recognizable because it looks and feels like nothing else, so frequent changes are not required (like porsche 911). But always there will be some people who won’t follow that rule.

  6. 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 most important thing was, the car simply wasn’t there. I loved it, wanted to drive it but it wasn’t there.
    = reliability.

    btw. Dame Redna looks cool and not old. I like at these models, when “the glasses” are off…

  7. 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. They lost their roots.
    Hopefully Saab/ Swan keep on following this track also.

  8. 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 707, VC-10 and DC-8.
    So, where’s the progress…?
    So ‘more modern’ isn’t always better, unfortunately…

    • 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…

  9. 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) in 2003. The chassis of the new 9-5 eclipses the old 9-5 in the same sort of ways. Measurably, it is less rigid and less strong than the new one. The new one, by virtue of it’s improvements, is safer, handles better, and in general has lower NVH levels. These are more objective measurements, unlike styling, which could just be called “retro.” A “retro” design like a Mini is cute to some, but a retro chassis that transmits harshness from road faults and fails to provide enough protection in a collision is not cute at all. I still love my old Saabs, but yes, they are very dated compared to modern cars. Then again, I like vacuume tube amplifiers over solid state amps so I can’t say I always choose the best engineering I could find.

      • 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 safer car. In an accident, I would rather by in the 2006 Civic than the 1999 9-3. It’s a no brainer for me to say that. I’ve watched the crash test videos and I understand the results. So in that regard, the 9-3 I have now feels old to me. I love it but wouldn’t choose it on a rainy night. Te feeling is just a combination of a hundred things, including how long I have seen that model around and a faith in the continued improvement of engineered structures over time

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

        • “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…

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

    • 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. The GM “bowtie” radio is fine by me. Simple and direct design that fits with the rest of the driver-oriented dash. I have a newfangled vehicle with all the bells and whistles. It gets distracting. Distracting gets old.

      The manufacturers and car media want us to feel our cars are old. Manufacturers want us buying or leasing every couple years. The media have space to fill. Yearly model changes and related advertising keep them employed. Anything old or not drastically changing every year is subject to media ridicule because it doesn’t suit their goals.

    • 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.

    • Never thought about people still having questions on NG, OG DE, JC …
      I will talk with Tim, and will put a glossary somewhere in the site. πŸ™‚

  12. 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!

  13. 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, but the higher-ups at Saab just haven’t been listening.

    On the plus side, the 9-3 compares favorably to the Ford Fusion SEL I also rented in every way except for price.

      • 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.

    • Mike,

      fewer interior features and none of the acceleration

      is a quite subjective measurement. I don’t know which engine VW is using in the states, but believe me when I say, that here in Europe a base CC, has the same or less interior features than a 9-3, and it also lacks completely of acceleration.

      But yes, it is a very valid opinion. πŸ™‚

      I forgot, where can you rent a 9-3?

      • Red, the CC has slightly less HP and torque, but a better auto transmission (the DSG) that delivers the torque through a wider RPM range. (I was curious about why it felt more powerful, so I looked it up.) It also has an integrated touch-screen ICE panel that is one of the best I’ve seen in the segment….and this was on the base “Sport” model. I don’t really salivate over the electronics, but this was pretty sweet.

        The CC seats were the best I’ve felt in a VW, even rivaling the 9-5 Aero seats.

        As happy as I was with the car, I was saddened by the knowledge that Saab can’t compete with this car that is also priced about the same (not including the deep dealer discounts, of course…)

        (And it was rented at the Enterprise outlet at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, which also had an Infiniti G37 and a Volvo S60 in the same line of available cars. I wanted to try the Fiat 500 but it was booked solid for my entire trip.)

        • MIke,
          I always forget that Americans use auto gearboxes πŸ˜‰

          Yes, the auto gearbox of the 9-3 makes the car feel dated. πŸ™

  14. 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, and the super boxy-looking body styles.

    I think Saab is usually pretty ahead of the curve, or at least was in the past. People who don’t follow car stuff are often surprised when they find out my 900 a 1993 car, a design which was over ten years old at the time. Personally, I think the 900 looks timeless–or rather, looks like it could have been made recently or further back in the past. The only thing I can think of that makes it feel old is the little rectangle on the dash that constantly reminds unleaded fuel only. I think the first generation 9-3 was a great modern take on the 900–and the same applies to the 9000 and 9-5.

    Being overly general and a little sarcastic, I think cars that aren’t big, bulky, and don’t have every piece of plastic or metal painted to match the body (like bumpers, side skirts, or those pieces of plastic running along the sides to keep other cars from dinging your doors) look dated. Any car that looks remotely different, with a little bit more color than the rest. Any car that doesn’t have satellite navigation, cameras instead of mirrors, monitors in the back of the front seats. and detectors to ping when you’re too close to something. Cars that have a visible radio antenna. Manual windows (haha)! But honestly, if gadgets is your thing or you find the technological assists helpful, that’s fine; I don’t judge people for liking (or needing) any of it. I wouldn’t walk away from a car I really liked because it had any of that stuff, but I’d prefer to keep it simple. Don’t overload, and don’t take away too much. Form/function over trendy/modern.

  15. 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.

    • SteveW, you are right, nobody can currently match the luggage space of a Skoda, this is one of their USP’s. But their looks aren’t. πŸ˜‰

      • I took the 9-3 SC for a test drive and it was a much more engaging drive and looked very nice externally. If I didn’t have the luggage space and rear legroom to consider I would have bought it regardless of the fact that the interior quality and general gadgets spec fell well short of the Octavia’s.
        The thing that lets my Octavia down is the engine – 1.6 TDI. I went for this as it is 119gm CO2 (but only 105BHP) and therefore low road tax. Now Saab have 180 BHP and 119gm CO2 WOW!!!!
        To get back on topic I am hoping that the 9-3 replacement will offer the space I need. If not I will have to wait for a secondhand NG 9-5 SC πŸ™‚

  16. 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 drive it is two different cars there 9-3 has a better twisting strength and higher security. An American survey 2007 of different convertibles security showed that Saab and Volvo stood in a class for themselves despite that several other brands where younger constructions among them BMW. I think that Saab cars are more timeless than most other brands. If it regards to 9-3 and 9-5 I think that they are up to date in safety and design is subjective. You maybe miss the latest technology but you get a more tried car.

  17. 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 the 9.5 MY2002 that your Dame Redna (I think it was a terrible design mistake to come with such a face), sorry for that πŸ™‚

    The important thing when you introduce a new design is to be able to foresee how it will look in the coming years. Can anyone say that a OG 9.3 (MY1998) looks old? Which car looks older, an OG 9.3 MY1998, a BMW 3 series MY1998 or a MB MY1998. Which car looks older a 9.5 MY2002, a BMW 5 series MY2002 or a MB E class MY2002?

    Although the external appearance of the 9.3 MY2011 is very similar to the 9.3 MY2004, can anyone say that we are talking of the same car? Ask SAAB how many components have been renewed from 2004, and I am talking about REAL technical components (suspension, engine, transmission, rest of mechanical elements, interior equipment, safety elements, etc.), not about its external look.

    Yesterday I drove my 9.3 Aero Conv. MY2006 (which is at present driven by my wife). I went to do some shopping, I parked and left the car with the roof open. When I was going to enter one of the shops, I looked back. Some people were stopped looking at the car. When I came out of the shop, other people were looking at the car. I went on with my shopping. When I came back, other people were passing by and… looking at the car. When I left, people turned back and looked at the car (I saw it through the mirror). Is the 9.3 MY2006 and “old car”?

    Personally, I think that when a brand changes the aspect of a car after 3/4 years in the market is because they made a mistake at first…

    …On the other hands, we, consumers, are a bit stupid if we pretend to keep on being the last-gadget-must-have-frikies. Unfortunately, its the herd which makes the big numbers. But there is still place for “niche” brands like Saab.

    Alex Lee (one member of the forum), which appears to be British, said that passion for cars can be found nowhere like in Great Britain. I completely agree with that. When people buy a car thinking only on the resale value, they are not buying a car, they are buying a “transport means”.

    LetΒ΄s not fall in their game. I am different. I do not belong to the herd. IsnΒ΄t there any car producer out there which is able to make a car for out-of-the-herd consumers?

    I think this would be a good advertising theme for a Phoenix-reborn Saab.

  18. 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. Not only in design but also in active and passive safety, fuel consumption, ICE systems progess is enourmous in the recent years. BMW’s are sometimes referred to as laptops on wheels. Everything is measured and used to perfect the driver experience and optimize maintenance.

    This however does not mean that older cars are obsolete by definition or anything like that. Not everybody can afford a new car with the high end gizmo’s. Nothing wrong with that. And some people just attach different value to a car than somebody else (e.g. image/fashion statement vs. basic transportation). And older cars on the road are often also a pleasure to the eye.

    But to state that there is no progress and that a current 9-3 is as fresh as when it was launched, is nonsense to me. What have all the engineers been doing over all these years? I expect them to be capable to create a new car with a much improved driving experience.

  19. 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.

    • 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 their success, do you think Jaguar will need big changes in the next 5/6 years in their present models XF and XJ?

  20. 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).

  21. “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 that the very long lives of Saab cars can disturb company car drivers. Imagine getting the same car for the 3rd time in the row, same options different colors…

    From a technical perspective I can also see that when major upgrades comes, such as ESP and very low emission engines, can make a car appear out of date compared to newer cars. But this have not the case with Saab, they have been regularly updated.

  22. 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 like to have, including blind spot and rearview camera (especially with the smaller rear windows on all new cars – my wagon has a great view out the back and even the back sides), pre-crash braking and pretensioners, and to a lesser extent lane departure warning. But more than anything, it’s the lack or rear airbags that concerns me.

    Finally, re: the new, I love the HUD on the NG (!) 9-5.

    • 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 in the 9000 model there is a steel cable reinforcing the body by connecting the right and left body sections together, so that in event of head on collision, the body is prevented from folding outward, thus controlling how the impact is absorbed by the entire car and protecting the occupants within, also decelerating them at a life saving rate. (This is what a crash helmet does for your head ). Today’s Saab is truly more than meets the eye!”


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