MY12 9-5 interior fascia available!

9_5_MY12_interior_aeroTwo weeks ago we informed you that a german Saab dealership was offering the leather doorhandles that were available in the past from Hirsch.

This time an other German dealership, Autohaus Lafrentz, has decided to deliver an upgrade to the 9-5, that many think it should have been standard from the beginning.

At Geneva ’11 we saw this:

This was the new fascia “meshed metallic”. Most of us thought that this update to the interior of the 9-5 was long due but because the MY 12 never saw the light this fascia remained only wishful thinking….

Read moreMY12 9-5 interior fascia available!

The beauty of a Saab instrument cluster

Back in January I wrote a post on the instrument cluster of the 9-5 with the title I want my colours back.

Back then I said that I wanted Saab to move back to such an instrument panel as in the 9-5 first gen and the 9-3 first gen, or even the 9000, I think the instrument cluster was one of the reasons I bought my first Saab.

Today one of our readers has sent us one of those special pictures, at least for people who like numerology.

Read moreThe beauty of a Saab instrument cluster

Photoshop Fun: How Would You Customize a 9-4X Interior?

One of the constant issues brought up by Saab fans and reviewers has been the interior material and color choices of the new 9-5 and 9-4X. While I think that in person they come off much better– and the new 9-5 Sportcombi dashboard panel upgrade is fantastic in my opinion– it’s always fun to speculate how changes might look in real life.

Today’s focus will be the 9-4X, as I’ll be eating my lunch beside one today near the East River with Tim Colbeck. If you have any questions you’d like me to ask him in person, let me know here in comments, otherwise I’ll be focusing on the insanely long US pricing thread and constructive dialogue mentioned there. As a jumping off point, see the changes I’d make to this 9-4X’s interior after the break. Then comment on how you’d change it yourself if you could.

Read morePhotoshop Fun: How Would You Customize a 9-4X Interior?

Saab 9-5 interior colors

I got an email from Jarkko enquiring about the interior options for the new Saab 9-5, saying that he hadn’t seen much in terms of variations of color.

In terms of leather trims, there are three colors showing on the Saab GB site, which is where I’ve taken these images from. These were showing up on both Vector SE trim and Aero trim.

Black, which we’ve all seen before.

Pewter, which is the grey options and looks quite smart.

And finally, parchment, which is probably what I’d go for, personally.

There are also some combination leather/cloth options available in other markets, but I’ve not shown these as they’re basically along the same color lines as what you see here.

Saab 9-5 interior looking better than my test car….

For those of you who are still harbouring concerns about Saab 9-5 interiors looking a bit bland (as per some recent press reporting)…….

This is a screenshot as per the Belgian build-your-own 9-5 site. This selection was put together by “Me” and as you can see, it’s looking pretty fine, even without the dash panel.

What you see here is the Vector model, with parchement seats, cocoa interior and Dark Amarello finish wood. As “Me” said in his email:

If somebody tells me that this is not on par with Merc and BMW, then I go mad.

The Saab 9-3 button dashboard – do we miss it?

My thanks to Rogan for preparing a page for the 2003+ Saab 9-3 range in the car pages here at Trollhattan Saab. Reading through that page prompted the following entry.

Regular visitors to this site will probably know that I love interiors. To me, the styling and layout of the interior is more important than the exterior appearance of a car. It’s where you spend all your time, where you engage with the car as you drive. The seats, the dash, the controls and switchgear – all of it have to combine to provide the right experience, the right level of control.
When I went to the 2003 Saab 9-3 premiere here in Tasmania a number of years ago, one of the first things I fell in love with was the dashboard. It was very much how I pictured a modern Saab dashboard should be: no nonsense, very functional, simple looking and very modern.
And that was before I saw it at night!
At night, any Saab 9-3 or 9-5 dashboard is a masterpiece to look at. You want to talk about jet heritage? All it feels like you’re missing is the wings.
Here it is:

And in a darker light, the real night-time view:

This view is a big part of it for me. My 9-3 Viggen had more of a 9-5 style dash layout but it still lit up like this at night and driving with this display on was a beautiful experience. Every function you wanted to perform had a button there for the purpose, meaning one-touch instead of a range of adjustments as on a dial. If you wanted to change the heating vent from windscreen to floor, you press the floor button rather than progressing through a number of settings via a dial.
Ergonomists will probably be able to tell you which one is better, but I always found the buttons easy to use once you got used to them.
It was to my personal chagrin, then, that Saab ditched the button dash in MY2007 in favour of a more generic dial setup, whose hardware could be shared between various models in the GM family. The heating controls turned to a simple 3-dial system and the radio was a common stock GM bowtie unit (albeit one that gave comparatively better sound than the original button dash unit in the 2003-2006 Saab 9-3).
The new (current) dash:

Notably, the new dashboard also lost the dashtop Saab Information Display (SID), which was a firm favourite amongst 9-3 owners. The SID moved to a small display in with the gauge cluster.
If I’m going to be honest here (and I should) then the newer dash layout is less cluttered and the dials are probably a little friendlier to most people.
But geez I miss that button dash. The ambience of the green lighting was fantastic and that old dash made the Night Panel button a major source of amusement and wonder. It really was a classic setup that was quite sophisticated and one that definitely elicited an emotional reaction – for this Saab blogger at least.
So what say you? I think I’ve made my own bias fairly clear, but I know mine may not be the consensus opinion.
Comments are open.

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