Still more 9-5

It seems that my main fear has come to pass, the dumbing down of the interior. BC news-hound Saabken left this link in comments to an article from Autocar. The following photo is included:

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The article is as follows:

With an all-new replacement not expected until 2008, Saab’s 9-5 will have to soldier on as flagship for the Swedish firm for some time yet. But to give it a chance, Saab has refreshed the eight year-old design with a new nose and tail and revised interior.

The most dramatic changes are at the front, which gets new headlamps, grille, bumper and modified bonnet. At the back, there are new tail lamps and a new bumper. Body-coloured door handles and new sill covers complete the look.

Inside the 9-5’s distinctive interior has been revamped with simplified climate controls, a new sat-nav system, new instrument faces, new door trims and a new steering wheel.

Details of the technical changes are being kept under wraps until the car’s debut at the Frankfurt motor show. However, Autocar understands that the suspension has been modified, including a wider track front and rear.

Power comes from the familiar turbocharged four-cylinder engines and a 150bhp 1.9-litre turbodiesel, the 9-3’s V6 turbo petrol won’t be fitted due to the extensive re-engineering that would be required.

The final touches are being put to the 9-5’s replacement, which will be based on GM’s Epsilon II platform and is likely to be built in Germany

There’s been a lot of negative comment still about the facelifted 9-5. I’ve warmed to the new exterior. I think it looks fairly aggressive in these photos and I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing it in my driveway.

I’m not too hot on the interior though. I’ve always thought that a well designed cabin was pretty much an essential as it’s where you spend most of your time with the car. This new interior is somewhat ‘dumbed down’ in my opinion – but that’s just me. The people that will have to be convinced are the often-sought ‘conquest sales’ – BMW and Audi owners. I’m not sure I see anything in the interior to woo them away.

Here’s a few more promo shots as well….

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11 Comments

  1. I open a Thread about the interior of the 9-5 and its origin…..its quite disapointing. The exterior as you say is quite agressive, it has enough details to be a Saab, there are some details that don’t like me, but in general is well done.

    But the interior……I am very fourius with that…

    I can pass the Opel Omega Automatic gear lever, or the Opel buttons that controls the door mirrors, but those unfuctional climate controls, that seems you need a scope to know what temperature you have and when you decide to change the temperature always pass over the grade you would like to put…..I hate that, take a look at Mercs, Audis and other cars, everyone use rounded air vents and rounded rounded rounded rounded…..all is rounded…..

  2. another thing…….change the number of the pic, put “40” as the last number and you will find the same pic but a little bigger.

    also if you like, you can go to media.gm.com go to Cadillac website and see the new BLS….pfffff you can see where it comes the audio and climate controls…

  3. News hound eh ? Yeah I sniff them out where they stink !

    Funny when you said “dumbed down” interior it led me to start thinking about the opposite end of the spectrum, BMW’s iDrive, Audi’s MMI and M-B’s Comand system. Maybe we ought to be glad Saab didn’t add a super duper HAL9000-like interior environmental interface that befuddles its users with complex, multi-page drill-down menus and controls. Maybe by incorporating some dowdy, GM parts-bin componentry like HVAC and “traditional” touchscreen sat-nav controls that users can actually understand and use, that isn’t a bad thing after all. Saab is renowned for being very conscientious of the driver environment in terms of situational awareness and ergonomic. So while the Germans are one-upping each other with distractive 23rd century star wars gadgetry, current and future Saab drivers can actually focus on one of the best things about Saabs ….. driving them !!

  4. Hmm, looking at the BLS I’m unsure about those controls. I like simple controls, and those are pretty simple, but I also really like the system in the current 9-5. Oh well, it’s only a year or 2 right? But then again the Saab community has been having to say that a lot lately. 9-2x, 9-7x, redesigned 9-5 “Oh, it’s only for a couple of years.”

    Honestly, how much money are they saving by switching to that climate control system? Cheaper because there’s no display.

    Another interesting thing, looking at the large pic of the BLS is I think it has the key from Saab!

  5. At least from the inside you cannot see the outside! Sorry guys, I really think GM has totally lost the plot and Saab has lost all of its Scandinavian identity. *wipes tear from eye* I see the 06 9-5 as the beginning of the end….!

  6. I don’t know, I kinda like the interior. One of Car and Driver’s beefs w/ their recent test drive of the new 9-3 2.8T is that their are 45 confusing buttons on the dash. They also said to forget about trying to use the nav system while driving. Perhaps we need a little simplification and-dare I say it- an i-Drive type computer? Okay, maybe that’s too far, but I know I have just now gotten used to the buttons on my NG900, which I have owned for over 2 years.

  7. Brain,

    Welcome downunder!

    I think the main concern is the fact that it’s a generic set of GM controls they’re installing. See the Niwrad post (above).

    I’m all for simplification too, but find it a little disappointing that my 9-5 (if I had one) would have the same stereo and climate control dials and look as in my neighbour’s Buick.

    I don’t think the generic controls look so bad on their own (except the Nav screen).

    Saab snobbery perhaps.

  8. In the mists of time, Saab and Fiat used to work together (some of the engines and chassises from the 1970s were based on Fiats), well, in case you haven’t checked out the new Fiat Croma, it has a key lock between the seats, just like a saab (for the same reason too, to stop the knees from getting damaged in an accident). Is Saab building up links with Fiat again? If not, perhaps they should so that we can at least know that the interior will be “traditional” unlike the 9-6X.

    http://motoring.independent.co.uk/road_tests/article308939.ece

  9. There is only a project with Fiat…..the Tipo4, was to develop the 9000, and designed by Giuggiaro. Saab developed the ACC for the other brands, and the platform was a common development, as could be the Epsilon. Then everybrand make its own changes. For example the doors of the 9000 can be fitted to a Lancia Thema, but the weight of the Saab doors are quite higher, because are reinforced. Then the engines are totally different(as you know the Saab engines, 2.0 and 2.3 were a Triumph/Ricardo that were used in the 99 as a 1.7 and then Saab make the evolution and become the 2.0) then the chassis design is basically the same but with many changes between the models.

  10. i think that i am going to be happy with the new 9-5
    the estate looks great from most angles; it looks saab to me

    have hey fixed thos quirks inside like drivers seat that wont go bakc with the rear esats folded!

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