06 vs 07

With those massive incentives available in the US right now, I’d be diving after an 06 SportCombi if I could find one that suits (though availability seems to be a problem).

Why?

Well, there’s the price for starters. Those incentives are pretty darn huge.

Second, I’m a devotee of the button dash, so the 06 would suit me right down to the ground. I could see the aesthetic reasoning for the new 07 dash, but I’m a button guy. I have a button dash now in my Viggen and I love it. Everything’s intuitive and it looks absolutely awesome at night. Saab shouldn’t discount things like the way the layout makes you feel.

But, in the interests of fairness, I thought I’d seek the thoughts of one of the Saab insiders I’ve got to know since starting this site. He spends more time in these cars than I do and therefore is more familiar with both the 06 and 07 interiors. More than that, I trust his judgement and respect his opinion.

So I asked him his thoughts:

At first I wasn’t a fan at all, its only recently that I’ve spent a lot of time at all in a MY07 car. I remember when I drove the first of the MY07’s I did like the look but the biggest thing I missed was the SID unit on top of the dash. But now I don’t due to being able to control the in dash SID with my thumb from the steering wheel and I have to say being able to look at all the info in the one place e.g. Speed, Revs and now DTE and so on is a lot quicker and dare I say it safer.

The quality of the standard radio ES1-SS1 in a MY06 compared to a MY07, which has the newer black-tie system, is far superior compared to MY06 in looks, usability and most of all sound quality. I know you can fit a AUX input to a MY06 but having it now as standard is so much easier. I now can listen to MP3 tracks (I just uploaded “Release Me” by Frida Örn last night, what a great song) and get directions through the cars speaker system.

Also, because of the restyled layout the dash rattles have being greatly reduced and it’s now a far nicer place to be. As a whole the MY07 as a car is a great leap forward. Road noise is whisper quiet, even running on 17″ with the continental tyres which was a annoying point with most customers. The suspension is so much smoother than the MY06, but with no loss in the handling department at all.

The only thing on the plus side for a MY06 SportsCombi over a MY07 is the button for the boot release on the driver’s door which went on the MY07.

So as a whole a MY07 over a MY06 is a no brainier for me – a far better car in a large number of areas, but with $5000 or so off, now that makes it a little more harder to make a decision.

Some time later, I got another email….

I was thinking about it some more so I’ve just taken a MY06 for a 20 mile drive just to make sure if the $5000 would do it for me, it wouldn’t.

—–

I’m from an old school where I don’t expect to buy a new car, and with the prices we pay here in Australia I’m not sure I see myself in a new Saab in the next 10 years (sad to say). I’ve only ever owned used ones and the thought of some creaks makes me think “Yeah, so….?”

Therefore I’m still partial to the button dash and the top-deck SID.

However, I’m more than happy to call myself content with the thoughts expressed above.

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10 Comments

  1. Swade, I agree. The button dash in the 9-3 (the old one) is so great. For SID, I agree with your friend. It’s much better on the front of the dash than on top of it – and safer!

    Q: The button for the boot release on the driver’s door… Where did it go?

  2. I’m surprised he doesn’t mention the reflection coming from the stupid silver trim that surrounds the instrument cluster on the 07. An inadmissible oversight. I guess one way to avoid it is to order the Hirsh leather dash…which must not be cheap. I agree with Swade that the button dash looks great at night but I am sure the new dash is more intuitive and probably safer. I wish though they had kept the old style green speedo with the decreasing size numbers, as in our 01 9-5. The new signature is far more «GM» if you know what I mean. I love the trunk release in the door.

  3. You’ve got a lot of individuals in the income bracket for Saabs worried at the moment over the future. That tends to convince people to lay off major purchases for a while. I also think that the new dashboard puts people off until they see it in person, so it could be that its the ads of the interior that are not attracting people to the showroom. I also get the impression that Saab was surprised how few individuals wanted the SportCombi in the spec they offered. Hence the large disounts to get rid of the few 2006 cars lying around. There aren’t many of them when you look at the dealer web sites. PS. I perfer the button dash but I agree with others in stating in the base model, the SID is easily replaced with a more logical layout in the 2007.

  4. ctm: the button comment threw me off too.

    In the 2007 Anniversary Edition 9-3 Sport Combi I drove I’m fairly certain the button was in the door (unless I’m thinking of the 9-5). Was it somewhere else in the ’06 and that’s what he’s referring to?

    The ’07 had the button in the same location as the hatch release in my wife’s ’01 9-3.

  5. Swade, as an 07 owner I agree with everything your source said, even down to the financial decision. I don’t think the 06 is a bad car but the 07 is just better. I even like the silver trim but I can see why some would not like it – maybe one for the options list instead. I have to say quality wise 3k miles in and no rattles or squeaks.

    As for the button issue, in every review I ever read the dash of all premium cars were slated for having too many buttons. That said I don’t think command or IDrive (a.k.a. IDistract and then ICrash) was the answer they were looking for…

  6. i can speak from a retail standpoint and the majority like the new 07 interior much better than the “button intensive” old style. I personally liked the SID display at the base of the windshield but it was for sure economics that killed that feature

  7. $5000 is a LOT of green.

    I’d go ’06 if I were going to keep the car a long time and I’d be able to aford TWO trips to Sweden on the savings.

    On the other hand, if you’re the type to lease or to trade every three years or so, the residual value would be a big factor in the decision. I’ll bet that the ’06 will be worth $4000-$5000 less than the ’07 in a year or so thus negating any savings up front.

  8. /having recently made that decision, I plumped for an ’06, purely on grounds of getting some extras over the ’07 model. I would score my satisfaction with these as follows:
    – satnav (6/10)-CD-based an badly out-of-date
    – upgraded stero (5/10) – still woefull compared with my previous car an ’06 Vuaxhall Astra!
    – buttons (7/10) – yes actually like these, less conmfusing when you gett used to them
    – SID (2/10) pointless and distracting
    – boot release (5/10) – weird how this isn’t mentioned in the owners manual. Only needed beacuse the cumbersome lockind system keeps the boot locked, even whenh you get out of the car (major gripe, can this be customised?).

    Overall happy with my decision, but conscious ’07 probably better put together.

  9. /having recently made that decision, I plumped for an ’06, purely on grounds of getting some extras over the ’07 model. I would score my satisfaction with these as follows:
    – satnav (6/10)-CD-based an badly out-of-date
    – upgraded stero (5/10) – still woefull compared with my previous car an ’06 Vuaxhall Astra!
    – buttons (7/10) – yes actually like these, less conmfusing when you gett used to them
    – SID (2/10) pointless and distracting
    – boot release (5/10) – weird how this isn’t mentioned in the owners manual. Only needed beacuse the cumbersome lockind system keeps the boot locked, even whenh you get out of the car (major gripe, can this be customised?).

    Overall happy with my decision, but conscious ’07 probably better put together.

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