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).
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.