I posted the product memo for the US-spec Bluetooth kit a few weeks ago.
This was a much anticipated product as the Saab 9-3 had been without an approved Bluetooth solution in the US market, a deficiency that really needed to be rectified. The SaabUSA approved unit turns out to be a Motorola IHF-1000 unit and whilst it’s a good thing that there’s finally a solution available, it seems that all is not progressing smoothly.
There’s a thread at SaabCentral on this subject and some of the subscribers there have checked out the unit or had it fitted.
Complaint #1 – Price
Saab dealers have a recommended price of $320 for this kit, and yet one writer in the SC thread reported his local dealer asking $400 for the unit. This looks all the more stupid when you consider that the Motorola unit on its own can be purchased on Ebay for around $180 and from what I understand, the Saab wiring kit ain’t much extra.
Complaint #2 – Compatability
There’s two elements to this.
First, the fact that you can’t get this setup if you have a functional OnStar connection. So if you’re ordering a 2007 model 9-3 and you want SatNav, which requires OnStar, then you can’t have Bluetooth. This is, quite understandably, going to tick some people off.
Second, there’s the compatibility of the actual unit with different types of phones. One guy at SC reports that he tested the unit out and it didn’t work with Nokia E or N series phones, which was no good for him as he has one of each.
The good news is this:
I was able to get the kit working with other mobiles and it works very well when integrated. Voice dialing is decent and the reception is very nice and loud as it works through the car’s speakers.
But there is a pervading complaint…
Complaint #3 – That we have to do this at all
Surely, in 2007 – almost 40 years after man walked on the moon – you’d think that a modern motoring manufacturer could work this out for both Europe and the US.
For some people, the basic stuff like this CAN actually be a dealbreaker.