I previously had this as part of the Carlist 9-5 review, but I think it warrants a post of its own.
Why have one Saab 9-5 on your list when you can have two?
Here’s the question:
What sounds better to you? A base level 9-5 with an Aero package option, or a choice between a standard 9-5 at $35,440 or a 9-5 Aero at $36,535?
I don’t know about you, but I tend to look at options as cumbersome. An extra cost is a put-off in my mind and I’m always reluctant to consider them seriously. At the very least, I’d give a lot of thought as to whether I could live without the options whilst silently cursing the company for making them options.
The Carlist article at the link above mentions something that I found interesting and I think is worth raising in the hope that SaabUSA might take some action on it.
For a little while now, I’ve been operating under the belief that there was only one 9-5 model available in the US – a 9-5 2.3T. It’s rated at 260hp and well appointed with (almost) every goody there is. When you go to Saab USA’s Features and Specs page for the 9-5, there’s only a 2.3T listed there.
However, when you hit that “packages” button there’s an Aero package available, which includes a sports tuned chassis, stiffer roll bar, Saab’s brilliant sports seats, metallic interior trim and the all important Aero badge on the car. I’m willing to bet that with that kit fitted it drives like a completely different car. Why not market it as such?
The 9-3 Features and Specifications page has it’s 2.0T and Aero models listed separately. This is possibly because of their separate and distinct engines, but for quite a while now I’ve been operating under the assumption that there was one model spec for the 9-5 in the US market. I know I’m not the only one as I’ve seen the motoring press write about the 9-5 in this way, too.
So if there’s an Aero available in the 9-5 range, why not market it as such? It’s not like there’s going to be extra hassle with the website to include it and it gives you an extra car in the range.
Here’s what Carlist had to say about the Aero:
Transmission is either a sporty manual five-speed or Saab’s automatic Sentronic five-speed with steering wheel tab shift controls. The optional new Aero package for 9-5 installs a sport-tuned chassis, sport seats and metallic cabin trim. Suspension upgrades also apply.
In front for the sport chassis of Aero the spring rates are elevated with increased damping for the twin-pipe gas shocks and a larger anti-roll bar attached.
In the rear there’s a larger anti-roll bar and softer springs on the standard chassis, with reduced toe-in for more predictable behavior.
Further, power assistance for the rack and pinion steering system is recalibrated to enhance the steering effort and produce more feedback to a driver.
I’d call that significant enough to warrant its own page.
Don’t change it for me – change it for the others that visit and may not realise that they can get an Aero, too. The premium for the Aero is a mere $1,095* – a no-brainer if you ask me.
Another thing – when I select a color like Polar White, the car configurator at SaabUSA adds no cost for the paint, but when I add the Aero package, all of a sudden the paint costs an extra $550. This also happens for Black and Laser Red, which aren’t metallic colors either.
* If the paint is an automatic $550 extra when you choose the Aero package, then isn’t the cost of the Aero package really $1,645 rather than the $1,095 as listed?
This sort of trickery needs to be sorted out and made transparent. It does little more than undermine people’s confidence in the process.
Just my 0.02c.