Thursday Morning Quick Snippets

Yeah, it’s Thursday morning here…..


A few different mutterings about the MY08 interior and both of them different. I don’t have a link for the first one, but Rayman emailed me about an article in a German paper stating that:

“the interior will be upgraded substantially […] cockpit and trim levels have been tweaked as well”

….but then you’ve got Saab Ausralia’s GM Premium’s Emily Perry saying to Cars Guide that:

“It would be fair to assume that it would be very similar, or unchanged, to the current recently launched interior which is fresh into 9-3 this year,”

…which is pretty much as I thought. With only a year under it’s belt, I’m quite sure this interior has a little more time to come.


Mike Rutherford at Auto Express:

who cares if a motor designed and used only on public roads is capable of propelling itself from 0-60mph in three seconds? It’s about as relevant and impressive as the ability of that 1,000-watt sound system in your front room to perforate your eardrums.

Equally, it’s irrelevant and unimpressive that your car can, on paper, do 160mph. Unless you’re really pushing your luck (something I can’t discourage strongly enough), it’s unlikely you’ll ever have the opportunity to find enough tarmac, nerve or talent to select top gear, floor the accelerator, then leave your foot in there for as long as it takes. A 160mph top speed on a road car! About as superfluous as a TV satellite system that receives hundreds of channels in languages you can’t understand. Again, the decision has to be yours, but instead of obsessions with 0-60mph and maximum speeds, wouldn’t your time be better spent thinking about crash avoidance and protection?

It’s not an article about Saab, but it could be.

Once again, the best combination of performance, comfort, utility and safety that your money can buy.


The Alfa 8c is on the road.

Oh, Mama!


That same Cars Guide article that I linked to above, also suggested this about the 9-3 interior:

Although there are no details about the car’s interior yet, it would be good if they broke away from the cliched fighter aeroplane cockpit theme.

I think it’d be good if Cars Guide broke away from the don’t-know-crap-about-the-brand style of writing that they’ve employed in this article.

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  1. That is what German “Auto Zeitung” wrote in its article on the latest issue! Its interesting that they look forward to september and the IAA concerning the new version – so may be its just a hint on the upcoming version [allroad 9-3 ?] and its needed tweaks on the interior.

  2. by the way – When I got my first load of ordered Volvo C30 – I took a closer look at the front lights – they have the same black outlining like we saw on the my08 backlights… its no tape, its not painted from the inside – after having seen this I’m quite sure, we will have exactly this on the 9-3

  3. I’d love to know what that newspaper’s contact was to see if this can be verified in any way, becuase if so this will be extremely good news. If its true I would expect just an upgrade in materials used, which the average user wouldn’t just outright notice, but would surely notice if it stayed the same. I hope this upgrade is true!

  4. I hope the materials have been upgraded. Who knows, maybe they have finally heard us and are sticking the Hirsch Carbon Leather dash in there? 🙂

    Switch gear itself needs a minor increase in quality, ie the rotary dials are ok for now, and need only minor improvements. Althoug, saying that, the handbrake needs to feel nicer and so does that flex space thingie. Looks and feels very cheap.

    Although I’d be very happy with just the leather dash to be honest :).

  5. Swade – you should have got some very much needed sleep. Am about knocking off now. Time here is 17:14, Namibia. Gotta watch that AC Milan / Liverpool game. Hope it would not go the penalty route. Hate the stuff.

  6. Well, about the 160 mph thing, if your car can accelerate from 0 – 60 in 3 seconds, it’s kind of hard for the car NOT to do 160. Acceleration is always good, it lets you weave around without worrying about not being able to get up to speed if you need to, and a high top speed generally comes with high acceleration. Of course, on a highway, 0 – 60 in 6 seconds is just as good as 3 seconds, so if you buy a Saab, all that money you saved by skipping the Ferrari Enzo can go towards…a few more Saabs :p. On the other hand, exotic sports cars are designed for two things: bragging rights and fun on the track. 3 second 0 – 60 times are great for both.

  7. My guess is that it remains unchanged. If they give the interior a serious upgrade why did they not hold back the dash on the 07 car? (unless they ran out of digital air con systems and had to go with the 9-5 controls 🙂 )

    Maybe it is new seat materials and better plastics on the transmission tunnel where they are really crappy. Maybe they will replace the handbrake with a nice modern push-button jobbie just in front of / behind the ignition to go with keyless entry and starting.

    Or maybe it is new dash in ’07, new front in ’08 new rear in ’09, new trim materials in ’10 and new engines in ’11 just to keep the line up really confusing.

    PS anyone heard if the 1.6 turbo is replacing the 2.0 in the refresh? Vauxhall has just dropped the 175bhp 2.0 from the Astra in place of the 1.6 and this would be a good time to do it with the 9-3.

  8. I was surprised to find out that the Saab 9000 Aero could out-accelerate a Ferrari Testarosa from 50-75, which not only had a faster 0-60 time, and also a much steeper pricetag( I have yet to find any such data for current Saabs on the internet, but it’d be interesting to see how they compare to BMWs, Audis, and maybe even Porches in this respect.

  9. P.S. I’d be happy to volunteer up my 2003 Saab 9-3 2.0T and grandfather’s 2004 BMW 325i to start a comparo.

  10. Wow. Alfa will sell a TON of those 8c thingys. I really like it. You know a Swedish car company has a car that could compete with that, but they won’t build it.

    Wait a minute — you know what I just thought of? Saab doesn’t have to build the AeroX, they could colaborate with a company like Alfa to build it! Of course, that probably won’t happen, but there’s an angle. It would be great, too.

  11. It is very doable Eggs. put an Aero X body shell on the Alfa and you are there. The expensive bits would be doing a new interior and installing a SAAB engine. A coach builder could do it but it might get pricey. Better maybe to do a tie up with Koniegsegg and really build a special car in maybe 5 years. I think the X would look the part. However – look at the spy shots of the new Jaguar S type in CAR to see how a concept gets ruined going from concept to production.
    I really hope they do not keep rolling out the Aero X at shows for the next few years. If they are not going to build it, put it into storage and show us some new concepts that are just as good as or better than the X. The reaction to the car must be “Wow remember how cool the Aero X was” not “are they still wheeling out that car they won’t build.”

  12. From what I’ve heard from someone who’s driven this car, improvements to the interior are numerous, but unseen, and will be best reflected in the quietness of the ride.

  13. patric95 – how do you know this?

    I still think they are saving the interior changes for the official launch in June….

  14. They have push button hand brakes? That’s dumb, I wouldn’t feel confident in a handbrake like that. Again, luxury cars are just getting stupid.

  15. I hope they apply the ‘less is more’-principle to the interior – when it comes to rattles, squakes and road noise…

  16. How many of you, who think interior needs to be upgraded, actually have 2007 car with latest interior?

    From my experience 2007 interior is rattle free (now 17000km on MY07 SC). In my opinion interior quality is actually quite good, if quality mean, no rattling, no peeling (so far), materials do not get dirty easily, easy to clean dust etc, seats are very comfortable, radio and ac controls work perfectly. Only negative thing I can think of is chromestrip which can reflect from front window.

    Only the visual effect of the interior is maybe cheap, but functionality is of top quality.

    But electricwindow switches should be moved back to central console! Now they are definitely on a wrong position. You can open windows by mistake.

  17. Jeff,
    Agreed, push button handbrake in a sport sedan would be the dumbest idea imaginable. Save that for the Bentley crowd. I would absolutely not buy the car if they are dumb enough to do that. I didn’t know such a thing existed until I Googled and found a bunch of complaints about the Passat’s push butto handbrake.

  18. Ted what bugs you more, the fact that is something new or you had never heard of it? I suggest you use one (like I have) when you have, if you think its crap then fine.

  19. I’m just imagining a handbrake turn, something a sport sedan should be able to do. I’m imagining a sequence like… start turn-in, push brakes, push button, complete turn, push button, start screaming “RELEASE D*MN IT, RELEASE…” crash”
    Pure lunacy.

  20. There is a certain tactile sense to having a handbrake lever IMHO. I’m teaching our 19 year old to drive at the moment (slow starter) and I can’t imagine having to reach over and look for a button in the case of emergency.

    I guess it’d work in certain types of car though.

  21. Fair point Swade, although if you are anything like me, you would always have your finger tip on the button…

    Still I am 14 years away from Abigail driving my 9-3!

  22. About the interior – I always thought the 9-3s was quite nice and never understood why so many people complained.

    The other day I sat in my neighbor’s new G35x. Now I understand how behind Saab is. The interior was gorgeous and well laid out. The technology was there too. The bluetooth just finds his phone when he enters the car, they have 3 RCA jacks in the armrest console (yes, video works!), and the second set of keys automatically adjusts to (his wife’s) preferences.

    It the car didn’t get a lousy 23 MPG, I’d really consider that over the 9-3.

  23. MarkoA

    I have just returned an ’07 model SS for an ’07 model convertible. I can definitely say that rattles still exist in the ’07 models.

    The one I had kept producing a nasty resonating sound from somewhere in the passenger side trim. And only at certain speeds, it was VERY annoying. Dealer couldn’t sort it, so I had to live with it until I swapped it over today for the ‘vert.

    My previous car before the SS was another convertible, and that car had annoying hood rattles that again, the dealer could not fix. Yes, it was also an ’07 model.

    In fact, I had better experience with regard to rattles with the previous ’07 cars, strange that, and I’ve been through quite a few 9-3’s now:

    Steel Grey 1.8t ‘vert Vector (pre ’07)

    Cappucino black 2.0T ‘vert Aero (pre ’07)

    Chilli Red 2.0T ‘vert Aero (pre ’07)

    Lime Yellow 2.0T ‘vert Aero (pre ’07)

    Jet Black 2.8T SportCombi Aero (’07 model)

    Fusion Blue 2.8T ‘vert (’07 model)

    Parchment Silver 2.8T ‘vert (’07 model)

    Titan Grey 2.8T SS Aero (’07 model)

    And just picked up another Lime Yellow ’07 model 2.8T .vert in Aero trim this morning (I ordered Cerulean Blue, but for some reason they thought I’d prefer this colour again 🙂 ).

    the car I picked up this morning has already developed a fault, when trying to select first gear it keeps going into reverse, I have to deselect the gear, wiggle it a bit (stop grinning at the back) and then try 1st again. I’m taking it to the garage soon to try and get it sorted.

    Like I said, the ’07 models are certainly not short of faults.

  24. With all the talk of poor interior quality and rattles, I’m glad all my experiences have been with lower class cars. My 04 Arc seems to have more interior quality than I could have ever hoped for and, curiously, not a single rattle—maybe a squeak here an there when I lean on the console. The only real fault is my handbrake. Can’t use it because it locks on. Guess I shouldn’t really complain if they do go to a push button hand brake.

  25. Joemama I think you hit the nail on the head. There was someting about SAAB but I couldn’t figure out what it was. Is it that SAABs offer safety, utility, luxury and comfort but make no concession to convenience/convention? I think this is maybe what makes SAAB a love it or hate it brand. I would guess from a lot of the posts I see a lot of long time SAAB drivers would see convienience items like keyless entry, auto wipers etc as novelty items and a bit of a waste of money.

    Would it also be fair to say SAAB drivers would be a tiny bit conservative and not too keen on change?

    KAZ my 07 rattles too but frankly you are spoilt! You seem to like your 2.8Ts I guess I would if had the chance 🙂

  26. Jon, the reason I get through so many Saabs is because my folks work for GM and they have a family leasing scheme of sorts.

    I wanted to go for a 9-5 over the winter, but the wife can’t stand the 9-5. So I compromised and went for the 9-3 SS. I wish I went for the Combi again mind. The SS is a good car, but the Combi offers sooo much more as an all round car. It is definitely the best 9-3 on sale.

    If practicality is not as important, then the ‘vert wins hands down 🙂 :).

    I LOVE Saabs, always have, and am relishing the opportunity to get my hands on one of the ’08 models 🙂 🙂 🙂

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