You might find this surprising, but an employee at SaabUSA recently told me that they hadn’t considered Bluetooth as big an issue as what we’ve discovered it to be here at TS, primarily because few people have talked to them about it. And he’s right.
The round table discussion at the recent Saab Owners Convention was dominated by talk about diesel, the demise of analog Onstar and the state of the dealership network. Gripen went in there armed with the Bluetooth question but didn’t get time to ask it in that forum, but no-one else asked it either.
So, in the interests of getting the discussion out there – there’s still some people at Saab reading these pages – I thought it’d be good to raise an issue that was sent in to me via email by Ronald in the US.
Ronald did some fishing around, and discovered that in the Saab 9-5’s intended class, there’s very few cars that are offered with a manual gearbox as an option.
The current 9-5 does come with a 5-speed sentronic gearbox or a 5-speed manual gearbox depending on the market. That’ll go up to at least six speeds in the next incarnation of the 9-5, maybe even seven for an auto.
The question is: should the next Saab 9-5 still be offered with a manual gearbox option?
I’ve always driven manual cars. I love ’em. The manual shift just makes me feel more a part of the driving experience. I’ve never driven a flappy paddle system that’s good enough to make me want one and the modern autos with a +/- shifter option just don’t do it for me either. Give me manual gear selection any day.
Having said that, I have a 10 minute drive to work everyday, so even if I’m driving my own car (we generally take the 9000, which is an auto) I’m not in it and moving that clutch pedal for too long anyway. I can understand that on a long commute, operating the manual could get a little tedious.
But for me, it’s all part of the driving experience I’d suggest that Saab continue to offer their customers the choice.
Comments are open. What do you think?