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Photography has a lot to answer for.

This is the interior that I’ve just taken possession of on behalf of the organisation I work for. It’s a new Toyota Aurion and no, I don’t make the leasing decisions around here. I should also add that we got the base model and don’t have the screen in the middle. Just a CD/radio for we humble workers.

Now that actually looks pretty neat and tidy. Nice metallic finishes etc. But all is not quite as it seems.

Whilst driving this car back from the Toyota dealer I got a great reminder that amidst all the hoo-hah around here this last week about Saab interiors, the best way to gauge them is to step into another car and feel the difference.

Those nice metallic finishes in the Aurion are very cheap feeling plastic. One of the faux-metallic surfaces has already scuffed and will never be the same again. The seats are a decent enough fabric, but are in no way as supportive or comfortable as a Saab seat, or a Holden seat, for that matter.

The car has a foot-operated parking brake, which the salesman told me was to make way for more storage bins in the center. This would be great except for the fact that I couldn’t find a single storage bin that was forward of the driver and big enough to accommodate the two ballpoint pens that I transferred from our old vehicle. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough.

Interestingly, on my brief drive, I managed to get the ABS operational simply by turning left into a petrol station. It didn’t do it again, but it had me dreading the next two years. The engine is very quiet, as it should be given that it’s so docile and I’ve had more feedback at a general meeting of Association of Australian Mutes.

I’ll take the car home this evening, which is something I don’t normally do. I have a feeling that at least one of three things will happen:

  • a) The Aurion will give up it’s secrets.
    b) I’ll find that as I suspected, the Aurion actually doesn’t have any secrets, or
    c) I’ll at least find somewhere to put those pens.

Far from being an initial review of the Toyota Aurion, this was meant to be a reminder of two things:

Firstly, despite the fact that interiors can look good in photos, photos can be quite deceiving.

Secondly, whilst we’d all like Saab interiors to be that little bit better so as to match the very head of the competition, one drive in a slightly lesser car will point out pretty quickly that they’re not actually bad. They’re just not quite as good as they could be.


And given that SaabUSA were recently pushing some attention at the close pricing between some upper level Camry models and the 2.0T version of the 9-3, this isn’t as a big a leap as some might think.

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