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Spend some time in something other than a traditional Saab interior, and you’ll come to understand how well they’ve been thought through, and how well they’re appointed.

Earlier this week I drove my 900 for the first time in quite a while and it was magnificent to get back into the car again. The seats were supportive, the gearshift perfectly placed, the steering wheel just the right size, and all the controls were solid (for their age) and positioned just where you thought they should be.

As much as I like the Saab 9-3, it misses a few core Saab elements on the inside, things I’d really love to see remedied in future models. A real fear of mine, actually, is that the next generation Saab 9-5 will head in the 9-3’s direction rather than establish a new distinct interior for Saab.

What’s encouraging, and scary at the same time, is that GM do understand the importance of the interior. This is from today’s entry at GM Europe’s blog:

<blockquote>70-80 percent of what you experience in the interior of a car is purely subjective, sensual, perception…. In simple terms it's what you see, touch (feel), smell and hear while sitting inside your car but cannot directly point to when asked. It's still integral in forming your perception of the car.

In this post, they’re talking more about quality materials and the way buttons etc ‘feel’ during operation, but all that forms a part of that blanket term, interior design. GM seem to know it’s important, which begs the question as to why Saab interiors have been dumbed down a little in recent times.

There are certain things that are almost essential in a Saab interior. For example, it’s my belief that a modern Saab interior should have its window controls in the center console, just back from where you insert the key. Own a Saab with it’s switch arrangement set up this way and you’ll see that it makes perfect sense. And how many cars have you driven with window switches on the doors that are either awkward or unnatural to reach?

This one’s going to sound snobbish, but I don’t care, because when it comes to Saabs, I’m a bit snobbish.

GM talk themselves about ensuring that the interior of the car is fitting for the brand. So why on earth do their premium European cars - Saabs - share the same radio fascia and button mechanism with their base range Chevy’s?? This is not a new question and it flies directly in the face of what GM themselves have written in this article. That gives me a modicum of hope for the future.

It’s not that form is unimportant, but Saab have always proclaimed to give function preference over form when it comes to car design. This is an essential part of what made them different and whether you realise it or not, if you love Saabs then their distinct design characteristics are probably a big reason as to why.

Here’s hoping that GM are good to their word when it comes to interior design and the coming range of new Saabs.


a2a_linkname="Interiors - if they know this, then why???";

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