Thursday, 9 September 2010

Saab 9-5

You know that feeling you get when someone you know disappears for a long time, and then you hear that they're coming back?

That's Saab. I am a Saab fan, I will declare that outright.

I like Saabs. I like the fact that they are quirky yet still oddly sensible. Very much like the inhabitants of the nation from which Saab arose. Kind of like Germans but with more personality, but not odd, like the Norwegians or Finns. Quirky but sensible.

So when I heard about all the upheaval at Saab last year, I was glad that Spyker could step in to save the day and continue the production of Saab, knowing that a new 9-5 was just round the corner.

The old 9-5 was just that, old. It had been on the go for damn near 13 years. Prices were excessive particularly compared to equivalent models of competitors and how much their newer models cost. Why would you pay for a 13 year old model when you could get an extra decade of development for the same money? Times are moving VERY quickly just now, and technology filters into cars rapidly.

So how does the new 9-5 look? Well, it's a Saab. And it's not. You can see elements of Saab here, but overall the design has moved on a bit. It's still a Saab inside, but it appears to be Saab facade plastered over a different car - more specifically, an Opel/Vauxhall Insignia.

Looking at the cockpit, it is still Saab. The grille is Saab. The rear is Saab. But that's it.

So the question now is: would you pay £26,000 for a car that is essentially the same as the Insignia? Why not just spec up the Insignia, you'll get equal luxury for your money, it looks better (dare I say it) and you'll be safe in the knowledge that the manufacturer will still be there in 5 years time (hopefully).

As for the Saab, would you risk the extra money for a few bits of Saab shaped chrome in the hope that Spyker is still there in 5 years time? I wouldn't.


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