The view from the driver's seat is the main focus of model year enhancements to the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan, SportCombi and Convertible ranges.
The front fascia, instrument displays and controls are given a cleaner and sharper look, while also improving driver interaction and communication. The result, both visually and in use, is a cockpit-inspired driving environment that retains a distinctive Saab feel.
The sporty performance of the mid-range 175 and 210 bhp turbo engines is also brought into sharper focus by the standard fitment of a close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission. Design Focus
The main instrument panel, including new infotainment systems, is now framed by a matte chrome line, with the same finish given to all key controls, which are now rotary in function. In overall visual effect, the new cockpit is a modern interpretation of the look of the classic, first generation Saab 900 main fascia, while the move to rotary controls also reflects a design theme found in the Saab 9-5.
As part of the strategy to improve driver interaction, the interior design team has also focused on rationalizing the number of separate information displays and single-use buttons. As a result, all key driver information is now presented in the main instrument cluster, eliminating the need for the previous high level supplementary display on top of the main fascia. This centralizes driver information and warning messages to a single zone, in the lower portion of the speedometer, improving communication as well as the aesthetics of the cockpit design.
For the same reason, the ‘Profiler’ facility, offering driver pre-sets for a wide range of functions is now operated via steering wheel buttons, instead of a push/select fascia knob, with on-screen prompts and selections shown in the main instrument display. Automatic climate control modes, the clock/alarm, speed scale illumination and, where fitted, the anti-theft alarm, parking assistance, rain sensitive wipers and heated seats can all be tailored in this way.
The main instrument dials and Saab-signature air vent controls are now also finished in matte chrome trim. The instrument graphics are given a sharper, clearer look, while another Saab-typical feature, green instrument illumination, is retained.