IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Saab QuickHeat(er) electric cabin heater

With the new Saab 9-5 diesel cars, Saab offers something called QuickHeat or QuickHeater (both names are in use). This is an electric cabin heater that heats the air that enters the cabin. It is only offered for the diesel cars since diesel engines tend to produce less heat than petrol engines, and thus less heat to warm the air that enters the cabin. (Update: Looks like it is also offered in combination with a petrol engine in some markets).

I was a bit anxious about driving a diesel Saab in Norway where the weather can get really cold. On Christmas Eve e.g. the temperature read -35 degrees Celsius on my car! But I had no reason to worry. The HVAC system in the new 9-5 is without any doubt engineered by Saab to cope with Scandinavian winters. The cabin heats up very fast and snow and ice melts off the windows. Compared to my previous Saab, a 2003 Saab 9-3 1.8t SportSedan, I believe this new 9-5 has an even better HVAC system!

My only gripe with the HVAC system is the buttons. I wish the HVAC buttons were shaped and located in such a way that I can operate them without having to look to ensure that I hit the right button. Bigger buttons and farther apart from eachother please!