One of the things that GM got right with the 9-7x was the fact that they crafted a Saab-like interior into the car. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the 9-2x.
I love the idea of the 9-2x. I remember getting very excited when the 9-3x concept vehicle was publicised. All around the automotive world, having a crossover 4×4 vehicle is now a given. The thought that Saab might get into it with a great concept like the 9-3x was very exciting. Hopefully the 9-2x is a bridge vehicle to pave the way.
As a bridge, it’s a pretty good foundation. The Subaru WRX is a fantastic vehicle and Subaru and Saab share some common elements in their history. A penchant for innovation and rallying for starters.
One flaw in the 9-2x, however, is the failing to get a Saab interior into the car.
In case the photos (removed now due to dead links) are too small to take in the steering wheel detail, that’s the Saab on the left and the WRX on the right.
As I mentioned earlier, the fact that GM did manage to put a Saab interior into the 9-7x might be a savings grace for that particular vehicle. Bob Lutz, yesterday, went to some lengths to explain how they’d gone to great lengths on the interior of the 9-7x, even spending $50 to get the ignition in the right spot, "right where the Golden Retriever can switch it off" (has that ever happened to anyone?).
Ed Welburn, GM’s VP for Design, has a post at Fastblog today, stating that GM are working very hard at lifting the standard and finish of the interior for new models. This is to be applauded. As I’ve stated in comments there, you spend most of your time in the interior of the car, so it pays to have it how you like it.
Having said that, I still don’t believe the interior of the 9-7x will save the vehicle from being remembered as the anti-Saab, but at least the punters that pay over their hard-earned will be comfortable.
The 9-2x is a car I see as being much more Saab-like. A 4 cylinder smaller turbocharged vehicle with flexible space and nimble handling. Certainly the 9-2x BB at Saabnet has been active and over all, enthusiastic about the model. This is a good sign for the future. If Saab can nail the design of the upcoming 9-6x, based on Subaru’s tribeca platform, there might be some real wins coming on.
I hope so.
And please, GM. Bring the new model to Australia when it comes.