It’s been interesting to read the various thoughts and opinions floating around on the Saab 9-2x (otherwise known as the Saaburu).
The main consensus opinion seems to be that this is one heck of a good car for Saab to use as an immediate entry point into the sports-SUV market. In Aero trim it’s an aggressive looking vehicle with enough power under the go-pedal to keep more than most punters happy with their purchase. The other consensus opinion out there is that GM-Saab have dropped the ball on advertising and marketing this baby.
The immediate impression on seeing the car is that the 9-2x is merely an Impreza with Saab badges and a few new panels here and there. Well, let’s dispel that myth for a moment, shall we? Courtesy of ‘Grimace’ over at Saab Central, here’s a list of the features differentiating the 9-2x from it’s Suuby origins.
Saab unique front exterior styling
new aluminum hood with redesigned hood scoop on Aero
new front fenders
new front grille and bumper cover
new headlamps, marker lights and projector driving lights
Saab unique side and rear exterior styling
new tailgate and rear bumper cover
new rear roof spoiler
new rear taillamps
17" alloy wheels standard (in Canada) on Aero
Saab specific Bridgestone tires
Saab unique Chassis
Steering: improved on-center feel/feedback as well as better response & linearity
Handling: improved overall stability, particularly emergency handling fully laden
Ride: revised shock tuning for a more controlled ride. Less low speed rebound & compression
new suspension bushings – stiffer anti-roll bar bushings
100% stiffening of the front sub-frame where the steering rack mounts
unique lower steering gear ratio of 15:1 vs. previous 16.5:1
aluminum rear suspension forward lateral link
10mm shorter rear bump stops
Saab unique interior materials
two-tone cloth seat materials
availability of leather interior
instrument cluster with metallic trim rings around the gauges
upgraded door panel materials
metallic centre stack dash fascia
Saab unique insulation kit
dramatically reduces noise, vibration and harshness
heavier toe-board insulation and addition of fender insulation
rear quarter trim sealing, tailgate sealing
acoustic treatment on roof trim
insulation under the shift boot
new rear engine mount
Saab unique active head restraints for the front seats
Security System (n/a Impreza models)
Block Heater (n/a Impreza models)
Leather interior optional on Linear & Aero (n/a Impreza models)
Sunroof optional on Linear (n/a on Impreza Outback Sport)
6 Disc In-dash CD Changer optional on Linear (n/a on Impreza Outback Sport)
Heated Front Seats & Outer Mirrors optional on Linear (standard on Impreza Outback Sport)
Warranty: 48 month/ 80,000 km (Impreza models 36 month/60,000 km)
Saab value advantage approx. $1,000
Freight & PDI: Saab $1050 (Impreza $400 Freight + $795 PDI=$1195 total)
Now THAT is a pretty decent list. I’m still quite disappointed that there isn’t a real Saab interior inside the car, but as an entry point into the marketplace that was put together in a relative hurry, some upgraded materials will have to do.
It’s a shame that more people don’t know about this car and for that, GM has some questions to answer. I’m not US based so I don’t get to drive the car or see the advertising. Unfortunately it sounds like no-one else does either, whether they’re in the US or not.
But the few that have got their hands on one of these cross-bred beauties are more than just a little bit chuffed. Again, from the 9-2x BB at Saab Central:
Skitzo: Well in just over a month I will be picking up an Artic Silver 9-2X aero (manual) and cannot wait.
Kazimierz: So after a lot of debate, i’ve decided to pick a 9-2x Aero as my new car (black). I was going to pick up the WRX STi, but the Saab just looks so much better.
Gripen: I got the 9-2 X Aero loaner car when I brought in my 9-3 SS to the dealership for the seat belt recall and some other warrantee work. It’s definitely a nice car, and it’s fast. All wheel drive is excellent in handling, and looks is alot better than the Impreza WRX wagon.
MikeNeri: I’ve been very happy with my Aero over the first 2 months. I’ve driven both Linear and Aero in both auto and manual and I must say, if you decide to get one, go with the Aero with a 5-speed. Its just so much more fun than the rest.
TC: Drove both the Linear and Aero at the Saab proving grounds last summer. Both cars handle extremely well (gotta love awd). Power is lacking on the Linear and there is some serious turbo lag on the Aero until about 4k rpm, but once you hit the sweet spot in the power band the Aero takes off.
Chad (Saabnet): I crossed the 10k mark early this week with my 9-2x Aero(Premium/Cold). The car has been a blast to drive and I’ve had ZERO issues with it.
Get the idea? People are pretty happy with this car and in the US, where dealers are offering all sorts of groovy discounts and incentives, the climate would be right for a GM advertising blitz on this model to lift its profile.
GM wants Saab as its premium global brand? Then back it up!!