9-7x testing week

It seems like the entire US motoring press corps was driving a 9-7x sometime in the last month. OK, maybe I exaggerate a little, but there do seem to be a lot of 9-7x tests popping up in various journals around the traps.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette finds the 9-7x falling midway between success and failure, with great driving characteristics that have been differentiated from its stablemates, but a few too many similarities for the car to fully claim its own identity. They finish with “All things said, if you look at the 9-7X as a capable, well-appointed, comfortable SUV — regardless of brand — you may find yourself pleasantly surprised.”

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Automobile.com provides a great review and if you only read one review from this group, then make it this one. A lot of other writers just regurgitate the stats that Saab publish about the 9-7x (e.g. 30% of Saab customers have an SUV in the driveway blah blah blah) but this review focuses just on the vehicle. It’s quite a positive read too, with no filler. This section in particular stuck out to me as safety hasn’t been mentioned much withthe 9-7x:

Relative to others in its class, Saabs sport utility handled with the grace of an experienced telemark downhill skier and, combined with its electronic all-wheel drive and GMs Stabilitrak stability control system, probably saved my life when a slow-moving (15-25 mph slow, in case youre wondering) vehicle tried to merge into my highway lane as I was traveling at posted speeds. A surge of brakes, correctional steering onto the shoulder, then back into the lane before kissing the median and I was thanking Saab for every airbag they had available, and more importantly, at least this time, for the amazing control I was able to exert in order to avoid having any of those airbags deploy. The 9-7Xs ability to handle emergency maneuvers did more than merely impress.

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My San Antonio writer, G Chambers Williams III (who I’ve had an issue with here before) writes what is largely one of those filler pieces. If you want a fairly comprehensive 9-7x theory tutorial, it’s not a bad link. As for driving, well, he might have done a lap around the office carpark, but it’s hard to tell.

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And finally, the Belleville News-Democrat features one of the stranger 9-7x reports I’ve read. This is a syndicated one that’s been popping up everywhere all week.

Apparently the 9-7x is the vehicle that kept it all together in 2005:

When Americans’ love affair with sport utility vehicles started shifting sales away from the Saab brand of Sweden, the company went back to the drawing board.

The result: Saab’s sales decline stopped last year when it started selling its first SUV, the 9-7X.

The 9-7x saved us all! Who knew?

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8 Comments

  1. I like Don Hammonds of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he’s usually right on, as I think he is this time.

    It’s funny that the automobile.com writer talks up the safety and air bags when the 9-7X doesn’t even offer side air bags as optional, although it does have the side curtain air bags, and it did poorly in the NHTSA crash tests. The improved handling is a safety-plus though.

  2. I find it amazing a person from Australia is posting a story from my hometown town paper (Post-Gazette). I enjoy reading his articles.

  3. “I find it amazing a person from Australia is posting a story from my hometown town paper (Post-Gazette).”–I’m from Chardon, east of Cleveland, Ohio, and a big Steelers and Pirates fan. I spen a year at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon). I too find it interesting that we’re reading posts about Swedish cars posted by someone in Australia, especially when he posted a triptych photo by someone in Shaker Heights, about 20 miles from here. He also quotes (and gets quoted by) Autoblog quite often, and that seems to be based in Cleveland.

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