One thing dawned on me as I read this review of the 9-7x in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Americans, in increasing numbers, get this car. Many Saabisti don’t, but your North American consumer with an interest in SUV’s, with cash to spare and low-to-medium concern over the price of fuel – those of that ilk that manage to come accress the 9-7x – they get it and they like it.
This is one of the demographics that I’m sure Saab USA were aiming for when they developed and launched the 9-7x. We all heard the stats about 30% of Saab owners trading their ride for an SUV, blah blah blah. That’s one thing they were trying to change. But any car manufacturer has to constantly chase the elusive conquest sale, attracting new customers as well as retaining their old ones, especially a small player like Saab.
The 9-2x was developed with this goal in mind, too, but missed the mark by a long shot by being way too underdeveloped. The GM platform underpinning the 9-7x received a myriad of changes and whilst the silouette might look frighteningly similar, a large number of motoring journos seem to agree that the 9-7x is the best model to come from this platform. Including our reviewers above:
Obviously, the Saab 9-7X was developed from the same SUV elements that make up the Chevrolet Trailblazer and a few other General Motors spinoffs. That’s not bad, however, and the 9-7X is the best of the bunch in my estimation.
If you read the whole review, their lack of familiarity with Saabs becomes evident. This makes the esteem they hold the 9-7x in even more prominent. They’re not Saab people, yet they appreciate the differences that Saab have made to a platform that’s probably quite familiar to them and they hold the refinement of this model in pretty high regard.
I’m sure that’s what GM and Saab USA had in mind all along. It’s good to see it executed properly. The good thing is that those who might have looked at an X5 or another marque are seeing the 9-7x as a legitimate alternative, and they’re doing so in increasing numbers. Still small potatoes really, but you gotta start somewhere and as you can see the trendline is looking good.
The 9-7x is not going to be the answer for many of you dedicated Saabisti that have an interest in an SUV. For those that do like it, more power to ya. For those that don’t, live and let live. The 9-7x is doing it’s job and the best thing is, it’s doing it well and it’s winning new friends along the way.