9-7x Aero Reactions

A lot of press outlets just post the Saab press release when something like the 9-7x happens. The more interesting ones post the news with some commentary and insight as to how they’re thinking about the new release.

And so it goes with the 9-7x Aero.

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Car and Driver: C&D ask the same question many others are thinking with regard to the 6-litre Saab – Why? But they seem to be keen to give it a try nonetheless:

All Saab 9-7Xs already come standard with all-wheel drive, and the Aero uses an automatic Torsen center differential that routes power to the front only when the rears can’t handle it. The TrailBlazer SS only comes with a manually selectable part-time system as an option, but so equipped, it can hit 60 in 5.5 seconds. We’re looking forward to trying the same trick in the 9-7X Aero, as well as finding the limits of the Aero’s beefed-up suspension and brakes.

Edmunds Inside Line: IL completely ignores the Torsen diff thing but there’s this I hadn’t retained from the press materials:

The 9-7X Aero version of the engine has a composite intake manifold that GM says is unique to the Saab.

Cars.com: After chanelling Pete De Lorenzo in his opening remark, Dave Thomas wonders if anyone will look at the Aero at it’s MSRP given that relatively few people buy the 9-7x anyway.

The 9-7X is by far the worst selling GM SUV on the market. It managed to sell just 558 units last month. The more expensive, and more loathed by the public, Hummer H2 sold 825 units.

I’m not sure he realises that those 500-odd units a month mean pure gravy for Saab, and over it’s life the 9-7x has been the second-best selling Saab out there. In addition, it’s widely regarded as the best of the GM360 SUV’s so I think the low sales are more a matter of exposure than lack of interest.

Motor Trend:

The old adage “there’s no replacement for displacement” is obviously something Saab engineers had on their minds when they decided to spice up their GM-based, 9-7X SUV.

I’m sure there’ll be some interesting reviews to come with regard to this vehicle. What sort of red-blooded motoring journalist wouldn’t want to get hold of a 390hp LS2 powered vehicle??

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10 Comments

  1. It’s true, there really is no replacement for dislplacement. There are certainly other means of getting the same power and whatnot in a car, ways that are probably much smarter for a daily driver, but gigantic engines are always fun, if not always practical.

  2. “The 9-7X is by far the worst selling GM SUV on the market. It managed to sell just 558 units last month. The more expensive, and more loathed by the public, Hummer H2 sold 825 units”

    Yes we all know 9-7x is a lower volume model, directly based on the GMT360 body/platform.

    What folks don’t know;

    * 9-7x was consistently Saab’s second best selling US model.

    *9-7x is a high profit margin vehicle- profit helps SAAB and therefore GM.

    * Surprisingly, its also among the highest resale value SUVs in it’s segment, holding value better than comparable Lexus and Land Rover trucks.

    * 9-7x has expanded Saab’s demographic, it brings in many first time Saab buyers.
    It also has helped keep a few Saab owners from defecting to other SUV brands.

    * Automotive magazines often give favorable reviews to this heavy truck based Saab, praising its handling, pricing and interior design.

    Despite it’s american heritage and some misconceptions about the decent work Saab did while adapting the GMT360 body/platform, 9-7x does its job well.

  3. I have driven one the 9-7x with the 5.3V8.
    It was bettern than I expected from such a behemot SUV, but it’s far, far away from what we can call Saab-feeling.
    I’m Saab owner 10 years ago and the current Viggen is my 5th Saab and I also have experiences with other Saabs.
    From my point of view the 9-7x is just an another heavy, lazy monster, no turbo kick accelaration, no clear, practical and dynamic design, no economics, no character. It have a Saab-like grill and air vent joysticks and ignition in the center console, and that’s all to remind me a Saab…

  4. SUV driving dynamics will never match car dynamics..it is physics people! Get over it, this Saab makes much more sense than the 9-2x did. Saab already builds great cars, which is why the 9-2x was a slap in the face. Saab knows cars, which is why the 9-1 is needed now, and why it will prevail, if Saab is allowed to properlly engineer it. In the spirit of the 99/900 I pray!
    an SUV is an SUV. Saab has no experience in them, just as Volvo, BMW, VW and so many other automobile companies had no experience in them.
    The market said SUV, and companies answered. The 9-7X does exactly what it was intended to do. It draws new customers, it keeps ones that would’ve gone somewhere else for their SUV “needs”, and most importantly in the scheme of things, it makes a profit.The 9-2X did not fill any of those objectives. That’s not to say the 9-2x wasn’t a good car, it just wasn’t a good Saab.

  5. Both of 9-7x and 9-2x is a “US only” car…
    BMW X5, Mercedes ML, VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne, Volvo XC90 are also sold well in Europe where they come from… it’s makes a big difference…

  6. Comments by Ivan are on point—Not withstanding the various arguments put forth, the 9-7x STILL LOOKS like a Chevrolet. The rear of the vehicle and especially the tail lights are de-facto Chevy. It appears that no attempt was made (Sorry, but a Saab emblem, placement of ignition, and Saab grille don’t qualify as diligent effort) to distinguish the Saab SUV from the other offerings from GM. Apart from the critique of the exterior design, and as Ivan points out, there is nothing “Saabish” or Swedish about the product, i.e., functionality of design, understated elegance etc. Looking at the other Swede (my apologies in advance, Swade!), Volvo intentionally designed, built and marketed the XC 90 with a “distinct DNA” that unequivocally separates it from the offerings from its parent company—- No one will ever mistake the XC 90 for a Ford. The same cannot be said for the Saab. The sales figures and the healthy profit margins of the XC 90 are a manifestation of this approach. (Take note, Mr. Lutz). Hopefully future attempts at this market segment by GM will produce something marginally better.

  7. There is a 9-7x at the neighborhood village. Sometimes I saw it in front of me driving on the road to home, but I can only recognize that it’s a Saab if I get so close that I can read the badges on the rear…
    This can never happen with an another Saab…

    Ok, I know, americans can’t live without those giant SUVs, and 9-7x is a makeshift for them…

  8. Hey, don’t generalize, I’m American and I’d never drive a huge SUV.

    MOST Americans can’t live without them :p

  9. I don’t disagree with you, but there are plenty of us here in America that loathe SUV’s just as much as your average stereotypical French guy with a beret and striped shirt. Generally, if we don’t have one, and it isn’t because of money, we don’t like them. Everyone here who wants an SUV has one unless they can’t afford a decent one.

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