Saab 9-4x – reviews at a glance

Saab recently hosted members of the automotive press in Washington DC. Their mission – to drive the all new Saab 9-4x crossover.

It’s fair to say that the reviews have been very positive for the Saab 9-4x. It’s been noticed in Saab-land, too. Just Saab, a dealer in Ohio, tweeted the following this morning:

In over 16 years with Saab, I cannot recall better press toward a new model than the new 9-4x. It’s almost euphoric. Great Job Saab team!

Naturally, we’re pretty happy with the outcome of the road reviews. And we’re equally happy that our dealer network and customers are excited about it, too. This is a vehicle that Saab has needed for some time and we’ve finally done it, and more importantly, we’ve done it right.

You should rarely take one review as the chapter-and-verse about a vehicle. Different reviewrs have a different emphasis. Accordingly, here’s a sample of some of the reviews that have come online recently. We recommend that you check them out at your leisure:

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Autoblog: “From its cantilevered roof to its sweeping “hockey stick” greenhouse, ice-block blue headlamps and full-width LED taillamp band that echoes that of the 9-5 sedan, Saab has done a remarkable job imbuing brand hallmarks old and new into this simple two-box form…..

…..the 9-4X clearly skews toward the sportier end of the luxury crossover arena, eschewing leather-lined kinschleppers like the Lexus RX and Volvo XC60 in favor of chasing sportier entries like the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK, and BMW X3.”

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AutoGuide: “Saab hasn’t been cruising on easy street, but the 9-4X could be the x-factor that changes negatives into positives.”

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Car and Driver: C&D took a comparative approach, looking at the 9-4x in comparison with it’s sister vehicle at Cadillac, noting that Saab engineer Peter Dörrich was the chief architect behind both vehicles. You can see Peter’s view on the “Saabness” of this vehicle in this video, shot in Los Angeles last year.

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LeftLane News: “Unlike the SRX, the 9-4X’s steering felt linear and direct, if a little light on feel. Reactions were quick at any speed, with positive turn-in and good straight line stability. Despite the Aero’s big 20-inch wheels wrapped in performance-oriented tires, the 9-4X was nearly silent on the highway. That bling hardly disturbed ride quality, either, which was several notches above the SRX. Where the Cadillac is wooden and confused over undulating surfaces, the 9-4X happily took anything in stride. Body lean is modest, as it should be in a soft-riding crossover.”

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Motor Authority: “Cargo-wise, there’s lots to love here. Although the floor is a bit taller than you might expect, there’s a ‘hidden’ compartment under a large portion of it; rear seatbacks also fold flat, and they can be adjusted for rake to three different positions. The cargo management system is very useful, with a bar that can be configured to split part of the space off—to keep grocery bags from tipping, or suitcases from sliding around the space.”

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Winding Road: “The controls enhance this feeling of refined responsiveness. The steering has a well-chosen ratio with decent on-center operation. The brakes are firm, with a pedal feel that should be studied by some sports car makers. Best of all, the automatic transmission, especially in sport mode, anticipates the downshift you will need so that you seem to be in the right gear for acceleration much of the time.”

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8 Comments

  1. Cannot wait to see them here. If these get such a brilliant write-up, I can see them getting some decent reviews in Europe as well 😉 They look the part, nicely understated but with a real presence.

    1. Euro reviews have been quite good, too, though not as many online.  Robert Collin at Aftonbladet called it the greatest Saab we’ve ever built, which was quite a statement, and the reviews in Expressen were just as complimentary.  Have focused this article on the core market, however, which is the US. 

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