Winding Road drive the Saab 9-4x

We’ve been waiting for the Saab 9-4x road test to come in and now, Winding Road has come to the party with the type of review we always thought the 9-4x would be capable of achieving.

I’ve been writing about Saab for around six years now and one of the common complaints I’ve had about automotive journalists is that they don’t “get it” when it comes to Saab. Too many write from a cookie-cutter viewpoint, a perspective that is commonplace, but one that Saab just doesn’t fit.

Winding Road doesn’t just “get it” in this review, they take steps to show you why they “get it” and how you can “get it” too.

The entire first half of the review deals with Saab’s brand positioning. Why are Saabs different? What sort of customer do they attract and how can they be so bold as to position themselves against Audi, Mercedes and BMW?

We are different here at Saab. It’s true. A Saab fits you like no other car IF you’re of a particular mindset. It’s like you’ve found an automotive soulmate and can take a rest from the posturing and just relax, enjoy your natural excitement and the fact that yes, you do have some sort of symbiotic relationship with a car. It’s a little strange, but true.

Anyway, Winding Road spend some time on Saab’s attributes and the way they compare to other brands in Saab’s market segment. It really does go some way to explaining the Saab appeal to readers who might not already understand it.

If you really look at the chart and think about it, Saab stands out from BMW, Mercedes, Volvo and Lexus pretty well. Saab stands out against these brands because of what a Saab isn’t. A Saab isn’t a BMW, Mercedes or Lexus with their social-climber attributes and it isn’t a boring luxury car, like a Volvo, Mercedes or Lexus. Those at least are the views of the Saab buyer.

After examining the Saab ethos, Winding Road take a good look over the Saab 9-4x – and the good news for Saab fans continues.

If I had a single fear about reading Saab 9-4x reviews, it was that the review would include a whole bunch of comparative references to the Cadillac SRX (both vehicles were developed at the same time, with Saab’s Peter Dörrich as head of the project). Not so. In fact, the 9-4x shines purely because its own attributes.

Here are some excerpts:

We don’t know if Saab will be able to impress people in the showroom, but the 9-4X, at least in the Aero trim we drove, is certainly good enough to pull it off on the right test drive….

….and….

…..For those paying attention, the driving dynamics of the 9-4X are positively brilliant. The 9-4X has a smoothness and stability going down the road that buyers will find hard to beat. The genius here is that Saab does smoothness not by giving the driver a flaccid, mushy chassis, but by using a very stiff body structure and a carefully designed suspension…..

This is one that I really like….

….The brakes a firm, with a pedal feel that should be studied by some sports car makers.

…not enough people appreciate the importance of a sorted braking system. Kudos.

I could include so much more of this review from Winding Road, but they’d end up suing me for breach of copyright.

The best thing you can do is read the Winding Road Saab 9-4x review for yourself.

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2 Comments

  1. Great review, look forward to seeing more and more of these, maybe the mainstream media will eventually get it and resist their bent for sensationalist commentary re Saab’s economic woes. These positive editorials are critical for Saab’s success.

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