The 9-4x would fit perfectly here….

My wife and I did some west-coast touring today, taking in beautiful Fjallbacka and Smögen (I want to live in Fjallbacka – I absolutely loved it!)

The coastal towns certainly earn their living during the summer. There are people everywhere and when you spend a little time, you can see why. Picturesque villages abound and the shops, cafes and restaurants are sublime. Throw in a perfect summer’s day with lots of happy people and you can see why half of Norway seems to invade Sweden’s west coast during the summer months 🙂

We passed this small car park as we headed back to our street parking in Smögen and the lineup of cars here was typical of what we saw throughout the day. New-ish Audis, BMW’s, Mercedes and Volvos everywhere. Lots of the private holiday homes had Porsches and Jaguars, too.

As we passed this particular carpark, however, I was struck enough to take a picture of it (click to enlarge). It made me think right away of how the 9-4x would look amongst these vehicles. The answer – it would make them look decidedly second hand.

Like lots of people, I was a little slow to catch on to the idea of a Saab SUV. I’ve traditionally been into smaller, more practical and clever cars, and Saabs have always stood out to me because of the good use of space in the hatchback form. The more I’ve seen of the Saab 9-4x, though, the more I’ve come to like it. I’ve been seeing them around here, in Trollhattan, for the last few weeks now and the presence this vehicle has on the road is just outstanding.

I saw a lot of very classy cars today – all the marques I’ve named above were in plentiful supply on the streets and in the driveways of homes that I saw. Saab’s new products would have looked completely at home with any of them. When you think of where Saab were just a short time ago, from a product perspective – with one 6 year old car and one 12 year old car – it’s been a little while since we could say that with such confidence.

Below: The Saab 9-4x one day earlier – in a less idyllic setting – but in good company and still looking superb.

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  1. 6 year old car?  The 9-3 will be 10 years old in the 2012 model year…  And the 9-5 was 13 when it went out of production.  The last one was a sportcombi which was built in February 2010, if i recall correctly…  Sorry to barge in like that, Swade…  🙁

    1. Depends on what month/year you base your maths on, Jake.  I was being complementary to our 9-3 owners out there and speaking from a 2009 perspective (the last full model year of the 9-5 sedan).  Given that the 9-3 came out in 2003 and the 9-5 in 1997, that would have made them 6 and 12 at the earlier points of 2009.

      But if you want to give them a caning and place them in the older categories, that’s fine with me too.  It’s all academic anyway.  

      The point is –> it’s been a considerable time since two-thirds of Saab’s model range has been under two years old.  And that feels really, really good.  It’s been a longer time since Saab has had a model range that you could divide into thirds, and that feels even better.

  2. Glad to hear Mrs. Swade (finally?) made it to Sweden to spend time with you and enjoy the surrounds you get to enjoy.  Your mention of Fjallbacka sounded familiar so I found the itinerary/journal from our 2007 trip for the 60th Jubilee and confirmed we were there on June 6 of that year (on the national holiday).  We understand why you want to live there!  Have lots of fun with your time together. 

  3. Great blog Swade! Thank you for providing us all a piece of Saab, Sweden and more everyday! I have an ’02 9-3 that I adore, but the Wife has a 9-4x within her sights. We’ll let you know how our test drive goes sometime soon. So silly that although the 9-4x is made in Mexico and just south of us (San Diego, CA USA) they shipped off the first US-bound models to NY, and CT. Then I think oh yeah there are probably 70-80% of all US Saab enthusiasts/loyalists on that end of the country. Looking forward to the August ramp-up in 9-4x production, and glad to see that the “Build your Saab” is now active for the 9-4x. Thanks again for enriching our ownership experience and helping us to get a little closer to the brand.

  4. The westcoast of Sweden is sure a very nice area. I have been there a few times. In 2001 I was passing this beautiful site – from the sea – in kayak.

  5. Thats one of the beautiful side of sweden. When you start to lern swedich you can read the books of Camilla Läckberg, or find them in englich, its a thriller in and around Fjällbacka.
    Hope you didnt miss the nearby Hamburgsund and Hamburgö 🙂

    1. Once I flew from Milan to Olso, landing not at the main airport but in Torp … from the cabin I could see the coastline, it is all magnificent

  6. I took a look on the web …. these villages are so pretty …. but is Fjallbacka not a bit too far from Trollhattan? 🙂 not really commuting distance … 🙂
    If I remember correctly next summer we have the big SAAB Meeting in Trollhattan, time to come then ……

    1. cool, our flying Swedish carpet …. I shall have to make to Trollhattan with my flying carpet next summer …

  7. Hi Swade ,the 9-4X is certainly a fine looking machine………….any diesels planned soon ?Glad to hear your wife has joined you .Thanks again for the fine job you are doing .

  8. hello swade,

    I think you have forgotten to include some photos from the lovely fjällbacka!
    sind 25 yeras we spent our holidays near smögen and this is one part of loving everything form sweden – first of all saab!

  9. You end up in Fjällbacka. You describe how beautiful it is. You admit you would like to live there and the only photo you enclose? From a parking lot. You are a diagnosed petrolhead! 🙂 

  10. This is a good point. Some people see Saab as a radical departure from the norm (well, maybe not so much within the last ten years), which doesn’t appeal to those who don’t want to stick out in the crowd.

    I’ve always thought the 9-4X looked somewhat similar to the Lexus RX, which (in my opinion) is the least ugly SUV/crossover. I still don’t care for SUVs/crossovers and am not in need of one, but I still pay attention to styling. I scrutinize cars around me in traffic (though paying attention to traffic is my top priority), and I’m annoyed when I’m surrounded by ugly automobiles. Though I guess the more important aspect about owning a car is enjoying the space you’ll be working in, the interior. Still, I like admiring my car as I walk up to it in a parking lot… better than having to look away if I had a car whose exterior I couldn’t stand.

  11. Hi Swade, is the red 900 next to the 9-4x yours? It is a beautiful car …. that car made me fall in love with SAAB. I was a teenager and a guy living next door had a black 2-door 900 Turbo … what a car!

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