A Saab 9-4x owner's review with something for EVERYONE

As you might guess, there are PLENTY of Saab owners in my address book. I’ve been in email contact with Clay M for a few years now and a few days ago, he sent me a link to an article he wrote outlining his purchase of a new Saab 9-4x Aero.

Actually, ‘outlining’ isn’t the right word for this one. ‘Detailing’ would be much more appropriate because he covers quite a lot of the purchase process, as well as detailed thoughts about the Saab 9-4x itself. As such, there’s something in it for everyone.

You can read the full review here.

FOR SAAB CARS NORTH AMERICA:

….several months ago, I decided to get the ball rolling on our 9-4X purchase and that’s where our dealership experiences begin. I’ll try not to name names, as everyone has a bad day at some point in time…but you can guess who I’m referring to, you know who you are, you can contact me directly for specifics, or you can take my experience as just a small sampling of what else is out there and what Saab Cars North America has to deal with.

FOR SOME DEALERS OUT THERE:

I contacted approximately 20 Saab dealerships within a 1,000-mile radius from us and so begins my first rant. …. I initially contacted all of the dealerships online. My opinion is that if you’re going to have a way for the public to communicate with you online or by e-mail, make sure that the contact form works, goes to a real person, and a response can be expected in a timely manner. When I filled out the various information request/contact forms, a number of them were returned to me undeliverable due to a faulty e-mail address or other technical issue…unacceptable in my book. I also received a significant number of automated response e-mails, but never heard back from a real live person. I’m not sure how much more I need to wave my money around for people to take notice, but either of the above scenarios probably excluded that particular dealership from my list of potential contacts. If you aren’t going to monitor e-mails or online submissions, simply put your telephone number on your website and I will gladly call. Unfortunately, this is an issue that cost several dealerships my own personal business.

FOR SOME OTHER DEALERS OUT THERE:

I will say that I made contact with a number of very nice dealers. Most of these individuals were very well-informed, courteous, and gave me a significant feeling of comfort in dealing with them. There were, however, several instances in which misinformation or lack of information adversely affected the potential of a sale.

FOR ONE PARTICULAR DEALER OUT THERE:

Gebhardt Saab of Boulder in Colorado is probably one of the lesser-known Saab dealerships in Colorado. When I filled out their online contact form, I received a very prompt response from Gregg Sunfield. Gregg was knowledgeable, courteous, and I instantly got the impression that he would go above and beyond to make sure we were happy before, during, and after the sale…and that’s exactly what happened…..

……One thing that I will say about Bob and Gregg is that they were both highly optimistic about the future of Saab, they are clearly dedicated to the brand through thick and thin, and I failed to receive a single ounce of misinformation from them……… the information they provided and the confidence that they offered was not salesperson-speak…it was based on factual information and was very well-founded. Kudos to each of them and to the entire Gebhardt family for getting it right!

FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN A SAAB 9-4X:

Clay’s starting point for this review……

I’m setting aside all Saab-bias that I may have for this particular review and hope that it may be viewed from a neutral standpoint. Quality of materials and fit-and-finish is extremely important to me, as I absolutely can’t stand something cheap that’s trying to look expensive, nor do I tolerate any misplaced rattle, groan, or squeak. I don’t want gimmicks and bling…there is definitely something to be said for clean functionality. Handling and performance are vital…not only do these attributes influence the overall experience, but they also affect various aspects of safety. I don’t want a vehicle that feels like a brick on wheels, but by the same token, I certainly don’t want to feel like I’m driving around a slinky atop a waterbed. My experience with Saab in the past has proven that a delicate balance of the aforementioned characteristics is a shared ideal.

And his conclusions……

I simply fail to find any compromises on this vehicle and Saab has undoubtedly created a machine that they can and should be proud of in the 9-4X. And for anyone that wants to argue against the value you receive in the 9-4X regarding the purchase price…I argue that your comments will be unfounded. To us, the 9-4X is worth every single penny that we spent on it and we would do it again in a heartbeat if given the opportunity. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Acura, Infiniti, Audi, Volkswagen…nothing could provide us with a better value and I am absolutely certain of that.

As much as I’ve reproduced here for your information, it really is just an introduction. Clay goes into an enormous amount of detail as to his research, purchase process and his first impressions on all aspects of the car.

You can read the full review here.

If you’re a prospective Saab 9-4x purchaser, or just a person with an eye for detail, this review is going to make for very interesting reading.

From an internal perspective, it’s gratifying that we have people like Clay and Holly as customers and that we’re still making vehicles that satisfy their Saaby needs. If you look at Clay’s vehicle history, you’ll see that he’s owned a bunch of historic Saabs in the past.

It’s also a good reminder for us that we have to better support our distribution network and provide them with the materials and motivation to serve their customers well, every time.

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11 Comments

  1. It´s also frustrating to walk into a nice showroom with alot of new and shining cars but not a single seller that seems to take a notice of you. All of them sitting and hiding in their offices behind a big computerscreen. That´s when you feel like going to their manager and ask him to kick some ass.

  2. Nice review 🙂

    Swade, a good starting point is to verify the links to the Swedish resellers on the Swedish site. Some of them does go to domains that has expired.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with the advice regarding “have a way for the public to communicate with you online or by e-mail”. This can be critical for a company trying to reestablish itself. When my wife and I purchased a new pickup (not Saab but it illustrates the point), we sent out an email to all dealers in the area with specific questions. ONLY ONE dealer responded to our question, the rest started flooding our inbox with spam. We visited the ONE dealer and bought the truck he suggested on the spot.

  4. “I just hope this particular dealer doesn’t wonder why they don’t sell more out of their Saab store than the GM side.” Your closest Saab dealer is about 3 miles from me. It’s also a Buick and Chevy dealership, and they sell mainly Chevy trucks. Although, Saab 9-7Xs disappear pretty fast off their used car lot. They still have an unsold new 2008 Turbo X and 2009 9-3. 

    I’ll let them know on Monday when my 9-3 is in for service that they missed a sale.

  5. I have had similar experiences with dealers and contacting them by email or through their website.  It really is a hit-and-miss and can be frustrating not to receive a response.

    Cadillac/Saab dealers have the advantage of not having to completely rely on selling Saabs to stay in business but it sometimes feels they do Saab on the side.

    Fantastic review and interesting reading Clay!

  6. Indeed, the Saab 9.4x Aero is a fantastic car!, But: there are a lot buts! 

    Everything about Saab is a little “vague” (System V. Muller, as in the past?). If I understand well Saab USA falls out of the swedish deal, including production of the 9.4 in Mexico? Once there is money (end november?) will the production start immediately again? (or when, next year…)? Or has it never interrupted? If I ask this my dealer, he admits he does not now. As he says “even he stands in the cold, reading the newspapers”. 
    The “fuel consuming” engine (no diesel version) is not very well suited for the european markets (including huge taxes in the near future). 
    So, before ordering a new car I need “some” certainty. When can this car (approximately) be delivered! There are other brands who give more certainty (Evoque …). 
    Surely you can say, then buy another brand. But this would never be my first choice.  My heart is with Saab, but there are also the brains and the practical situation. 

  7.  “Your closest Saab dealer is about 3 miles from me.” I talked with the salesman today face to face. I think he was just trying to be straight with you. This dealership does not have any 9-4Xs and they don’t know if they are getting any. This salesman sold 2 new Saabs last week. He will sell you anything that is on the lot. Now, who wants one of the last new 2009 9-5s in the US? My Saab service on my 2008 9-3 went very smooth today by the way.

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