Saab 9-7X



  • j umbergerj umberger Member Posts: 15
    If I wanted a Subaru, or a Chevy, or a Buick, I'd buy one. What's with the cross-bred Saabs coming out lately???


    I thought I finally spotted a 9-7x on the road the other day and was mortified to pull up and see an Oldsmobile badge on it. And Buick also has a "version" of the 9-7x. If Saab is going to begin selling GMs, they better do a much better job of disguising them. As a former Saab enthusiast, the LAST two brands I'd ever want to be mistaken in would be Buick and Oldsmobile. Debra Kelly-Ennis is driving this brand into the gutter.
  • lcp1lcp1 Member Posts: 14
    In light of the fact that the vehicle that so

    "mortified "you was in fact NOT a 9-7X but an

    Olds Bravada,how do you draw the conclusion that

    Saab is not adequately altering the source platform vehicle.As a Saab dealer I am aware that the car is not even in production yet.Perhaps

    you should wait until you see an actual 9-7X

    before coming to any conclusions.
  • j umbergerj umberger Member Posts: 15
    There are plenty of photos out there.

    My point wasn't about performance, it was about being mistaken for driving an Olds or a Buick.

    Based on the photos I've seen, the only difference is the tail lights and grill.

    The side panels, windows - EXACTLY the same
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    Keep this in mind though- the 9-7X and 9-2X are stopgap models until they can get something with some Saab character on the road.
  • aerodriveraerodriver Member Posts: 12
    Does anyone have the model delivery date for the new 9-7x? Or at least when the demos will arrive so that we can see it up close and personal?
  • vector6vector6 Member Posts: 34
    A dealer here in Denver said he'd have them on the lot in April. They don't even have brochures yet, which is surprising. I'm curious to see it in person as well - but also to see if the changes Saab has made will improve the pretty lousy safety ratings the Trailblazers et al receive. We have an 01 9-5 lease due up early summer, and I hate to jump from the Saab brand (also have an 03 Vector/Aero 9-3), but not sure if the 9-7 is truly going to deliver. Needs to be driven, I guess. Part of the debate, sadly, is that the 9-5 is a bit worn - some chipped metallic paint, a couple dings, and if we simply turn it in, I am afraid the lease demonds will really stick it to us. Also, the money incentives to lease again are quite strong. Has anyone had any experience with this?
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Member Posts: 626
    I think it's competetively priced, especially if the typical GM discounts will apply...


    Saab Announces 9-7X SUV Pricing


    DETROIT, Mich. -- The all-new Saab 9-7X goes on sale in the United States this spring with very attractive pricing. Saab's first-ever SUV will come in two models: the Linear, priced at $38,990.00 and the Arc, priced at $40,990.00. Both MSRP's include a $720.00 destination charge.


    The 9-7X SUV is just one part of the most aggressive product development offensive in Saab's 57-year history. It joins the 9-3 Sport Sedan and Convertible, the 9-5 Sedan and SportWagon and the all-wheel drive 9-2X, as well as the upcoming all-new Saab 9-3 SportCombi and the 250-hp 2.8V6 Turbo, which will become available in all 9-3 Aero models later this year.


    The 9-7X Linear features standard all-wheel drive, leather-appointed heated front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, side-curtain airbags, integrated roof rails, OnStar, XM Satellite Radio, 6-CD Bose audio system and a choice between a moonroof or a rear-DVD entertainment system. It is powered by an in-line 6-cylinder engine that makes 275 hp and 275 lb.-ft. of torque. The 9-7X Arc adds xenon headlamps, adjustable pedals, headlamp washers and a 300-hp/330 lb.-ft. V8.


    Saab owners will feel right at home in the 9-7X, which has the familiar cockpit-inspired instrument panel, signature sliding-plate vents, in-dash cupholder and center console-mounted ignition. The Saab 9-7X can be ordered in Obsidian Black, Titanium Silver and Ocean Blue.


    Saab is making the 9-7X SUV even more attractive with a limited special offer. By registering before March 31, 2005, customers who purchase or lease a 2005 9-7X will get three years of free OnStar "Safe & Sound" and XM Satellite Radio service, a $700.00 value. In addition, current Saab drivers whose leases expire in February, March or April will qualify for a lease extension of up to six months to enable them to take delivery of a new 2005 9-7X.


    Saab will target potential customers with a direct mail campaign by the end of February 2005. This mailing will direct prospects to the Saab 9-7X website, Once customers have registered at this website, they will automatically receive the additional free services once they take delivery of their 2005 9-7X. Interested customers can go directly to the website even if they did not receive the mailing from Saab.


    "The 9-7X joins the Saab lineup at the right time because the demand for premium midsize SUV's is strong," said Debra Kelly-Ennis, President and COO of Saab USA. "About forty percent of current Saab owners already have an SUV of another make in their garage, while nearly 30 percent of Saab owners have left the brand for an SUV in the past. With the 9-7X, Saab will be able to take advantage of the continued growth in this segment."


    On top of that, the Saab 9-7X SUV represents outstanding value for money, especially when compared with the Volvo XC90. Not only has the 9-7X more headroom, legroom, towing capability and engine torque, it is also priced at over $8,000.00 less than a comparably equipped XC90 V8.


    Saab Automobile AB and Saab Cars USA, Inc. are subsidiary companies of General Motors Corp. Saab Cars USA is the importer of Saab 9-2X, 9-3 and 9-5 automobiles for Saab Automobile AB, Sweden. For more information, please visit
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    forgot to mention that the 9-7X is basically a rebadged TrailBlazer, which sells for a lot less than $37,000.


    And, the Volvo XC90 has won Motor Trend's SUV of the year. I highly doubt that the 9-7X will win the SUV of the year award.
  • chris65amgchris65amg Member Posts: 372
    I hope that the 9-7 will be different enough from the Trailblazer/Envoy/Rainier/Bravade quadruplets. Actually, I like the Trailblazer a bunch, but a Saab needs a little more refinement. It looks great, though. As for XC90 competition, I dunno.... they both sound like good cars.
  • j umbergerj umberger Member Posts: 15
    I agree - and to compare pricing with the XC90 V8 is deceiving. Is the 9-7X going to be a V8??
    Pricing is almost the same when comparing to the XC90 T6.

    here's an excerpt of a recent article about the "badge engineering" from The New York Times.

    Building Autos With the Same DNA

    Published: February 22, 2005

    ETROIT, Feb. 21 - Is the 9-7X the first sport utility vehicle from Saab, or is it a Chevy TrailBlazer dressed up to look Swedish?

    The 9-7X, which is to come out this spring, will be roughly the same size and shape as a TrailBlazer, and for that matter, a GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier and Isuzu Ascender. It will roll off the same production line as the TrailBlazer, Envoy, Rainier and Ascender at a General Motors plant in Moraine, Ohio. All five S.U.V.'s share a pickup truck frame, the same engines, a similar sheet-metal design and many of the same parts, but the Saab has a base price of $38,270, about $11,000 higher than the TrailBlazer.....
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    There's not much extra stuff to justify paying more for the Saab.
  • chris65amgchris65amg Member Posts: 372
    Is the Arc version an extended wheelbase like the Trailblazer EXT? Because that's the only way you can get the larger engine. I would hate an extended 9-7.... it would ruin it's lines. Also, I think I forgot. There are more models off of the trailblazer *platform*. Not all of them are the same....

    Trailblazer (EXT)
    Envoy (EXT) (XUV)
    Isuzu Ascender (EXT)
    (late) Bravada
    Chevy SSR

    counting all wheelbase variants, that's 11 (count em) variations on the platform. Holy cow! Although the Bravada is no more and GM is cutting the XUV, that still leaves us with 9 (count em). Holy cow. But at least they make them seem like unique vehicles by their styling.... unlike Ford....

    If they have the V8 in a regualr wheelbase form, then hot dog!
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    The cancellation of the XUV Envoy has just been announced, and the 9-7X is not available in a LWB variant.

  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    is positioned as a sportier, more European like model.

    The Ranier is more of a Lexus version of the TrailBlazer

    The Bravada was supposed to be the Lexus like version, but it got cut

    The Envoy is supposed to be... well.... umm... A competitor of the Mercury Mountaineer

    The TrailBlazer probably has the best identity. Its a mainstream four door truck based SUV intended to go after the Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
  • chris65amgchris65amg Member Posts: 372
    That's good that there will be no LWB version, even though the V-8 in the Trailblazer isn't much better than the I-6, which IMO is one of the best engines in an SUV. I really don't think that the three Trailblazer variants I've driven (Trailblazer, Bravada, and Envoy) were different enough dynamically to justify the price increase, especially the Bravada's price hike over the Trailblazer. If they could mess with the suspensions differently for each model, and possibly tune the V8 for more power in the upper end models. Giving higher end models a 5 (or 6) speed auto wouldn't hurt either.

    I really like the way the Saab looks, but it's odd that there will be no turbocharged engine, because that seems like a Saab hallmark, kind of. I hope that Saab can inject some of it's own DNA into the 9-7x, or a lot of people won't bite and will go buy a fully loaded Trailblazer for a bunch less.

    Just me rambling, though.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    If those 9-7X buyers want prestige, they might want to consider the mechanically similar and cheaper Buick Ranier.
  • bcoolbcool Member Posts: 59
    I'd consider a 9-7x if it had SAAB seats. They've always been some of the best on the market. Plus some SAAB ergonomics. A high quality sound system has also been a good reason to buy a SAAB. Not to mention an exceptional braking system.
  • bcoolbcool Member Posts: 59
    The SAAB seats are sturdy, soft, comfortable and with the ASARS (active head restraint system)they've been some of the best seats on the market. Plus there are significant SAAB ergonomic design and safety features in all of their historical vehicles. The SAAB ACC system as also a great feature which would benefit any vehicle out there.

    In reviewing the 9-7x, I noted that none of these things have been engineered into it. The Chevy TB needs a lot of work to compete with the X-90, X5, Merc, and VW whatever. I wonder what everyone would have thought if Volvo had created the X-90 by rebadging a Ford Explorer? Hee Hee Hee...BARF. Is SAAB selling out or what?
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    has a lot less money to invest in new products than Volvo, that much I think all of us know.
  • j umbergerj umberger Member Posts: 15
    the seats were the first thing I looked at - I agree with you, I always loved my Saab seats for safety, comfort and progressive engineering. The 9-7X has GM seats. Sadly, Saab has already sold out...
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Member Posts: 1,058
    A friend of mine told me that the Saab dealer in Troy has one on display inside the dealership. Not available for test drives though.

    He was there last week working on a training video for Saab sales people and got to drive a Linear model to the studio and back. He seemed to like it a lot. Said it drove really smooth and had adequate pick up with the 6. Liked the stereo as well.
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Member Posts: 1,058
    Saw a black one with the 4.2 at Home Depot yesterday. Of all of the variants on this platform, the 9-7x really looks the best. Clean lines and lower stance with bigger wheels and rims give it a "sporty" look.

    Of course it should be the best since it is the most expensive.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Member Posts: 619
    It appears that a nav system isn't available on the 9-7X, which is extremely puzzling since the TrailBlazer offers it.
  • stag1203stag1203 Member Posts: 9
    Hey, newbie here, but I just wanted to add that I spoke to a dealer here (NYC area)and they expected models to arrive by the end of the month.

    According to the information we went over, the suspension is lowered an inch, bushings shock valving all revised for better handling and sportier ride. The steering rack also has quicker ratio steering.

    The only options he said available are a sunroof or a DVD player - can't have both. XM Satellite ready radio comes standard. Interior looks very Saab like from the pics he showed me - ignition in the console, fold out cup holder in the dash similar to the 9-5 - and in my opinion, the nicest rendition of the center stack (radio & HVAC) of all the Trailblazer variants. The only downside is color selection - silver, black or medium blue.

    I am seriously considering this vehicle...drove a Trailblazer and a Rainier, while nice trucks, not that plush. I have been shopping around looking at the Tourag, XC90, MDX and while nice vehicles all, they are certainly quite pricey once you equip them similar to the Saab. Also, all 9-7x come with free scheduled maintenance which is a good deal.

    We'll see. I'll update you after I drive one.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    Have you tried the Lexus RX330? Very plush, if that's what you're looking for. But, discounts should be everywhere on the Saab since it seems like few people are going to be buying it.

    Personally, I'd choose either the XC90 or the RX330. The 9-7X doesn't even come close. GM has tried hard to hide the TrailBlazer roots of the 9-7X, but the TrailBlazer is a Body On Frame SUV versus the RX330's Car Based Platform. If you want a plush ride, the RX330 is your kind of SUV.

    If prestige doesn't matter, I'd try the RX330's cousin- the Toyota Highlander, which costs less, is roomier and has an optional third row of seats.
  • stag1203stag1203 Member Posts: 9
    Drove the RX330..nice vehicle, but, the styling, I don;t know, I just don't like it. The XC90, while no doubt a quality product, just doesn't do it for me. I don't know why, I just am a little ambivelent about it.

    I don't know why I have this thing for the 9-7x, I like the styling, logic tells me it is a glorified Trailblazer (not necessarily a bad thing - the TB has good points), it is fairly priced.

    Maybe it is the American mechanicals - after paying through the nose for repairs on two prior Mercedes and dealing with the dealer arrogance, the fact that the Saab guy took the time to chat and go through his materials with me meant something.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    If you like the 9-7X, then go for it. How well are they selling anyways?
  • morey000morey000 Member Posts: 384
    Apparently, based on the number of pre-orders, the 9-7x is one of the best selling Saab vehicles ever.

    I've always liked the Envoy/TB as a vehicle. The main thing that all the reviews panned about the vehicle was it's soft handling. Sounds like the Saab rendition of this chassis will solve that problem.

    However, by lowering it an inch, and putting road tires on it, it will no longer have the off road capability. Will it even have a 4x4 low range and locking differential?

    Looks like the only two vehicles that have both excellent on-road handling and off-road capability are the new JeepGC and the Touraeg.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    it's only got 3 colors. I think they should add a few more colors, like white, green, maroon, etc. All they have are black, silver and dark blue.
  • buddhabmanbuddhabman Member Posts: 252
    The recent article talking about the pre-orders is great news for Saab. On the Saab Central site the talk has been turning around from dismayedl, I hate it, it's not Saab-Like talk , to "Ok it's pretty good loking" and " It Hauls" Apparanlty there are a few on the road in the Michagan area for GM employees. From the recent postings the reviews have been pretty good. One thing GM can do if they focus on it, is create good handling cars and fun driving dynamics. From the inital reports it seems they have got the road handling dynamics ironed out. I don't think SAAB intended this for off road. use. This is strictly a all weather, up to the snow board hill, grocery getting, kid hauler.
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Member Posts: 1,058
    will get -

    displacement on demand for the 5.3


    DVD nav

    3 new colors - red, white, graphite gray

    290 hp for I-6
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    That's good news. They can only sell Blue, Silver and Black 9-7Xs for so long...
  • bigd06bigd06 Member Posts: 1
    My dealer (Saab Austin) got one in from the factory last week and my wife and I went for a ride in it. We couldn't drive it, because the dealership didn't own it.

    First impressions:
    The exterior is very attractive, even though it still resembles an Envoy. Like the front grille and the chrome/silver rails on the roof. The engine did not sound like a Saab at all, but it had a nice "rumble". The interior is where my disappointment really began. Nice seats, but that was about it. The interior did not give me the "European" feel that I was hoping for, like a Cayenne or X5. But what can you expect when they didn't build this one from the ground up?

    The ride was very nice and stable. The engine was powerful and seemed pretty quiet. I just don't know if it's worth 40k for a re-badged vehicle that sells for much less under different names. I love the service I get from my dealer, so after I actually drive one I may have a different impression.

    In my garage:
    2003 9-3 convertible
    2004 9-5 Aero
  • stag1203stag1203 Member Posts: 9
    I posted here awhile back about the SAAB 9-7x and my desire to get one. Well after doing some research and finally seeing some on the dealer lots I went in, checkbook in hand and ready to take advantage of the Employee discount program.

    Went to the local dealer - the only one that is convenient (i.e. within about 25 miles) They had a black Linear, a silver linear and a silver arc. OK, the little lady likes the black one and we go in to talk, where it went downhill from there...

    The sales people were so ill informed, not only of the product, but of financing options (I lease, but in NY it is called SmartBuy, basically the same thing) The first salesman knew nothing about it, he handed me off to another guy to help me when I started drilling him with questions that he couldn't answer. The 2nd guy was better, but basically couldn't be bothered. They gave me a no money down monthly payment of $573!! Now I know, there are various issues with new models not getting the same discounts as existing ones, etc...but sheesh, that was a bit out of control. I had previously stopped at a Caddy dealer and he gave me the same deal on an V6 AWD SRX but for $410 month.

    He let me check out the vehicle which I did and my impressions are that the interior is better designed then its siblings, seats are nice, instrument panel design is nice but the material seemed kind of cheap looking. I like the key between the seats in SAAB tradition.

    Bottom line, I need to find a different SAAB dealer, 9-7x is still not in my driveway.
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  • saaboysaaboy Member Posts: 23
    I just watched the video provided in the Edmunds article on the 9-7X. Lol, I noticed 2 mistakes during it, hehe, 1: the narrator refers to the linears engine as a V6 instead of an inline or straight 6. 2: When comparing both engines HP and torque numbers, he says the Arc has 300 HP, then goes on to say that in torque, the V8 has "330 hp". I just thought I'd share that with you guys. Otherwise I liked the article. Did anyone else notice anything?
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
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  • corrine58corrine58 Member Posts: 1
    I bought the first 9-7x sold in Orange County. To tell you the truth, I hate when I pull into my driveway, because that means I have to get out of it. It is the most comfortable and quiet vehicle I've ever owned. The sound system is wonderful... XM radio standard. It has every feature I could ever want.

    It's black with 20-inch chrome wheels. The Arc model. I also got the GM family discount, which saved me thousands off a sticker that I didn't think could be discounted.

    I only work about 7 miles from home, so haven't been able to get a 'real feel' for how it performs on a long trip, but it does everything I want it to.

    I will write more next week, after i take out this weekend.
  • rcegglrceggl Member Posts: 31
    GM is trying to introduce another SUV by using the Saab name. Once GM goes into the full swing of controlling production of Saab vehicles, we will see the end of another solid vehicle at GM's hands. This company is totally out of control and it is so very, very sad. Leadership is totally absent.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    I think most of us agree.
  • saaboysaaboy Member Posts: 23
    I think most of us, as well as other SAAB enthusiats have notived that :cry: But, come one. Have hope. I might be the most anti-GM-SAAB guy ever, but even after noticing what is going on, I manage not to break down crying (except for earlier in this post). We all know it's happening, now it's just a matter of picking the year of the least GM and most SAAB model. I'm thinking even the newer 9-5s are in pretty good shape compared to the 9-3 or the rebadged cars? What do you guys think?
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    I think are the best Saabs currently available for two reasons:
    1) they're not rebadge jobs (they share platforms, sure, but they look very different from their counterparts)


    2) They're built in SWEDEN!

    How can a Saab built in Japan or Moraine, Ohio, be a genuine Saab?
  • saaboysaaboy Member Posts: 23
    Well yes, I think most people agree that the 9-7[X] and 9-2[X] are not SAABs. But when it comes down to the 9-3 and 9-5, I think 9-3 is losing :(, even though I like the fact that the new V6 has 250 HP, 9-5 gets the same numbers with a smaller engine and even better. SAAB supposedly has designed an ethanol powered version of the 9-5 Wagon wit 300 horsepower! And I bet they could get more HP, but I highly doubt it will go into production. Anyway, look at the 9-3. All the new features that a 9-5 should have, but doesn't. Reaxs, aluminum block and heads instead of cast iron on the 9-5 (not that aluminum is neceserily better) and other things such as bluetooth even? GM is OBVIOUSLY pushing the 9-3. Which means they want to make it more appealing more price-wise. Which means more shared parts. Which also means less money spent on making the car a good-quality-reliable-real SAAB.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    I like the 9-5 actually, and I think it can go on for another year or two. Problem is, there won't be a new Saab 9-5 until 2009.
  • saaboysaaboy Member Posts: 23
    Wait, wait. First of all, I thought that date was much earlier. Second of all, that is the date the good 9-5 croaks. A redesigning (a.k.a .chance to rebadge) is not good...
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    reading somewhere (I think it was Motor Trend) that the next generation Saab 9-5 would be based off of a lengthened next generation Epsilon platform that will be shared with the next generation 9-3.

    The current 9-5, although very, very, good, is beginning to show its age.
  • saaboysaaboy Member Posts: 23
    Yea, I see little SAAB/GM articles every once in ahwhile in motor trend. Just got new motor trend issue today as a matter of fact. 9-5 is already sharing it's platform wit 9-3 ain't it? As well as malibu and malibu maxx? Ew, I flinch everytime i see one of those on the road. 9-5 is aging, yes. I have a question though. Considering im a little boy, hence my name, I don't know how much of the car is actually made up by the "platform" or fuselage hehe, i mean chassis. If 9-5 is one of safest cars on the road, which i believe it is, then why doesn't GM brag about their malibus being so safe? How much safety or strengthening is added? I dunno anything...
  • pitsterpitster Member Posts: 3
    This afternoon my wife and I stopped by the SAAB dealer to see if they had received a 9-7x. We were surprised to learn that they had recently received two; an Arc and a Linear. The Dealer Principle had taken the V8 Linear for the long weekend, so we drove the Arc with the inline 6. We are original owners of a 1996 Impala SS and a 1999 Tahoe 2wd Police model. I also have experience driving my father's 2001 Deville. So these are the benchmarks that our impressions of the 9-7x are based upon.

    The exterior of the 9-7x looked attractive and bore no immediate resemblance to the TrailBlazer, Envoy or Rainier. It looked unique in a positive way and better in person than in photographs. The lack of garish bodyside moldings was a definite aesthetic plus, but may be a parking lot liability discovered only after the damage has been done. This clean bodyside approach is also being applied by Cadillac on many of its A+S models. Only time will tell if this fad is folly. With the engine running, and the AC set to auto, I walked around the exterior and listened to the vehicle. The sound was not completely pleasant. It sounded like an air compressor running. So much so that I wondered if the vehicle had such a compressor to assist the rear suspension. In the time that I was outside of the vehicle the sound did not go away so maybe this is the way that the I6 exhaust sounds at idle.

    The interior was very good. Not quite to VW Touareg standards but certainly in B+ territory. I saw no evidence of the typical mouse fur that GM has exposed its drivers to for the past decade or so. Very nice gauge cluster and comfortable steering wheel. Excellent feel on the HVAC and radio switch surfaces and their actions. The turn signal lever also had a great action to it, but lacked the rubbery tactile of the other switches - and because of that felt a little out of place. The transmission shift lever looked attractive and felt good in the hand - but unsubstantial when used. So much so that I tapped on it with a fingernail to learn that it also sounded like a hollow piece of plastic. The seats and their leather felt very good and looked to be completely practical for many future years of service. The seatbelts worked effortlessly and were comfortable to wear. The carpet was the typical GM crap that they are even using on Cadillacs these days. However, I did not see the individual floor mats as they were stored in the back. In true GM fashion the HVAC worked flawlessly but I did find the fan a little louder than I'm used to for comparable air flow rates - particularly the rear HVAC fan. I sampled FM radio on the Bose stereo. While it sounded good - it did not sound natural to me. The unit has several EQ presets - and I tried each one at least twice - but I couldn't find a natural sound. Too much subwoofer and either too much or not enough tweeter. Perhaps this can be manually adjusted, but I didn't have the time to find out. Suffice to say that if you are a fan of Hip Hop and Urban music this system may appeal to you more than if AOR or Baroque are your bag. I know that Bose can get it right for my ear - I find their system in the Deville to be most appealing. I was disappointed to discover that there was no electrochromatic rearview mirror - it is a manual day/night mirror! This is an oversight that needs to be corrected by Saab. If you do any night driving you will quickly appreciate the benefits of an electrochromatic. Trick Saab cupholder on the dash and pleasant feeling centre armrest with useful storage. No nav system but this is apparently coming in 2006. Unfortunately no rear parking assist. This is a nice to have - especially with light-truck bumpers that fold up like lawn chairs when they suffer the slightest impact. Why can't they mount these on enersorbers like those for automobiles?

    The engine and transmission were well matched. If there is anything that GM can bring to the Saab table it's their automatic transmissions. Just consider BMW, Rolls Royce, Lincoln and others that have or currently use them. The transmission was flawless. The engine was the smoothest that I have ever experienced. I have read that an inline six is the most inherently smooth firing engine design, but even with the AC on - and at idle - there was absolutely no vibration. While driving I never found that the engine lacked for power - even when ascending a poorly designed highway on-ramp - but due to traffic I never drove it above 50 mph. I should remind you that this was with the AC on, which I find can place a noticeable drag on either of my 5.7 litre engines. The I6 engine was eager to rev similar to the way that my father's Northstar wants to rev like a sewing machine. This may be a trait of dual over head cam engines.

    The ride and handling are harder to describe. I have only driven one vehicle that had a harsher ride than my 99 Tahoe Police - that was a 2005 Acura RL. The RL rode so poorly on rough pavement that I stopped the test drive to double check the tire pressures! The ride quality of the 9-7x was generally rougher yet more compliant on sharp impacts than my 96 Impala SS with less rebound and less head-shake than my 99 Tahoe Police. So overall I would describe the ride quality as comparable to both - but more refined. Do you need a kidney belt when riding in a 9-7x? No. Will you fall asleep driving it? No. Do you want to ride in this on the way home from the Chiropractor? Probably not my first choice - but better than most. On corners I found the 9-7x a little tippy or top heavy when compared to my clean-roof 99 Tahoe Police. This may be due to a higher centre of gravity further raised by the weight of the 9-7x's optional sunroof and standard roof rack. As well, this vehicle had just over 1/4 tank of gas. A full tank of gas and no sunroof may noticeably lower the vehicle's centre of gravity. Although this 9-7x had less than 25 miles on its odometer - I found the brakes to be solid, confidence-inspiring and easily modulated when executing a smooth complete stop. The interior was very quiet and well isolated from road noise - but not as quiet as my father's 2001 Deville.

    The 9-7x appealed to my wife. She did not find that the I6 lacked power, and the 9-7x raised no driver or passenger-related concerns with her.

    Would I buy this 9-7x? Yes, with the following cavaets: 1) electrochromatic rearview mirror; 2) nav system; 3) some more exterior colour choices (white, yellow, green, red); and, 4) I was offered a fair price.

    I have looked seriously at five vehicles this year: Acura RL, Cadillac SRX, Cadillac STS, Saab 9-7x, Volkswagon Touareg. If I was asked to pick one of these, to be used 365/12, my choice would be the 9-7x.
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