CAR review the Saab 9-3x

The first paragraph of this Saab 9-3x review from CAR Magazine says it all, really.

Road testing any Saab in the current anvil-off-a-cliff company climate feels uncomfortably akin to reviewing a restaurant which has just served up perfectly roasted slices of the last remaining dodo. And road testing the new 9-3X is all the more frustrating for the fact that it should have been with us a good decade ago.

A well executed car that’s being served up too late by a chef who’s possibly just killed off his stock in trade. Or so it would seem if you were a pessimist and figured Saab were dead. I choose to believe.
So what we’ve got then, is a well executed car that’ll be released later this year.
A few of CAR’s thoughts:

Thoroughbred, or nag, then?
First impressions would favour the former. With only two prototypes at its disposal, Saab forbade so much as one inch of real world driving in favour of a test track snow-ploughed onto the surface of a frozen lake. Though this makes it impossible to report on quite how well the car would tackle Basildon at 9.30 on a Friday night, slithering about on frozen water for a day does admirably demonstrate the 9-3’s wholesale transformation from cow on ice to something more akin to husky; the XWD system shunting power to and fro with admirable alacrity and the LSD adding perceptible levels of extra traction and stability astern…..
….This is definitely one of the better cars we might never get to drive.

It’s a worthwhile read, if only for the first page’s long look at exactly why we’re getting the Saab 9-3x so late.
They exaggerate a bit claiming it’s 10 years ago that Saab could have done this. More like 5-7 years, really, but after the Hot Hatch Poll it’s just nice to see the guys at CAR still writing about Saabs.