Paul Eisenstein Reviews the 9-4X (Updated with Pricing Info)

Another day, another review of the new 9-4X. This is a realistic, solid review from highly respected auto journalist Paul Eisenstein of the Detroit Bureau. It’s worth a read.

He’s of course a realist, and right off the bat explains what will inevitably be Tim Colbeck’s highest priority as COO of SCNA.

Even if Saab can put Humpty Dumpty back together – and there’s no question the maker’s Chairman Victor Muller is a remarkably resourceful entrepreneur – it’s possible the recent uncertainty will convince at least some potential buyers to steer clear of Saab showrooms.  It’s hard to argue against such concerns.  Even the most inexpensive automobile is a major purchase, and at $50,000 or so, once you pay for freight, taxes and the typical adds-ons, the 2012 Saab 9-4X isn’t cheap.

That said, I’d love to hear these reviews include information about base model pricing, which is more high $30s than $50K for the Aero. Uninformed buyers who stumble onto these articles need to have a complete picture. Having watched the presentation given to the journalists in D.C., I don’t think they were ever really presented a complete and clear pricing presentation that focused on the value of this car which is in my opinion a missed opportunity. Lord knows we explained it well enough in this post.

I think his concluding paragraph sums it up best.

Based on the merits, the 2012 Saab 9-4X should be drawing (customers) into the showroom as it begins rolling out of the plant (a GM factory in Mexico that has not been impacted by Saab’s financial problems).  It’d be too bad if the headlines scare potential buyers off.  If it makes it through the current crisis – and we’re cautiously betting on Chairman Muller to pull this one off – Saab should be in a solid position to move forward.  The new 9-4X gives us reason to believe there’s life left in the old brand.

________________

I’m including a link to the PDF of specifications page for the 9-4X for anyone who needs a reminder what options are standard and what are part of packages.

If you want to option out and see the features of each package and how they impact the purchase price, go to truecar.com and find out yourself. When I originally wrote about it, there was no local pricing information reflecting accurate dealer discounts. As of this writing, there now are.

The base model goes for in while the Aero sells for $33,245 ($965 or 3% off) or $47,088 ($1,747 or 4% off). That doesn’t include the extra $1,000 your Saab loyalty bonus. These prices are for New York City.

A reminder: The Base model starts at $34,205. For an extra $1,385 you get LED lipped Xenon headlamps, auto dimming/folding mirrors, power lift gate and pedals, and rear view camera and heated seats. That brings the sticker to $35,590.

The Panoramic roof is a $1,400 option and with that it adds up to at a total price of $37,040, it makes the 9-4x a bargain (and in the configuration that nearly all customers will end up in).

XWD is basically a $2,500 option on the 3.0L models, if you add it the total is now $39,535. I expect dealers to sell quite a few of these.

mike saunders
Member
5 years 4 months ago

It’s definitely an overwhelmingly positive review…

But his pricing still stands. The cost out the door of a base model — shipping, taxes, tags, dealer prep — will be closer to $50K than $30K, unless there’s some serious price discounting and incentives — which typically don’t start until late summer or fall.

sandborg
Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Unless there are some serious discounts/ lease specials this entery price will be a problem for the average consumer.

saabdealer
Member
5 years 4 months ago

The NA base is $33,400 plus destination (825). $50k is a bit of a stretch with tax. $38 grand on the high side with tax. Throw in Saab loyalty, and now your out-the-door under 37 grand. And that is selling at full sticker. Few cars sell at sticker.
The 9-4X is actually priced very well for the NA market. I can’t speak to the rest of the world.
We just need to get through this cash crisis so we can start to rebuild our brand image, which will be a monumental task. Not impossible, just monumental. 🙂

Red J
Member
5 years 4 months ago

The prices in Europe are all quite interesting, normally lower than the 9-5 Sedan and allways better price than the smaller Q5 or X3.

sandborg
Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Now that’s more like it

JasonPowell
Member
5 years 4 months ago
saabdealer, Nice to hear about the base model pricing in the US because that should mean that when we get Canadian pricing that we will start somewhere around $40,000 with freight. That price may seem high to people not in Canada, but we sold Saturn Vue’s for that kind of money and sold lots of them and I think it’s fair to say that the 9-4X is a lot more vehicle then the Vue ever was. I think this will be a winner for North America. I really hope GM is open to building more for Saab and that 12000… Read more »
Red J
Member
5 years 4 months ago

HI Jason,
if the price of the 9-4x is similar to the price of the Vue, then Canadians should buy thousands of 9-4x’s.
The 9-4x is much more car than the Vue.

JasonPowell
Member
5 years 4 months ago
Hey Red, I totally agree, the 9-4X is way more car then the Vue. My comparison was more of one that if it’s priced anywhere near a full load or even redline Vue was, then we will sell lots. We as a dealer were the number 1 dealer in BC for Saturn and a large number of our sold vehicles were Vues and not base model 4cyl’s. I expect prices to be higher then that of the Vue, but if we have a base price anywhere near the loaded price of the Vue, then we will sell lots. I hope… Read more »
Red J
Member
5 years 4 months ago

Jason,
you must know lots of people that could be interested in an 9-4x, I mean those Vues are quite old by now, aren’t they? 😉
And regarding those 12.000, I don’t know were this figure comes from, but I’ve never been able to find it in any GM or Saab published document or an interview.

JasonPowell
Member
5 years 4 months ago

Red J,
Yes we do have lots of people still in them and being serviced here, so when we get the 9-4X we should be able to find owners. I’m sure I saw that 12,000 number somewhere, not sure where I saw it though.

mike saunders
Member
5 years 4 months ago

Eisenstein wasn’t quoting a base model. See above.

JasonPowell
Member
5 years 4 months ago

Mike,
Neither was I if you read, thanks. The loaded up V6 Vue with leather and sunroof was about $35000 and the Redline FWD was about $40,000.

not base model 4cyl’s

was what I said if you want to see above. What I was saying was that the cheap base model Vues were not the bulk of what we sold, so on that note I’m excited about the 9-4X as any of us should be. When you added AWD to a Vue, the prices were north of $40,000 loaded. Thanks for your comments, very helpful.

JasonPowell
Member
5 years 4 months ago

Mike, my point more then anything is that if a base model 9-4X starts where the Vue ended, then that should be a good thing. It’s a hell of a lot more vehicle then the Vue was and the Vue was a great vehicle, can we agree?

mike saunders
Member
5 years 4 months ago

The base model comment was directed at “saabdealer.”

Your points are valid, but no one shopping a 9-4Z is really going to remember or care about the Vue. 😉 They’ll likely have the SRX in their comparison list, along with some of the others. The 9-4X should be extremely competitive when compared side-to-side.

But my only point here was that the reviewer’s pricing was accurate…..

JasonPowell
Member
5 years 4 months ago
I guess we can agree to disagree a little. I of coarse have people that will care about the Vue because they drive one now and I can offer them something to replace it with now (I get what you’re saying about the price shopper, but that’s marketing more than anything). If I look at the number of Vues I sold as a Saturn dealer from 2006-2009, it would average about 108 a year which in turn would be about 9 a month and the dealers in the east sold more than us, so there is a big list of… Read more »
mike saunders
Member
5 years 4 months ago

Jeff, it wasn’t misleading at all. 😉

It was a pretty accurate ballpark of what a model with the typical desired options — nav, XWD — would cost. To say that such a car is approaching $50K isn’t a gross exaggeration. It’s fact.

JasonPowell
Member
5 years 4 months ago

Jeff,
My last comment was in response to Mike, somehow you jumped in front of me.

mike saunders
Member
5 years 4 months ago

Ahhh…..But the price quoted above, from your own post, isn’t fully optioned out, nor the top-of-the-line model.

It’s not the lowest-trim base model, no….but it’s a configuration that will likely be common: XWD and nav.

JasonPowell
Member
5 years 4 months ago

It also comes across as if he is quoting a base model when you read this:

Even the most inexpensive automobile is a major purchase, and at $50,000 or so, once you pay for freight, taxes and the typical adds-ons, the 2012 Saab 9-4X isn’t cheap.

I know he tested the Aero, but that line there makes it look like the cheapest one is $50,000 or so.

Steve C.
Member
5 years 4 months ago
Paul provided a very nice and encouraging review, consistent with what others are saying. But, I found some inaccuracies in a couple of specific things he said that I’ll point out here. This isn’t opinion-related. Perhaps Jeff can collect this sort of feedback and get it back to Paul. I didn’t want to create another login to yet another site to comment directly to the posted story. First, he wished the 9-4X had adjustable pedals. It does! For example, the one at the NY Auto show had the feature. The knob for making the adjustment is on the right of… Read more »
GML
Member
5 years 4 months ago

At first, I thought that knob was for adjustable peddles, but then I sat in a Cadillac SRX and it was for the power-adjustable steering wheel.

Can anyone confirm adjustable peddles? At 6’7″, it’s a selling point for me.

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