The first of many 9-4X reviews due out this week (as they’re testing them in rural Virginia outside D.C. as we speak) comes from SvD (English translation). While only a preview, it gives us a good look at the process. I was invited, but unless I can get out of a very important meeting tomorrow morning, there’s likely no chance I’ll make it down (but I’ll have my own 9-4X video review up soon after if I have to drive to Detroit to do it!). Sometimes I wish I my day job were an auto journalist :-P.
Apparently Victor did make it after all, even though Michele Tinson, SCNA’s PR head, told me on the phone last week he probably wouldn’t be able to. All that means is that the man is a machine, and works harder than anyone I’ve ever met.
“He sits in the back seat of a white 9-4X front of me and waving to the gleam of gold buttons on his blue blazer,” says Karin Henriksson (SvD’s US correspondent) and laughs.
More of Karin’s observations after the break.
On the 9-4X’s competitors:
“Now I have only driven a few miles, but BMW’s X3 rival feels and faster while the Mercedes GLK feels sluggish. Driving edge of the Saab 9-4X will lie somewhere in between. Solid, but not boring,” the tester went on.
What about the quality?
“It is comparable to BMW and Mercedes.”
I can confirm this having sat in it on a few occasions. It actually feels more premium than the Audi Q5 to me.
How the other journalists are responding to the 9-4X:
“Most are positive. They think it’s a good car with Saab-esteem, who will deliver high-quality feel. Some think it shares a lot with GM though, for example the navigation system.
On American perception of Saab:
It has not been written so much about the company Saab in American media and in a way it’s lucky for Saab. My colleagues from the U.S. are almost exclusively talking about the car – not Saab’s crisis.
How she thinks it will sell:
It remains to be seen. Saab’s problem is that they do not have such a great brand identity in the U.S. anymore. First, it has been smoothed out by GM and also, many believe that Saab is dead and buried after GM got rid of the mark. But there is a particular need for smaller SUV and there should be a market. But competition in this segment is tough.
We’ll bring you her full review when its published later this week, and a number of other reviews as they pour in.
Thanks to Thomas J. for sending the link in!