Jorrit doesn’t live in Belgium, but that didn’t stop him from heading on over to Brussels anyway, to be one of the first Euro-dwellers to get a peek at the Saab 9-4x.
This is what he saw, and what he thought of it.
My thanks to Jorrit for sending it along…..
Saab has a truly great stand. It supports the Scandinavian feel that Saab is all about. It’s very clean looking and a nice place to be. The curved LED wall stands out and gives the stand a modern and technical advanced image. Also, I got the impression that the Saab employees were proud to be there and enjoyed the show. Of course, it’s very exciting to present a new Saab to (potential) customers after all that Saab has come through during the last months.
Although Belgium is a relatively small country, it’s responsible for a lot of Saab sales. So it was not strange to see many people checking out the Saab stand, especially the 9-4X and 9-5 of course. I got the impression that people were positively surprised by the 9-4X. I heard people saying that they liked what they saw.
This is the first time we got to see the real life 9-4X. At the last AutoRAI (2009), the Dutch motor show, we saw the concept car of the 9-4X. It’s great to see that there are a lot of similarities between the concept car and the production model. Something that struck us were the green/blue tinted head lights. They look quite good, but perhaps due to the lighting at the stand, they seemed to be more colored than the head lights of the 9-5. As this is the US version of the car, I think the orange part of the head lights won’t be there in the European version which makes it look more clean.
The 9-4X features a typical Saab dashboard which is angled to the driver. The interior looks great, no doubt about that, but sand color leather might make it even better. It’s easy to see that the 9-4X and new 9-5 are from the same family, which is great. One thing that is not very Saab like in my opinion is the look of the audio and navigation system. The interface on the screen features obtrusive colors and strong gradients on the buttons. In my opinion that doesn’t blend that well with the clean and uncluttered design which Saab stands for. It has probably to do with costs, but if it’s possible for Saab to change the interface theme, that might be a good idea to do. Give it more of a clean Saab feel, include the Gill Sans font, etc.
The boot looks great and the cargo rail looks useful. Also, this car was fitted with two DVD screens in the back which children will appreciate for sure. This is the Aero version, but there was no Aero badge at the back of the car. By the way, both the front and back seats were good and the leather looked nice as well. Overall it’s an outstanding car.
Car shows are a great way to compare cars. Next to the Saab stand was Land Rover. They showed their new Range Rover, the Evoque. By the looks of that car you would say that it’s a concept vehicle, but it’s really a production car. If you ask me, it looks quite Saaby (funny thing that the Evoque and 9-4X were very near to each other (it was a similar arrangement in Los Angeles, too, and the Evoque was well received by people at the Saab stand – SW).
For example the black A pillars and the sporty stance are shared by both cars. I think I would choose the 9-4X as the Evoque looks a bit too aggressive, but I have to say that the Evoque looks more modern than the 9-4X (in fact it makes the Freelander look older than it actually is, in my opinion). I hope Saab could do something like that with the all-new 9-3: make it look very modern and special so it stands out from the crowd, actually what the classic 900 did in its days.
Greetings from Holland!