More Saab 9-4x from Boston

Ryan F and serial drive-day organiser, Luke D Lewis, attended the New England Auto Show on the weekend and snapped a few more photos while they were there.

For those who like this sort of thing, there a shot underneath the 9-4x….

Like many who see it in person, Luke gives the Saab 9-4x the thumbs up…..

And finally, a little Java….

Thanks to Ryan and Luke for the pics…..

26 thoughts on “More Saab 9-4x from Boston”

  1. Slow news day today? And not many comments.

    OK, some good news from me then! Today I found a scrapyard that has the ABS sensor that I think is broken on my 9000. Hopefully I will get them to ship it to me soon. I need to get my 9000 approved in March, so fully functioning ABS might be a good idea.

    Yesterday we tried to change the wheels, but were unable to loosen one of the bolts… My dad thinks he managed to bend the lug wrench. We will probably track down a garage next Friday.

    On a related note, I am also tempted to invest in a new front fender. I wonder if a fender from a ’92 CC ( will fit a ’97 CSE?

  2. I saw the Java on a 9-3X a few weeks ago in the Saab showroom. It looks very good. I thought it was blackmetallic at first from a distance, when i reallised it hade an “oily glow” as I looked closer. And the tag said Java metallic πŸ™‚

  3. Aww they get to get in the 9-4x? It was blocked off for the general public during the L.A. show. Does this mean this model is actually a real production model?

  4. I was actually wondering about the colour availability. As far as I know All 9-3s and 9-5s are made in the same factory, or even the same production line. So why would you not be able to choose any colour on any car? Call it Saab Individual and charge people for it if you want πŸ˜‰

    Would love to see how Oak looks on a 9-3x

    • I think there is a problem with getting some plastic details to have the exact same color as the metallic, as materials handles colors in different ways. Some parts Saab paint by themselves while other parts come painted to the factory from sub-suppliers. I think it can have something to do with that, but I’m not 100 % sure.

  5. I just came from the auto show in Boston. The Saab display was very busy and looked very nice. I asked one of the reps and they said it has been very busy since opening with a lot of positive feedback about the 9-5 and 9-4x. I was surprised they showed a 9-5 without NAV, which i thought was mistake. The 9-4x was locked so I couldn’t get a good look at the interior.
    I was really surprised to see BMW absent.
    My son and I enjoyed the afternoon, always fun to take in a car show.

  6. I don’t believe an extra row of seating will serve the 9-4X well. I must say that the inside is exactly like that of the 9-5. I did like it a lot. This is what I would imagine the 9-5 combi to be – so that opens the question – What will the 9-5 sport combi look like? (inside and out)

    The 9-4X is PERFECT for New England weather. Granted it is bascially a Caddy, it felt a lot different – and looks a lot better. I am more for the “Swede” design than the time travel back to the Dallas Soap Opera look of the Caddy.

    I am waiting for it to hit the sales floor so that I can take it out on a test drive.

    Serial Day-Driving Organizer?? you know it (LOL)

  7. I was at the New England Motor Show today and I would echo JTMAv, the Saab stand was busy and I was surprised there was no Nav in the 9-5; that expanse of black plastic and the green display for the radio is a little shocking and was called out by each person who sat in the front seat while I was around. I am sure Saab has a plan to upgrade that. However, that aside, the stand was quite smart as far as design and lighting, I saw a cool ‘GM Free’ T-shirt being worn, there were some very excited Saab fans there and the 9-4x looked fabulous. The interior (seen only through the windows) looked very smart. Not sure about the wheels but I am sure there will be number of different types available and there will be something to suit everyone. The white 9-3 Aero XWD looked outstanding bathed in the white light of the display.

  8. The 9-4X was a base model. The Aero is supposed to be a bit more sexy (better rims and everything). I did like the White as well. To me, it resembled the show room floors in Sweden – though lacking the Hirsch Tuning and Body Kits

    Something to be added (that I originally forgot) – I stayed until closing on Saturday. When they announced that the Show had closed, all exhibitors shut off their lights, with the exception of SAAB. The white platform with the white 9-3’s and the “green leaf blowing thing” looks AWESOME (yes i said awesome). I hope others noticed that as well.

  9. That was a base model 9-4x? Then I am even more impressed. It had the privacy glass in the back but looking in the front, the seats and fascia looked impressive. Looking forward to a test drive in the Spring. The base V6 seems to be a little torque challenged but with the 2.8 V6 with XWD, this could do quite well. This type of car sells well in New England and people pay a lot of money for them. Plenty of $40-50k Acuras and Infinitis there today. I even saw a GMC Acadia Denali there for $45k…..

  10. The gentlemen stated it was the base, which made sense given the lack of foglights and the “not so sexy” rims. The Aero should have fogs and a nice looking body skirt, larger alloys as well. I would have liked to have seen one with the NAV and Heads-Up display. From what I understood, the output in the 2.8L was 300 horsepower. Don’t quote me on that though. I heard 300; however, I was having 3 conversations at the same time. As for Acura and Lexus – I was not impressed with their smaller SUV’s (especially the ZDX). I hit my head getting in and out of the rear and you could actually poke your eye out with that very sharp corner on the rear door. Also – if I’m paying the $50K sticker price for that or the Lexus Hybrid – I want power-folding mirrors. Silly request, but if I can get it in at $40K and change SAAB, I’d want it in a car that’s an additional $10K more.

    • I saw the ZDX for the first time in LA and I’m astounded that Honda expect people to get in and out of that rear door. It’s a health hazard.

      The 2.8 does indeed have 300hp. The 3.0 non-turbo has 265hp.

  11. Just came back from the Boston (New England) Auto Show and spent a lot of time there in almost everything new and revised and a LOT of time at the Saab booth, so I’ll do two posts… One about Saab, one about my impressions of the rest of the competition. The show was much better attended than last year’s, and showgoers were obviously in a shopping mode compared to 2009, when people were just aimlessly floating through the hall. Perhaps a sign of an improving economy? The theme for me this year? PARITY… But more on that later…

    * The booth was beautiful, probably the nicest and largest of the show. Kudos to Saab for having an actual Swedish model there talking about the uniquely Swedish aspects of the 9-4X with her beautiful Swedish accent. Nice touch…

    * LOTS of traffic in the Saab booth, one of the highest volumes at the show. I listened in on a MANY conversations, and here are the highs and lows of what I heard:
    – Lots of people talking excitedly about Saab’s new independence and looking forward to it. You heard lots of “I’m glad GM’s influence is gone…” type of talk of from showgoers…
    – 9-5: I sat in the back of the 9-5 for a while and listened to a lot of comments. With rare exceptions, lots of utterings like “beautiful car,” “one of my favorites,” and “gorgeous” in regards to the new 9-5 Aero exterior. Interior utterings, however, were mixed. Everyone thought the seats were comfortable, and there were lots of “very nice” and “sweet” heard. Several people I overheard noted positively that this particular 9-5 had a sunroof, unlike others they had seen or test driven. Several people didn’t like the green info screen on the dash (which indeed is terrible) and were wondering about Nav (why no Nav on the model there when even economy cars have them!?!?) and others didn’t like the blank black panel on the dash (which I myself took to informing people could be corrected πŸ™‚ ). I know we’ve discussed these issues to death on SU, but people with no prior knowledge ARE sitting in the car and noticing these things in the real world.
    – 9-4X: Comments were generally favorable, but interestingly, it wasn’t getting a fraction of the attention from attendees as the 9-5 and even the 9-3 convertible and 9-3X were getting. Interesting…

    * I was really expecting to love the 9-4X, so perhaps my expectations were too high, but I was slightly disappointed. Overall, sitting as it was next to the beautiful 9-5 and the rakish 9-3’s, the 9-4X appears a bit under-designed to my eyes. Often, automakers use a CUV’s enlarged canvass to, if anything, exaggerate their brand traits. The 9-4X, if anything, plays down some of Saab’s. The hockey stick, the grille, the spanning rear lamps, the sloping roofline… Sure, they’re all there, but all more subtle than on its lineup mates parked feet away. I would have thought the opposite would have been possible, especially with the Kia Sportage (which is all about exaggeration) sitting within viewing distance of the 9-4X which, by comparison, looks somewhat stoic. Some things didn’t help. Color, for instance. Now, I love Saabs in black (I have a Turbo-X after all), but here, black does the 9-4X no favors, as some of the Saab design cues were lost in blankness under the hall lights. Like Swade, I believe the rims/wheels make a car, period. The ones on this version are somewhat, ah, weak, and also do it no favors. The much discussed rear lamps didn’t bother me at all and evoke the 9-5 more than in photos. The interior looks great (although, again, a bit less rakish than the 9-5’s) but I really like the swoop of the console trim over the instrument cluster, something I don’t think the 9-5 has. Well done.

    * 9-3: Still very competitive in its class with everything at the show. I was happy to read Swade said the next version is a bit bigger, as rear room does trail some others, like the Audi A4, but the models they had there looked fantastic inside and out. No base 9-3’s (like last year).

    My overall impression, in comparison with other makes, is that Saab is completely competitive with everything else out there and certainly stands out in exterior and interior styling. The 9-5 looks fantastic, the 9-3 still has the best front clip in its class and the most attractive wagon, and the 9-4X looks its part (but I want to see it with 20 inch turbine wheels in white). Saab, though, may be only second to VW as having the most black, Teutonic interiors. We don’t need SRX bling, but some detailing and color would be nice. Also, while the 9-5 interior feels quite sweet, it has lost some Saab distintiveness in my eyes compared to the 9-3.

    Saab is definitely competing hard in this ballgame, but I’m also quite happy Jason Castriota is saying all the right things about moving Saab design forward, because I think the current models have taken the current styling motifs as far as they can go inside and out (true of several other makers at th show also, not just Saab).

    That’s all for Saab! Hope you enjoyed my analysis.

    • Perhaps I am in the minority regarding automotive consumers, but I do not understand this affinity for SAT/NAV. Do people not know where they are going anymore? I’m hoping SAT/NAV remains an option, one that is not bundled in with other features that I find desirable, but I’m not holding my breath.

      • My 2003 8-3SS has what I refer to as the improved infotainment center that is in my OG 9-3; there is no NAV in that car. The SID and On Star Functionality are separate. My preference with the NAV in today’s SAAB is due to my gripe with GM and that hideous radio/infotainment since either ’06 or ’07. I also have a 2007 9-3 Aero with everything but NAV – my blood boils with the fact that my Aero has the same radio as a Chevy Aveo. With the NAV feature, that GM “cheapness” is not present and the infotainment cluster suits the car. A premium vehicle, such as SAAB, should not have entry level instruments. Plus, the interior of the new 9-5 looks a lot better (in my opinion) with the NAV option.

  12. I love the way the color options are presented in semi-abstract versions of the early SAAB models. They look to be no larger than a standard brick. I wonder if SAAB would see fit to produce them for sale to the general public. They would make great paper weights/conversation pieces for someone’s desk or library.

  13. @liari – what is the alternative to the green display and sea of black plastic on the 9-5? Is there a Hirsch alternative?

    • There is a large screen SAT/NAV option, what SAAB should have done is to make that standard and skip the green screen.

  14. Otherwise, I think there are no dominant makers in design or execution right now. Some are perhaps trailing in an area here or there, but for the most part, I think buying a car now comes down to preference of style or image, not clearly objectively superior product. My thoughts now on other makers at the show for off topic conversation:

    Chevy: The Cruze looks quite nice outside, but sadly the materials in the nicely designed interior look cheap… Too bad. With better materials, the Cruze would have been a triple, but it’s merely a double now… The Camaro still looks fabulous.

    Cadillac: The CTS AWD wagon is actually nicely executed and I give them credit for building it. The CVS-V series rims might be the best of the show…

    GMC: I’m not feeling their post-industrial styling motif. I can feel where they wanted to go with it, but it’s not hitting its target… Keep working guys…

    Buick: When you think of what it used to be, what it is now is amazing. The Regal surprised me. The Opel Insignia must be one nice car. I really don’t like the font GM is using on many of its IP’s, however… Feels old.

    Honda: Poor Honda. There’s sparks of brilliance here and there (like the Insight and CRZ dashboard designs) and real stupidity (like the Accord rear lamps, dash, and most everything else). The Accord dash is really just horrid, one of the most messy out there. The CRZ was getting a surprising amount of attention. The rest of the Honda display was virtually vacant. I didn’t see one person look at a Crosstour…

    Toyota: Soooo boring. I bet someone at Toyota thinks the new Highlander is really sexy, because that’s the most interesting design they have, and it’s hardly setting hearts aflutter. Shame on Toyota/Lexus for inspiring everyone else to do flush dashboard buttons. I hate that style.

    VW: Wow, the new Jetta is just a mess. The most vicious comments I heard at the show were aimed at the new Jetta from prior owners. The dashboard may be the most dark, blank, boring lump of coal out there. Veeerrrry cheap. The front clip looks sad, somehow, like I expect it to cry. Perhaps it should… Also, why does anyone buy a Tiguan? If VW can sell Tiguans, Saab should be able to sell 300,000 9-4X’s a year. Overpriced, under-designed, dull, and feels sooo cheap. The only decent thing VW is contributing to autodom in my mind? The GTI, which manages somehow to feel special and rise above the pablum. I’ll take a few of those GTI steering wheels please…

    Chrysler: Well, blow me down. I thought they were dead and buried at last year’s show, but they’re back. The new Charger is the real deal, the most impressive model at the show. If the American muscle car motif works for you, then the Charger is heaven sent. Photos don’t do it justice. The car looks like it’s doing 100 mph sitting still, has a kick-a** rear clip and strong front, and the interior (which looks super bland in photos) actually works and feels really well in real life, quite cockpit-like, dominated by the biggest nav screen out there. It felt at least as high quality as the neighboring VW’s and visually was oodles more interesting. Who would have ever thought? I preferred the Durango’s more simple, aggressive styling narrative to the neighboring Explorer’s sculpted fussiness and its interior looks fabulous. While Jeep’s exterior styling needs a reboot in my eyes, the interior is brilliant. Chrysler is indeed back.

    Ford: Wow… That’s all I can say. The Focus, Fiesta, and Explorer all look great. That said, Ford’s new styling motif, while strong, is very, very fussy, almost bordering on messy, and I don’t know if it will age well, but you won’t mistake them for anything else on the road.

    Lincoln: Just “nice,” no more, no less. It, like Saab, needs a design rethink to take them to the next level…

    Subaru: I just don’t get their popularity. Their interiors are a solid generation behind everyone else, their packaging is poor, and they’re overpriced (in my eyes). Nothing to see here…

    Mazda: They too are about to change their styling motif, and not a second too late. The current themes have run their course. I think all their new models took a back step in interior quality and design (especially compared to the still awesome RX-8 at the show). Those Mazda 2 IP’s look super-cheap too…

    Kia: I didn’t like the Optima as much as I thought I would. It’s just too swoopy for it’s Audi-like features to have their maximal impact, and it somehow feels like the car has huge overhangs (even though it doesn’t). Odd… The dash is nice though… Almost feels Saab-like. The Sportage is the most attractive CUV thingy out there.

    Acura: Even more boring than Honda, despite the ridiculous RDX. Even benefiting from a huge display in the center of the hall, almost no one was there. That says it all…

    Lexus: Feeling very stale, even though I happen to really like the IS line cockpit.

    Audi: I must say the new A8, despite looking like a big A4, DOES have a serious “presence” in the metal. It feels important, and the interior is gorgeous (but that price… Yikes!). I still don’t get all of the hyperventilating over the A4/5 interiors, and all of their buttons are hard and make a silly “click” with each press. Um, some soft touch please? That said, the exterior designs do feel nicely crafted (especially the A5), if a tad bland.

    Infiniti: By this point, I couldn’t muster enough enthusiasm to care about Infiniti except for the M, which has a nice enough interior in a customer-cliniced kind of way, but I think the exterior is already yesterday’s news…

    MB: One S-Class I sat in had the nicest interior of the show, but then I looked at the price. $123,000!?!? Sorry… No interior is worth that. Otherwise, I think MB design inside and out is a absolute mess. A high quality mess, but still a mess. Also, with hugely high beltlines, it feels like you’re sitting in a bathtub in every model…

    Volvo: The new S60 announces that Volvo is another maker at the end of a current styling motif, as I think they’ve pushed it as far as they can go. Somehow, the S60 looks small and, dare I say it, kind of economy-car like, with its short rear deck and its looooong front overhang which announces, “I’m FWD!” It’s like the anti-Audi design language, which tries to fake a RWD look. The dash looks right out of IKEA in a way that I admire, while not particularly desiring, if that makes sense.

    Hyundai: See Kia…

    BMW: A now show this year!

    And that was the show! I hope you enjoyed my roundup.

  15. They try it again. GM has established a new sales organisation for cadillac in europe.
    I checked them for prices for the srx in austria as they would be an indicator for the 94x prices

    the basic model starts with 65k euro the luxury edition with 67.6k euros. selling cadillacs with this prices in europe … forget it. hope they find a way to make the 94x more affordable (without the diesel) but i still think that the 94x sells better in europe than the caddi

    • Andee,
      this was my only hope that Saab and GM could cooperate to get a Diesel engine for the 9-4X and the SRX in order to sell some more in Europe. But I think even this last hope is gone. πŸ™

      • CanΒ΄t understand this, because the 94x would really be a nice alternative SUV.
        I am tired of the usual VW tiguan, Bmw X series , Audi Q Suvs. With a diesel it would be really an alternative for other. Ok they hang in there with GM. But if GM wants to sell Srx also in Europe – without a diesel and the ….ly Caddilac Design no chance

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