Driving the 9-4x Aero

As the German dealer tour came to Munich I was very happy to attend the event, not only because I wanted to see the cars and meet the team of Saab Germany. The main reason for me was that I had an offer to drive the 9-4x on the trip to Augsburg, which was the second date for that day. This was something that I had really been looking forward to, even more since Swade drove us around in a 9-4x at the SU Octoberfest.

Though it was a short drive I got to experience both city and autobahn driving. We started in the centre of munich. As with the 9-5, you don’t really feel the size of the car once you’re inside and I didn’t feel unsecure as I drove the car through the heavy traffic. It may be due to the higher seating position that I found it easy to judge the dimensions of the car from the first second – maybe even easier than with the 9-5.

The V6 turbo engine suits the car pretty well. While I have a soft spot for the Saab 4-cylinder engines I am perfectly happy with the V6 in that kind of car. No matter if you’re after smooth cruising or sporty driving this engine covers all needs nicely.

A part of particular interest on that test drive was the stint on the autobahn. I had to stay in the convoy but still we did up to about 200 kph. I would have loved to take it even further as with DriveSense set to sport mode the 9-4x always felt safe. It’s tight, but still comfortable. I’ve driven Volvo SUVs a few times and they could not offer the same controlled feel, they were more wobbly, especially when doing quick lane changes at higher speeds. No problem for the 9-4x here, it feels as safe as a 9-5.

When it comes to the interior – if you have been in a 9-5 a few times it of course feels familiar. A must have in that car is the giant sunroof making you almost think that you are in a convertible. I also enjoyed the comfortable and at the same time sporty seats. Being almost two metres tall I had no problem to find a proper position given all those adjustment options. I could have been driving in that car for hours and hours and hours…

Kudos to Peter Dörrich and his team. They developed a car which shows that Saab and SUV are not a contradiction. Before I drove it I had not thought that the 9-4x could be that Saaby. You did an amaizing job, Peter!

I’ve never been a SUV guy at all. But the fact that my wife fell in love with that car at first sight made me take a closer look. It got me, too. And with that test drive I am completely hooked. I love my 9-3 daily driver but as a family transporter the 9-4x is definetly our first choice when it finally hits the market in Germany.

As I’ve heared from the Saab Germany guys the 9-4x has caught a lot of attention at the dealer tour. It became quite clear that that this car will sell in Germany – in low numbers for sure, but not as low as some had expected. Even a some Cayenne drivers showed huge interest. And due to the lack of a diesel this may be exactly the target group Saab has to attract. People who look for a sporty SUV.

Some may say that it would need more power to be in that segment. A first step is made as the Hirsch Performance 330hp/430Nm upgrade is now available in the USA and Canada.

A few more pics from the dealer tour…

turbin
Member

Nice report Till! Looking forward to the 9-4X Aero making it to the engine’s birthplace here in Melbourne, Australia.

maanders
Member

Yes, very nice review of the 9-4X. Like you, I have never been an SUV guy, but I do have to say that if ever considered purchasing an SUV, the shopping list only has one entry….the 9-4X. It is the only SUV that looks stylish and sporty to me.

ryanonsrc
Member

I totally concur. The only time I’d consider anything else, would be if I needed more seats (say like in a minivan). But, for the time being: the largest car I’d have a use for would be the 9-5.

As for the engine of choice in a 9-4X, an SUV would generally benefit from more muscle than a sedan/hatchback would, so I believe that the Turbo-6 is probably ideal in this case.

Tripod
Member

Perhaps since it’s a CUV. 😉

maanders
Member

Point taken…it is a CUV. But it is still not quite the original utility vehicle….the Saab hatchback! 🙂

Tripod
Member

True! 🙂

Osama Dajani
Member

Which car is more Stylish: Cadillac SRX or SAAB 9-4X?

Guys, I took the Cad SRX for a test drive, its a 2011 model but with 3.0L V6 engine. I like the luxury, stylish
and performance of the car. I understood from the dealer that 2012 will be produced with even a more
powerful enginer, so the 3.0L V6 was replaced with 3.6L V6.

Next Year, Shall I wait for 9-4 X to show up at SAAB’s showrooms, or shall I go for Cadillac SRX 3.6L V6, 2012?

Please adivse

Coke is it
Guest

What do you expect the answer to be at SU? 😉

maanders
Member

Style is always a personal taste, but I like the clean lines of the 9-4X much better than the SRX. The SRX has too many creases and angles in the body design for my taste. Also, I would think a 3.6L V6 would not get as good gas mileage. Everyone has their own requirements for a vehicle, but I just prefer the combination of feature/function in the 9-4X compared to the SRX.

Swade
Member

Very pleased you finally got a chance to take it for a spin, mate. It’s all I said it was, yes?

Osama Dajani
Member

The answer would surely be: SAAB 9-4 X.

In my point of view, I would buy the SAAB 9-4X,
if I would have the opportunity to live and work at specific regions, such as Europe.

But, as I’m living at MENA region, most probably I would go for
Cadillac instead.

RS
Member

Convoi exceptionnel. Niiice!

GerritN
Member
The 9-4x was one of the top 10 contenders for the 2012 MotorTrend SUV of the year. Of course(!) it didn’t win but there was one remark that caught my eye: “Feels much more like a sedan than most other crossover SUVs.” I think were not surprised by such a statement, Saab still stands for “joy in driving”. The last couple of days I had the ‘pleasure’ to drive a new Ford Taurus rental. There was some discussion a while ago on SU of what are the alternatives for a Saab. I think I mentioned the Taurus then (well, actually… Read more »
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