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…