2011 Saab 9-4x

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2011 Saab 9-4x Review

A crossover that redefines Saab for the better.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2011 Saab 9-4X is a midsized, crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) that was manufactured by General Motors and sold under the marquee of Swedish automaker, Saab Automobile. It was unveiled at the LA Auto Show in 2010 and went into production in 2011 from the GM assembly line in Mexico. However, production stopped the same year as Saab declared bankruptcy and was dropped by GM. Despite the problems, Saab was able to produce good vehicles like the 9-5 and 9-4X.

In fact, the 9-4X looks very similar to the second generation 9-5 on the outside as well as inside. In many ways, the 2011 Saab 9-4X is an SUV version of the 9-5 executive sedan. The 9-4X is one of the first cars produced by Saab after it was dropped from General Motors, and it is the company’s first five-seat crossover.

The Range

Body Styles: midsize crossover SUV
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6, 2.8-liter turbocharged DOHC 24-valve V-6
Transmissions: six-speed automatic
Models: 9-4X base model, 9-4X Aero

What's New

Saab cars are known for being almost exact replicas of other cars. For example, the Saab 9-7X and 9-2X was very similar to the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Subaru Impreza. However, the new 2011 Saab 9-4X is completely different, and it looks to be able to hold its own in a very crowded crossover SUV segment. The vehicle is a jointly designed by Saab and Cadillac, so it does look similar to a Cadillac SRX. However, it does score more points than the SRX in looks.

The 2011 Saab 9-4X also comes with a significantly better powertrain, which includes the base model’s three-liter V-6 engine that can deliver 265 hp of power and 223 lb-ft of torque.

The 2011 Saab 9-4X Aero model gets a turbocharged 2.8-liter engine that delivers 300 hp of power and 295 lb-ft of torque. This particular model comes with Saab’s XWD all-wheel drive system.

Exterior

As mentioned before, the 2011 Saab 9-4X looks very similar to the Cadillac SRX, because both SUVs were developed back when Saab was under GM. Despite the similarities, the 9-4X is clearly distinguishable from the SRX from the outside. It is more streamlined and cohesive than the SRX with smoother lines throughout the vehicle. The 9-4X also incorporates some classic Saab elements to its exterior such as the wraparound windshield and the familiar fascia design. The rearview design is similar to the classic Saab 900 hatchback, although it is a little difficult to make out the influence. Like the SRX, the chassis of the 2011 Saab 9-4X is also one of the most rigid in its class, which does a world of good for performance.

Interior

The car’s interior can be summed up in one word: tame. The quality on the dash is undoubtedly very good, with carbon fiber elements and soft-touch surfaces. However, the tone is mainly black, keeping the design very simple. The seats are shaped adequately and are quite comfortable as well. The vehicle has two rows that claim to seat five but only four can actually sit comfortably. The rear seat is foldable as well, which gives access to a decent amount of cargo space.

Performance & Handling

A crossover is not expected to deliver mind-numbing speed, so the 2011 Saab 9-4X works fairly well here. It goes from standstill to 60 mph in seven to eight seconds, and completes a quarter-mile track in around 16 seconds. The 9-4X has a top speed of 145 mph. Both engines are quite receptive and can be pushed to high revs with little hesitation.

The 9-4X’s strength, however, is claimed to be in its agility. The stiff spring rates, damping, and chassis aid a lot in making the SUV agile, but not too much. The vehicle’s weight can still be felt, although body roll is reduced to almost zero. The steering wheel responds quickly and easily to touch, but the overall responsiveness of the vehicle is lacking. In other words, the 2011 Saab 9-4X is not a vehicle that can deftly maneuver through sharp corners.

Therefore, the performance of the 2011 Saab 9-4X is average and the vehicle lacks a little handling prowess, but does offer superb riding quality. Noise cancellation is amazing, so much so that the cabin is quiet and calm even in high speeds.

Safety

The 2011 Saab 9-4X has won the top safety pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

EPA Fuel Economy

Saab 9-4X Base Model: 18/25 mpg city/highway
Saab 9-4X Aero Model: 15/22 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • A turbocharged engine
  • Sleek and classy exterior
  • Quiet and comfortable interior

You Won't Like

  • Difficult steering, especially at low speeds
  • Stiffness of the brake pedal

Sum Up

A crossover that redefines Saab for the better.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Infiniti EX35
  • Lexus RX350
  • Cadillac SRX
  • Audi Q5
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