After years of teasing on the auto show circuit, the Saab 9-4X represents a brand-new start for the ailing Saab brand. A compact crossover based on the Cadillac SRX platform, the 9-4X retains more of its unique Swedish character than Saab's last attempt at an SUV: the Chevy Trailblazer-based 9-7X, which amounted to nothing more than a hasty badge-job.
The 9-4X rides and handles much like a car, given its front-drive, unibody architecture. With an impressive Haldex all-wheel-drive system, the 9-4X can send power to individual wheels to get drivers out of weather-related mishaps. Heavily-weighted controls attempt to give the 9-4X a sportier feel to disguise the 9-4X's weight, but are somewhat less successful.
Two engines are available: a large 3.0-liter V-6, and a turbocharged 2.8-liter V-6 in Aero trim (Saab's nomenclature for its fastest cars). The 9-4X can be had in 3.0, Premium and Aero models, which can be nicely optioned with heated seats, a power tailgate, backup camera, ambient lighting, adjustable pedals, rollover sensors and a remote starter--perfect for the inclement-weather types who snatch up Saabs for their winter commutes. Next Page »