2008 Saab 9-7x

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2008 Saab 9-7x Review

Has many features desirable features, but poor safety ratings and sub-par materials.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

Saab was not particularly well known for its SUV design. In fact, Saab didn’t even make its first SUV until 2005. The Saab 9-7X was designed on the GM midsize SUV platform. This build gives the 2008 Saab 9-7X a certain Swedish/Detroit flavor that can’t be found anywhere else. However, this SUV isn’t just about styling, since really it’s nothing more than a thinly-disguised GM SUV. This vehicle also has a lot of power and performance that certainly keeps the competition on its toes.

The Range

Body Styles: midsize SUV
Engines: 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Saab 9-7X 4.2i, Saab 9-7X 5.3i, Saab 9-7X Aero

What's New

For what is supposed to be the last year of production for the 9-7X, Saab has put a lot of effort into making this one of the most desirable model years yet. Introduced is the high-performance Aero vehicle. This model gets a powerful engine, specially-adjusted suspension and sport tuning, and a bunch of extra accessories.

Exterior

The 2008 Saab 9-7X has a very sleek look to its exterior. The height and wheelbase are all from the GM underpinnings. It has a big truck-based weight, which is why the engines are so big. Standard features on the exterior of the vehicle include 18-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, intermittent rear wiper, roof rack, power glass sunroof, heated power mirrors, and rear ventilation ducts with a fan control. The top of the line Aero offers a sport-tuned chassis, 20-inch wheels with speed-rated tires, Carbon Flash charcoal paint, and other features.

Interior

The interior of the 2008 Saab 9-7X has a very familiar interior to those who have driven other Saab models in the past. There are Saab branded materials galore, and the faux wood accents and contrasting upholstery trim makes the interior very attractive indeed. However, lurking underneath all that flash are some low-quality GM materials that cheapen the interior a bit. This is not something consumers would expect from the large price tag that the 2008 Saab 9-7X commands. There is plenty of room in the vehicle however, with 40 cubic feet of space behind the seats, and 80 cubic feet with the seats down. Standard features on the 2008 Saab 9-7X include leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, faux wood trim, eight-way power adjustable front seats, driver memory, sunroof, auto-dimming rear view mirror, OnStar communication, satellite radio, MP3-compatible Bose audio system with an in-dash CD-player. The 5.3i model also gets power-adjusting pedals and further exterior upgrades. The top-class Aero model, introduced in the 2008 model year has specially-embroidered seats with the Aero name stitched in, as well as embossed floor mats for that extra bit of style. Optional equipment includes a navigation system and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

Performance & Handling

The 2008 Saab 9-7X has several different engine options available. All engines are from GM. The 4.2i model receives a 4.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine that produces 285 horsepower with 276 lb-ft of torque. The 5.3i model comes equipped with a 5.3-liter V-8 engine that produces 300 horsepower with 321 lb-ft of torque. The Aero, finally, comes with a six-liter V-8 engine that produces 390 horsepower with 395 lb-ft of torque. These powerful engines have a huge towing capacity, pulling anywhere from 5500 pounds up to 6500 pounds depending on the engine type. The drive has been improved a bit this year by stiffening the frame of the vehicle. The 2008 Saab 9-7X has a stable ride with handling that responds better and gives a greater feedback to the driver. However, other SUVs outclass the 2008 Saab 9-7X in handling and response time. Also, the brakes and pedals lack confident response as well.

Safety

The 2008 Saab 9-7X comes with anti-lock brakes, stability control, front seat side-impact airbags, full-length curtain airbags, OnStar communications, turn-by-turn navigation, and other features. The 2008 Saab 9-7X is far from safe, however. The NHTSA gave the 2008 Saab 9-7X a three out of five star rating from front passenger protection, a dismal score in comparison with the competitors. The 9-7X did score an impressive five out of five stars for side impacts, however.

EPA Fuel Economy

Saab 9-7X 4.2i: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Saab 9-7X 5.3i: 13/19 mpg city/highway
Saab 9-7X Aero: 12/16 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Powerful engines
  • Lots of standard features
  • Comfortable cockpit and interior styling

You Won't Like

  • Poor crash tests
  • Handling
  • GM build
  • Expensive
  • Braking problems

Sum Up

Has many features desirable features, but poor safety ratings and sub-par materials.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Acura MDX
  • Mercedes-Benz M-Class
  • Volvo XC90
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