The 9-7X (stated: nine-seven ex) for 2009 has changed little on the outside and is again built upon the platform it shares with the Chevy Trailblazer and GMC Envoy.
There are three trim levels, 4.2i, 5.3i, (stated: four point two eye) and Aero. This five-passenger, four-door SUV has two engine choices on its checklist as well. The 4.2i version of the 9-7X gets a standard 4.2-liter in-line six-cylinder engine making 285 horsepower and 276 pound feet of torque. The 5.3i is equipped with a 5.3-liter, 300-horsepower V8 that wrings out 321 pound feet of torque. The Aero receives a brawny 6.0 liter V8, churning out 390 horsepower and 400 pound feet of torque. All engines hook up to a standard four-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive system.
Fuel economy on the 9-7X ranges from 12 miles per gallon city with the largest V8 to 20 miles per gallon highway with the inline-6.
The 9-7X we tested was the 5.3i model. It was outfitted with such standard features as 18-inch alloy wheels, a self-leveling rear air suspension, leather upholstery, 8-way adjustable power heated front seats with driver's seat memory, dual-zone automatic climate control, an mp3 compatible Bose sound system with an in-dash CD changer and OnStar communications.
Our 9-7X also had the optional DVD-based navigation system and rear seat DVD entertainment center, which is also equipped with a remote control. Other standard amenities include a 60/40 split rear bench seat and a trailer hitch receiver and hitch receiver cover. Cargo space is exceptional with 41 cubic feet of room available with the rear seat in place and a full 80 cubic feet at your disposal with the rear seat folded down.
There are plenty of safety features on the Saab 9-7X. Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes are standard, as are front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.
MSRP of the 2009 Saab 9-7X is $42,615. Going for a well-equipped Aero will put the price into the lower $50,000-range. The 9-7X is backed by a generous 5-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Although part of the GM family, the Swedish automaker has succeeded in giving the 2009 Saab 9-7X its own distinct style and execution. Driving it will convince you the 2009 Saab 9-7X brings a European performance take to the mid-sized SUV market.