IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Autocar tests the 9-4X

Earlier today we could read Car and Driver's test of the Saab 9-4X. Now also Autocar has published their first test drive of the 9-4X. (Thanks to J Fan for the tip!). 

First Autocar looks at the interior:
During typical use, the 9-4X’s cabin is incredibly quiet, but there are two points worth quibbling about. Almost identical to that of the 9-5, the instrument panel of the new crossover is functional to the point of looking plain and dull. We also found the 9-4X’s driving position trying; it was difficult to get comfortable irrespective of where we positioned the adjustable steering column.

I have only sat in the 9-4X once at Saab's Stockholm car exhibition and can't really say if the driving position is as trying as Autocar claims. But I totally disagree with them on the "plan and dull" instrument panel. The instrument panel of the 9-4X is actually very good looking. It isn't just a plain plastic panel, but a plastic panel with some sort of glittering effect. I liked it a lot!

Here's what they think about the handling: 
While neither as nimble nor as quick as the latest-generation BMW X3, the new Saab 9-4X is more sporty and – to our eyes – more appealing than the Cadillac SRX with which it shares a factory. Its dynamic act is certainly polished enough to bear comparison with flagship petrol version of the Lexus RX and Infiniti EX.
And they conclude that the car could be a worthy buy:
Should I buy one?
Saab has a variety of problems to deal with, but on this evidence it’s got the new 9-4X largely right. If the Swedes survive what’s proving to be a troubling period in its history to actually launch the 9-4X in Europe later this year, it should provide a worthy alternative for those who can live without a default-choice diesel engine, and who don’t want just another ‘me-too’ crossover. It won’t save the company, but the 9-4X is a commendable enough car all the same.

All in all a nice review for Saab.