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

Motortrend joins the Saab 9-4X test party

To wrap up this Saab 9-4X day, Motortrend has also published their first drive. Here are some excerpts.

Steering wheel as a sport sedan and brake pedal as a race car:
[...]the steering effort is heavy by crossover standards, but most Saab customers will appreciate the sport-sedan level of heft and accompanying feel. The brake pedal requires even greater effort. [...] While racers will jump in and feel right at home, the average driver will need a little bit of time to learn to modulate.
High level of luxury:
In stark contrast to the heavy controls is the level of luxury Saab has built into the 9-4x. Saab is shooting for big players like Audi and BMW, so there was no room to compromise.[...] the interior feels light and open. Even if customers don't opt for the giant roof, Saab's traditional wraparound cockpit greenhouse allows for plenty of outward visibility.
The cabin is roomy: 
That higher roofline means even adults have plenty of headroom in back. Our towering marketing engineer couldn't complain about leg- or headroom in back for his day of journalistic-driven terror.
A bit lazy throttle, but an engine with plenty of grunt:
We drove only the high-level Aero, which is equipped with GM's imported-from-Australia 300-horsepower, 2.8-liter turbocharged V-6. The throttle mapping felt a little lazy on our preproduction cars, but if it doesn't change for production, drivers just need to boot the pedal a little further. The engine has plenty of grunt[...]
Cheaper than the Caddy SRX and a design that stands out:
Saab is convinced that, although it shares platforms and powertrains with the Cadillac SRX crossover, very few consumers will cross-shop the two. That may actually bring a sigh of relief from Cadillac since the Saab version is substantially cheaper. The interior and exterior styling are unmistakably Saab, with Swedish quality and minimalism. The materials used in the interior look and feel apropos of the luxury class into which the 9-4x is slotted. The exterior will stand out in a crowd of German and Japanese crossovers, while still looking reserved and understated.
Funny that Motortrend thinks the interior materials are fitting in the luxury class, when Autocar thinks the interior panel looks plain and dull. I guess it only shows that car reviews are very subjective and very little scientific, and thus must always be taken with a grain of salt.

Unconventional driving experience:
The driving experience may be unconventional for this category, but it might draw enthusiasts looking for more than just luxurious transportation.
I would say that the review is quite positive. One day and three good reviews of the Saab 9-4X. Maybe the start of a good Saab week? :)