• Mar 4, 2009
Click above for high-res gallery of the Saab 9-3X

Saab debuted its 9-3X at the Geneva Motor Show, and while it's a new market for the Swedish brand (we'll try to forget about the body-on-frame 9-7X, thank you), we suspect that the lifted load-lugger will probably outsell the standard SportCombi by a healthy margin Stateside, given America's appetite for such things.

It's quite handsome in person and the inherently less-sharp handling of a sportstilts wagon ought to paper over the 9-3's occasionally soggy dynamics. Said another way, a lack of razor-sharp handling in the 9-3 platform would seem to be more appropriate/acceptable in a softroader than a sporty wagon or sedan.

While basically the same as the 2.0-liter Sportcombi, the 9-3X has a 1.4-inch higher stance and standard Cross-Wheel Drive (XWD), a fantastically grippy system that figures to give the new model sufficient softroading abilities to be a worthwhile alternative to the Subaru Outback or Volvo XC70. Other model-specific cues include contrasting lower cladding and flared fenders, unique 17-inch wheels, and a roof rack for safely displaying all of one's lifestyle accessories.

Given the effort to extract Saab from General Motors' portfolio and its uncertain future, there is a very real possibility that the 9-3X will be the last new Griffin-badged product we see in the States – the badly-needed 9-5 replacement is slated to debut before the year is out, but we expect it will go to European markets first, and there has been some talk of Saab withdrawing from North America entirely even if it continues to exist. While the 9-3X can't be fairly tasked with saving the company, it's a compelling-looking package that would appear to deserve a shot.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      ******************************************************************************************
      @ post 1
      Well not everyone wants a crossover. Audi makes the Q5 and A4 Avant; Subaru makes the Impreze Sport and Forester SUV, so it is just a matter of taste but I see where your coming from
      ****************************thecarnerds.com*******************************************
      • 5 Years Ago
      "and there has been some talk of Saab withdrawing from North America entirely even if it continues to exist."

      Chris,

      Where did you hear this, please reply with your specific source, otherwise I am reduced to thinking this is speculation here by you.

      R
      • 5 Years Ago
      The reason Saab is doing so badly is their cars are out dated. My mom drives a 2004 9-3 and the interior is identical. to this 2010 9-3x, When a car company is doing awful, they need to change some things.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car makes so much sense! And I think it actually looks better than Volvo's competition. This would be absolutely perfect to take on the snowy winters and parallel parking nightmares here in the Boston area.
      If only Americans had warmed up to the idea of an allroad wagon back in the era of the Suburban, maybe Volvo and Saab wouldn't be in such dire straits.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The A4 Allroad, XC70 and now this. Raised wagons with tons of black cladding. I see no use for these when they have the XC60, Q5 and (soon to be released) 9-4X. They certainly aren't more stylish than their crossover equals. Are they any more capable?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, they are more capable of not rolling over due to their lower center of gravity.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Interesting fact: GM considers Saab to be a luxury brand. The 9-3 STARTS at almost $37,000 in Canadaland (pricing before dest/taxes/options/etc).

      Saab is a prime example of why you shouldn't give bailout money to these blundering idiots. Why in the world would I spend near $40,000 on a 200hp Saab with $500-looking interior? The new honda accord coupe costs the same, is rated at 270hp, and god damn is it a looker.

      Don't get me wrong here - I absolutely adore Saab styling; but the pricing is all so very, very, very wrong.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I know what i just said has nothing to do with the wagon, just throwing it out there.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Talk about Saab withdrawing from North America entirely" is speculation. Just like most of our European competitors , the United States have been Saab's largest single market for years - way too big to neglect in any future scenario.
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