The Saab 9-2X Aero is a basically rebadged Subaru Impreza WRX. There, I've said it, it's out of the way. It's also, from what Road & Track has to say, a pretty great automobile. Essentially, the 9-2X gets all of the WRX's fantastic attributes, and remedies its few shortcomings. The 9-2X is offered up in Linear and Aero variations, with the naturally-aspirated Linear making 165-hp, the turboed Aero offering 227-hp, which is not a coincidence since the Aero uses the WRX's engine, as well as many other mechanical parts, including its all-wheel-drive system. The springs are stiffer, but with softer bushings to provide a somewhat quieter ride that is still flush with agility when needed. The most obvious differences are cosmetic, as Saab has improved the WRX's decidedly youthful styling with a streamlined exterior, and it has upgraded the interior with high-grade leather, a solid stereo, and upscale if understated trim. The luxury sport compact's only minor hindrance will be its price, which at $27,000 for the Aero version, is about $4,000 more than a similarly-spec'ed WRX with many identical attributes.

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