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I welcomed the Saabaru with open arms today like a new father hoping that his child would be a strapping boy, ready to train to be the next-best running back. When the car arrived, I was crushed to find out that the strapping lad was an automatic lassie (all due respect for the battle of the sexes, it just made of an easier analogy of how I felt). One good thing: the car wasn't gray like every one I've seen at auto shows or in pictures.

Besides those two sources, I?ve never seen a 9-2x on the roads and neither have other people. I stopped at a local car dealership (like I don?t get enough of cars already) and after the dealers swarmed me to see if I needed help, the swarmed the Saab. One asked me if the hood scoop was functional. Yup, there?s an intercooler under there. Thank goodness this was an Aero.

2005 Sab 9-2x in the Autoblog Garage

The attention the car gets is not surprising, seeing that Saab normally sells about 500 a month and it really is a good-looking little wagon. When I parked it, I performed the ole ?look back and check what I?m driving? glance. The Saab front end and 17? alloy wheels (and Deep Blue Mica paint) really give the car something I don?t see in the Subaru. Which brings us to the big question?

2005 Sab 9-2x in the Autoblog Garage

Is the Saab worth the extra cost of admission? Sticker shock was immediate with a grand total of $31,445, but I?d drop the $1,250 off the sticker to get rid of the automatic transmission and advise everyone else to also. Turbo-lag and the automatic are tough bedfellows, but it is my challenge this week to get the Saab to launch like I want it to. Other options on this car are a $600 Cold Weather Package (heated front seats, heater outer mirrors and wiper de-icer) and the $1,950 Sport Package (17? alloy wheels and performance tires and a power sunroof).

Saab has me drawn to the looks in my introduction, but tomorrow we?ll get into the interior and see if there?s enough on the inside to make it worth driving past the Subaru dealer.

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