Report: diesel-powered Saab 9-4X unlikely

2012 Saab 9-4X – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2012 Saab 9-4X is set to hit dealerships across the country in May. The cost of entry for the Scandinavian crossover will be $34,205 (including $825 in destination charges).

For $35K, you get a base 9-4X with front-wheel drive and a 3.0-liter direct-injected V6, which returns approximately 20 miles per gallon (combined). The range-topping 9-4X Aero, priced at $48,835, uses a General Motors-derived 2.8-liter turbocharged V6. That engine gets an estimated 18 mpg combined.

Then there's the diesel-engined 9-4X, the most fuel-efficient model in the crossover's lineup. Wait, what's that? You say there won't be a diesel-fueled 9-4X? Truth is, no oil-burning 9-4X exists. Not even in Europe.

Anders Svennson, Saab's vehicle line executive, told Ward's Auto that the automaker's conservative sales target for the 9-4X makes fitting it with a diesel engine cost prohibitive. Svennson admits that selling a diesel 9-4X in markets like Europe and Asia, as the automaker does with the 9-5 and 9-3 models, could raise the CUVs sales forecast of 12,500 units globally "several times." Apparently, even that's not enough to convince the Swedish automaker – which suffered a near-death experience in 2010 – to green-light an oil-burning 9-4X. Hopefully, other automakers won't cut out the diesel engine option because it's, um, cost prohibitive.

2012 Saab 9-4X
2012 Saab 9-4X
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[Source: Ward's Auto]

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