2007 Saab 97X | new car review
The 9-7X is built on the same platform as the Chevrolet Trailblazer, and is affectionately known (by geeks) as the Trollblazer, referencing Saab’s hometown of Trollhattan in Sweden.
This is despite the fact that the Saab is just as American as the Chevy, built as it is in Ohio. In fact, it shares a lot in common with it’s US cousin the Oldsmobile Bravada, but has the same face as the rest of the Saab family – those long, narrow lights and three part grille – as well as the signature clear tail lamps.
What you get from your American Swede is a mid-sized SUV with all-wheel-drive and handling set up to be a bit sportier than your regular soft-roader. The steering has been quickened up over the cars it’s based on, and the suspension lowered. Two versions of the 9-7X are available in the GCC for 2009. The first comes with a 4.2-litre, six-cylinder engine with 290bhp and 375nm of torque, while the second is a 300bhp, 5.3-litre V8.
The increase in power between the six and the V8 is not much, but the extra two cylinders bring with them plenty more torque, taking the total to 447nm, which should hustle the 9-7X along very nicely.
The car gets a new Bluetooth hands-free system for 2009, that works in tandem with the vehicle’s audio setup. Standard features include electronic stability control, which helps to keep the vehicle stable in the event of a skid, as well as 18-inch alloy wheels.
All current Saabs have a very cool folding cupholder (you’ll have to see it to understand quite why it’s so cool, but trust us, it is), and the 9-7x also features the marque’s trademark centre console slot for the ignition key – designed with safety in mind, so the driver’s knee is not hurt by the key in the event of an accident.
The car seats five, and the fairly cavernous boot can take 1,127 litres of stuff with the rear seats up. Put them down, and the available storage space expands to 2,268 litres.
Safety features, as well as ESP and anti-lock brakes, include front air bags, a system that detects if the vehicle is about to roll over and deploys curtain airbags for the head, and a tyre pressure monitoring system as standard. Just before publication of this guide, General Motors parted ways with Saab, and no more 9-7Xs are scheduled to be made. The Ohio plant producing it closed in December 2008. The last 9-7Xs on sale here during 2009 will be the last ones, full stop, so if it takes your fancy, now’s the time to act.
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