This week finds us desperately seeking sanity in transportation cost. Ok, so we didn’t quite find it, but we came closer. Until we see pump prices so obnoxious we can’t stand it, we will simply pony up to the cost as necessary. Well, it isn’t necessary, and yes, there are alternatives.
As you probably know, Saab is now a GM company, and marriages such as this, I believe, are good for both the company and also good for the consumer. Those who like Swedish cars will be happy to see the innovations and improvements from that marriage and that are inevitable. It’s too soon to tell what changes GM will make but we’ll see it happen – count on it. Another example of this is the purchase of Jaguar by Ford. The Jag has never been a better car. Ford retained the styling but improved it mechanically. It is simply a better automobile. We’ll talk more about the Jag in the coming weeks because I’m testing one as I’m writing this.
The 9-2X sits on a WRX frame and it makes sense it would be assembled in Japan – and it is.
Parts – Japan 100%
Assembly – Ota, Gunma, Japan
Class: – Small station wagon
Cars: – 9-2X, 9-3, 9-5 and 9-7X
Handling & Performance:
I found it a little rough riding (reminiscent of the WRX – surprise, surprise). The turning radius was much longer than I expected for a small car.
Saab has never been my favorite styling attempt, but you have to admit it is unique. It’s just a little too busy for me and when I tested the WRX I found it more adapted to the younger generation. It reminds me of those small modern rods racing in and out of traffic on the freeways. Zip zip zip. And the driver is this little person scrunched down below the window peering over the steering wheel racing another small but soup’d up bumper car. I think they’ve been playing too many video games.
Fit and Finish:
The Swedes have consistently done a good job over the years because they have been put together like custom cars. They are meticulous perfectionists and now with the Japanese building it, coupled with the business prowess of GM, this should make for an interesting future for the Saab.
This is, like the WRX, a youthful design for those with more money in their car-buying budgets. But it’s only money and at the end of the day, you don’t have to sell your firstborn or mortgage your future to own one. $25-30,000 today is pretty commonplace for a mid-range quality automobile.
When you consider transportation options there are cars that cost a third the cost of this Saab and that puts commuting into perspective. However, practicality aside, and ego firmly in place you’ll find reasons why $30,000 is acceptable.
Well equipped, but you’ll pay.
The Swedes are known for building safety conscious cars, which hasn’t and likely won’t change with the ownership change. The addition of AWD is a decidedly positive change and being built in Japan will assure continued quality in assembly. I don’t see any substance to the concerns dealers had with the “thinly disguised Subaru” connection. Japanese built / American owned is a good thing in my opinion.
Saab 9-2X $23-28,000, Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback $17-19,000, Volvo V50 $26-29,000, Subaru Impreza Wagon $18-26,000, VW Jetta Wagon $19-22,000, Lexus IS 300 SportCross $31,105, BMW 3-series Sport Wagon $31-33,000, Mazda3 $14-19,000, Mazda6 Sport Wagon $23-27,000, Audi A4 Avant $29-36,000, Ford Focus Wagon $17-18,000.
Quality custom history enhanced by anticipated volume increase with Subaru / GM influence, fair fuel economy, AWD traction is standard, good cargo area, fast fun to drive turbocharged power and well equipped.
Stiff ride, pricey, upscale Subaru and irritating acceleration lag from the turbocharger (Supercharger would eliminate that problem).
2.0 liter 4-cylinder turbocharged 227 horsepower engine, 5-speed manual trans, all wheel drive, 4-wheel sport tuned independent suspension, 4-wheel abs disc brakes, security system, dual front and head side air bags in front, climate control, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control, audio system with 6-indash CD player/ changer, rear wiper and defogger, dual power mirrors, rear roof spoiler, functional hood scoop.
20 City and 26 Highway MPG