Overview & Reviews
When is a Saab not a Saab? Certainly, the 9-7X, the company's first SUV, had Saab's signature grille, requisite badging and floor-mounted ignition. But underneath the Swedish veneer was General Motors' midsize, truck-based SUV platform, which means that the 9-7X shared its core mechanicals with the departed Chevy Trailblazer family (including models from Buick, GMC, Isuzu and Oldsmobile).
The Saab 9-7X thus felt like a trucky GM SUV that was taken to Sweden to get a mild infusion of Saab character, which -- no surprise -- is exactly what it is. It's like putting Uncle Sam in a Viking helmet, or Bruce Springsteen in an ABBA jumpsuit. In spite of Saab's best efforts at altering the interior and exterior styling and revising the vehicle's suspension tuning, it could never hide the fact that the Ohio-built 9-7X was limited by its heritage. As a choice for a luxury SUV, it was and remains mediocre. We feel most consumers would be happier with other choices, such as Acura's MDX or Mercedes' M-Class.
Most Recent Saab 9-7X
The Saab 9-7X was produced from 2005-'09. It originally came in a single trim level, but the next year saw each available engine get its own trim level: Linear and Arc. These were renamed the following year to reflect engine displacement: 4.2i and 5.3i. A higher-performance Aero model was introduced for 2008.
Forget small displacement and turbochargers -- the 9-7X's engine lineup was pure Detroit iron. The 4.2i came with a 4.2-liter inline-6 engine with 290 horsepower (275 hp for 2005). The 5.3i had a 300-hp 5.3 V8 with considerably more torque than the 4.2-liter. The Aero got a 6.0-liter V8 good for 390 hp and 395 pound-feet of torque. The only transmission available on the 9-7X was a four-speed automatic. All-wheel drive, a limited-slip differential, traction control and stability control (2006 and later) were standard.
Despite the different trim levels, all shared the bulk of standard equipment like side curtain airbags, leather upholstery, heated front seats, automatic climate control, a premium Bose stereo with six-CD changer, satellite radio and OnStar. The only major options for most of the 9-7X's run were a navigation system and a rear-seat entertainment system. The Aero had a performance-tuned chassis, 20-inch wheels and sport trim.
The fact that the 9-7X was not equipped with a turbocharged engine is one good clue that the vehicle wasn't a real Saab, and the layout of the interior was another. Despite some classic Saab features like the driver-canted dash, soft-touch knobs and center-console-mounted ignition, the interior still looked very GM.
The 9-7X seated five. Third-row seating, a feature common on vehicles in this class, wasn't available. There was plenty of cargo space, though, with 80 cubic feet when the rear seats were folded.
In reviews of the Saab 9-7X, we found that this SUV's positive attributes included a smooth ride and well-weighted steering. The Aero, in particular, offered a surprising level of performance. One strong criticism we had was regarding the four-speed automatic transmission, which couldn't match the efficiency or smoothness of the five- or six-speed transmissions in other luxury SUVs. Otherwise, our affection for the 9-7X was only slightly greater than that of its GM SUV platform mates -- which wasn't very high.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 107.00
Luxury for a Great Price - 2005 Saab 9-7X
By Chris - December 30 - 8:36 pm
With the GM discount, this Saab was delivered with every option for just over 34k. Leather, xm radio, heated/electric seats w/ memory, moonroof, 6 disc changer, onstar, xenon headlights, garage door opener, side airbags, cruise, 18 inch wheels, tow hitch, bose 300 watt stereo, power mirrors/locks, rear amd passenger climate controls, plus more all included! Rides great, handles great for an SUV, rough on gas! The V6 has plenty of power, but go with the V8 if you are going to tow.
Mercedes to Saab - 2008 Saab 9-7X
By JT from NC - December 23 - 10:30 pm
Drove 9-7X from FL to NC and it handled beautifully. Not quite the E320 Mercedes ride but more than adequate. Great interior comfort and distinctive exterior. The Bose sound and the add ons to basic vehicle make for a nice package. Pricey and wish mileage was better 15-18/gal. Certainly didn't see many on the road so a unique. So far so good.
SAAB 9-7x Aero (SS-Package) - 2008 Saab 9-7X
By bIll - November 5 - 10:40 am
This is a Trailblazer SS in SAAB Suit! The Performance and ability to hide in a crowd is Great! Push down on the GO PEDAL and life changes in 5.5 sec's flat. Gas Mileage is 13-15 at best, but this isn't for the faint of heart. The Seats don't hold you in the corners like an SS and that would have been an EASY fix (JCI-GM) The Cup holder in the dash was totally a waste of time and money, but SAAB Wanted that. (I wonder why) The Auto AC is a TOTAL JOKE! No feed back loop to confirm real air temp in cabin. (Duh, I guess they didn't have enough engineer's that day at GM-HVAC)
Frustrated and Fearful - 2006 Saab 9-7X
By Frustrated - October 21 - 9:46 am
I've had my SAAB 9.7x just over 2 yrs. Mileage at purchased 23,000. Before my 9.7x, I owned 1998 Lexus ES and 2002 Audi A6. I travel three months out of the year averaging about 300 additional (highway) miles per week. Repairs to date: over $4,000 from wheel suspension and other minor problems. Last week, the fan for heat stopped blowing @ $340 (I live in Iowa); to the most recent problem--the fuel connector quoted at $700+ (fuel shows on "empty"). And now, I have concerns with performance. All this at 68,000 miles! I change the oil every 3,000 miles, align wheels regularly and do the regular checks on all fluids. Sound system gets hot when on for too long. I'm fearful of what's next
A soon to be classic SUV - 2008 Saab 9-7X
By Jen Phi Sig - October 18 - 4:13 am
Purchased this car to replace a Volvo XC 90. This SUV is a real head turner, even when sitting still. Have only seen one other like ours in the area. A ride like a plush SUV but hang when the right pedal is mashed, this really moves with the 6.0 liter V-8. Yes the MPG is low but hey its an all wheel drive full frame SUV, not like the cookie cutter uni body SUVS that are everywhere today. Bought it for $26,000 with 12,000 miles on it. Loaded with every option. Would do it over again in a heartbeat. No complaints as of yet.
Couldn't ask for more for your $$$ - 2007 Saab 9-7X
By dimaf999 - September 18 - 4:10 am
Very good vehicle, much better fit and finish then the siblings. Engine is plenty powerful. Good handling. Very smooth ride.
Perfect Combination of Lux and Fun - 2008 Saab 9-7X
By Happy Customer - July 12 - 8:06 pm
This is our second Saab and it has proven to be as much fun as the 9-3 it's parked next to. An excellent combination of luxury (OnStar, XM radio, leather, high-intensity headlamps, Bose sound, sun roof, heated seats, rear climate control, dual-zone climate control - all standard), fun, capability (V8, easy cruising in the mountains, up to 6500 lbs towing), and support (free 1 yr. OnStar, free 36 mo. scheduled maintenance, 100,000 mile power train warranty). Don't listen to the 'expert' reviewers - some of them have not even driven it. You have to drive it to appreciate that it is performance tuned by Saab and outfitted with more luxury than it's GM cousins.
Sleeper SUV - 2008 Saab 9-7X
By Sleeper SUV - June 10 - 8:26 am
This is a beast in a tux, punch the right pedal and hold on. We needed a larger vehicle and the wanted something that looked good but, we demand performance. This vehicle corners, accelerates and stops better than most sedans, a great addition to our 9-2X. If you want good fuel economy this is not the SUV for you. Cannot wait until we get another Michigan winter and can see how well it does in the snow.
Least ownership costs ever - 2007 Saab 9-7X
By gmt360 - May 16 - 8:14 pm
I've had this car for 85,000 miles and drive it every day. I have not had a single issue or problem of any kind in all of these years. To date the exhaustive list of repairs includes rear brake pads and rotors and new tires. That's it. Not a single penny out of pocket. I am astounded as I've never in all of my years experienced anything like this. I live in the harshest climate and still no issues. I have every single option offered except the 6.0liter v8. At the same time I purchased the 9-7, I purchased the identical Rainier. The Rainier has had a dozen expensive issues while the 9-7 is some sort of anomaly at this point.
The Princess Mobile - 2005 Saab 9-7X
By James - March 23 - 7:23 am
My Princess is my wife. The Saab 97X is her chariot. We were looking for a road worthy and safe vehicle with some class. Also, made in America was a key issue. With a GM drive train and frame we knew it was a solid investment. The standard features would have cost $7-9,000 more on comparable vehicles. Its a dream to drive... when she lets me.