Saab 9-4 Hecho En Mexico

Alex L. Dykes
by Alex L. Dykes
saab 9 4 hecho en mexico

After introducing a relative handful of Americans to the dubious joys of the Trailblazer-based, TTAC TWAT-winning (Ten Worst Automobiles Today) 9-7x, Saab has decided to try to reach its magical 200k sales per year goal by building another SUV. This erstwhile Swede will wear the stinking badge "Hecho en Mexico" and sit on a hybrid Epsilon 2 / Theta platform. Which makes you wonder: if a GM division modifies a "shared" platform so much that it's no longer interchangable with its "world car" colleagues, what the Hell's the point? Why not just build a new platform? Anyway, word has it that Saab's Mexican minions will fit the 9-4 with their new AWD system. The Euro-Saab's sweet turbo diesel engine will probably never make it to the USA (naturally). The looks are typically Swedish– via the outer rings of Saturn. A Cadillac version is also planned, as the fate of GM's "premium" brand makes the Rape of Lucretia seem like gentle seduction.

[Look for Justin Berkowitz' editorial on Cadillac tomorrow morning.]

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4 of 8 comments
  • Redbarchetta Redbarchetta on Sep 18, 2007

    From that angle it looks like one of the previous generations of Subaru Forester. I'm sure it's larger but the shape looks identical.

  • Stein X Leikanger Stein X Leikanger on Sep 18, 2007

    By now it's clear that the goal with Saab is to completely demolish the brand. I guess they want to make certain the value is totally sunk before they try to sell the remains. Curious - the Saabaru was bad enough. The 9-7XYZ was /is an abomination, and now we get a Made in MeHico Saab? Who's going to buy it? Deaf, blind and dumb people?

  • Mpls244 Mpls244 on Sep 18, 2007

    Oh, where do I start . . . 1. That's a test mule dressed up in 9-7x sheet metal. The 9-4x, when it comes, will look nothing like this. Nor will it be as large as the 9-7x. Think BMW X3, perhaps slightly bigger than that. 2. The few styling hints for the 9-4x I've seen are quite attractive. People who have seen the full-size mock-up in Trollhattan are also quite happy with the styling. 3. Unlike the 9-7x, this will be a Saab-designed vehicle from the ground up. 4. Saab is continuing to work on cars. The substantially revised 2008 9-3 was just announced, with a lot of improvements including a class-leading Haldex-AWD system available beginning in January. A new 9-5 is coming in '09, and a small Saab is due soon after. 5. Other than rank prejudice, what is wrong with manufacturing vehicles in Mexico? It seems to be working for the Ford Fusion. 6. There is no doubt that the 9-5 is long overdue for replacement, and is not competitive. But if you read TTAC, it's as if you might as well buy a Yugo instead of a 9-5 (or a 9-7x). Get a grip, people. A little perspective and grudging recognition for what Saab is trying to do would go a long way.

  • Hank Hank on Sep 19, 2007

    I'm not an SUV or CUV hater. I have one. I like it. But seriously, why on earth the European makers are so bent on offering so many variations I don't understand. Audi, Saab. Ugh. It makes even less sense for them than for Toyota and the Big 2.8. I guess there must be some business case, but there's not much wisdom to it (of course business cases and wisdom seldom are hand in hand).