By on October 18, 2010

Built on GM’s “Theta Premium” chassis alongside its Cadillac SRX sister in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, the Saab 9-4X crossover is less than completely Swedish but more than just a rebadged SRX. Specifically, at a base curb weight of 4,431 lbs (with GM’s 3 liter V6 driving the front wheels), it’s over 200 lbs more crossover than a base SRX.

In top-spec “Aero” trim, the 9-4X weighs up to 4,706 lbs,  or as much as 400 lbs more than an SRX with the same AWD and 2.8 liter turbocharged engine. But despite all that extra weight, Saab is shooting for SRX-equaling fuel economy (20 combined for FWD 3.0, 18 combined with AWD 2.8T), and similar acceleration (7.9-7.7 seconds to 60 mph). As long as performance and efficiency produce Cadillac-rivaling numbers in the real world, most Americans won’t care much about the extra weight. With comparable cargo numbers though (61 cubic feet with the rear row folded), the Saab is going to have to beat the Cadillac on price to overcome its brand momentum deficit. Otherwise, it’s going to have to spend a lot of time talking up the Swedish Quirk ® value of its new Mexican-made crossover.

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25 Comments on “Saab 9-4X: The Heavier Cadillac SRX...”

  • avatar

    I have never really understood Saab.  I still don’t.  It doesn’t look near as nice on the inside as the SRX.  I don’t see this sell well.  It will have to be significantly lower priced than an SRX to get many sales.  Good luck to Saab with this one.

  • avatar

    I don’t understand GM. They have a far superior and more fuel efficient 3.6 liter SIDI V6 available and what do they do? Stick in the dud 3.0 liter SIDI torqueless wonder in vehicles that weight more than a 1990’s Cadillac RWD Fleetwood Brougham that used to have a TPI Corvette derived 350 between the front wheels. Why this engine is still being produced is a testmant that GM still doesn’t get it. Underdisplacement engines aren’t automatically going to produce magical fuel economy numbers. Just look at the current Equinox/Terrain and SRX. With AWD and the lame 3.0 liter engine highway mileage is a laughable 22. Now take the far larger and even heavier 8 passenger capable Traverse/Acadia with the larger 3.6 SIDI V6 and it’s highway mileage is 23! Another example is the overweight Lacrosse. The base 3.0 liter V6 models were only good for 26 highway. The 3.6 models get 27! And the 3.0 liter engine exists why?

    • 0 avatar

      +1: The 3.0 V6 is a most un-Cadillac  power plant. Cadillacs are supposed to be about effortless power and not highly strung toqueless engines. A good forced induction 4 or 6 cylinder engine has a much better torque profile for this sort of application.

    • 0 avatar

      The 3.0 V6 exists because the CAFE standard the federal government requires GM to meet is defined as the result of the original 48 mph, 0-60 in 18 seconds joke of a treadmill test from 35 years ago.
      A weak motor with tall gearing shows little or no benefit on the current higher speed treadmill test (let alone on a real road) but on that old test it’s worth 1 or 2 mpg.  With Alice in Wonderland CAFE goals ever receding in front of them GM has no choice for mainstream models.
      There is of course no excuse for that motor showing up in $45,000 Cadillacs.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe GM is getting it.  For 2011, the 3.0 V6 is no longer offered in the LaCrosse.

    • 0 avatar

      GM’s SIDI 3.0L V6 is a crime against humanity.
      Why is GM smart enough to pull that POS out of the Lacrosse, but still thinks it belongs in the SRX and CTS?

  • avatar

    The only thing remarkable about this vehicle seems to be its utter pointlessness.
    Is it really that important for Saab (and every other brand) to “have an SUV” in their line up?  Who are they selling to?

  • avatar

    I scratch my head when I read reports like this. We did have oil panics in tha past, didn’t we? If so, why does no one seem to learn? This reminds me of the super-sized hogs of the early-to-mid/late 1970’s when the big three got really fat. Again, in the 1990’s, trucks got big and the SUV craze began.

    Why would anyone want/need one of these? While a small minority can use these types of vehicles, for the general motorist, this has to be a vanity thing. 20 mpg? You have got to be kidding! Regardless of the nameplate and the manufacturer, to continue to build these things is unconscionable.

    Obviously, GM thinks there is a market and I’m sure they will find lemmings to purchase them, meanwhile, as the deteriorating state of world affairs circles the drain, the Titanic band will keep playing a lively tune!

  • avatar

    What is the reason for the Saab weighing as much as 400 lbs more than the Cadillac?  I suspect the levels of safety equipment are probably the same so that’s not an explanation.  They’re built in the same plant.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    To channel Ignatius Reilly:

  • avatar

    I can appreciate stark interiors (I really do like German interiors in all their mostly-black glory), but as “premium” why do SAABS look horrible?  I know the feel isn’t necessarily so bad, but there is zero style in these new things.  And compared to a Cadillac, its even worse.
    At least this thing isn’t GM’s problem any more.  I suspect there may be some unhappy Dutch however (and likely some Swedes as well).

    • 0 avatar

      If nothing else, I like it because it points the controls (gasp) AT THE DRIVER! I know, it’s a violation of the ‘symmetry and style first’ standards, but I prefer a vehicle whose controls are pointed at the driver rather than at my son in the middle of the back seat. My passenger can lean if he wants to change the HVAC – I haven’t seen many other cars that don’t force the driver to do so as well.

  • avatar

    Outside of interesting styling the SRX is an also-ran at best.  This Saab doesn’t even have that.    I can see the buyers lining up already.

  • avatar
    Paul W

    That’s A LOT of unpainted plastic around the bottom of the car. Perhaps it’s a strategy to attract owners of old Volvo XC70s?

    Oh, and if this was a Swedish car forum, there would be 15 comments here predicting a sales success in the US.

    Yeah right.

  • avatar

    Born from wide-body jets.

  • avatar

    I wonder what Jonny Lieberman thinks of this? Perhaps “A Cadillac SRX with the start button between the seats”?

  • avatar

    paul W, I am a Saab fan and hurt by you view that this would attract the v 70 crowd, I  have a 86 900 vert and had a 98 900 Turbo and I have a 01 volvo xc 70 wagon and even I do not get this thing, but be that as it may, this is a good SUV for smart buyers it is a rebadge caddy that will be a lot less than a caddy would be. Saab never sell close to list but you could pick this up less than the caddy twin. I love Saab but only their cars and only used cars at that. Granted that really does not help the company but as used cars they are great, this truck thing is not a true saab/ As for the 400 lbs I can explain that— Swedish Fish in the gove box of course.

  • avatar

    Maybe GM is getting its money’s worth for Saab after all.  People will look at this Saab and say:” Gee, honey, maybe the GMC Terrain isn’t that ugly after all.”

  • avatar

    Saabs only real problem has been their terrible interior design yet they keep hanging on to it like a child and their rotten bwanky. The new Kia Optima interior will be better. You can’t get the big “luxury” money with this interior!

  • avatar

    The looks are already stale and uninspired. At this point a GMC Terrain is a better choice for it’s risky (if ugly) take on the CUV.

  • avatar

    Well, if this doesn’t turn the trick for Saab then nothing will.

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