What's Wrong With This Picture: And It's All Small Stuff Edition

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

On the same day that a Chinese firm announced that it would restart production of the 9-3, I happened to bump into the poster child for Saab’s decline and fall.

This Saab 9-7x can’t be any more than seven years old, but the badge on its nose has already faded away to nothing. The faded cloisonne is almost as much a part of Saab lore as the centrally-located ignition key, and it’s something that should have been fixed long ago. General Motors’s stewardship of Saab was supposed to result in an improved customer experience. That was the promise, but the reality was a few riffs on a European Cavalier and an Oldsmobile Bravada with a nosejob. A bad nosejob, as you can see.

Jack Baruth
Jack Baruth

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  • Flybrian Flybrian on Dec 04, 2013

    Say what you want, but the trifecta of orphan brand plus low production plus no one knows what it is results in a maelstrom of bargain-bargain-bargain when buying a 9-7X. You get sassy Sweedish exterior touches with a superior domestic powertrain for less than a comparable Envoy. Just don't ever need bodywork ever. Also, the 9-7X did something 50+ years of Sweedish engineering couldn't - provide an all-weather vehicle that is reliable, relatively robust, and wrenchable by even a half-competent mechanic.

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    • Flybrian Flybrian on Dec 04, 2013

      @PrincipalDan You can tell by the overall proportioning and shape that the vehicle was designed as a Bravada first, ported over to other division afterwards. Its just so much more cohesive as an Olds.

  • CurseWord CurseWord on Dec 04, 2013

    Our nostalgia needs to learn to let go. There's too many car companies these days and not enough customers. I feel bad for the people that lost their jobs at SAAB, but times change, companies get better, and GM had to cut the fat. We all liked the idea of Saab, an idea we created in our heads, but did many of us buy them? No. They were expensive and problematic, and not that good looking. Grandma is 98, on dialysis. Let her go.

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    • Dave M. Dave M. on Dec 04, 2013

      @Tim_Turbo I have an '04 Aero convertible as my play car, and recently bought an Outback to replace my Trooper as a daily driver. What attracted me to the Subaru was the boxer engine and AWD. And that, like the Saab, Subaru is still relatively uncommon here in Texas. I love my car in the torrential rains we frequently get. The Aero's trunk label fell off; $15 on ebay for a new one. Oddly enough the wheel emblems all darkened past recognition; I replaced with the Saab-Scania design for $20.

  • Lon888 Lon888 on Dec 04, 2013

    I guess you haven't seen any 3-5 year old BMW's from here in the great southwest. Around these parts we gauge the age of a BMW by how faded the propeller roundel is. By 5 to 7 years its just an aluminum disk. Fine enduring German craftsmanship.

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    • Vvk Vvk on Dec 05, 2013

      @lon888 But 80F IS a hot day. Above 80F is inhuman. The only reason you can endure it long term is air conditioning. Or camel milk.

  • CarGal CarGal on Dec 05, 2013

    Sometimes I miss my Saab 900 Turbo convertible. College car. Good times.