Junkyard Find: 2005 Saab 9-7X Linear

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 2005 saab 9 7x linear

The General had a healthy sales hit with the GMT360 platform in the 2002 model year, when the new Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, and Oldsmobile Bravada hit the showrooms. Since GM had devoured Saab in 2000 and most American car shoppers wanted trucks or truck-shaped machines by that point, it seemed to make sense to produce a Saab-badged GMT360 and extract some cash from that slice of the car-buying populace that craved both the rugged-lifestyle signifiers of a truck and the quirky-yet-sensible Swedish image of a Saab. The Isuzu-badged version— the Ascender— had had its debut for 2004, and so the Saab 9-7X appeared for 2005 (sadly, no Daewoo- or Vauxhall-badged versions were produced). Here’s a first-model-year 9-7X, found in a Denver self-service yard last week.

There weren’t many differences between the 2002-2009 Trailblazer and its siblings, but the Saab-branding folks did what they could.

The ignition switch went into the traditional (for Saab) center console location; when Subaru Imprezas were sold with Saab badging starting in 2005, they got steering-column ignition switches.

Trollhätten or Moraine, what’s the difference?

The Arc trim level got you a 5.3-liter LS engine, while the Linear came with the 4.2-liter straight-six. This car has a six, rated at 270 horsepower. No manual transmission was available.

The engine-displacement badges give this truck more of a European look, hoped the maestros of the branding team.

When you see these Refresh vent-mounted liquid air fresheners in a junkyard car, you know there was an olfactory problem that couldn’t be solved with ordinary Little Trees.

Members of the GMT360 family held their value pretty well for a good decade, but now Denver junkyards are packed with Trailblazers and Envoys, with the occasional off-brand version appearing here and there. Perhaps they’re too small for used-truck shoppers today.

It turns out the console position for the ignition switch reduced knee injuries, in the Saab-centric view.

Once you’ve built (barrel-shaped) jets, you don’t just build another SUV.

For links to 2,100+ additional Junkyard Finds, head over to the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.

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4 of 37 comments
  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Apr 20, 2021

    The 9-7X at least addressed the unbelievably cheap feeling that the other GMT360s had inside and out. But they all seemed to get used up fast. The engine is decent so I have to guess there were other mechanical or electrical weaknesses.

    • See 1 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Apr 20, 2021

      @matador +eleventy points I have a similar affection for my 244, the newer Volvos just seem like drama queens to me (and I have one in the shop now so we'll see).

  • Mustangfast Mustangfast on Apr 20, 2021

    Laugh as we may at how GM decided to make a Trailblazer into a Saab the Saab treatment took these from craptastic plastic to a decent SUV for the time. The basic design wasn’t terrible and proved robust over time. Their problem was not feeding some or most of these changes back to the other models. I remember my aunt was getting a Chevy in the early 2000s, and looking for recommendations on what to get, given she didn’t want a pickup this was arguably the next best thing on the lot if you couldn’t afford a Tahoe/Suburban sized vehicle. The rest of the lineup was pretty much crap.

  • Syke Congratulations on not mentioning the political possibility. I'm sure that during the reading of the article, I'm not the only one noticing the states primarily listed are primarily considered conservative states. And they're not all states bordering Canada.
  • Redapple2 I want my 5 minutes bck
  • Paul Alexander I'd love to buy a car without infotainment.
  • EBFlex Chrysler has the best infotainment by far. The older uConnect system was bulletproof and never had issues. The newer one based on android auto is a big step backward but it's still very good. Nothing else comes close to Chrysler's infotainment.
  • EBFlex People don't want compromises. They want a vehicle that will match what they have now with ICE which includes very short refueling times, long range, and batteries that don't degrade over a rather short time. In the midwest, people don't live on top of each other. People like their space and are spread out. 30+ mile commutes are common. So is outdoor living which includes towing.Government cars make sense for the coasts where people love to live on top of each other and everything is within walking distance. They don't make sense in areas where it's cold and 40% of your range could be lost. Government cars are just not viable right now for the majority of people and the sales reflect it.