If you ask a sheep where the grass is the greenest, it will point us to the other side of the fence. There are the best herbs and the most beautiful grasses! Sheep are well-versed experts on these issues, so probably the sheep will. It's the same with automotive dreams. Things that are out of reach are especially desirable.
Sometimes rightly. Saab has the 9-4x, an SUV that was produced in small numbers for the US and is unlikely to experience its European debut. The 9-4x was for many a surprise on the German dealer tour. Also for me, because the 9-4x impresses with many lovingly designed details that you do not see at first glance.
The Saab hockey stick, one of the most important design features of the Swedes, is always cited in the body. For example in the spoiler of the tailgate. The headlights, in Nordic ice blue, are even more striking and a bit cooler than in the Saab 9-5. Of course, the side indicators are also beautifully "iced".
Inside, the love of detail continues. The door sills are illuminated in the dark, and the concept of ambient lighting has been adopted and refined by the new Saab 9-5. The Saab 9-4x was created in the GM era and as a Saab driver you will be somewhat baffled at this thought.
Let's remember the Saab 9-5 of the first series, where each year a small feature disappeared to save money. At the end of the GM era then such a model with such great details? The 9-4x is less a GM product. He is first and foremost a Carl-Peter Forster car, then a Saab and then GM. Saab owes its persistence to the new 9-5, the 9-4x and Opel owes him a lot.
The Forster products have led Saab into a bright future. Even the fact that Opel is still there, you owe the Forster cars. Now that the pipeline is empty, it's getting dark and uncomfortable for the Opelans.
The 9-4x not only looks good, it drives the same way. Our test cars were US press cars, some of the very first 9-4x, which rolled off the line in Mexico. The 6-gear automatic harmonizes perfectly with the charged 6 cylinder, the four-wheel drive is superb. Whether on the motorway, cobblestones or unpaved terrain, we were always well on the way.
The active Drive Sense suspension was not unaffected. The Europe version would have been a little finer tuned, would have had a different suspension and better brakes. In addition a consumption-optimized engine for the model year 2012. But we felt in the US version always in good hands. Add to that, for the heart and the automotive senses, a good, robust sound, which was always pleasant, never annoying.
The car is built in Mexico. The combination of GM and Mexico does not arouse any great expectation in me. Totally wrong ! The Saab 9-4 feels very European, very much to Saab and a little bit after German premium brands. Which is to be understood positively. No little bit of American swing, as we know it from Chevy and Co.
Which shows that Saabs could have been built anywhere in the world. Even in Mexico, if only the DNA is right and the attention to detail is there. For Europe, there would have been a higher quality interior for the 9-4x. Better seats, different leather. That would not really be necessary. The seats were very comfortable, the dashboard covered with leather and contrasting stitching. Premium? In any case, close.
The Saab 9-4x is too good not to build. The Saab 9-5 sportswear, too. The fact that we should not get both cars makes us sad. The blame is not in Detroit and not at GM. That would be too easy, we should think about that. First and foremost, it is in Sweden, where a small car company with commercial inability and lack of realism was bankrupted.
Now, however, GM has the opportunity to give us and Saab a second chance. Granted, the odds are pretty slim, but they're there. Maybe we can still get the 9-4x and the 9-5 in our garages.
What is GM planning with the Saab 9-4x? More on that in one of the next articles.