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The 9-7X represents something of a philosophy change for Saab, a company that built its reputation producing midsize performance vehicles with off-beat good looks. With no SUV in its portfolio, Saab turned to parent company GM for a quick fix. Borrowing a platform shared by the GMC Envoy and Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Saab engineers have produced a vehicle that looks the part, but falls somewhat short in the areas of ride comfort and engine refinement - at least as expectations of those characteristics might be for a Saab.
Unlike the scores of increasingly popular car-based SUVs, truck-based SUVs like the Saab 9-7X still struggle to combine a smooth ride with confident handling. So, although stiffening the suspension imparts the 9-7X with increased straight-line and cornering stability, it also results in a rougher ride, especially for those in the rear seat. In addition, while the in-line six-cylinder and V8 engines offer plenty of power, neither conveys a sense of effortlessness under heavy acceleration and both would benefit greatly from a more sophisticated transmission than the four-speed automatic. Steering and brakes are both responsive, and a tight turning radius helps make the 9-7X surprisingly easy to maneuver in parking lots.
300 horsepower @ 5300 rpm
321 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy: 14/20
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