- Trans: Automatic
West Milford, NJ
our dealershipis home of guaranteed credit approval! This vehicle comes with a free 3 month warranty extended warranties available. Leather / Heated Seating Xenon Headlamps Sunroof 2008 SAAB 97X 4.2I 5S3ET13S 68 4 DOOR SPORT UTILITY 4.2L I6 SFI DOHC 24V ALL WHEEL DRIVE Editor's note: This review was written in January 2007 about the 2007 Saab 9-7X. Little of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what details are different this year, check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years. Don't let the sleek styling fool you: With its truck-based underpinnings, outdated drivetrain and drab interior, Saab's all-wheel-drive 9-7X is an archetype of yesterday's midsize SUV powerful and comfortable, but inefficient and rough around the edges. Its frontal crash-test ratings leave something to be desired, too. It's no surprise drivers are leaving this segment for car-based crossover SUVs, which offer similar utility but better road manners and gas mileage. Unless you're looking for serious towing power, do as most do: Pass up the 9-7X in favor of a Lexus RX 350, GMC Acadia or other crossover. Traditional SUV Strengths Saab says it hustled the 9-7X to market in 2005 to stem the flow of owners leaving the brand to buy an SUV. To make it happen, the Swedish automaker called on parent company GM, whose midsize SUV platform think Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy seemed like a good candidate to bring Saab into the SUV fold. Saab's 9-7X uses that GM platform, but its sheet metal, interior and chassis have been modified. The drivetrains remain the same: A 4.2-liter six-cylinder with 290 horsepower and 277 pounds-feet of torque goes in the 9-7X 4.2i, while a 5.3-liter V-8 with 302 hp and 330 pounds-feet of torque powers the 9-7X 5.3i. Both engines team with a four-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is standard. My test car had the V-8, which proved to be an excellent motivator. After a moment of accelerator lag, there's plenty of oomph right from the start, and the power builds smoothly as you speed up. Contrast that with many crossovers, whose technology-laden V-6s need to be revved higher to produce strong acceleration. The four-speed automatic wastes little time reaching top gear, though its shifts sometimes feel abrupt along the way. Thanks to the engine's prodigious torque, the transmission seldom needs to downshift, so passing power is seamless. I had no trouble hustling from 60 to 70 mph in fourth gear at 2,200 rpm. Add a trailer hitch, and Saab says the 9-7X 5.3i can tow up to 6,500 pounds. The six-cylinder version tows 5,500 pounds still more than double some of its car-based competitors. Traditional SUV Weaknesses As with most truck-based SUVs, the 9-7X's biggest problem is its dismal gas mileage. Even with a cylinder deactivation feature that cuts fuel delivery under low-load conditions, the 9-7X 5.3i is rated at just 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. The 4.2i, which doesn't have cylinder deactivation, achieves identical ratings. Partly to blame is the four-speed automatic. Five- and six-speed transmissions have rapidly become the norm, and they offer incrementally better fuel economy as high as 8 percent better than four-speed gearboxes, according to Automotive News . Click here to see how the 9-7X's gas mileage stacks up against truck-based competitors, and here to see how it does against car-based crossover SUVs. Bear in mind that premium fuel is recommended for Lexus' RX 350, while all the others in these comparisons can run on regular gasoline. The 9-7X's gas mileage ranks about even with its truck-based competitors but is noticeably worse than the crossovers. Poor fuel efficiency isn't the Saab's only shortcoming. Despite having a chassis tuned for more carlike dynamics, I thought the 9-7X's body-on-frame layout made for a rather trucklike ride. Potholes induce enough cabin disturbances to make the armrests and center console quiver. On all but the smoothest pavement, highway speeds are accompanied by a discomforting case of the jitters. The steering wheel f...