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First look video: 2011 Saab 9-4X

Consumer Reports News: August 04, 2011 04:23 PM

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Recent Saab news has focused more on the company’s financial troubles than on the automaker’s upcoming products. If Saab wants to regain sales volume in SUV-happy America, the 9-4X will need to lead the charge, since the redesigned 9-5 sedan hasn’t made much of a sales splash. At all.

Developed under General Motors’ ownership, the 9-4X shares a lot of bits with its Cadillac SRX platform-mate. Despite the Swedish nameplate, it’s built in the same Mexico assembly plant as the SRX.

Our first impressions? It’s no surprise that many of the SRX’s traits carry through to the 9-4X sibling. The heavy weight blunts the performance of the Aero’s 300-hp, 2.8-liter turbocharged V6; the base engine is the same underwhelming 3.0-liter V6 we disliked in our tested SRX.

The interior is nicely finished with supportive seats, but rear corner visibility is lousy. There are some traditional Saab cues sprinkled around inside, but you get the feeling that the 9-4X could just as easily wear a Buick badge.

We’re holding off testing a 9-4X until we get an idea of how firm the company’s footing really is. The advice we’ve been giving to our readers also applies to us: The uncertain future of the automaker should give consumers pause before committing to a purchase.

Check out the video for further impressions.

Test complete video: 2011 Saab 9-5
Despite automaker’s troubles, should I buy a Saab?
2012 Saab 9-5 SportCombi - Is it a wagon or hatchback?

Tom Mutchler

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