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#1 2009-11-29 11:08:22

I'm the one whose timing belt tensioner snapped
From: Brooklyn, NY
Registered: 2009-02-20
User Number: 3535
Posts: 528

A new article....

Found an article that seems to have just been written about our cars....

Second-hand Saab 9-2x: No trouble with normal

Owners rave about the Saab 9-2X's reliability, versatility, styling and driving pleasure


Nov 28, 2009

Back when General Motors ruled the Earth with an iron fist – like, three years ago – it thought nothing of cross-pollinating brands to solve a marketing problem or fill a niche.

Corporate property Saab was in desperate need of a premium compact to campaign in a rapidly growing segment, but rather than invest the five years needed to develop a new car, it turned to GM affiliate Subaru and tapped the Impreza wagon.

It was a surprisingly easy re-badging job.

The wagon body appealed to Saab's predilection for slick and practical five-door hatchbacks, and Subaru was similarly obsessed with building robust four-cylinder turbo engines. And, coincidentally, both companies shared a common heritage as aircraft builders.


Destined for North America exclusively, the Saab 9-2X arrived from Japan in mid-2004 as an '05 model. It had the distinction of being the first Saab to feature all-wheel drive.

Outside, the 9-2X wore new front fenders with distinctive cornering lamps, sleeker headlamps and Saab's trademark trapezoidal grille. Out back, the "Saabaru" received unique tail lamps, an integrated rear spoiler sans roof rack and a new tailgate. The look was both aero-smooth and grown up.

"It packages the fire-breathing performance of the Subaru WRX in a skin that you would not be reluctant to drive to a meeting at the Harvard Club," an owner posted online.

Inside, stylists specified richer carpeting, two-toned upholstery and a metallic-finish centre stack. The seating was deeply bolstered but too stiff for some bottoms. Owners also didn't like the choice of fabric, which stained easily.

Being based on Subaru's small entry-level model, some owners found the cabin cramped, especially in the back seat. Cargo space was relatively generous, however.

To earn the Saab badge, engineers swaddled some of the Subie's noisy bits in insulation, including the rear quarter-trim, liftgate, roof and rear floor. An engine mount was redesigned to suppress vibration and the fully independent suspension was massaged to yield a more forgiving ride.

The 9-2X came in 2.5 Linear and Aero trim levels, the former getting Subaru's naturally aspirated 2.5 L flat-four engine making 165 hp, and the latter featuring a turbocharged and intercooled 227 hp 2.0 L flat-four from the rally-inspired WRX.

Both models came with a five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic. The 9-2X sported Subaru's symmetrical full-time all-wheel drive, as well as a viscous limited-slip differential on the more powerful Aero – instantly recognizable by its functional hood scoop.

Antilock brakes, front side airbags and curtain side airbags were standard along with Saab's active front-seat head-restraints, designed to minimize whiplash injuries.

For 2006, base Linear models gained eight horses for a total of 173 hp, while turbocharged Aeros got an engine transplant in the form of a larger 2.5 L boxer turbo. The power increase was minimal (up three to 230 hp), but there was more low-end torque and less turbo lag.

The 2006 model year would the 9-2X's last. Slow sales, combined with GM selling its 20 per cent stake in Subaru-parent Fuji Heavy Industries to Toyota, doomed the Frankenstein Saabaru.


Although the revised suspension was more compliant, the 9-2X still lacked some of the refined ride quality inherent in Saab's made-in-Sweden brethren. Fortunately, Subaru's light but crisp steering and tossable character were preserved.

The 9-2X's limpet-like road grip was attributed to Subaru's suspension geometry and the low-lying boxer engine. A 0-to-96 km/h sprint in the turbocharged Aero took 6.1 seconds with the manual stick; the 165 hp base model took about 8.6 seconds (add a second for the automatic).

The turbo motor was a peach, exhibiting a broad power band and smooth delivery, save for some turbo lag off the line.

"This car has brutal turbo lag," observed a tuner, who boasted the turbo engine could easily make 300 hp with a few readily available aftermarket modifications.

Owners complained of the compact's heavy fuel use, although to be fair, consumption was decent for an all-wheel-drive vehicle. The turbo engine drank premium, while the base motor sipped regular.


"It isn't a true Saab, but it is one helluva Subaru," read a post that summed up the 9-2X pretty well.

Owners praised the 9-2X for its versatility, restrained styling, all-weather invincibility and high fun-to-drive quotient.

The interior renovations didn't rate as well as the exterior upgrades, according to some, with the frameless windows and doors being the source of some un-Saab-like rattles. The stock stereo sounded cheap.

In terms of reliability, the 9-2X is easily the best car ever to don a Saab crest (the Swedish-made models rank poorly in J.D. Power's dependability studies). We found no repair issues in our Internet scan.

The vast majority of 9-2X owners are delighted – but we suspect there are few Saab purists among them. More likely, they're Subaru fans who enjoy driving something that looks completely normal.

Last edited by l7jr (2009-11-29 11:21:06)

"The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson" (#4F22/SI-822); September 21, 1997



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#2 2009-11-29 11:25:42

AARP Eligible
From: SE Michigan
Registered: 2005-08-20
User Number: 724
Posts: 2870

Re: A new article....

He read our cliff notes.  star

2004 9-5 Arc with 5EAT
2008 Saturn Astra XR 2 door w/5MT



#3 2009-12-09 12:02:58

From: San Francisco
Registered: 2008-01-22
User Number: 2503
Posts: 11477

Re: A new article....

l7jr wrote:

"It packages the fire-breathing performance of the Subaru WRX in a skin that you would not be reluctant to drive to a meeting at the Harvard Club," an owner posted online.


Der Schuh



#4 2011-08-08 00:42:59

From: Chicago
Registered: 2010-08-15
User Number: 4765
Posts: 5370

Re: A new article....

idfrwk77 wrote:

yes, dont be here, 
im your love 

wow good reply

05 MT, cold,



#5 2011-08-08 05:49:14

From: Indianapolis, IN
Registered: 2010-08-06
User Number: 4733
Posts: 4727

Re: A new article....

You quoted spam dude.



#6 2011-08-08 14:09:46

From: Chicago
Registered: 2010-08-15
User Number: 4765
Posts: 5370

Re: A new article....

I know what I did.  Wow, shit's really falling off around here.

I shouldn't think I would have to  star, but I guess I do.

05 MT, cold,



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