Saab has revealed its latest car, the Saab 9-4X. Its a five-seater 4x4, but like most car makers, theyre sticking to calling it a crossover. Presumably, 4x4s have too many negative connotations!
We take a look at what it promises, and whether it looks to be a credible rivals in the already densely populated crossover segment.
The styling isnt particularly bold, but there are clear carry overs from the rest of the Saab family, such as the sleek headlights and wraparound windscreen. It looks slightly American for our liking, reminding us of the many small 4x4s that are only sold over in the U.S.
The interior, like all new Saabs, looks stylish. Saabs aircraft inspired design continues inside, with a aircraft alttitude meter serving as the speedometer, and a Night panel button that switches off all instrument lights, apart from the speedometer, similar apparently to what pilots have.
The engine choice, or lack of, show its clear that the 9-4X is squarely aimed at the American market too. From launch there will only be one engine available, a 300 bhp 2.8 litre V6. It sounds fun, but the MPG and CO2 arent likely to be impressive.
No word yet on how much it cost, but with such a powerful engine, it isnt likely to be cheap. The very generous standard equipment list also suggests itll be aimed at the top end of the market. Standard kit includes Bi-xeon lights, keyless entry, 20 wheels, BOSE sound system and electric seats. Were struggling to think of what optional extras could be available with all that kit!
We cant blame Saab for aiming the 9-4X at American buyers, its a very lucrative market after all. But we dont expect the Saab to go down well with the British press, at least not until they offer what the majority of buyers over here want, a really frugal diesel engine!
We're also worried that it will cost too much. The high kit list suggests they may be going for a Lexus style approach, by offering generously equipped cars, and few extras. The problem for Saab is at the moment they don't have the same image as Lexus, nor do they have the badge-appeal of other high-end rivals, such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
Hopefully Saab will cater to the more budget conscious, and not try and compete with the German brands.