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2006 New Car Model Guide, Model Guide, New Car Reviews, Saab Cars, Trucks, & SUVs


2006 Saab New Car Model GuideSaab of Sweden, now beneath the corporate umbrella of General Motors, for a 2006 line returns two series of luxury and performance cars while adding two more series to double the line.

Repeating products are the 9-5 luxury sedan and sport wagon, and the 9-3 group comprising a sports sedan and premium convertible plus the new SportCombi wagon. Saab's new entry-level car is a fun-to-drive compact five-door hatchback called 9-2x, and a bona fide sport-utility wagon enters the line under the label of 9-7x.

Saab 9-3
2006 Saab 9-3

Saab's mainline cars consist of three different conformations for 2006 with a premium sports sedan, the drop-top convertible variation and a new five-door touring wagon called SportCombi. The wagon presents a wedge-like profile with roofline extending over a cargo bay and the tail wrapped by windows.

Inside, SportCombi has two tiers of seats for five and the aft cargo area. 9-3 cars offer two powertrain choices in 2006. Base engine is a 2.0-liter four-in-line with turbo boost for 210 hp. Top-of-the-line 9-3 Aero models for Sports sedan, Convertible and SportCombi draw from a new turbo-charged aluminum 2.8-liter V6 turbo that achieves 250 hp. It ties to a six-speed manual gearbox or optional six-speed Sentronic automatic with steering wheel tab controls. 9-3 Convertible lists leather upholstery as standard for 2006, while Sports sedan and SportCombi offer trimwork in red walnut with the optional Premium Package.

Saab 9-7X
2006 Saab 9-7X

Saab's new SUV brings seats for five, two powertrain choices and standard AWD traction. Foundation is the GM truck-based platform that underpins Chevrolet's TrailBlazer and GMC's Envoy wagons, although Saab applies signature design traits and premium appointments in the cabin. A smooth aerodynamic package projects Saab's familiar three-port grille up front on a shapely hood followed by a big cabin that ends with windows wrapping around rear roof pillars.

The plush inside compartment carries bucket seats in front of a bench for three that splits and folds, and a generous cargo bay in back. Standard powertrain is a 4.2-liter V6 which delivers 290 hp with a four-speed automatic transmission. 9-7x V8 brings a 5.3-liter V8 spiked to 300 hp and employs GM's Displacement on Demand (DOD) technology to conserve fuel. An electronic stability control (ESC) device is standard. Options include a moonroof and DVD entertainment system.

Saab 9-5
2006 Saab 9-5

Cars in Saab's flagship series include a luxurious four-door sedan and the five-door SportWagon with elegant appointments aboard and performance gear on top editions. Both the sedan and wagon score a modest face-lift for 2006 with mid-life restyling of the front grille and headlamps and a fresh arrangement of the five-seat cockpit and instrument cluster.

Two different four-cylinder engines continue to motivate 9-5 cars -- a 2.3-liter light-pressure turbo four with 185 hp is the standard unit, but sport-tuned Aero issues pack a high-output turbo-charged 2.3-liter plant that climbs to 250 hp. Transmission for Aero is either a manual five-speed or Saab's automatic Sentronic five-speed with control tabs on the steering wheel for thumb and finger shifting. Standard mechanical assets for all 9-5 cars in 2006 include an anti-lock brake system (ABS), electronic traction control (TCS) and Saab's electronic stability program (ESP).

Saab 9-2
2005 Saab 9-2X

Saab's entry-level car, conformed as a five-door hatchback, stocks all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction and optional turbo action. The AWD slant explains the name, as that 'x' tag on the model numbers denotes AWD mode. There are two versions. Entry issue 9-2x uses a 2.5-liter horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine scored to 165 hp, while 9-2x Aero fires up a 2.0-liter horizontal-four turbo to make 227 hp. Aero 9-2x also has a viscous limited-slip differential plus ABS brakes.

Both models carry a rear cargo bay and foldable back seat for expansion. The back bay is designed to house equipment of an active lifestyle such as surfboards, skis, bikes or camping gear. Standard base equipment on 9-2x lists aluminum alloy wheels, air conditioning, power controls for windows and door locks, plus an audio kit with CD player. Aero adds paraphernalia like foglamps, aluminum pedals, sport buckets and a six-disc in-dash CD changer.