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2005 Saab 92-x New Car Review

2005 All New Saab 92X New Car Review

by Jeff Voth

The Saab 9-2X is an amazingly entertaining car to drive. It offers dynamic performance and superior comfort in an exciting, attractive package. Whether you are cruising through city streets, or blasting down a snow covered mountain road, the new 9-2X is sure to put the widest smile on your face.

Saab offers the 9-2X in two models, each with their own unique performance specifications. The 9-2X Linear comes with a 2.5 liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 165 hp @ 5,600 rpm. Torque numbers of 166 lb.ft @ 4,000 rpm are strong for this aluminum block, 4-valves per cylinder motor. The more exclusive 9-2X Aero offers a 2.0L turbocharged motor with 227 hp @ 5,500 rpm and 217 lb.ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm.

If these engines sound familiar, it's because they are identical to those found in the Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS and WRX. A joint venture between Saab and Subaru allowed the 9-2X to be developed in a relatively short period of time. The benefit of sharing technology resulted in the excellent Impreza chassis being taken upmarket as a new member of the Saab family.

Our Aero test vehicle was equipped with the standard 5-speed manual transmission. Changing gears is a snap in the 9-2X. Short, even throws offer positive feedback as each new gear is engaged. Pedal placement is excellent, though I was surprised at the heavy clutch. Personally I prefer a lighter feel, similar to that found in Acura or Infiniti built cars.

For those not inclined to shift manually, a 4-speed automatic transmission is an available option.

2005 Saab 9-2x

The Saab 9-2X is offered only in all-wheel-drive (AWD). Building on what is arguably the best off-road system today; the 9-2X makes the most of Subaru's active AWD. It utilizes the electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch and variable torque distribution with planetary center differential to full advantage.

This renders the Saab 9-2X a virtual road warrior. Rain, snow, sleet or brilliant sunshine, the 9-2X is more than capable of tackling even the most demanding weather.

In the Aero, a MacPherson strut suspension with liquid filled bushings, coil springs and a stabilizer bar in front. In back, a twin parallel link arrangement is added to the MacPherson strut setup, along with the coil springs, trailing arms and stabilizer bar.

All-season, 205/55R16 tires ride on stylish multi-spoke 16" alloy wheels. Optional on the Aero are 17" 5-spoke twin alloy wheels, with 215/45 R17 high-performance tires.

Brakes are 4-wheel power assisted discs with 4-channel, 4-sensor ABS and EBD, (Electronic Brake force Distribution).

Ride feel borders on stiff, the Saab 9-2X is designed as a sports car first - luxury sedan second. Potholes and normal road undulations transmit easily through the 3-spoke steering wheel and sport seats, but it never overpowers to the point of being uncomfortable.

The exterior treatment of the Saab 9-2X is similar to that of the Subaru Impreza WRX, but with several striking differences.

2005 Saab 9-2x

Whereas the WRX looks like a rally car for the road, the 9-2X offers an equal level of performance, but in a more business-like package. Think Matt Damon in a dark suit with a power tie and you get the idea. The killer machinery is there, but it's hidden just below the surface.

The new 9-2X takes full advantage of Saab's rich heritage in aeronautics. Visibility is excellent, with no obvious blind spots. Clean, rounded lines flow from front to back on a compact, muscular body. A large hood scoop breathes life into the engine and a rear roof spoiler aids directional stability at higher speeds.

Large front airscoops channel air under the 9-2X and stylized side mirrors and door handles offer compact functionality. A large bright-finish exhaust tip adds to the already forceful attitude, as do the cross-drilled aluminum gas, brake and clutch pedals.

Inside, the look is pure Swedish high-tech, with rich comfortable seating for five and excellent ergonomics. Brushed metal inserts highlight the center console. The Saab 9-2X Aero I drove featured the optional AM/FM 6-CD audio system with six speakers, power glass moonroof and two-tone black and grey leather seats.

Air conditioning is standard, as are power windows, mirrors and door locks. Front seats adjust easily and offer excellent hip and leg support. Rear seating is tight, but offers space for five in a pinch, or a 60/40 split for added storage.

The Saab 9-2X is a serious move on the part of this small Swedish company to enter the young, urban professional market. It has the looks, performance and feel of a car costing thousands more. Saab continues to gain strength now that General Motors handles the books. With more new and exciting vehicles coming soon, the future for Saab looks bright indeed.


2005 9-2X
Description: Small Sport Sedan
Model options: Linear, Aero
Wheelbase: 99.4 inches
Overall length: 175.6 inches
Engine size: 2.0 L Turbo 4-cylinder
Transmission: Manual/5, Auto/4
Drive: Permanent AWD
Braking: 4-wheel Disc, ABS/EBD
Air bags: 2 (front) 2(side)
Base MSRP: $23,685- $27,645

For More Information Click: SAAB 92X
For the Saab 2005 Model Guide : Click Here