Spyshots: the Saab 9-3x appears

As has been mentioned a few times already, Saab had the 9-3x out for a photoshoot in the last few weeks and sure enough, Djup Strupe has come through with some albeit lo-res goods.

Here’s the car. Click to enlarge:

As you can see, it seems to have all the things we’ve mentioned here in the past: The riased stance, the cladding all round, the scuff plating front and rear, the roof rails.

The only difference that I can see is the set of wheels they’ve put on this one, which seem to be a new split 10-spoke wheel on this model vs the silver Turbo X alloys they had on the model shown in Germany.

For our previous intel and spyshots of this car, click here.

I just hope they market the crap out of this one as being the anti-SUV. Or can they not do that with a 9-4x in the pipeline?

43 thoughts on “Spyshots: the Saab 9-3x appears

  1. looks really nice, in the first pic the stance looks very balanced and good looking. thanks swade for getting the pics first.

  2. Great stuff Swade!

    No big surprises, maybe that’s a good thing!

    The dual exhausts spells 2.8T though I hold out massive hope for TTiD.

  3. Woohoo, what a great Christmas present to the SAAB community.

    Looks great, good strong balanced stance. Decent road clearance. Not flashy but not inconspicuous neither. Way nicer looking than the XC70.

  4. They had better market the hell out of it, it’s a gorgeous car and it has the possibility of selling really, really well for Saab in the US. Just look at how many Outbacks are sold here versus regular Legacy sedans and wagons, or the number of XC70′s that Volvo has sold compared to S60′s and plain-jane V70′s. If the 9-3X sees that kind of sales success it could double the 9-3′s sales in the snowy parts of the US.

    Did I also mention how gorgeous it looks in that color combo?

  5. Looks good and as I’m staunchly anti-SUV, I’d say pitch it at the SUV crowd as a sensible alternative. The 9-4x is a long off and depending on how things pan out with GM we might never see it? I still hope the crossover gets a different name to 9-3x and I hope it’s successful enough to make Saab seriously consider a 9-5 crossover. Then perhaps Saab itself will decide it doesn’t need to play “me too” with the other SUV brands.

  6. Hold your breath waiting for this one. Can Saab even survive the GM mess? They may be operating as usual in Sweden but I suspect that too will come a screeching halt…… Hopefully not, but as they say no $$ Mun—-no Fun

  7. I like it.

    I must add, though, that Subaru has dropped the Legacy wagons; they’re all Outbacks now.

    And what will happen to the 9-3X once the 9-4X rolls around? Will Saab be able to keep both models, or will the 9-3X go after a year or two to make way for the more traditional 9-4X crossover?

  8. thanks for the pics Swade & Djup Strupe, it sure looks good:)

    I wonder if the swedish police will go for this one (they have some XC70s)

  9. I think it looks kinda awkward for some reason, like the front was lifted less than the rear… Maybe its the color, maybe its the camera angle.. I was hoping for a higher lift and meaner tires and wheels.

  10. Oh Darn, they took a white one… It looks so much better in Titan Grey…
    And even better in 1:1 …

  11. jchan2: Subaru killed the Legacy wagon in the US but it is still available & thriving here in Canada. In May, my wife replaced her 2001 Outback wagon with a new Legacy wagon (4 cyl. w/AWD). By not being fooled (again) into believing that lower body cladding & higher ride height were necessary, even here on the east side of the snowy Rocky Mountains, she saved $3,000 (Legacy MSRP: $29,490 vs Outback MSRP: $32,490).
    I posted this a few weeks ago but no one responded so I’ll ask the question to all: why would a 9-3X be more appealing than a 9-3SC w/XWD?

  12. SaabBob, I think it’s because people think it’s closer to an SUV and that’s what they think they need to buy? BTW I think the Subaru Legacy (called Liberty here) wagon is still available here in Oz too.

  13. SaabBob, higher ride height and body cladding may not make a difference as a grocery-getter, but they sure do for people who like to get out and about.

    The perfect example would be my father, who is looking for a CUV-ish ride height with a decent fuel economy. And I am not talking about an off-roading maniac, just someone who likes to get off the pavement and out on the dirt roads to wilder spots.

    Such roads I would never attempt in my Turbo X simply because it sits too low to the ground and I don’t like the idea of chip stones on my skirts. :)

  14. Nice car, problem is, by the time they get it to market, we won’t have any Saab dealers left.
    Roberti Saab.com in Kingston New York has closed its doors. Purchased my CPO 04 Convertible from them. A very good “stand alone” Saab dealer. I now only have 2 dealers left to bring my car for service and covered repairs.
    AND, both of those dealers have told me ” it’s not looking good for the long term… ” Roberti Saab explains that by GMAC cutting all leasing, they in turn took down 70% of his business. Mind you, this guy had a big cpo program and still couldn’t cut it. HOW SAD IS THIS FOR SAAB. THIS WAS THE LAST STAND ALONE DEALER IN OUR AREA. GM, YOU MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO STICK WITH THE BRAND.
    YOU KNOW WHAT HURT’S THE MOST? THEY MAKE A GREAT CAR! ESPECIALLY THE CONVERTIBLE.

  15. I wonder if this means I can finally get one up the driveway without scraping the bottom?

  16. One thing. Why are those tires so thin? I think they should be wider. Look at the tires on a Mercedes, Audi, BMW sedan. That really helps with the ride. SAAB should put some bigger tires on their cars. Plus it makes the car look tougher and helps with the stance. That should be easy to do since the car is jacked up a bit. Or would that void the warranty? My 0.02…..

  17. 2-don: yes, Audi, M-B and BMW put wider tires on their top models. A base A4, C230 or 323i has anything but wide tires. Saab more or less follows suit – an Aero or a Turbo X would have wider tires, the base trim does not.

    As a side note, I am not sure if off-road-capable vehicles are supposed to have narrower tires? Much like it is widely recommended your winter tires are narrower for less exposure to the elements, if you will.

  18. I think it looks better than the standard 9-3. The raised roof line alway sat uncomfortably with the stand one but suits this with roof rails.

    Still its not the new 9-5x with xwd, v6 diesel :-)

  19. Sadly too little, far too late. This model needed to be on the block within a year of the 9-3SC, not 4 years later. There is little of interest here, a slightly jacked up Allroader wannabee – Saab again not only failing to lead, but worse, actually plaguarising Audi’s ideas.

    I think this will bridge a yawning gap in Saab’s model programme in the current crisis and give some sparkle to the 9-3 line-up (who’d have thought the facelift would start to age so soon?).

    Saw a new 9-3′ vert this morning and it is the sole car left in the line-up that makes me wanna look twice – we need new metal GM!!

  20. I was just thinking of an audi concept I once saw. It was an audi A4 convertible crossroad.

    Thinking about it, the ultimate “leisure time” car would be a Saab convertible 9-3x ! Just for cruising down the country … I would genuinely love such an outrageous thing.

    Saab, bring me the 9-3x convertible 1.9 TTid !

  21. I really like it!! Thank you Swade & Djup Strupe!!! I don´t like those chrome strips on the doors, but everything else looks business. Make it diesel and I´ll promise to consider it..

    SaabBob:
    why would a 9-3X be more appealing than a 9-3SC w/XWD?

    Well, if you don´t need it then you don´t need it. Simple.
    There´s many of us living in areas where, for example, we get a lot of snow during winter. Extra ground clearance is very good to have when the roads are not completely cleared from snow and there´s snow banks and icy snowblock everywhere.

    And also if you like to travel in places where you´d have to drive on a bad roads where there´s stones bumps, sticks and so on in your way. Clearance and some extra cladding makes it much more comfortable. I know. My two previous 9-3´s had REALLY tored front spoilers, scratches and marks all around. Just because there was nothing to cover paint and too little clearance.

    If you do like xc-skiing, mountain biking, hiking and travelling in the nature (like me) and like to be able to go THERE in your own car, you´d surely know why!

    Edit: this winter I´ve driven Outback for 4000km so far. I´m glad I didn´t know how much easier things car be with AWD and some extra groundclearance..

    Bring it on: the Saab 9-3X !

  22. Nice! Could be just what the doctor ordered.
    I wonderr what has been done to the inside? Upholstry? Rugged thick floormats? Any special tech features? Like the hill hold somebody mentioned the other day.

    I can tell you.. I´m so happy Something is happening in this time of waiting for the 9-5…

  23. As a current 9-3 sportcombi owner… I like it. I was considering getting an Audi or BMW in the next couple of years, but I will definitely consider this one. My only hope is that Saab improves the interior of their vehicles. I love my sportcombi, but it’s like night and day in terms of interior quality when I’m in my BMW X5 compared to the Saab.

  24. I like it, but as usual, will be too expensive for my tastes. I’ll wait for a year old one that’s dropped 15K on the used market.

  25. The XC70 is based on the S80 so it’s in a different league. More like the new 9-5 if it ever will come out.

    What’s the price going to be for this 9-3x in the US? The 2.0T SC XWD starts at $37,800 so this 9-3x should be close to $40K? The XC70 is bigger, has a better and larger interior and starts at $37K for the 3.2 6-cyl 235hp or $39,500 for the turbo with 281hp. Why would anyone choose the 9-3x over an XC70? I wouldn’t..

    The 9-3x is too little too late and too expensive. There is another failure in the making.. I hate to be so negative towards Saab so often but they are just not competitive anymore.

  26. But then Dan, your X5 is half as expensive again!

    To be fair to Saab, the interior is not so bad as some say, to my mind anyway.
    The real irritations are things like the screws falling out of the boot lid interior handle (it was the second one which hit me on the head that solved the mystery of where the first one came from!).

    Or the wonky handbrake, the poor radio, the cheap fake leather.
    But Audi and BMW are far from perfect in terms of layout so, maybe it’s a matter of compromise – design and function over style and quality. For the price I think the 9-3 is fair enough internally. It is in legroom and width that it fails to impress, but that’ll have to await a future model (please, GM).

  27. This is terribly encouraging and better done than I had expected

    SAAB and GM need this in the US dealers in December for the first big snow. Sure it will be overpriced, but so is the XC70. I had an S60 and it was abysmal, so test driving the XC70 against this SAAB should help move the cars. By the way, the XC70 is based on the 850, and the S80, S60, V70, Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS etc. all come out of that. Poor Volvo is really lost. The 740/940/S90 was a great car, but that was many years ago.

  28. I like it, but the body cladding does make me think (for only a minute) about the Pontiac Aztek. Still, the extra ground clearance gives this version of the 9-3 a more muscular, tougher stance and look. All in all, I like. Slap an Obama sticker on the rear glass, and I’d drive this baby. =-)

  29. Uh gord, the first-gen XC70 was based off the 850, but that was the viscous coupling-eating car that was only sold from 1998 to 2000. The CURRENT XC70 is based on an updated version of the P2 platform that debuted with the S80 in 1999, it’s a much more modern platform than the 850′s underpinnings. Yes, it also now is the basis of the Taurus, Sable, Taurus X, Flex and MKS, but those products all came out years after the first P2 Volvos made their debut. As a comparison, the Insignia is on the dealer lots as we speak while the NG9-5 is still months if not years away.

    Maybe that’s why the automotive press calls the P2 Fords rebadged Volvos while they call Saabs rebadged Opels. If you have a premium brand, then treat it that way and let it get the nice platforms BEFORE they appear in your volume products. It just looks much better to the consumers and the press.

  30. I dont’t know which xc70 is on sale now in the USA but in Europe we have a brand new xc70 based on the brand new S80/V70 platform.

    Ford also uses it for the (new) mondeo/galaxy/s-max but that are the only other cars that – for the moment – use this platform.

    Apparently – and I’m not kidding – the platform is too sophisticated and “overengineered” for a normal american car so ford still uses the old S80 platform for their American models.

  31. van god los – the 2009 XC70 in the States is on the same P24 platform as the European version. Get over yourself.

  32. I have to second Wulf’s point.If you are familiar with howSaab/GM has priced the 9-3 range for the U.S market for 2009 we could easily be looking at $40K.Plus! The prIcing for this years models approach being laughably absurd.We have a 2009 9-3 Aero Cabrio on our showroom floor in Laser Red (non-metallic paint) without the Nav.option…..M.S.R.P. is $53,605.00!!!!! You can option up a XWD Aero sedan to over $50k. for 2009.

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