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  1. #1
    Saab Enthusiast
    Join Date
    13 Oct 2011
    Location
    Romansville (Thorndale), PA , USA
    Posts
    177
    Saab(s)
    2011 9-4x, 2008 9-3 Aero, had 2005 9-3 Arc, '93 9000CSE, '86 9000Turbo
    Thumbs Up:   0

    Saab 9-4X - Mark_Venture

    I was asked via PM, but once I started writing, it got a bit long, so I figured I'd do this as a post...

    The question was about my 9-4x, am I happy with it, etc. by someone who was thinking about finding one and buying it, and could also use two of the dealers I've had experiences with... he wanted an UNBIASED opinion, but thinking about it, I don't know if I can do that. If you read ALL of this, you'll understand...



    First off, as for Dealers...

    I purchased my 1993 9000CSE (used) and my '11 9-4x (new) from Scott Saab in Allentown. I grew up in Whitehall. My Dad knew Andy Scott as members at Brookside Country Club and played golf with him. My dad had introduced me to him on a few occasions. While I had good luck taking my 9000 to them, taking the 9-4x in for issues (rear washer squirter) were not so good. Having moved to Wilmington Delaware, I've used Delaware Saab (Wilmington, was 5 min from my home) for service, and an attempt in fall of '04 to buy/lease a new Saab as replacement for my '93, but their sales people appeared like they didn't want to sell me anything. Their Service department, while close and convenient, had me returning for issues they either didn't fix properly, or caused while doing the repair I had it in for. In May of '05 I went to General Sales Saab. The sales man, Jeff L., Treated me great. Let me drive different cars, often without him in the car. When it came time to work the numbers, I used the GM Supplier program (due to my employer), he worked it all up right in front of me, found all the discounts possible, looking through the books and computer right there with me. He found me more programs and incentives than I could have imagined to end up with an awesome deal on a lease of an '05 9-3 Arc they had to order. When the lease was up, I decided to buy it out. I got another $2000 off! (so buy out was $2k cheaper than stated in the contract). When I dropped the car off for service, they treated me great, always had a loaner available. When my wife (still girlfriend at the time) bought a left over '08 9-3 Aero from dealer up in New England, General Sales treated her like she bought her car from them instead. Now that Saab is bankrupt, they stopped offering me a loaner car, but otherwise still treat us the same. Even though Delaware Saab was about 5 or so minutes from my home where I lived in Delaware, it was worth getting up extra early and driving 35 min to General Sales to drop my car off for service.

    So I guess you can say I am biased towards General Sales Saab. But its for good reason. The way they treated me, my wife, our cars, was way better. And I never had to worry about repairs and service there.

    Next.. Why Saab?

    As for Saab, I was kind of like you. I got my first Saab and was hooked.

    In college, I needed a new car. A friend's parents had a 900s (not sure what year). It looked quirky, but was comfortable inside. I found a '86 9000Turbo at Key Pontiac (Bethlehem, PA) and got it as a replacement for my Grand Am SE. I was hooked! When it was ready to be replaced (body rusting, headliner and other interior sagging, etc), I picked up the '93 9000CSE from Scott Saab. When it was time to replace that one, that is when I hit Delaware Saab. My being there seemed like an inconvience to them and even using the GM supplier discount, somehow what I wanted came out WAY MORE than their program lease sample (I only added CD player and moon roof!?!?). It was on a test drive with my Dad of a Pontiac G6 GT, and my mom telling him he should wait until his Bonneville lease was up, thinking that I couldn't afford a Saab, and the G6 almost having everything I wanted besides Manual transmission, I asked the sales guy (at Key Pontiac again) to run the numbers for me buying that car using the GM Supplier. It came in WAY under my budget for a new car, so I got it. It was a mistake. I missed SAAB. So 6 Months later, it was off to General Sales, saw Jeff L, gave Mom & Dad the G6, and got the '05 9-3 Arc.

    When my brother passed away in March '09, my parents ended up getting a settlement form the Hospital. Dad ran out and got a GMC Terrain SLT AWD to replace their aging Explorer. When my Dad passed away in Dec '10, my mom gave me the Terrain, and my '05 Saab sat in our garage. While I didn't like driving the Terrain, it drove like an truck, and I never wanted an SUV, it gave us the space we needed for weekend trips back to Allentown to visit mom with our young son and his stuff. Both were paid off, Mom knew I didn't like driving it, and she didn't want me to have the extra vehicle and insurance payment on it, so she told me I could trade the Terrain and my car in on something I liked if I wanted. I thought of the new 9-5, but liked the space the SUV afforded. If the 9-5 was available as a hatch back like my 9000 (not wagon), I would have jumped at it. I saw the 9-4x in magazines, knew it was supposed to be coming, but never saw one. Every time I passed General Sales or Delaware Saab, I didn't see one. When taking the GMC to Kelly Buick/GMC (Allentown) for an oil change one Saturday (in Sept '11), I passed Scott Saab and saw four 9-4x's. I texted my wife. We went to look at it and drove it.

    While waiting, I sat in an SRX in the show room. I didn't like the "pop-up" nav screen, the control/instument cluster/dash layout. It didn't look and feel as polished or proper as the 9-4x. I knew of Saab's financial troubles, but expected the Chinese investment to help them keep going.

    The sales man didn't know much about the 9-4x although he tried to say things like he did (like saying the "sport mode" changed the suspension setup, when it doesn't. It only changes shift points and makes the transmission hold the gear longer. They gave me numbers for trading the Terrain, as well as a number for my 9-3 sight unseen. I thought about it for an hour, drove the 9-4x to mom's house to show her, asked for her advice as the voice of reason. Our son (almost 3 then) just climbed up in the back seat, sat down, looked around and said "I like this. This is a nice car daddy." Mom said she couldn't see a reason not to get it. So we drove it back to the dealer, told him we'll take it, did some paperwork, went home to Delaware and got the 9-3, drove both both back up to PA a couple days later when my job allowed and traded them for the 9-4x (Oct 3, 2011).

    Of the four Scott had there, the one I got was the most loaded, and one of two that had XWD. They had 2 white, a silver and this black one. Black wasn't my first choice, but I wanted XWD and not white.

    Since then, I saw a Moorland Bronze 9-4x equipped the same as mine plus the rear seat package for sale at Delaware Saab. That is what I really wanted (ok, I didn't need the rear seat package, but it would have been nice). They also had a Black 9-4x like mine. At one point they were using both as courtesy vehicles, shuttling customers around, but I know they sold the black one since I parked near it at the Christiana mall one night without the Delaware Saab lettering on it.

    And now the 9-4x...

    I've driven my 9-4x just over 26K miles now due to an unexpected, but nice!, job change. I enjoy it, although I miss stick shift now and again. While taking it in to get the front bearing replace last week, I drove my wife's 9-3Aero, it felt good, but I was just as happy getting back into my 9-4x when it was time to pick it up. Its faster than the Terrain was, but not as quick as my 9-3Arc, and certainly not as fuel efficient.

    I've had two major expenses that I've written about in threads (sun roof drain leak, and front bearing), and minor issues that I've also written about (rear washer squirter, and condensation in the lights). The rest has been the typical oil change, tire rotation, PA Inspection/Emissions, Engine and Cabin air filter replacements, wiper blades, etc.

    I have the Nav system. The Voice Control for the radio and hands free cell phone can be picky at time. Trying to pass through voice dial to my cell phone via BT often dials the wrong name. Numbers manually stored in the car's nav system with voice tags ok, and you can store up to 50 names/numbers/voice tags, but YOU have to manually put them in via voice which takes time. Storing addresses with Voice tags, then using the voice prompts to "Navaigate to...." works well, as does saying things like "Radio Select 94.1 FM"... The NAV system's maps are a little out of date, it doesn't list the new neighborhood we just moved into (we are in the final phase of the development which was started 4+ years ago). While GMNAVDISC.COM (now Navteq) doesn't offer an updated map disc for newer Saabs, Saab Parts North America replied to me that the disc for the SRX will work. There are many others in forums for SRX, Terrain and Equinox discussing the Nav system (its the same as in the 9-4x) and its poor directions and "old" maps. I've noticed it will get you there, but not always the best route, or the quickest or shortest (even if you pick fastest or shortest). I usually use Google Maps on my phone unless I'm going to a big city like Philly or NY.

    With Saab being bankrupt, the 9-4x basically being an SRX underneath has helped with repair/replacement parts. Although it can be expensive to fix at a dealer. And I haven't experienced any issues with interior, glass or body panels that is strictly Saab specific. But being an SRX, I would expect the same reliability as a Cadillac. If you can live with that, without warranty, or by purchasing a 3rd party warranty, then you'll be fine.

    I've thought about after market warranty, and now Saab parts has announced their plans, I might look into that.

    All of that being said... Would I do it again if I had the chance?

    All in all, I still say I made the right decision buying my 9-4x Premium. If I could go back and do it again, I would do the same, but would have opted for the 3M clear protection film thing for the front end (like my wife has on the front of her her 9-3), a 3rd party/extended service plan, and tried to negotiate more off the price due to Saab's uncertain future at that time.

    I would have liked to get an Aero, from an acceleration stand point, and maybe I should have asked if they (or General Sales Saab) could find me a 9-4x in another color than black exterior (due to dirt, scratches and swirls showing up easily and the extra work to keep looking nice). BUT hind sight is 20/20 as they say, and still I'm happy.

    Of the 4 I saw on the lot that day, which were the only ones I had seen in person then or even a little after, and knowing what I did about the state of Saab at that time, I made the right choice and love my 9-4x.

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  2. #2

    Join Date
    18 Jan 2013
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3
    Saab(s)
    2007 9-5
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Thanks to you and several others for your valuable feedback. I feel less nervous about the issue of service and parts availability. I know I have a few authorized Saab services centers within reasonable driving distance for anything major. As with any car in it's first model year, I would expect kinks. I did call SPNA, and all 10-11 Saabs are eligible for the new Saab Secure program, regardless of whether or not you are the original owner. They are still working out the contract details and not all authorized service center may participate in the program. I would expect General Sales Saab will, since it sounds like they still have a loyal Saab customer base. They could not give me any prcing for extended service contracts yet

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  3. #3
    Saab Enthusiast
    Join Date
    03 Jan 2011
    Location
    Laurel, MD. USA
    Posts
    200
    Saab(s)
    2011 Saab 9-4X Aero
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Eh Not 100% Sure, if I can fix this issue it makes this car useless to me

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  4. #4

    Join Date
    18 Jan 2013
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3
    Saab(s)
    2007 9-5
    Thumbs Up:   0
    If you can or can't? What issue?

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  5. #5
    Saab Enthusiast
    Join Date
    03 Jan 2011
    Location
    Laurel, MD. USA
    Posts
    200
    Saab(s)
    2011 Saab 9-4X Aero
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Cant sorry, issue with some CEL codes. Look at the Thread by kurwa311

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  6. #6

    Join Date
    18 Jan 2013
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3
    Saab(s)
    2007 9-5
    Thumbs Up:   0
    I just was going through that whole thread and some of your past posts. I dig your ride. I am right now considering the same thing (silver Aero). The black wheels look awesome. I'm not a performance tuning enthusiast, so if I get a 9-4X it will remain completely stock. I just love Saab. From the first 900 I ever rode in when I was a kid (my rich relatives always had Jags or Saabs), to my beautiful 2007 9-5 (totaled by a careless driver), there is just something about them. I am trying to satisfy my desire to own another one, but my practical side keeps trying to reason me out of it. It just looks so damn good, I don't know if I can resist.

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  7. #7
    Saab Enthusiast
    Join Date
    13 Oct 2011
    Location
    Romansville (Thorndale), PA , USA
    Posts
    177
    Saab(s)
    2011 9-4x, 2008 9-3 Aero, had 2005 9-3 Arc, '93 9000CSE, '86 9000Turbo
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Since the old garage is going away... I wanted to copy/paste this info from it to here...

    Saab 2011 Saab 9-4X 3.0i Premium
    Engine Type 3.0i V6
    Body Style Crossover / SUV
    Color Black
    Price $41,625.00 United States - Dollar
    Purchase Date 2011-10-03 (new)


    Total Views 1061


    2011 9-4X Prem SUV/455 XWD (serial number 258)


    Standard Vehicle Price $40, 245.00
    Options
    Panoramic Moon Roof $1450.00
    Navigation system $2395.00
    Technology Package $1350.00
    Destination charge $825.00
    Total Vehicle Price $46,265.00


    Discounted to $41,625.00


    "Available" options NOT included on mine...
    1. Towing Package
    2. Compact Spare Tire (I have standard compressor instead)
    3 Rear Passenger Package (includes Tri-Zone climate control system, Rear Seat Audio system, and Rear Seat entertainment system with dual 8" DVD screens and wireless headphones, Heated Rear seats),


    Delivered at a Scott Saab, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA. It had 27 miles when I took it for the test drive and purchased it. (was about 36 when I was done test driving and actually purchased/drove off the lot)


    I traded my late father's 2010 GMC Terrain and my 2005 Saab 9-3 Arc, both of which were paid off and the dealer gave me excellent trade in values so cash out of pocket to get the 9-4x was minimal, and having to insure only 1 vehicle the next few years, just about covers that.

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