Fact of the day: There’s a Saab sport-utility vehicle rarer than the Ferrari F40. Rarer than the Porsche Carrera GT. Rarer than the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing. It’s called the Saab 9-4X. It was built in Mexico, and it has quite a story.
Here’s what happened. In 2000, General Motors took full control over Saab, using a strategy that’s never been fully understood by anyone who thinks rationally. Soon after, they started to GM-ify Saab, giving it a modified version of the Chevy Trailblazer, called the 9-7X, and a modified version of the Subaru Impreza station wagon, called the 9-2X. See the Saab 9-4X models for sale near you
Eventually, as the recession took hold, General Motors realized this whole Saab thing wasn’t going very well, so they unloaded the brand on Spyker, a Dutch company primarily known for making sports cars inspired by boats. But, by then, Saab’s next vehicle — the 9-4X, built alongside the Cadillac SRX in Mexico — was already in the pipeline. And so, as Saab’s uncertain future loomed, the 9-4X started to hit the streets.
But not for long. Spyker couldn’t afford to keep the company afloat, and 9-4X production halted after only 814 vehicles, all 2011 models, escaped the factory, making it rarer than the Porsche Carrera GT (1,270 made), the Ferrari F40 (1,315 made) and the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (roughly 1,400 made). Unfortunately, it’s probably not as valuable, on account of the fact it’s not a beautiful, classic, iconic supercar, but rather a crossover SUV built in Mexico.
Interestingly, the Saab 9-4X was actually a pretty decent vehicle, just as the 2010-2016 Cadillac SRX was a pretty decent vehicle. It offered two engines, a 265-horsepower V6 and a 300-hp turbocharged V6, and boasted a fairly nice interior. Also, despite the SRX’s GM roots, it finally looked like more than a warmed-over GM vehicle. In fact, it looked pretty good, with handsome, Saab-like lines that would’ve blended into any luxury SUV crowd. Most importantly, it came out right when luxury SUVs were hitting peak popularity.
And so, I’ve always wondered: If the 9-4X had been on the market just a little longer, could Saab have survived?
Despite the 9-4X’s rarity, there are currently 13 examples listed on Autorader, with an average price of just over $19,000. Not bad for a 5-year-old luxury SUV. Find a Saab 9-4X for sale