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The Saab 9-4X Might Be the Rarest Regular Car of All Time

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

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
Has Every Single Automaker Called a Car "GT"?
The Laforza Was an Italian Range Rover
The Volkswagen Thing Is Slow, Poorly Equipped and Unsafe — and I Love It

 
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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13 COMMENTS

    • With the Saab 94x, it shares much of its engineering with Cadillac’s SRX. As for Saab’s former 97x, parts were shared by Chevy Trailblazer, Buick Renier, Oldsmibile Bravada, and Isuzu Ascender. Saab’s other models will be serviced well through parts-recyclers. 

  1. I sure miss Saab… the final release of vehicles were so beautiful too… just unlike anything that was available at that time.

    Anyone know what ownership is like now? Where can you service one of these? What is the cost of maintenance and repair on par with?
    • My ’06 97x is well maintained through my local Chevy dealer. Grille and taillight replacements are nearly impossible to find. I was ready to trade it in on a 94x, but then everything went south for Saab. 

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