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

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author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2016

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.

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.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Saab 9-4X Might Be the Rarest Regular Car of All Time - Autotrader