Premium compact car; Built in Japan
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $5,000 – $9,000*


2005 Saab 9-2X


2005 Saab 9-2X


2005 Saab 9-2X

Pros:
  • All-wheel drive
  • Control layout
  • Steering/handling
  • Brake performance
Cons:
  • Rear-seat entry/exit
  • Rear-seat room

Saab’s changes to exterior styling, sound deadening, and interior trim do their part to disguise this car’s Subaru Impreza origins. And the versatile wagon body style and all-season AWD traction have some appeal. But there’s no hiding the tepid base engine or modest interior space.

Overview

Saab tapped the holdings of parent company General Motors for its new entry-level model: a 4-dr, all-wheel-drive wagon based on the Subaru Impreza. The 9-2X received Saab-family styling alterations, but used Impreza’s bodyshell and powertrains. Two 9-2X models were offered, both with horizontally opposed 4-cyl engines. The base Linear had 165 hp. The turbocharged Aero was similar the sporty Impreza WRX, with 227 hp and a functional hood scoop. Both offered a 5-speed manual transmission or optional 4-speed automatic. ABS, front side airbags, and curtain side airbags were standard. Leather upholstery and a sunroof were optional. The interior design was shared, but the 9-2X received different upholstery and Saab’s active front-seat headrests designed to minimize whiplash injury.

Yearly Updates

2006 9-2X
This “Saabaru” received a horsepower bump for 2006. Base Linear models were renamed 2.5i and had 173 hp (up from 165). Turbocharged Aeros went up to 230 hp from 227. The 2006 model year would be the 9-2X’s last. Credit slow sales and Saab-parent General Motors selling its interest in Subaru-parent Fuji Heavy Industries.

Engines

transverse front-engine/all-wheel drive

The 2005 Saab 9-2X had a choice of two engines. Base Linear models had a 165-hp 2.5-liter horizontally opposed 4-cyl engine. The top-line Aero had a 227-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cyl. For 2006, base versions were renamed 2.5i and received a boost to 173 hp. Aero’s turbocharged 4-cyl increased in displacement to 2.5 liters and in power to 230 hp.

ohc H4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/150
Engine HP 165
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 166
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
22/29
23/29
ohc H4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/150
Engine HP 173
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 166
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
22/29
22/27
Turbocharged dohc H4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/122
Engine HP 227
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 217
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
20/26
19/25
18.9

Turbocharged dohc H4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/150
Engine HP 230
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 235
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
21/27
20/25

Road Test

With similar powertrains and weight, any 9-2X mimics its comparable Subaru cousin for acceleration. Base Linear and 2.5i models have adequate go for routine driving. Turbocharged Aero models suffer from turbo lag, a delay in throttle response, below 3000 rpm, but they’re strong above this point.

In our tests, Aeros averaged 17.6-20.1 mpg, depending on driving conditions. While we have not measured a 9-2X 2.5i model, a similar test Impreza 2.5i averaged 20.5 mpg in mostly city driving. The 9-2X 2.5i uses regular-grade fuel, while Aeros require premium.

Saab tuned the 9-2X’s suspension to deliver a slightly softer ride than the Impreza. But even with those changes, any 9-2X has a very firm ride, with the suspension readily transmitting road imperfections to the cabin. Standard AWD provides reassuring grip, and the 9-2X’s steering has a slightly more positive feel than Impreza.

Also tweaked by Saab are its wagon’s sound insulation and cabin materials. The 9-2X is slightly quieter than the Impreza on all fronts. Though the control layout and instrumentation is identical between the two cars, 9-2X has more pleasing fabrics and other materials.

The 9-2X has a generally comfortable interior, though taller drivers will want more front seat travel. The steering wheel tilts but doesn’t telescope, and the lack of available power seat adjustments are competitive disadvantages compared to other premium compact cars. In the back seat, there is sufficient head room for those up to about 5-ft-11. Leg room is tight even with the front seats halfway back.

With its wagon body style and 60/40 split folding rear seat, 9-2X is generally a flexible cargo hauler, though its interior storage is scant.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Saab 9-2X Aero w/Sport Pkg., manual

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 7
70%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 3
30%
Steering/Handling - 8
80%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 7
70%

Other

Value - 4
40%

Total: 52

Specifications

4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
99.4 175.6 66.7 57.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
61.6 15.9 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.7 37.3 42.9 33.7
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 9-2X 4-door wagon w/side airbags 4-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Ignition switch
Description: If the wrong ignition module is used, even momentarily, the powertrain control module can be damaged or destroyed. (2005-06)

Recall History

2005-2006 9-2X
Description: Vehicles in certain states have front lower control arms that may break at the hanger brackets due to corrosion caused by salt and humidity.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.