Practical, Reliable, Rally-Bred Monster
By Scott on
2005 Saab 9-2X Aero 4dr Sport Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Last year I went used shopping for a practical AWD compact for city use and occasional road trips. To my surprise, this turbo Saabaru (which, yes, has an automatic) was the best of the lot by far. Plodding around in town it's as docile as any other auto-compact, yet the turbo means it doesn't run out of steam on the highway (I'm looking at you, SX4/Fit). But it's not all practicality: being a WRX, it's ready to play whenever. Put the tach above 3500 and it hisses, growls, and rips a hole in time. Show it some curves and it annihilates them (it's front heavy, but there's so much grip it almost doesn't matter). Best of all, you can go back to driving casually once you're done abusing the tarmac.
1. The depreciation :) . 2) The AT's gated stick makes it easy to pick your own gears when the mood strikes. 3) The seats are firm and have tons of support, as I prefer. 4) Saab's quirky, lovable interior job. 5) It's as reliable as a St. Bernard. 6) The 2.0 turbo boxer, though very old, is a gem.
1) The car is picky about how it's driven: going 70 with nothing on I get 28 mpg, but if I wind up to 80 and turn on the AC it drops to about 23-24. 2) The frameless windows are pointless. 3) The AT needs a fifth gear, badly. 4) It'd be nice if Subaru made an updated engine at some point.