Used 2006 Saab 9-2X

2006 Saab 9-2X
List price range
2006 Saab 9-2X

Pros

  • Strong acceleration and sharp handling on Aero model, convenience of wagon body style, all-weather capability.

Cons

  • Sluggish response from automatic transmission, downmarket interior for a premium wagon, can't get a navigation system or stability control, costs more than Subaru version.
Saab 9-2X years
2006

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Edmunds' Expert Review

It may have more attractive styling than its Impreza twin, but in every other respect, the 2006 Saab 9-2X is all Subaru -- it just costs more.

vehicle overview

In an effort to expand their appeal among younger buyers, many manufacturers of premium cars are digging deeper into the $20,000-$30,000 price range with their product lineups. These lower-end offerings typically blend the luxury amenities and high style younger buyers crave with the day-to-day practicality they need. Guided by a "me too" philosophy laid out by parent company General Motors, Saab added an entry-level model to its lineup for 2005.

Available only as a wagon, the Saab 9-2X boasts a base price that's thousands lower than that of the cheapest 9-3 sedan. Thanks to GM's 20-percent stake in Fuji Heavy Industries, Saab got more than a little help from Subaru with this endeavor. In fact, except for a few unique styling details, revised suspension tuning and some new interior fabric, the all-wheel-drive Saab 9-2X is an Impreza wagon. That's right. The seats, gauges, door handles, controls and interior plastics are all of Impreza origin. Simply borrowing the car from Subaru allowed Saab to bring the 9-2X to market that much quicker. Unfortunately, any semblance of Scandinavian heritage was lost in the process.

The "X" in the 9-2's name denotes a standard all-wheel-drive system, a main selling point and core Subaru product characteristic. Available only as a wagon, the 9-2X's exterior lines have been smoothed to soften the Impreza's edgy look. The front and rear treatments are unique to Saab, including the tailgate, spoiler and wraparound lights. Standard 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/55R16 all-season tires were designed exclusively for the 9-2X. In an effort to give the 9-2X upscale dash in place of the Impreza's flash, you won't find any Saab cars in Subaru's signature Rally Blue paint; instead, there are more refined color options including a dark navy blue. As with the Impreza, two engines are available for the Saab 9-2X: a naturally aspirated, 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder rated for 173 horsepower on the base 2.5i model, and a 230-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter, four-cylinder boxer on the Aero, which is essentially a WRX wagon. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard on both the 2.5i and Aero, while both can be optioned out with a four-speed automatic.

So, has Saab performed enough of an Impreza transformation to justify paying a few thousand dollars more for the Saab version? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Despite its slightly longer warranty and handsome styling, the 2006 Saab 9-2X strikes us as poor value for the money. True, the Aero model performs every bit like the wonderful WRX, but its 100-percent-Subaru interior feels inappropriately downmarket, and it doesn't deliver the sort of refined ride quality you expect from a vehicle in its price range. Additionally, upscale features like stability control, a high-end audio system and a navigation system simply aren't available. If you want a premium wagon in this price range, the Audi A3 and Volvo V50 are much better choices. If you just want a fun-to-drive wagon with reasonable monthly payments, proceed directly to your local Subaru dealership.

2006 Saab 9-2X configurations

The Saab 9-2X is available as a four-door wagon only in two trims, 2.5i and Aero. Standard items on the 2.5i include a 16-inch alloy wheels, rear roof spoiler, tinted glass, cloth sport seats, a height-adjustable driver seat, manual air conditioning, full power accessories and a four-speaker, single-CD sound system. Step up to Aero and the goodie bag swells to include metallic-framed gauges; a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and handbrake; automatic climate control; a cabin air filter; front foglamps; and a six-speaker stereo with an in-dash CD changer. Options include 17-inch twin alloy wheels, leather upholstery, seat heaters, HID headlights, de-icing wipers and a moonroof.

2006 Highlights

The Saab 9-2X enters its second year of production with a new engine: The Aero model now has a larger 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 230 hp and 235 pound-feet of torque. The base Linear model has been renamed the 2.5i and its engine is now rated 173 hp. The Premium Package has been deleted, and the Sport Package has been revised to include 17-inch wheels and xenon headlamps; additionally, a Leather Package is now available for both models. The moonroof on the Aero becomes a stand-alone option.

Performance & mpg

Two engines are available for the Saab 9-2X. The base 2.5i model comes with a naturally aspirated, 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder rated for 173 horsepower and 166 lb-ft. The Aero model gets considerably more juice in the form of a turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer four that makes 230 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard on both the 2.5i and Aero, while a four-speed automatic is optional. All-wheel drive is standard on both trims.

Safety

Four-wheel antilock disc brakes and side airbags for front occupants are standard on every 9-2X. Also standard are active front head restraints, which help protect against whiplash in the event of a rear-impact collision. In NHTSA crash tests, the Saab 9-2X received a perfect five stars in frontal-passenger protection, and four stars in driver protection.

Driving

Although the Impreza's suspension settings were softened for the Saab 9-2X, the wagon still lacks the refined ride quality of the Audi A3 and Volvo V50. However, it's certainly fun to toss around on back roads, especially in Aero form. The engine in the 2.5i provides ample get-up-and-go for everyday driving, but it can feel sluggish during highway passing maneuvers. Aside from a smidgen of the off-the-line lag, the Aero's turbocharged engine is a delight, with a broad powerband and a smooth delivery. In either case, the automatic transmission tends to blunt its performance, so get the manual gearbox if you can.

Interior

Inside, the 2006 Saab 9-2X is almost all Subaru. Clean, legible gauges are easier to read than most Saab-designed instrumentation, but they're also rather plain in appearance. The two-tone cloth upholstery is attractive and the textured plastics and vinyls on the dash and door tops are actually better than the stuff in some of the more expensive Saab cars, but you'll also find hard, shiny plastic on the console and pillars as well as a cheap headliner that feels like cardboard. This is also the only premium-brand vehicle we know of that doesn't have retained accessory power. A 60/40-split-folding rear seat is at the ready, should you have the need to stow bulky cargo. Maximum cargo capacity is 62 cubic feet -- about the same as an Audi A4 wagon.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2006 Saab 9-2X.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

9-2X is not for everyone
Kenpost,10/02/2006
All that says Saab is not Saab. I may have had an exception but even my friends who drive Subarus discribe their experience differently. My 9-2X had a very annoying gear hum that over shadowed any other good qualites. The auto transmission was 20 years behind the times in techno. At low speeds it seemed to always be looking for the right gear. GM has has acted wisely in dropping this model from the future Saab line up. I have followed their lead and traded it after only 1 month.
Saab 9-2x Aero
Teresa,11/18/2006
I enjoy my Saab. It is a roomy car for my active life style. I can easily fit my bike in the back or on top with the racks. It is very reliable and a fun to drive car.
Make it more of a Saab!
mdnumber32,12/18/2009
I really like this car, and the fact that you don't see them all over the place, however, Saab did almost nothing to make it their own, which is really disappointing for a car company with so much personality. No problems so far after 6 months of ownership. I'm just recently finding out that the heated seats get perfectly warm very fast, and I love that they're paired with cloth upholstery. I've gone through 4 cars in the past 2 years and this is certainly the most satisfying. The sound system is horrible, and the heat and air can't really be turned up to a very high max (important for super hot and cold days).
9-2x fun and fulfilling
KLauder,12/05/2005
I've had the 9-2x since this summer and so far it has been a very fun car. The AWD and turbo make city drivng fun with it's quickness and cornering abilities. Having traded in a muscle car that was killing me in gas it has been a lot easier on the wallet at fillup time. Not as great as I expected (about 20 MPG avg.) but that is probably a combination of driving it in a fun manner and the city driving. With two kids it has also been easier having a four door vehicle but keeping a sporty look and feel.
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Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 26 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
173 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
18 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
230 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2006 Saab 9-2X features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2006 Saab 9-2X
Used 2006 Saab 9-2X Overview

The Used 2006 Saab 9-2X is offered in the following submodels: 9-2X Wagon. Available styles include 2.5i 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M), and Aero 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M).

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Find a used Saab 9-2X for sale - 10 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $7,489.

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Should I lease or buy a 2006 Saab 9-2X?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Saab lease specials
Check out Saab 9-2X lease specials