I bought my 2006 9-7X 5.3i a little over a year ago with 56,000 miles. It has been a good vehicle, but I recently have had several complications with it. When it turned about 65,000 miles, I noticed that there was a lot of wind noise on the highway. It sounded like the windows were not shut. I had the doors bent and seals replaced, and that fixed that. Then while gassing it up one day, I started it to find that the gas gauge read that it was empty and I had just filled it full. This was quite a spendy procedure to fix, as the gas tank had to be dropped from underneath. Also, the ride tends to be rough and bouncy. My biggest complaint is the poor MPG (I average 13 in town, 17 on highway).
What a great vehicle! First let me say, do not worry about what KBB, NADA, Black Book, and Edmund?s say about price. These are fetching $2-5k over book value due to rarity and style. For my location it stated $5500-7500, of course since my state gets tons of snow for 6-8 months out of the year, 4x4 / AWD vehicles carry an extra premium beyond that, and these sites / books never take location and needs / demands into account ? The initial asking price was $12000, got it for $7500. As stated my state (Alaska) has a huge premium on 4x4 / AWD, especially as winter approaches. Currently on EBay these vehicles are listed around $6500 to $12000. Mine only had 84400 when purchased this summer, which is low for a 10 year old vehicle. -The other reason for purchasing - my last car was a 2014 Cruze with 23k miles. It was horrible!!! Worst clutch ever, and had no power, and took a $1500 hit because the front seat was killing my lower back, my wife and kids hated it, and was tired of being kicked on trips, plus my wife is unable to drive a manual due to spinal fusion. Hate to step into an older vehicle with more miles, but it has been well worth it, and stepping up from a car with a mere 138hp and 128tq into something over double the power was also well worth it. My Cruze weighed over 3200 pounds with 138hp and poorly a placed torque curve -The 9-7X?s power feels tremendous since 90% torque is available at 1700rpm and continues this path through majority of its power band. Having owned a few sub 7 and 6 second cars over the years, this one feels a bit quicker than the 7.6 quoted in Car&Driver. Reason for this? If you read their articles, most long term testers lose anywhere from 3-7/10th after 40-60k miles. Engine tolerance has been so tight this last 20 years, many vehicles actually feel stronger after a couple years of ownership. However, this is ?butt? of the seat feel from experience. My guess would 7.2 seconds to 60 with a good launch. Only did this once for test drive. Either way, it has plenty of power for most people and will easily walk people from a light if you?re not careful. Most often I only need 1700-1900rpm to maintain a slight lead at stop lights. The 4.2i pulls nicely with a unique, but similar straight-6 sound. -Okay, parts are hard to find, and would purchase an extra set of vents and safely store them because eventually the originals will break while detailing. Same with the radio and climate control, these have paint wear, and there are few options to restore these. -Some articles say this vehicle is not worth it, but if they?re actually to drive a regular Trailblazer, Envoy, etc, it is a night and day difference. The 9-7X has airbags in the rear for starters, and the general suspension geometry was completely re-calibrated with components. Having driven my uncles Trailblazer with new struts, my 9-7X with original parts easily out shines it with handling. The SAAB feels like a different vehicle all together since the interior fit and finish is superior, plus the handling is just so much better. -Basically, do not read those articles. Trust me, go drive a Trailblazer and then drive a 9-7X. The best part is Trailblazer are everywhere and this should not be a problem. Also, Trailblazer are typically priced similarly to a 9-7X and the SAAB has far more features. -Gas mileage is great considering weight and power. I average 18 in mixed driving, but one trip was 23 mpg for over 200 miles. Besides, my wife has a 2016 Escape and she gets 28 combined with 33-34 on the highway ? so this is not our long distance hauler. Basically this is a very personal feeling vehicle. Hopefully this review conveys that. -----Updated mileage from 85500 to 89500-----my feelings have not changed since writing this review-----AWD system is not the best compared to my wife's Escape or my old Subaru. However it does well enough and since this vehicle is nice, I may install a transfer case from an Envoy with the Envoy's locking rear end. The AWD is one that engages when slip is detected. This can be abrupt and brutal at time depending on how much throttle is used, or if your rear is on a slippery surface, but your front tires are not.
This vehicle is amazing to drive, smooth, good feel of the road, with a feeling of complete control thanks to the AWD feature. The interior is just plush enough without being fru-fru, nice clean look, but lacks storage for the little things you need close at hand. This is true quality.