The Saab 9-2X is a Saab-branded automobile assembled in Japan at the Ota-Gunma plant by Fuji Heavy Industries and based on the Subaru Impreza, but with a modified body, suspension, and interior. Because of this the 9-2X earned the nickname "Saabaru" before it was released. A smaller car based on the next generation Opel Astra named Saab 9-1 will come in 2009.
The car is actually badged as a 92X, but Saab consistently advertises it as the 9-2X.
As of 2004, Saab planned to offer the 9-2X to a limited public, starting in July of 2004, for the 2005 model year, as a 4-door station wagon only. Europe will not receive the 9-2X as it is for the North American market only. Initial sales have been slower than expected, with only 410 sold within the first two months; however, incentives and promotions helped drive sales in May 2005 alone to beat the combined sales of the year up until that point. The dissolution of the GM/Subaru relationship in 2005 has spelled the end of this slow-selling but excellent performing model. Production has ended with the 2006 model year, and there will be no return of the 9-2X for 2007.
The 2006 9-2X is priced between US$23,710 and 27,670. The new for 2006 DOHC turbocharged 2.5 L engine produces 230 hp at 5,600 rpm and 235 ft·lbf of torque @ 3,600 rpm.
New for 2006:
2005 Saab 9-2X
For 2005 the powertrain consisted of the following:
The interior is reworked and has received extra acoustic insulation, with particular attention paid to the firewall, carpeting, roof, and rear window seals. The main piece of the dash is shared unchanged with the Subaru versions, while the door panels, lower dash, and seats are unique to the 9-2X. Saab's Active Head Restraints have been incorporated into the front seats, unlike the Recaro seats in the WRX. The rear suspension arms are in aluminum, with further reduction of unsprung weight achieved by using plastic in place of heavier components, bushings separate to the Saab, and the dampers recalibrated. The steering has been made more responsive and exact in the 'Aero' by using the steering rack shared by the STI version of the WRX, which features a quicker steering ratio, more rigidly mounted steering hardware and stiffer chassis bushings.
Saab is a fully-owned subsidiary of General Motors. GM was a 20% shareholder of Fuji Heavy Industries (parent company of Subaru) at the time the 9-2X was conceived. In October 2005, however, GM decided that it will sell 8.4% of the company to Toyota and will dispose of its remaining 11.4% share back to Fuji in a share buy-back deal. The 9-2X will thus be the only remaining joint effort between Fuji and GM.
The 9-2X is not particularly popular with brand enthusiasts. From the perspective of Saab enthusiasts, whether founded or not, the idea has been criticized for the fact that the changes are mostly cosmetic; thus, while it may look like a Saab, it might not drive like a Saab, nor have the same high standard of safety as a Saab (although the Impreza is among the safest cars in its class).
Subaru, meanwhile, is not happy about its image-building "halo car" being used to help prop up the sales of another brand - although officially both companies support the idea, and stress their common background in aviation and rallying. Many Subaru owners especially liked the idea since they hoped to be able to use Saab parts to style their Subarus - notably the Subaru interior, which is often described as basic. Initial reviews have praised the car for its more refined handling and higher-quality interior.