2008 Saab Turbo X new car reviews

The new Saab Turbo X certainly looks the part. We thought it was one of the more stylish offerings we've seen from Sweden lately.

Better than: Pontiac Grand-Am
But not as good as: Subaru Legacy GT
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 67.11

Just in time for the X Games, Saab sent us one of their limited edition Turbo X sedans. Decked out in a snazzy all-black paint scheme, the Turbo X also features unique front and rear fascias and a set of very handsome wheels to help differentiate it from its 9-3 siblings.

Saab certainly put effort into making the car look like a performance sedan. So, was its appearance a reflection of its character or just a facade? We were very eager to discover the truth about the latest from Trollhattan.

The spec sheet was certainly promising: Nearly 300 horsepower driving all four wheels gave us visions of a well-built EVO fighter with comfy seats. In practice, however, the Turbo X didn't really impress us dynamically. Blame the automatic transmission, but "quick" wasn't an adjective we'd use to describe the Turbo X. Unfortunately, we wouldn't use the phrases "great handling" or even "fun to drive," either.

At least the interior was pretty darn comfortable. Plush leather seats offered enough support to match the car's grip. The honest-to-goodness carbon fiber interior trimmings had the rare ability to look classy and performance-oriented at the same time. Still, without a bit of performance to back it up, it felt a bit cheesy.

Saab says they'll only build 600 examples of the Turbo X, so if you're a die-hard Saab enthusiast--and you don't mind the performance disappointment--you'd better hustle.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Historically I have been a fan of Saabs. I dig weird thing. This one, however, didn't offer anything that justified the price tag. Color me bummed.

Joe Gearin Joe Gearin
Associate Publisher

This handsome Saab certainly looks like a high-performance sports sedan. Great-looking wheels, sharp exterior design and an interior that retains a bit of Saab DNA are all highlights. Unfortunately, dynamically there isn't much to love. The Turbo X certainly doesn't suck, but it doesn't goad you into taking the long way home either. It just goes about its business in a very competent, comfortable manner. Nice, but for this kind of dough I'd like to feel more involved, more special.

Maybe a manual transmission would help make this car feel more lively. Maybe not though. Either the power ratings are optimistic, or there were a couple of fat guys stashed in the trunk, because the Turbo X just didn't feel very quick. It is hard to hate this nicely crafted sedan, but it is also pretty hard to love it, too.

Tom Suddard Tom Suddard
Digital Experience Director

I liked the interior of the Saab (lots of buttons to push), and the seats were comfortable. I also thought the carbon fiber looked pretty good, although it was kind of pointless. I liked the outside, too. The sporty wheels and nose were cool, in my opinion. Really, the only problem I had with this car was its price. It was fast enough, but I was expecting a lot more for 43,000 dollars.

Scott Lear Scott Lear

I was looking forward to spending a weekend with this Saab, including a trip to Orlando, but when it struggled to get above 17 miles per gallon with the A/C on during extremely light use from the office to my house, I was horrified. I almost wish I hadn't turned on the instant economy reading, or I might have opted to spend more time with it; it's reasonably fun, and I do dig the looks. However, I wasn't interested in burning gas at a ridiculous rate, so I parked it and we took my IS 300 instead. Never thought the Lexus would seem thrifty compared to another sporty sedan.

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Comments
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midknight
midknight Reader
8/18/08 12:19 a.m.

Front reminded me of an Acura TSX, rear of a Pontiac. Nice enough, but nothing memorable. The auto really killed it. This one won't bring this old Saab enthusiast back to the fold.

Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

Just in time for the X Games, Saab sent us one of their limited edition Turbo X sedans. Decked out in a snazzy all-black paint scheme, the Turbo X also features unique front and rear fascias and a set of very handsome wheels to help differentiate it from its 9-3 siblings.

Saab certainly put effort into making the car look like a performance sedan. So, was its appearance a reflection of its character or just a facade? We were very eager to discover the truth about the latest from Trollhattan.

The spec sheet was certainly promising: Nearly 300 horsepower driving all four wheels gave us visions of a well-built EVO fighter with comfy seats. In practice, however, the Turbo X didn't really impress us dynamically. Blame the automatic transmission, but "quick" wasn't an adjective we'd use to describe the Turbo X. Unfortunately, we wouldn't use the phrases "great handling" or even "fun to drive," either.

At least the interior was pretty darn comfortable. Plush leather seats offered enough support to match the car's grip. The honest-to-goodness carbon fiber interior trimmings had the rare ability to look classy and performance-oriented at the same time. Still, without a bit of performance to back it up, it felt a bit cheesy.

Saab says they'll only build 600 examples of the Turbo X, so if you're a die-hard Saab enthusiast--and you don't mind the performance disappointment--you'd better hustle.

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