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  #1  
Old 4th July 2012
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Default Considering a 9-7X - looking for feedback

I'm looking for real life feedback on both the 4.2 and 5.3 configs ... the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Please share.
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  #2  
Old 4th July 2012
saabmeatball saabmeatball is offline
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4.2 gets the same or worse gas mileage than the 5.3

the 5.3i has power adjustable brake and gas pedals, and xenon headlights

When I drove a 4.2i - I thought that it was under powered, however the engine is rock solid.

There is oil comsumption with the 5.3i- about 1 qoart every 4K miles is reported by some

The rear struts for the hatch fail - must be often enough that the dealer has them in stock and the fuel sender unit, which is also in stock at all times.

The tranny's in the 5,3i seem to be more prone to failure- had mine replaced at 39K miles.

I am a owner, trying to sell mine 5.3i - and have driven all three models, 4.2, 5.3, and the Aero -
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  #3  
Old 4th July 2012
mikeucr mikeucr is offline
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Carsurvey.org

My review is on there. It's a good account as I drove it through the miles.

I love this car. Very reliable. 110,0000 miles and still strong.
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  #4  
Old 4th July 2012
CarlsX CarlsX is offline
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I have an 06 with the 5.3i. In the 2 mo. since I bought it I am pretty happy with it, other than so-so gas mileage (18mpg hwy. 14 city) and oil consumption problem. Need to take it into dealer for that fix as I just recently found that... Uses a qt. every 1k miles or even more if all highway miles! Apparently quite common with carbon buildup in the cylinders from the active fuel management system it uses on the highway.

Test drove a 4.2L but really didn't like the power difference. I heard the mileage was about the same so I went with a cleaner 5.3i I had been looking at. Love the Bose OEM system, but wish it had input for iPod/etc. Ride is OK but I think it could use new shocks already at 70K. The suspension takes a beating with the big 18" tires on there...

Good luck with your shopping!
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  #5  
Old 4th July 2012
saabmeatball saabmeatball is offline
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Carl:

I had the same issue with 1 qt about every 1K miles-

I had, under warranty, the left cylinder bank valve cover gasket and PCV valve replaced, reduced oil comsumption -

I did hear the next route after this is "soaking" the cylinder rings, which I assume means clean the carbon out as you started.

The 5.3i even though with its flaws, is the better choice-
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  #6  
Old 4th July 2012
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I have the 4.2. Other than the gas mileage being really ****ty, it's a great truck. The engine really is solid, have a 167k miles on mine and runs like it's new. Just keep it maintained with fluid changes and other maintenance items, and you'll be fine. It takes 7 quarts of oil btw!
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  #7  
Old 4th July 2012
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I have had my 4.2l 9-7x since last october. It has been excellent except for very poor mpg. It is very very cheap to maintain ($120 for trans filter/fluid change and approx $35 for syn blend oil change at dealer). I enjoy the all options and cool factory wheels it came with. An adult bike can fit in back with seats up and bike wheel turned.

The nav system and dvd system were terribly outdated technology from the late 90's. In now enjoy driving it better since replacing nav with newer nav with blue tooth, Pandora, garmin and dvd all in one (cost me $600 and looks factory with Saab boot screen & no input locks). The new nav has more routing options that dont send me 2 to 3 hrs out of the way and also retains onstar.

Best value for the money you can now get a 2007 9-7x with 60k miles for around $12,000. A freind is looking at 2007 Acura MDX with less options & 28k more miles and its $23k and also has poor mpg. Mine is still under gm warranty til feb 2013.
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  #8  
Old 4th July 2012
saabmeatball saabmeatball is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jc-place View Post
I have had my 4.2l 9-7x since last october. It has been excellent except for very poor mpg. It is very very cheap to maintain ($120 for trans filter/fluid change and approx $35 for syn blend oil change at dealer). I enjoy the all options and cool factory wheels it came with. An adult bike can fit in back with seats up and bike wheel turned.

The nav system and dvd system were terribly outdated technology from the late 90's. In now enjoy driving it better since replacing nav with newer nav with blue tooth, Pandora, garmin and dvd all in one (cost me $600 and looks factory with Saab boot screen & no input locks). The new nav has more routing options that dont send me 2 to 3 hrs out of the way and also retains onstar.

Best value for the money you can now get a 2007 9-7x with 60k miles for around $12,000. A freind is looking at 2007 Acura MDX with less options & 28k more miles and its $23k and also has poor mpg. Mine is still under gm warranty til feb 2013.
they must be going cheap where you are - I have been checking lots as I see them and Autotrader, and it seems they are going between high 13-15K for that kind of mileage. I keep checking to make sure mine is priced to sell.
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  #9  
Old 4th July 2012
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By the way the idle pulley fails on all large number of these just after 50k miles as well as on the GMC Envoy. Alot of people trade them in because the sound appears right after the bumper to bumper warranty expires. If you hear a loud whining sound like power steering pump failure, it's usually the $17 idle pulley bearings failing. The Ford dealer tried to pass it off as a "Saab sound" but I knew better since i knew its a rebadged Envoy! They had no ideal what was causing the sound and I used it a a bargaining tool to knock 3 grand off asking price. The idle pulley under the alternator and took 5 mins to replace. I looked up the sound on trailblazer forum on iPhone before making the deal.
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  #10  
Old 4th July 2012
mawingo mawingo is offline
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A few thoughts from a previous 5.3i owner with 50k miles put on during ownership.

Pros:
- amazing looks. Easily the best looking GMT360 platform mate.
- easy serviceability. It may say Saab on the outside, but getting it worked on is super simple by anyone who can work on a Trailblazer.
- relatively reliable
- most parts can be looked up by similar year Ranier or Trailblazer
- strong 5.3i motor
- cozy and comfortable interior

Cons:
- rear suspension. Airbags typically fail. Most folks ditch the system for Arnott springs and bilstein shocks.
- ghost electrical anomalies. Random things like locking rear brakes, starting difficulties, etc. All documented at trailvoy.com
- interior back lights wear out quickly, tediuous fixes.
- ac dash vents will fail. Fix in the DIY section of trailvoy.com
- misc saab parts issue. 97x specific body parts, like fenders or fender flares, can be hard to replace new. This may have improved in recent months.
- water pump on v8 will fail between 75k and 100k miles
- fuel sender unit prone to failure, but mine still worked at 87k miles when i traded it in.
- not sure how common, but my drl system had a short that caused the turn signal bulbs to burn out every few months, complete with melted plastic around the connectors.

Overall a very decent vehicle, but it ages like most GM vehicles. Not well. Great support at trailvoy.com though.

Last edited by mawingo; 4th July 2012 at 11:37 PM.
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  #11  
Old 5th July 2012
saabmeatball saabmeatball is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mawingo View Post
A few thoughts from a previous 5.3i owner with 50k miles put on during ownership.

Pros:
- amazing looks. Easily the best looking GMT360 platform mate.
- easy serviceability. It may say Saab on the outside, but getting it worked on is super simple by anyone who can work on a Trailblazer.
- relatively reliable
- most parts can be looked up by similar year Ranier or Trailblazer
- strong 5.3i motor
- cozy and comfortable interior

Cons:
- rear suspension. Airbags typically fail. Most folks ditch the system for Arnott springs and bilstein shocks.
- ghost electrical anomalies. Random things like locking rear brakes, starting difficulties, etc. All documented at trailvoy.com
- interior back lights wear out quickly, tediuous fixes.
- ac dash vents will fail. Fix in the DIY section of trailvoy.com
- misc saab parts issue. 97x specific body parts, like fenders or fender flares, can be hard to replace new. This may have improved in recent months.
- water pump on v8 will fail between 75k and 100k miles
- fuel sender unit prone to failure, but mine still worked at 87k miles when i traded it in.
- not sure how common, but my drl system had a short that caused the turn signal bulbs to burn out every few months, complete with melted plastic around the connectors.

Overall a very decent vehicle, but it ages like most GM vehicles. Not well. Great support at trailvoy.com though.
Wow, I haven't had any of those issues to date- 82K miles-

1 burned out Xexon, replaced under warranty, Oil Comsumption, resolved under warranty, 1 new tranny, fixed under warranty...
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  #12  
Old 5th July 2012
mawingo mawingo is offline
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Cool. Ymmv of course. Forgot to add that the rear main seal sprung a leak at 75k. Never got it fixed.
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  #13  
Old 6th July 2012
bumperquip bumperquip is offline
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I've got an '05 4.2 ... I bought it in '07 with a little less than 14k miles on it.

It's currently got 56K miles.

My additions and comments to a nice list are included below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mawingo View Post

Pros:
- amazing looks. Easily the best looking GMT360 platform mate. [+1]
- easy serviceability. It may say Saab on the outside, but getting it worked on is super simple by anyone who can work on a Trailblazer. +.5 ... GM service centers will work on it if it's out of warranty. However, some DIY services (like oil changes) are complete pain.
- relatively reliable [+1]
- most parts can be looked up by similar year Ranier or Trailblazer [+1]
- strong 5.3i motor [unknown ... mine's a 4.2]
- cozy and comfortable interior [+.5 ... the rear seat bottoms are bit too short lacking in under-thigh support]

Cons:
- rear suspension. Airbags typically fail. Most folks ditch the system for Arnott springs and bilstein shocks. [+1]
- ghost electrical anomalies. Random things like locking rear brakes, starting difficulties, etc. All documented at trailvoy.com [I've had no issues here]
- interior back lights wear out quickly, tediuous fixes. [I've had no issues here]
- ac dash vents will fail. Fix in the DIY section of trailvoy.com [I've had no issues here]
- misc saab parts issue. 97x specific body parts, like fenders or fender flares, can be hard to replace new. [+1]
- water pump on v8 will fail between 75k and 100k miles [mine failed at about 42K miles]
- fuel sender unit prone to failure, but mine still worked at 87k miles when i traded it in. [I've had no issues here]
- not sure how common, but my drl system had a short that caused the turn signal bulbs to burn out every few months, complete with melted plastic around the connectors. [I've had no issues here]
- In-dash fold down cup holder is easily broken and rendered useless.
- console cup hold is just plain useless.
- ridiculous MPG (meaning poor).
- stiff and somewhat harsh ride. but ... it is one of the very few SUVs left on the road that rides on a full frame. AWD and air bag suspension make for a little harshness

All this being said and commented, I still like it and has been stated, it's one of the best looking SUVs around.

As a matter of fact, if I could get my hands on a nice AERO for a reasonable price, I'd buy it.
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  #14  
Old 7th July 2012
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SaabScott SaabScott is offline
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Thanks for all of the responses guys.

I've found an 06 4.2i for what I feel is a great price and includes 2 sets of wheels and a set of winter tires ... and less than 60K miles.

I'm seeing the insurance adjuster on Monday afternoon to see what they intend to do with my car after having been rear ended a week ago Friday.
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  #15  
Old 8th July 2012
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deepblue deepblue is offline
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I got an 08 5.3 last Sept and love it. The LS2 Aero would have been better but the but the 5.3 can be tweaked nicely for more power if you are so inclined. I won't even consider the 4.2 but that's me.

Super comfortable, heavy duty and easy to work on. Mine was a CPO, so I got a few initial things fixed under warranty (bump/clunk fix, steering angle sensor and blower motor). Smooth sailing since then.
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  #16  
Old 20th July 2012
Saablzr Saablzr is offline
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I bought my 06 Arc April 18th 2011 with 79k miles. As of today I'm at 153,000 miles. I've had some minor and major issues with it but would buy one again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mawingo View Post
A few thoughts from a previous 5.3i owner with 50k miles put on during ownership.

Pros:
- amazing looks. Easily the best looking GMT360 platform mate. +1
- easy serviceability. It may say Saab on the outside, but getting it worked on is super simple by anyone who can work on a Trailblazer. +1
- relatively reliable (very reliable if properly maintained)
- most parts can be looked up by similar year Ranier or Trailblazer (or Envoy)
- strong 5.3i motor (300hp isn't enough but it works.. hehe)
- cozy and comfortable interior +1

Cons:
- rear suspension. Airbags typically fail. Most folks ditch the system for Arnott springs and bilstein shocks. (Haven't had these problems)
- ghost electrical anomalies. Random things like locking rear brakes, starting difficulties, etc. All documented at trailvoy.com (Haven't had these problems either)
- interior back lights wear out quickly, tediuous fixes. (never used them)
- ac dash vents will fail. Fix in the DIY section of trailvoy.com (No issues yet)
- misc saab parts issue. 97x specific body parts, like fenders or fender flares, can be hard to replace new. This may have improved in recent months. (Saab stopped shipping part to the US earlier this year and they've since declared bankruptcy. Not likely going to be able to get these parts as easily anymore)
- water pump on v8 will fail between 75k and 100k miles (Was running stron when I blew the motor - replaced water pump anyway)
- fuel sender unit prone to failure, but mine still worked at 87k miles when i traded it in. (No issues here)
- not sure how common, but my drl system had a short that caused the turn signal bulbs to burn out every few months, complete with melted plastic around the connectors. (Only melted plastic is on the turn signal lens in the headlight - happens to ALL of them)

Overall a very decent vehicle, but it ages like most GM vehicles. Not well. Great support at trailvoy.com though.
1. The transfer case control motor failed on me and I continued to drive it. This resulted in pitting of the front CV Half Shaft - my fault. New TCCM was $120, CVHS was $130.
2. Oil Sensor Switch failed and did not report low oil pressure. This resulted in me spinning a rod bearing and having to replace the engine. This could have easily been prevented if I was a good owner and had the oil changed every month. Yes, every month. I drive 50-65,000 miles per year for work.
3. Had water get in a headlight assembly and short out the HID Ballast. $99 on ebay for a used ballast and I was back in business

I'm very happy with mine and would definitely buy another, preferrably an Aero. Another issue is, if you care enough, there isn't a wide variety of aftermarket rims available for a 6x127 hub.
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  #17  
Old 8th August 2012
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strat81 strat81 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mawingo View Post
Overall a very decent vehicle, but it ages like most GM vehicles. Not well. Great support at trailvoy.com though.
Trailvoy is practically a ghost town.

Check out GMTNation.com for 9-7X info.

I drive a Buick Rainier, the 9-7X's predecessor. My rear air suspension is still doing fine at ~75k miles, but I've already had to replace the fuel pump and water pump.

Based on what I've seen at both Trailvoy and GMTNation, the 5.3 doesn't seem to be as problematic as the I6. The I6 isn't bad, but it has some small issues, mostly minor.

Fuel economy seems to have more to do with axle ratio and driving style rather than how many cylinders you have. Expect anywhere from 15-19mpg on the highway.
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  #18  
Old 9th August 2012
pauln1 pauln1 is offline
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We bought a 2007 CPO Altitude Edition with 20k miles in late 2009 and now have 87k on it. It was purchased for another member of the family who found it too big so I ended up taking it over and really like it (I had a Crown Victoria and I am beginning to like this vehicle almost as much since it has many of the same features such as rear air suspension, full frame, V-8, etc.) We had a longstanding problem with a coolant smell which the dealer couldn't (wouln't) find but they finally replaced the heater core under the Saab CPO warranty and that solved the problem. If you are experiencing this I urge you to press them to get this fixed while under warranty as it is nearly a 10 hour job. I really like it because it is an American car - we had a 2001 9-5 which made it to 250k miles before we sold it but it had many problems and was not a reliable car. At least this one can, and should be, serviced by a Chevy dealer and as others have said, their is a lot of info on trailvoy.com. As for the oil consumption, we experienced that as well and again had to press for a fix - I know they removed the valve covers and believe they had to install a baffle - there is a GM TSB on this problem. Now it consumes about a quart every 5k which is acceptable and is when I change the oil anyway. I had 283k miles on my Crown Vic which my coworker now has 300k on so I am hoping for similar service from the 9-7x. Change tranny and coolant every 30k miles.
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  #19  
Old 10th August 2012
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deepblue deepblue is offline
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Good Car & Driver article on the 9-7x....

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...t-drive-review
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  #20  
Old 11th August 2012
OMGTruck OMGTruck is offline
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I honestly don't believe that a 9-7x will make it to 200k miles w/o self destructing first. The repair costs will begin to eat you alive once its out of warranty. Comparing it to a crown vic is unfair, those things are tanks.

the trans will give out by 100k miles, its too heavy a vehicle and too light duty a trans.
the front diff needs the gear oil mod to keep it from chewing the splines off the inside of the stubs since they weren't greased properly from the factory.

I don't know anyone w/ a 9-7 but the 3 I looked at while shopping all had the rear side window molding cracking on the edge by the lift gate like it was drying out.

AC controls will go out, ac actuators will fail, oil will be consumed. If you really want one just grin and bare it. I have big upgrades planned for mine which will include replacing most all of the problematic parts w/ major upgrades. (stroker ls2 w/ ls3 heads, 2wd conversion and probably an '80 trans w/ stall)
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