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I'll give you that review...I test drove every import SUV on the market prior to picking up my 9-7 - MB, Volvo, BMW, Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan, Infiniti, etc. I have dealerships for all of the above within 5 miles of my home. Is the 9-7 better than any of these? The answer is no. Is it comparable? The answer is a definitive yes. The kicker is that the 9-7 is (with the GM Employee discount) $13-14K less money than any of the above with similar trim. If someone wants to spend that much more money for a "real" Euro SUV that drives no better and is perhaps less reliable (GM's do well in that category) then more power to them. I'll take the product with similar performance and lower price every time. Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder so the 9-7, or for that matter any of the SUVs, is a matter of personal taste.

Also, just a personal review of the 9-7 vs the BMW X5. A friend of mine owns one and allowed me an extended test drive. It is a great vehicle, but really has nothing on the 9-7. In fact, while it did corner a wee bit better, the ride was unduly harsh compared to the Saab's more compliant, yet firm and stable ride. Prior to that, when I had a 9-7 Aero wagon and he had a 5 series wagon we traded off. After all that comparitive driving I have to say that the 9-7 compared far more favorably to the BMW than the 9-5 wagon did to the 5 Series wagon - and that one was made in Trollhatten!

Bottom line is it is a great vehicle for the money and compares very favorably with any other in its class. My dealer has sold all 4 he has received and has people "waiting in line out the door" for the next batch to arrive. It is now his best selling vehicle. For all the *****ing about "badge changing" perhaps the success will give Saab the infusion of capital it needs to build new vehicles from the ground up and give the "real" Saabophiles something to crow about.
 
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