Had its time in the sun, buyer beware!
I adored this car when I purchased it used in 2012. Saab styling and Subaru reliability seemed a marriage made in heaven. Pros: The car can corner on a dime. Really. AWD grip and the right tires and you can keep up with even 'real' sports cars when the road twists and turns...and keep going when the weather gets bad. Saab styling. The Subarus of this generation were downright frumpy. The Saab nose and standard spoiler make this wagon special. Amenities like heated wiper parks, seats and mirrors make this car a true winter warrior. Subaru engine - the boxer engine is a great design. Plenty of midrange power in the 2.5i. Bulletproof. Just make sure you use non-corrosive OEM coolant and change the oil every 3000 miles. Cons. The big one - they only made ~6000 of these. They aren't really Saabs. They aren't really Subarus. You may not find a shop that is comfortable fixing (and then warrantying) anything complex. Collision. If you get in a fender-bender you will wait for parts. I did. Front bumper cracked in a <2 mph bump. Took 6 months to find a used bumper in a bone yard. Forget finding a new front or back clip. Insurance prices are high due to this. They only made 6000 so no one is going to invest money in making new bumpers anymore. Transmission. The automatic is a 25 year old 4-spd. design. Never knows what gear to end up in. Smash the gas to pass or get into traffic and the car just sits there for 3-4 seconds wondering what to do before it brutally downshifts and jerks out into traffic. Subaru ditched this tranny in 2007/8 for a CVT. If you like the car, get a 5 spd. Much more fun. MPG. I traded in a SUV for this car for both the AWD and the gas mileage. Not the improvement I was expecting for a compact car. 19-23 mpg is all you get. Some small SUVs will do that with more cargo room, ground clearance and ride height. Now I praised the cars handling, but man is this car low. You will look up at even a Civic next to you! Maybe nothing that can be done here, but wow. If Saab were still around to make parts I'd give it a 4/5 for value, but this car is at the end of its road. And sadly it just isn't enough of a 'classic' for anyone to take the risk to support it anymore. Buy an Impreza. Run from the Saab, it saddens me to say.
Fun of a Saab, reliability of a Subaru
This is a perfect match of dependability and speed/control. I just wish it got better gas mileage. For a compact car, I'd expect 30+ mpg, but it gets just less than that. Still, with its great handling in inclement weather and its strong engine performance on the road, this is a nice affordable cross between practicality and fun. I prefer this to our SUV on highway trips. It keeps up with traffic better on the freeways and it's got great stop-and-go response. Note: I have the manual 5-speed edition. I prefer stick shifts to automatics, and this one has not let me down.
Excellent value for its price and AWD
I got my 06 Aero in July and already put 7k miles on without a single problem. The turbo 2.5i is very strong at 3rd and 4th gears and AWD is superior than my 01 BMW X5. Road holding and braking are not BMW graded yet but this Made-in-Japan SAAB reliability definitely beats European cousins so far. It is a great buy considering that I paid only 23K for it that comes with 2 years free schedule service. The seat is on the firm side, wished it a bit more plush like the X5.
An excellent combination of family and sports
I own a Aero for 15 months and I am over 15k with that. The car is an excellent combination of a family and sports car. The acceleration is incredible in this car, sometimes it feels like riding a bike. In terms of security it recenty got 5 stars. Takin turns is a joy. I love my car and strongly recommend it.
Lots of great features in a compact wagon
The Saab 9-2x is a really fun car to drive. The 4WD makes winter driving a snap and handles really well on snow and ice. Since it is 4WD, the gas mileage could be better, but overall it's pretty comparable to other compact wagons. It is by far the quietest car I've ever owned. Its interior has lots of nice features like heated leather seats and an adjustable steering wheel. The back seats fold down completely to make lots of room for groceries and trips to the home improvement store. I would definitely recommend this car to people who like to have extra cargo room, but don't want to drive an SUV. It's also great for people who live in colder, snowy climates that need a car that handles well in harsh weather.