The General had a healthy sales hit with the GMT360 platform in the 2002 model year, when the new Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, and Oldsmobile Bravada hit the showrooms. Since GM had devoured Saab in 2000 and most American car shoppers wanted trucks or truck-shaped machines by that point, it seemed to make sense to produce a Saab-badged GMT360 and extract some cash from that slice of the car-buying populace that craved both the rugged-lifestyle signifiers of a truck and the quirky-yet-sensible Swedish image of a Saab. The Isuzu-badged version— the Ascender— had had its debut for 2004, and so the Saab 9-7X appeared for 2005 (sadly, no Daewoo- or Vauxhall-badged versions were produced). Here’s a first-model-year 9-7X, found in a Denver self-service yard last week.
There weren’t many differences between the 2002-2009 Trailblazer and its siblings, but the Saab-branding folks did what they could.
The ignition switch went into the traditional (for Saab) center console location; when Subaru Imprezas were sold with Saab badging starting in 2005, they got steering-column ignition switches.
Trollhätten or Moraine, what’s the difference?
The Arc trim level got you a 5.3-liter LS engine, while the Linear came with the 4.2-liter straight-six. This car has a six, rated at 270 horsepower. No manual transmission was available.
The engine-displacement badges give this truck more of a European look, hoped the maestros of the branding team.
When you see these Refresh vent-mounted liquid air fresheners in a junkyard car, you know there was an olfactory problem that couldn’t be solved with ordinary Little Trees.
Members of the GMT360 family held their value pretty well for a good decade, but now Denver junkyards are packed with Trailblazers and Envoys, with the occasional off-brand version appearing here and there. Perhaps they’re too small for used-truck shoppers today.
It turns out the console position for the ignition switch reduced knee injuries, in the Saab-centric view.
Once you’ve built (barrel-shaped) jets, you don’t just build another SUV.
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