Turbo Saabaru: 2005 Saab 9-2X Aero – SOLD!
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August 15, 2022, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!”
Every now and again, we get a car that shows manufacturers are actively listening to the enthusiast’s hivemind. But even so, some enthusiast vehicles still make you question exactly what the endgame was when it was made. To me, the Saab 9-2X – a lightly disguised Subaru WRX wagon – is a perfect example of that conundrum: an awesome concept for a gearhead-friendly model but one that really made little sense at the time. The classic answering a question nobody asked. This particular 9-2X is the Aero version that got the high-zoot turbocharged boxer engine, was originally listed in August 2022 on Craigslist near Seattle in shockingly bone-stock condition with an asking price of $7,500. Comparing that price against the Classic.com model guide shows us that the seller is asking below the current average sale price of just over $12,000:
When Saab was in its final chapter in the United States, it sure seemed like they were pulling every lever possible to stay relevant. Obviously, the GM relationship was tumultuous at best, and many brand loyalists will tell you that the insertion of the Detroit DNA was a shot to the head regarding Saab’s survival ability. The alliance with Subaru seemed odd, much like when Volkswagen sold a re-badged version of the Dodge Grand Caravan. The beauty of the Saab 9-2X in Aero trim was that it was a bit of a workaround for the common problem of insurance companies seeing the WRX as a boy-racer special and adjusting the rates accordingly. Plus, given Saab wanted to maintain an upmarket image, it gave the WRX a nicer interior and improved noise/vibration/harshness qualities, creating a more upscale experience for WRX fans who wanted the thunderous boxer engine underhood but didn’t want to be labeled as part of the Vin Diesel fan club. Although it answered a question nobody asked, many enthusiasts liked the offering they didn’t see coming.
The SaabHistory YouTube features this 2005 Saab vintage commercial:
The best thing about the seller’s turbocharged Saab wagon is how delightfully stock it remains. So many of these cars have been modified just as poorly as their WRX brethren once the second-and third-tier owners figured out what a gem the quirky Saab-aru was. The first owners were by and large Saab loyalists who were hoping the company would make a few final Hail Mark passes to keep the brand alive, so they weren’t necessarily concerned with adjustable boost controllers and bigger turbos. The later owners absolutely were and loved the idea of cranking up the performance while still looking like an entry-level luxury car on the outside. The seller’s car has just one modification, and it’s one we can live with: a set of lowering springs and no modifications to the ECU, such as a reflash to adjust the fuel mapping. It has some mild cosmetic faults but nothing that is a deal-breaker, and there’s a healthy list of recently completed maintenance, too. Mileage is on the high side at 162,744, but the unmodified condition is the main attraction here.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“2005 Saab 9-2X Aero hatchback wagon
5-speed manual transmission
Requires premium fuel
Observed mileage 24-26 mpg
2 keyless entry fobs
Price = $7500
This is a “Saabaru,” the result of a Saab-Subaru partnership in 2005-2006. It is a Subaru WRX wagon (Subaru boxer 2.0L engine, chassis, AWD system) with a few Saab design elements added. Super fun to drive and gets lots of parking lot compliments. You can read more about it from the period Car and Driver road test here: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a15133083/2005-saab-9-2x-aero-road-test/
I’ve owned this car since 2009. It was in excellent condition when I bought it and has been meticulously maintained and garaged since then.
All recommended maintenance performed
No outstanding recalls. Recall services performed by Park Place Motors in Bellevue
Synthetic oil changes every 5K
Power steering pump @160K
Battery, spark plugs @153K
AC condenser and compressor, O2 sensor, Radiator, Tires @145K
Timing Belt, Water Pump @ 110K
Mods: My Saabaru is lowered ~2″ (minimal impact on typical driving) The original springs are available if you want to revert. Car has not been performance tuned or chipped.
Small dent passenger side behind gas (no paint loss)
Front fascia vertical crack below license plate
Drivers seat leather crazing
Missing jack in spare tire compartment
CarFax available on request.”
The forgotten WRX: would you drive the sleeper version of a WRX or stick with the genuine article?