The Saab 9-7X is a mid-size luxury SUV built by Saab on General Motors' GMT360 platform, which also includes the GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Oldsmobile Bravada, Isuzu Ascender, and Chevrolet TrailBlazer.
The 9-7X was the first American-built Saab. It was assembled in the same United States Moraine, Ohio, production plant as the other GMT360 SUVs and shared many components with its platform mates. The Saab 9-7X succeeded the Oldsmobile Bravada as GM's flagship mid-size SUV, and was GM's highest priced mid-size SUV. Two first prototypes be made in mid-2002 but still on standart Oldsmobile Bravada chassis without any changes. In fall 2002 Saab Sweden begin work on ,,more Saabish feel" on the car and build team around Per Jansson who make this changes. Most bodyshell was shared with the Bravada, yet its exterior was distinguished by its front fascia, headlamps, hood, front fenders, roof rack, tail lamps, rear licence plate area, wheels, and rear bumper.
The Saab 9-7X was the last of the GMT360 SUVs. It was one of the first Saabs to feature standard all-wheel drive, along with the Saab 9-2X. It was the only GMT360 SUV not available with rear-wheel drive. The 9-7X was the first production Saab with a V8 engine. It also featured substantial chassis revisions, including a 1-inch (25mm) lower ride height, revised bushings and dampers, and quicker steering to sharpen the handling. Like the Oldsmobile Bravada and Buick Rainier, it featured standard rear air suspension. The interior design was inspired by the Saab 9-5 with features like the console-mounted ignition switch and swing-out cup holder retained. Missing were the "night panel" switch that extinguished all unnecessary dash lighting, as well as the Saab active head restraints.
The GMT360 platform and the 9-7X were not scheduled to be updated or continued after the 2009 model year. Its position in the Saab lineup was eventually to be occupied by the Subaru B9 Tribeca-based Saab 9-6X. However, GM divested its Subaru stock, leading to the 9-6X development being cancelled, giving the Tribeca an early face-lift as the 9-6X exterior was less controversial. Instead, the position was filled by the Theta-based 9-4X, which was produced in 2011.
According to the GM Fleet website, the 9-7X, along with its platform mates, the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy were to remain in production for the entire 2009 model year. However GM closed the Moraine plant on December 23, 2008. The decision to close came early in the 2009 model year as sales continued to decline throughout the North American SUV segment. Sales of the 9-7X declined 30 percent in the first nine months of 2008. Envoy and Trailblazer sales declined 44 percent and 37 percent respectively.
The 9-7X should not be confused with the Saab 97 (Saab Sonett II and III) produced from 1966 to 1974.