The Most Interesting Swedish Car
2005-2006 Saab 9-2x AKA: The Saabaru
If you watched Top Gear back in the day, you may have seen a tribute to Saab where Jeremy, and May explained that Saab were perfectionists and when GM bought them, they had a problem with simple changing the body and badges of GM's cars. Instead they would change so much of the car, that the two would be completely different. But what they didn't tell you, is in the early 2000s, GM bought a 20% stake in Fuji Heavy Industries who owns Subaru. Someone at GM must have got thinking and wondered, "If Saab is continously changing our cars, what would happen if we gave them a Subaru."
The problem was, Subarus are perfect. Everyone knows that. So, what did the perfectionists at Saab change on the Subaru Impreza WRX? They swapped out the rally suspension with a more road friendly one, thus giving it a better ride in daily driving, and then they changed the body...slightly, and the badges. That's it. The engine, the brakes, heck, most of the interior is all still Subaru. And THAT's why it's the most interesting Swedish car. Although, I will admit, it might be tied with the Touring Car Wagon, the Volvo 850R. But, I think if the 850 won, it definitely would be more interesting. But it's highest place was 5th. Not bad, but...not as interesting as the Saabaru.
What makes it MORE interesting is when the two were released, the Saab was about twice the price of the Subaru. However, because the Subaru was more popular, you can now get the Saabaru, which is a better daily driver, but is still very much a Subaru, for less than a 2005 Impreza. Like almost half as much. AND, because the Saab called Saab and not a Subaru, your insurance company won't think you're going to go rallying with it on the weekends, so it'll be lower. AND, you could probably just swap the suspension back to the rally suspension it had and still save money and no one would be the wiser.
Sadly, after the 2006 model was released, GM sold their share of Fuji Heavy Industries to Toyota and a few years later we got the BRZ/GT86/FRS. Which are also good cars.
So, to sum up, the Saab 9-2x. It's really a Subaru Impreza with road suspension. But that just makes it interesting. When is a Saab not a Saab? When it's a Saabaru. From the company that was notorious for spending a bunch of not-their-own-money on completely changing GM cars, they finally hunkered down and did what they were told. They just changed the body and the badges...and the suspension. That's it. Look, considering they changed like 26% or above of GM's other cars, just the suspension is pretty good.