Page 1: Intro
IRVINE, Calif. – Quirky is a word used to describe people, places and things that are unusual, offbeat, and outside of society’s mainstream. Relatively mild as adjectives go, quirky leans more toward negative than positive connotations, and rarely identifies endearing characteristics.
Take the quirky guy in the next cubicle, for example, the dude with the facial tic, the bowties, the Hello Kitty calendar, and the snazzy red Swingline stapler. He’s nice enough, knows his business, performs well for the company, and is even interesting to talk to, but you’re not likely to hang at the local watering hole during happy hour or accept any Valentine’s Day dates with this fella.Saab has actually prided itself upon being quirky for decades, defying the negative connotations of the word and putting a positive spin on the obvious differences between its unusual automobiles and so-called “normal” cars. For a long time, confident trailblazers who chose to go their own way rather than follow societal norms drove Saabs, which had turbocharged four-cylinder engines, hatchback bodies, and sleek styling to differentiate them from other vehicles on the road. Oftentimes, you are what you drive, and Saab owners specifically sought out these interesting, innovative modes of transportation to symbolize their independent way of thinking and viewing the world.
Today, Saab devotees argue that General Motors, owner of the brand for more than a decade, has sucked the life out of the Swedish automaker. Aging product, shared platforms, and…horrors!…rebadged Chevrolets and Subarus built someplace other than Sweden characterize the 2005 Saab product lineup. Little about a modern Saab is interesting, innovative, or indicative of independent thought.
And yet, the 2005 Saab 9-2X, which amounts to little more than a gussied-up Subaru Impreza station wagon, embodies the spirit of this once proud European automaker more than anything else in the lineup. The Saab 9-2X is a hatchback; it’s got an unconventional horizontally opposed, four-cylinder engine under the hood (turbocharged on Aero models); it is cleanly designed; and best of all, it’s quirky.