Saab has a longstanding reputation for some of the best occupant protection in its vehicles, but the 2009 Saab 9-7X is an exception. The aging SUV design upon which the 2009 Saab 9-7X is built just doesn’t do as well as more modern vehicle designs in crash tests that predict the likelihood of injury.
USA Today points out that during Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing, ratings for the Saab 9-7X "improved to receive the second-highest rating of acceptable." While the IIHS gives the 9-7X Saab an Acceptable rating for its frontal offset test, the 9-7X still scores a Marginal rating for side impacts. However, tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) do not treat the 9-7X Saab well, and reviews read by TheCarConnection.com notice. NHTSA gives the 2009 Saab 9-7X three stars for front-impact driver protection, four stars for the front passenger side, and five stars for side impact tests. Cars.com is quick to mention that the Saab 9-7X’s safety ratings "trail those that NHTSA awarded to many 9-7X competitors." Crash-test results are surprising, given the list of safety features on the 2009 Saab 9-7X.
Driver visibility is decent on the Saab 9-7X, although ConsumerGuide feels that "headrests and thick roof pillars interfere with visibility" toward the back of the car.
ForbesAutos appreciates the "rollover-sensing, side-curtain airbags," while ConsumerGuide lists other safety features, including "dual front airbags...antilock 4-wheel disc brakes, antiskid system w/ rollover sensors, [and] tire-pressure monitor."
TheCarConnection.com editors point out that while the 2009 Saab 9-7X does come with head-protecting side-curtain airbags, side thorax airbags are not standards as they are on most other luxury-SUV rivals. That’s a glaring omission for a vehicle sold by Saab.