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2009 saab 9_7x
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys -

This is the first time I am posting on the forum but I have been registered for a little while now.

I am currently deciding between a new Envoy Denali or a 9-7X 5.3i. From the people that have them, what are your thoughts? I have gotten mileage notes that vary for either. Some sites say the Denali gets better mileage while others say the 9-7X does. Also, some sites say the Denali only tows 6,000lbs while the 9-7X tows 6,500lbs. Various specs like those seem to be off. Aren't they the same, basic vehicle? Finally, I want to get an awesome warranty and I think the Saab has a better overall warranty.

Which would you guys (the ones that own and care about them) suggest I purchase? I want luxury and the Trailblazer just doesn't offer that. The 5.3l V8 is a must, however. I was thinking the 6.0l TB SS but I drive a lot of highway and the 16-17mpg doesn't make it worth it for me. I like 19-20 a lot more!

Thanks in advance!
 

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2008 gmc envoy_denali
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93 Posts
Not sure about the Saab, but I've had my Denali about a year now and love it. It's my DD, and I commute about 40+ miles/day total, part city, part highway and average between 18-19mpg. Stay on the highway and it gets 20-22mpg. City/off-road driving, about 15-16mpg.

I believe the tow capacity with the 5.3 is dependent on 2 things: axle ratio and hitch type. Dead weight hitch is the lowest at 5,000lbs, while weight distributing hitch with 3.73 gears is the highest at 6,500lbs. Mine's got the 3.42 and has a rating of 6,000lbs.

I just couldn't pass up the deal I got on mine. I was actually at the Subaru dealership test driving the new Forester XT, but they wanted about $5k more than I was willing to spend on the options I wanted. I just ran into the Denali by accident, took it home a week later. I'd find it pretty hard to give up the comfort it offers now...
 

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West Chapter
2005 gmc envoy_denali_xl
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3,398 Posts
well I like both styles, and they both have good luxury amenities, I don't want to be biased but I would go with the Denali....you would pay more for a Saab 97X than you would for the Denali and pretty much get the same features. A 09 Denali could run you about 36k or so while the Saab may be in the 40's...when it come down to it, try to do a side by side comparison and see what features you like and don't like and which ones you don't really care about too much. :m2:

http://www.saabusa.com/saabjsp/97x/features/exterior.jsp
http://www.gmc.com/envoy/denali/specsStandard.jsp
 

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Denali verus Saab

I can't speak for the Saab but would think they are pretty similar. I have had my Denali since Oct 09, and really like it, I traded in a I6 Envoy and bought the 5.3 maily because I tow a 28' rec vehicle which weighs about 6000 lb when loaded. I am more than pleased with performance as a tow vehicle. The Envoy engine has displacement management and this gas mileage during highway driving of over 20 mpg to the US gallon if I keep the speed under 65 mph.
Comfort is excellent and the air suspenion on the back is great also. The Envoy has been trouble free so far and I an looking forward to many more miles of driving.
Hope this helps
Charles
 

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2009 saab 9_7x
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43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys! I figured out, with your help, that the difference in towing is because the Denali has an optional 3.73 rear while the Saab has the 3.73 rear solely. After the searching I have done through the site, I think the mileage is the same because the Saab is AWD and the Denali is 4x4 (might get a little better with rear end at 3.42 and 2wd (just rear wheels)). The Saab has a limited slip rear end and the Denali is locking. I like the locking better.

I guess my next options are: 3.42 or 3.73. I have a 3.42 in my 02' Blazer 4.3l and I like the highway mileage (consistently at 20mpg on trips) but the get up is a little slow in the city. The 5.3l would help giddy-up a lot but not sure if I wanted to stick with the 3.42. I guess I'd like more pull when towing (which I don't do too often) but is it worth the sacrifice in highway mileage? Is it much/noticeable? I would like to know the top gear RPM's for the 3.42 and 3.72 at 55mph! Can anyone help? Also, would the 3.73 keep the 5.3l in AFM more or less often?

I like the HID Xenon head lights on the Saab though... Argh, I wish the Denali had those HID Xenons...

I think I am headed towards the Denali but the warranty is better with the Saab. I am looking at an 08' Denali with 1,000 miles or an 09' Saab with 8,000 miles. I think Certified Used Saab carries a 6 year/100,000 miles Bumper to Bumper from original in service date? And the Denali has a 4 year/48,000 mile Bumper to Bumper as well as a 5 year/100,000 mile Powertrain from original in service date. Am I correct in my numbers? This would be my first vehicle purchased from a Dealer (always bought privately) and would getting an extended bumper to bumper on the Denali cost a lot (over $1,000)? I am looking to be covered until 100,000 miles regardless...

I really appreciate your help! Thanks guys!
 

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Premium Member
2007 chevy trailblazer_ss_1ss
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1,852 Posts
I would go with the Saab. The Saab is a fantastic looking vehicle. If you've got the extra cash to spend to get the Saab, definately go for it. The only thing I'd give up my 02 for is a SWB TB with the 5.3L or a 9-7x.
 

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2005 gmc envoy_denali_xl
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111 Posts
how are you getting milege like that, i'm averaging only 13-14 mpg with my 5.3 denali xl. Ohh wait i drive like an *** hole, that probably explains it. if i set my cruise control for 75 on the high way on long trips, i'll usually average about 17-18mpg
 

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2005 gmc envoy_denali_xl
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111 Posts
the 08 Denali should have a 5 year 100,000 mile warenty shouldn't it. Thats what my 08 Silverado had
 

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07 and up has the 5/100 for powertrain otherwise it is 3/36. I would go with the GMC since SAAB is questionable these days. Yes a lot of parts are the same except the trim parts which are most likely more expensive.
 

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Northwest Chapter
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11,824 Posts
Since I just bought my TBSS 3 months ago and am looking for a Denali for my mom now, Ill chime in here.

I love the look of the 9-7X. Flat out, I think it is gorgeous and looks the prettiest of all the GMT360s, TBSS is 2nd followed by the Denali. However, I couldnt justify spending the extra 10k+ for a 9-7X Aero (TBSSaab) to get the HID lighting, different bumpers, and a slightly better interior. Instead, Ill swap the HIDs from my 02 TB over (if you want a set new they can be had for less than 100 shipped fyi) and the TBSS has sweet looking bumpers anyway. For interior, eventually Ill do a brushed aluminum dash kit to complement the shifter (again, less than $350 shipped for the dash, door handle surrounds, rear stuff, etc). So basically for easily less than 1k Ill have my SS looking just as pretty as a 9-7X Aero and still have the big cupholder in the middle of the console (Saab's center key kills this, biggest gripe I have with the interior). I realize theres just no way any TB will get the smooth lines the Saab has inside, but heck Ill take that 9k+ and go play with it sheesh.

Compared to the Denali, I like the 9-7X 5.3 better but again it comes with a price. And I know my mom would much rather save the extra $$ and have me tune it and throw HIDs in myself. (Wishful thinking here guys, if this happens its at least 6mo out.)

The "AWD" system the Saab has is the same system the Bravada and Rainier (think there might be one other GMT360 with it too, blanking right now) has. Basically its the regular 4X4 setup locked into A4WD mode, or 4WD sensing. Power is ~5% to the front wheels at all times and varies depending on how much traction is needed. The 9-7X Aero and TBSS are the ONLY 2 GMT360s to get TRUE AWD. They use a Torsen T-3 center differential to transfer power anywhere between the front and rear (again, I forget the exact ratios but its around 30/70 fr/r to 50/50 IIRC).

Mileage with the 5.3 will be about what people are claiming, those are dead on with a stock 5.3 4x4, the Saab will be slightly lower with AWD as its always transferring power to the front axle and therefore expending more energy).


So basically: get a Saab if you want the most luxurious GMT360 out there, get 3.73s if you need to tow often or long distances (the 3.42s will be fine otherwise) and dont care about losing the center cupholder (sorry but this is a big issue for me with the Saab interior, probably isnt for you. Heck I dont even let anyone drink anything but h2o in my SS anyway...:duh:). Plus expect to spend at least 7k+ more on a comparable Saab over a Denali.

Denali is the perfect mix IMO, lots more luxury, comfty seats, still has the 5.3 for power, has selectable 4WD, and costs 7k+ less than the Saab.

Honeslty it comes down to price, if you think and are willing to spend the extra $$$ on the Saab Id do it, but I love my TBSS and love the 10k I saved over an Aero a lot too.
 

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2009 saab 9_7x
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Since I just bought my TBSS 3 months ago and am looking for a Denali for my mom now, Ill chime in here.

I love the look of the 9-7X. Flat out, I think it is gorgeous and looks the prettiest of all the GMT360s, TBSS is 2nd followed by the Denali. However, I couldnt justify spending the extra 10k+ for a 9-7X Aero (TBSSaab) to get the HID lighting, different bumpers, and a slightly better interior. Instead, Ill swap the HIDs from my 02 TB over (if you want a set new they can be had for less than 100 shipped fyi) and the TBSS has sweet looking bumpers anyway. For interior, eventually Ill do a brushed aluminum dash kit to complement the shifter (again, less than $350 shipped for the dash, door handle surrounds, rear stuff, etc). So basically for easily less than 1k Ill have my SS looking just as pretty as a 9-7X Aero and still have the big cupholder in the middle of the console (Saab's center key kills this, biggest gripe I have with the interior). I realize theres just no way any TB will get the smooth lines the Saab has inside, but heck Ill take that 9k+ and go play with it sheesh.

Compared to the Denali, I like the 9-7X 5.3 better but again it comes with a price. And I know my mom would much rather save the extra $$ and have me tune it and throw HIDs in myself. (Wishful thinking here guys, if this happens its at least 6mo out.)

The "AWD" system the Saab has is the same system the Bravada and Rainier (think there might be one other GMT360 with it too, blanking right now) has. Basically its the regular 4X4 setup locked into A4WD mode, or 4WD sensing. Power is ~5% to the front wheels at all times and varies depending on how much traction is needed. The 9-7X Aero and TBSS are the ONLY 2 GMT360s to get TRUE AWD. They use a Torsen T-3 center differential to transfer power anywhere between the front and rear (again, I forget the exact ratios but its around 30/70 fr/r to 50/50 IIRC).

Mileage with the 5.3 will be about what people are claiming, those are dead on with a stock 5.3 4x4, the Saab will be slightly lower with AWD as its always transferring power to the front axle and therefore expending more energy).


So basically: get a Saab if you want the most luxurious GMT360 out there, get 3.73s if you need to tow often or long distances (the 3.42s will be fine otherwise) and dont care about losing the center cupholder (sorry but this is a big issue for me with the Saab interior, probably isnt for you. Heck I dont even let anyone drink anything but h2o in my SS anyway...:duh:). Plus expect to spend at least 7k+ more on a comparable Saab over a Denali.

Denali is the perfect mix IMO, lots more luxury, comfty seats, still has the 5.3 for power, has selectable 4WD, and costs 7k+ less than the Saab.

Honeslty it comes down to price, if you think and are willing to spend the extra $$$ on the Saab Id do it, but I love my TBSS and love the 10k I saved over an Aero a lot too.
I agree: the 9-7X is pretty sexy. However, the fake AWD system and limited slip rear end kind of kill it. Yes, I love the front end and the interior and the HID's but when I look at it, I want what my Blazer does not have now: a locking rear diff, the 5.3l w/ AFM, leather and more room. HID's are not a must because that can be changed and the Denali dash and radio panels are growing on me.

I have driven the 9-7X but I have not driven a Denali. How do the two compare? They both have the air bag rear suspension but I have heard the Saab has a more sporty suspension.

Everyone seems to say it is worth it to get the Saab if I have the money. The two I am looking at are the same price (buying slightly used from dealer). The Denali with 1,000 miles is listed for $28,000 as well as the Saab with 8,000 miles for $28,000. Being the same price, will I really be that much happier with the Saab?
 

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2008 gmc envoy_denali
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That's funny... I bought my 08 Denali 4x4 for $28,000 BRAND NEW on employee pricing and $6,000 rebate. When I pulled it off the lot, it GAINED VALUE as a used car. You might be able to hold out for the rebates and get into a new 09 model for the same price...
 

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2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
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FWIW, I have the 5.3L SWB TB with 3.42, and it tows fine... I've towed 6000-6500# a couple of times, and power wasn't an issue... I wasn't in hardcore mountains, but I was in the hills...



 

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2009 saab 9_7x
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's funny... I bought my 08 Denali 4x4 for $28,000 BRAND NEW on employee pricing and $6,000 rebate. When I pulled it off the lot, it GAINED VALUE as a used car. You might be able to hold out for the rebates and get into a new 09 model for the same price...
They have it listed at $28,000 but that does not mean I will pay that. I was thinking more so $24,000. I like that it only has a thousand miles on it because being used, I get the extra 12 month/12,000 mile bumper to bumper on top. So I am essentially getting a brand new Denali with a 48 month/48,000 mile bumper to bumper with the 5 year/100,000 powertrain.

How do you like it?
 

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2009 saab 9_7x
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
FWIW, I have the 5.3L SWB TB with 3.42, and it tows fine... I've towed 6000-6500# a couple of times, and power wasn't an issue... I wasn't in hardcore mountains, but I was in the hills...
My 4.3l doesn't have a problem either, I am just curious if the 3.73 would make a noticeable difference.

I have towed with a GCVW of just over 12,000lbs. in my 4.3l Blazer. More then I should by a ton but it was a champ! A little slow but was never unable to move when I needed to.
 

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2007 buick rainier
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661 Posts
I'll chime in here since I went through the same process as everyone else. TB not enough luxury too many LS's and everything is an option, Denali not many around, 9-7x few around also but options are standard. I went with the Rainier with the 5.3, moonroof, awd with the 3.73 and G80 as standards plus I didn't want the ext of any version but needed the v8 for towing. I didn't like the saab name recognition when it would come to resale and I like a little cladding to catch the door dings. The Saab is lowered one inch lower than the others which i didn't like either and the saab cupholder and center console ignition turned me off as well. I drove one 9-7x and it drove pretty much like my Rainier. I don't care about HID's either. Point is the Rainier gave me the best bang for the buck. I did notice that Saab's were actually cheaper not more expensive at least on the used market. I assumed it was a lack of demand. The kicker though is that the Rainiers have the oldest target market so all of the ones I looked at used were perfect, no wear and tear from kids etc... Every single other vehicle of all the 360's I looked at no matter how new had more wear and tear than the Rainiers. That really sold me.
 

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Basic Vendor- Skid Plates
2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
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3,700 Posts
My 4.3l doesn't have a problem either, I am just curious if the 3.73 would make a noticeable difference.

I have towed with a GCVW of just over 12,000lbs. in my 4.3l Blazer. More then I should by a ton but it was a champ! A little slow but was never unable to move when I needed to.
I have a TBI 4.3L Blazer, and have towed with a friend's '00 Vortec 4.3L Blazer... Completely, totally different worlds... Even the '00 Blazer wouldn't get out of its way with a 4000# boat... The TB was shifting at ~2750rpm and keeping up with traffic leaving from stop lights with a 6300# trailer... Didn't feel labored at all, as long as I wasn't trying to accelerate much quicker than traffic...

Yes, the 3.73 will make a slight difference when starting from a stop on 20% grades, towing rated capacity... The 5.3L's power curve is really set up for 3.73 gears, in the trucks, especially... We, however, weigh 600# less than the extended cab 1/2 ton trucks, so it's not as big a deal...With a pushrod engine like the 5.3, the difference between 3.42 and 3.73 isn't huge, though there is a difference...

Let's put it this way... If there were 2 identical vehicles for the same price, in the same condition, I'd pick the 3.73 (I tow quite a bit)... If the 3.42 was $200 cheaper, or had 5k less miles, I'd get it and not think twice about it...

Mike
 

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2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
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JKust,

I actually went the opposite route... Got the TB because we plan on keeping this for a long time (if my wife doesn't wrap it around something, before she gets another new vehicle and it's the "spare"/my vehicle), and didn't want all of the extra BS that breaks... We're the same height, so the manual seats are fine, dog nails aren't good on leather, etc...

I also didn't want the extra wear and tear, and the extra fuel consumption of the full time AWD...

Mike
 

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2007 buick rainier
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661 Posts
JKust,

I actually went the opposite route... Got the TB because we plan on keeping this for a long time (if my wife doesn't wrap it around something, before she gets another new vehicle and it's the "spare"/my vehicle), and didn't want all of the extra BS that breaks... We're the same height, so the manual seats are fine, dog nails aren't good on leather, etc...

I also didn't want the extra wear and tear, and the extra fuel consumption of the full time AWD...

Mike
Ha Ha you said it. Wait till my posts start rolling in as the parts start failing. I am a sucker for a pretty package and it is our "nice" vehicle. The minivan gets all the day to day use and things like one heated seat and window switch are just starting to not work on it at 120,000 miles and 9 years old. The Rainier's AWD isn't full time but I don't recall about the 9-7x. I don't care for full time AWD either but here in MN I could live with it if I had to.
 

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2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Ha Ha you said it. Wait till my posts start rolling in as the parts start failing. I am a sucker for a pretty package and it is our "nice" vehicle. The minivan gets all the day to day use and things like one heated seat and window switch are just starting to not work on it at 120,000 miles and 9 years old. The Rainier's AWD isn't full time but I don't recall about the 9-7x. I don't care for full time AWD either but here in MN I could live with it if I had to.
It's not engaged all the time, but effeciency-wise, it may as well be... It's still spinning the front drive shaft all the time. It's just that the clutch in the T-case isn't engaged all the time...

Also, I like that the TB has 4-LO...

Mike
 
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