2011 Saab 9-4X Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick image

The new Saab 9-4X crossover has earned ‘Top Safety Pick’, the highest rating for crashworthiness awarded by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States.

In addition, the IIHS conducted a separate test involving seats and head restraints in the 9-4X, resulting a “Good” rating for rear-end crash protection.

“To achieve two Top Safety Picks in three weeks is, of course, extremely gratifying,” says Per Lenhoff, Head of Safety Development at Saab Automobile. “Our main priority is always the protection of real people in real accidents, but the IIHS tests are a valuable guide for consumers and it is important for us to achieve good results.”

Base 9-4X crossovers get a naturally-aspirated, 265-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 with direct injection and variable valve timing and either front or all-wheel-drive. Saab says a front-wheel-drive non-turbo model can sprint to 60 mph in about 7.9 seconds and sips fuel at an average of 20 mpg combined.

The SRX and the 9-4X may share the same architecture—exemplary in terms of rigidity—but even the most casual observer is unlikely to confuse one with the other. Besides the familiar Saab fascia and wraparound windshield, the roofline slants downward to the hatch with very little arc, à la Land Rover Evoque.