By KBB.com Editors
The Saturn Outlook is part of a new family of three-row crossover vehicles that will eventually include the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and an as-yet unnamed version from Chevrolet. For most families, the Outlook offers all the relevant capability of GM's three-row, truck-based SUVs, but with better ride and handling, easier entry and egress and better fuel economy. The Outlook and its GM brethren appear poised for unprecedented success in a category pioneered by the Chrysler Pacifica and Ford Freestyle.
Unless your family requires the added ruggedness of a truck-based SUV, the increased efficiency of something smaller or the volume of a minivan, the Outlook has few significant shortcomings.
For families that don't tow trailers or go off-road, the Saturn Outlook is a more user-friendly, more economical option than a full-size SUV.
Driving Impressions As far as people movers of the 5,000-pound, eight-passenger variety are concerned, the Saturn Outlook ranks among the most satisfying we've driven. Merging onto the highway, the 270-horsepower V6 and...smooth-shifting, six-speed automatic combine to deliver quiet and confident acceleration. Once at speed, the Outlook rides as smoothly as a large sedan while remaining controlled and responsive. On our longest drives we found the seats especially comfortable. Navigating intersections and parking lots is also pleasant, thanks in part to excellent steering and brake feel. Our biggest grumbleand it's a small oneis that the economy-tuned transmission can be reluctant to shift to the lower gears when you need a little extra acceleration.
Smart Slide Seat
With the pull of one lever, the second-row seat bottom flips up and the seatback slides forward, easing access to the Outlook's roomy third row.
Big Third-Row Seat
Unlike so many third rows that are best suited for small people and short trips, the Outlook's roomy back row doesn't feel at all like a penalty box.
From the windshield to the tailgate, we found the Outlook's passenger cabin attractive and comfortable. Outlook XE models get metallic trim, XR models get wood-like trim and both offer available leather seating. Although there are some larger expanses of plastic up front, the quality is such that it isn't a distraction. The Outlook's most novel feature is the Smart Slide second-row seat that flips and slides in one motion to provide exceptionally easy access to the roomy third row. The second and third rows both fold flat for cargo, and the second-row seats recline for comfort. Even with the third row occupied, the Outlook still offers generous cargo room in back.Exterior
Taller than a wagon and sleeker than an SUV, the Outlook is one of a growing number of crossover vehicles that actually look like crossover vehicles. GM has done a decent job in differentiating the Outlook and the GMC Acadia, and a knockout job in distinguishing the Buick Enclave from both. Up front, the Outlook's grille is dominated by a thick chrome bar that represents the new face of Saturn. XR models are distinguished by body-color side moldings (XE gets black moldings), standard roof rails, foglamps and a dual exhaust. Both models include 18-inch aluminum wheels as standard equipment.
Included as standard equipment on a base-level Outlook XE are a CD/MP3 sound system with an auxiliary audio jack, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, 18-inch painted aluminum wheels, rear wiper/washer and Smart Slide second-row seats. Standard safety equipment includes front, front-side, and three-row side-curtain airbags, plus electronic stability and traction controls with rollover mitigation.
The Outlook's alluring options list includes a DVD-based navigation system, DVD rear entertainment system, six-disc CD/MP3 premium audio system, rear parking sensors, leather seating, heated front seats, XM Satellite Radio, dual-zone climate control, power liftgate, remote start, second-row captain's chairs, all-wheel drive and HID headlamps.
The Outlook's smooth and sophisticated 3.6-liter V6 features variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust sides, as well as electronic throttle control. Thanks in part to its exclusive dual exhaust, the Outlook XR delivers five more horsepower than the XEwhich represents a power increase of less than two percent and a bigger advantage for the vehicle's marketers than its drivers. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and offers manual gear selection. The Outlook's "body-frame integral" architecture and fully independent suspension help deliver the car-like ride and handling not traditionally associated with such a large vehicle. The Outlook is available in front- or all-wheel drive.
270 horsepower @ 6600 rpm (XE)
275 horsepower @ 6600 rpm (XR)
248 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm (XE)
251 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm (XR)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 (FWD), 17/24 (AWD)
By Big Mistake !!!!!!!!!!!! on Sunday, January 04, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 132,063overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Design and style awsome"
Cons: "to much time to dealership"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"This vehicle has been a nightmare roof leak, airbage light never goes off, seat bag light never goes off , take it to dealer all you get is a malfunction reading no big thing the dealership tells you. Charge you out the roof to only keep returning with the same issue I will never ever trust American Made Cars. GMC not worth the money go to the blogs pull up the saturn outlook before buying you will wish you never wasted your money as I did .."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Lucky on Wednesday, December 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great ride large vehicle tows a lot"
Cons: "Can't think of one"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We purchased this for my wife's car. It has every option that's available on it. It drives like a luxury car. Very smooth and handles well on the road. It has a very large interior with front and second row bucket seats. I have ridden in the 3rd row seats. Not bad. I'm only 5'-9" but I didn't feel like I was eating my knee caps. It fits a 8' long sheet of plywood or drywall with the second and 3rd row seats folded down. Overall I would highly recommend this vehicle. Too bad the folded Saturn just as they started making great vehicles like this one."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By horrible on Wednesday, October 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 134,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "good gas mileage lots of room"
Cons: "always needing repair"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"car is always in shop, have horrible issues with sensor lights/electrical. Interior and space is great with 3rd row seat. great on gas mileage (when its not in shop)and AWD does good in Iowa winters. does not handle as well as thought down highway for being smaller suv. will never buy another saturn again"
7 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By cannon ball on Friday, October 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good Ride-Fair gas mileage for size of veicle"
Cons: "Would be better if it had regular power steering i"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Purchased vehicle because of good recommendations from others and checking out the vehicle myself. I am very pleased with vehicle."
2 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By notasaturnfan on Friday, August 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "interior os convienient if you have a big family"
Cons: "Electrical and mechanical issues...lots!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"This vehicle is a pile of junk. If you havent had any issues out of yours then get rid of it because you will. Electrical probelems, transmission problems, suspension problems, engine problems....etc. Dont buy! Dont let the convenience of the interior and space get you trapped into a piece of junk. I dont understand why it gets such a high star ranking on here but if you google saturn outlook issues you can read for hours."
13 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By TM on Monday, July 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Roomy, stylish,"
Cons: "Too many repairs from the beginning"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"We fell in love with the vehicle because we did not want a mini van and saw this as a more fashionable alternative. There is plenty of room. Seats move easily. Size and style is perfect for our family of five. The cons are that every year we are bringing it to the dealer for some issue...either recall work or water leaks, water pump, now the steering pump, spark plugs replaced at 65,000 miles, and loose undercarriage bolt-not on recall list surprisingly, and a jumpy acceleration...before and after spark plug replacement. We have the extended warranty thank God but spark plugs are not covered and cost a bit much from the dealership. Do it yourself work is not easy because of the closed in design of the hood. We wanted a new vehicle to give ourselves a break from constant repair work on an older used vehicle and ended up with nothing different."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful