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TheCarConnection.com's automotive experts have brought you some of the most useful information available on the Web in this review covering the 2008 Saturn Outlook. Where applicable, the editors at TheCarConnection.com have added their experience with the Outlook to make this review especially insightful.
The Saturn Outlook was an all-new model for 2007, a large crossover utility vehicle about the same size on the outside as GM's truck-based SUVs like the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy, but much roomier inside. The Outlook is closely related to the new GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave.
The 2008 Saturn Outlook has a carlike unibody design and standard front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive optional across the line. All models come with a standard 275-horsepower (270 hp in the AWD), 3.6-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission, which together bring more than adequate acceleration and responsive performance. The Outlook steers and handles more precisely and nimbly than most vehicles its size, and it has a smooth, absorbent ride and an interior that's very quiet, even on coarse surfaces.
The Outlook comes with a simple, uncluttered instrument panel design and nice, upscale materials inside that feel just as good as some vehicles with luxury brand names. Cloth upholstery is standard, while leather is optional. The seating arrangement in all versions of the 2008 Saturn Outlook includes second- and third-row bench seats, but the optional seven-passenger seating arrangement brings so-called Smart Slide second-row captain's chairs, which slide forward and fold down to allow easy access to the third row. The second and third rows fold flat to allow a very impressive 117 cubic feet of cargo space or, with all the seats up and in place, nearly 20 cubic feet--enough for a large load of groceries.
Various interior details make the Outlook's cabin a more passenger-friendly vehicle, with an AC outlet in the center console, a power rear tailgate that can be controlled by the key fob, and an especially roomy center console.
The 2008 Saturn Outlook is offered in base XE and upscale XR models, both with either front- or all-wheel drive. The XE comes with power heated mirrors, power windows and locks, cruise control, rear air conditioning, and a sound system with three months of XM Satellite Radio service. XR models add larger wheels, variable power steering, fog lamps, a power driver's seat, automatic climate control, and wood grain trim. Major options include a DVD-based navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a sunroof, and projector-beam headlamps.
Electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, front side airbags, and side curtain airbags covering all three rows are standard on the Outlook models. The 2008 Saturn Outlook has some of the best crash-test results of any vehicle in the federal government's program, with top five-star ratings for frontal and side impact; however, it hasn't been tested by the IIHS.