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TheCarConnection.com's editors drove the new Saturn Outlook in order to give you an expert opinion. And to help you make a decision and make sense of conflicting information, TheCarConnection.com researched available road tests and has outlined the most useful information.
The 2009 Saturn Outlook is part of the family of large crossover utility vehicles that includes the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave; it’s slightly more rounded than traditional SUVs like the Chevrolet TrailBlazer or GMC Envoy and has a lot more passenger room inside.
The 2009 Saturn Outlook crossover features a new 3.6-liter DOHC V-6 engine with variable valve timing and direct injection, along with a host of new enhancements, including a maximum towing capacity increase from 4,500 pounds to 5,200 pounds. The new V-6 engine is rated at 281 horsepower on the XE model and 288 horsepower on the XR model. Its Hydra-Matic 6T75 six-speed automatic transmission features clutch-to-clutch shift operation with a tall overdrive sixth gear to rev at freeway speeds.
The Outlook steers and handles more precisely than most vehicles its size—although "nimble" wouldn’t be the right term, as it’s a heavy vehicle and feels that way. It has a smooth, absorbent ride and an interior that's very quiet, even on coarse surfaces.
The seating arrangement in all versions of the 2009 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. Cloth upholstery is standard, while leather is optional.
The design of the Outlook’s instrument panel is simple and uncluttered, and the upscale materials inside feel just as good as some vehicles with luxury brand names. 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.
Front- or all-wheel drive is available on both the base XE and upscale XR Outlook models. The 2009 Saturn Outlook 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. For 2009, OnStar 7.2 with a Bluetooth hands-free phone connection (standard on XR and available on XE models with Preferred Package) is offered, as well as an available backup camera for all models.
The 2009 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. Electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, front side airbags, and side curtain airbags covering all three rows are standard on the Outlook models.
- Comfortable ride
- Accessible, spacious third-row seats
- Cavernous interior
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- Obstructed rear visibility
- Decked-out XR models approach $50,000