The 2008 Saturn Outlook is far from a performance machine, but it is by no means incompetent on the road.
The Saturn Outlook lineup comes with just one available engine, which Edmunds says is "a 3.6-liter V6 rated at 270 hp and 248 pound-feet of torque" on the Saturn Outlook XE, while "the XR model's dual rear exhaust boosts those numbers to 275 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque." They represent respectable power numbers, but reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the Saturn Outlook moves even quicker than its powerplant would suggest. ConsumerGuide proclaims that acceleration is "surprisingly strong for a large, heavy vehicle with a V6 engine," and they note that the 2008 Saturn Outlook is "particularly impressive in highway merging and passing." Motor Trend observes that the V-6 "pours respectable torque on any acceleration occasion," while Kelley Blue Book feels that "the 2008 Saturn Outlook ranks among the most satisfying" crossovers that they've ever driven. In terms of acceleration, Car and Driver advises drivers to "expect the trip to 60 mph to take about eight seconds." Other reviewers point out that the 2008 Saturn Outlook is a very capable tower, and Edmunds states that when "properly equipped, the Outlook is capable of towing up to 4,500 pounds."
The single engine option on the 2008 Saturn Outlook is mated to just one available transmission, which Automobile says is "GM's willing new six-speed manu-matic." Reviewers appreciate the transmission on the Saturn Outlook, and ConsumerGuide reports that it offers "smooth, quick shifts" that "contribute to the powertrain's polished performance." The only real mark against the transmission comes from Edmunds, which claims "the economy-minded six-speed automatic transmission can be sluggish with downshifts."
Speaking of economy, the 2008 Saturn Outlook boasts better-than-average fuel economy for its class. The EPA estimates that an all-wheel-drive Saturn Outlook will return 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, while the front-wheel-drive versions should get 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. In reality, ConsumerGuide reports that a "2WD XE averaged 16.0 mpg in mostly city driving," while an "AWD XR averaged 17.5 mpg with more highway use."
The Saturn Outlook crossover also represents a step forward in road manners, providing a smooth ride and decent handling. ConsumerGuide reviewers call the ride "firm, but comfortably composed and devoid of sloppy motions." Edmunds agrees, characterizing the ride quality as "forgiving without being wallowy." Automobile reports that there is a "slightly numb rack-and-pinion" steering setup on the Saturn Outlook, but the "incredibly stiff chassis and good wheel control almost make up for any shortcomings." However, ConsumerGuide notes that the "Outlook's sheer size is a hindrance in close-quarter maneuvering." When it comes time to stop, Edmunds credits anti-lock brakes for help in reining in the Saturn Outlook.