A performance machine the 2009 Saturn Outlook is not, but that doesn’t mean it can’t pull its own weight against its competitors.
2009 Saturn Outlooks are available with a new direct injection 3.6-liter DOHC V-6 engine with variable valve timing. ConsumerGuide proclaims acceleration is "surprisingly strong for a large, heavy vehicle with a V-6 engine," and they note the 2009 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 2009 Saturn Outlook ranks among the most satisfying" crossovers 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 2009 Saturn Outlook is fit for towing, and Edmunds states that when "properly equipped, the Outlook is capable of towing up to 5,200 pounds." The new V-6 outputs 281 horsepower with 253 pound-feet of torque in XE models and 288 horsepower with 270 pound-feet of torque in XR models, an increase over last year’s "3.6-liter V-6 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,” says Edmunds.
Regarding the Hydra-Matic 6T75 six-speed automatic transmission, reviewers appreciate the transmission on the Saturn Outlook, and ConsumerGuide reports 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."
The 2009 Saturn Outlook boasts only 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."
Good handling and smooth road manners characterize the 2009 Saturn Outlook. ConsumerGuide reviewers call the ride "firm, but comfortably composed and devoid of sloppy motions." Edmunds agrees, deeming the ride quality "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."