Everything about the Outlook is new. This large crossover utility-which can seat up to 8-is the largest, most-expensive model Saturn has ever offered. It is based on a new, unit-body car-like platform and is the first of a family of such GM vehicles that includes the 2007 GMC Acadia , upcoming 2008 Buick Enclave, and a Chevrolet version yet to be named.
Saturn's new Outlook crossover utility vehicle (CUV) reflects an industry-wide trend away from truck-based body-on-frame designs in favor of car-like unit-body styles. So although Saturn continues to offer its truck-like Relay minivan for 2007, the new Outlook is slated to replace it. Much of the CUV's current popularity ascendance over conventional SUVs lies in the fact that this new crossover breed is lighter, more fuel efficient, and delivers a more car-like driving experience. A tradeoff of the crossover structure is a lower towing capacity (the Outlook has a tow rating of 4,500 pounds) and less off-road capability. The Outlook boasts a long 118.9-inch wheelbase and wide 67.28-inch track, supported by an independent front and rear suspension. Saturn makes the most of its size by offering easy access to the third-row seat, thanks to a clever manually-operated fold-and-slide second row. The vehicle's low step-in height makes ingress and egress even easier.
The Outlook comes in two levels of trim-XE and XR. A choice of front- or all-wheel drive is available on either version. The primary difference between the two trim levels is that XE models feature a single exhaust outlet while XR models brandish a chrome-tipped dual exhaust. The enhanced breathing of the dual-exhaust XR provides a little more power (4 hp and 3 lb.-ft. of torque to be exact) from the 3.6-liter V-6 engine found under the hood of all Outlooks. The variable-valve-timed engine is coupeed to a new, fuel-saving 6-speed automatic transmission.
Passengers are protected in the Outlook by side curtain-type air bags that provide head protection for all three seat rows. Designed to deploy in a rollover, the curtains cushion occupants and prevent their ejection. Dual-stage frontal air bags, anti-lock brakes, StabiliTrak electronic stability system, tire-pressure monitoring, sonar park assist, and the OnStar emergency communication system are other safety features found on the Outlook.
The Saturn Outlook competes in the Midsize Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) segment, which consists of 13 models. Buyers in this segment look for comfort, reliability, and quality, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Toyota Highlander (129,794 units sold), Nissan Murano (81,362), and Chrysler Pacifica (78,243). The Saturn Outlook sold 144 units in December 2006 in its first month on the market. Other models offered in the Midsize CUV segment include the Ford Freestyle, Buick Rendezvous, Subaru B9 Tribeca, and Hyundai Santa Fe. Joining the segment in 2007 are the Ford Edge,GMC Acadia, and Mazda CX-9.
|XE||6 speed automatic||$27,255||270-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||18/26|
|XR||6 speed automatic||$29,555||275-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||18/26|