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#13

in 2009 Affordable Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $11,749 - $14,917
Original MSRP: $30,625 - $36,450
MPG: 17 City / 24 Hwy
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2009 Saturn Outlook Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Aside from some complaints about its transmission, the Outlook received nothing but praise when it was new for its smooth, powerful performance. 

  • "Its car-like handling and responsive acceleration minimize the somewhat unwieldy maneuverability." -- Car Gurus
  • "Body lean is well controlled. The steering feels natural and progressive. Outlook's sheer size is a hindrance in close-quarter maneuvering." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Outlook never feels clumsy, remaining composed and without excessive body motions over every bump and through every turn we flung it into. And it's extremely quiet inside at speed. Call it competent -- and better than most other 5000-pound vehicles." -- Car and Driver
  • "As far as people movers of the 5,000-pound, eight-passenger variety are concerned, the ... Saturn Outlook ranks among the most satisfying we've driven." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The Saturn Outlook XE is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that received a power bump for 2009 thanks to direct-injection technology. It makes 281 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. The XR features duel exhausts that boost its output 288 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. According to the EPA, the front-wheel drive Outlook gets 17/24 mpg city/highway, while the all-wheel drive model gets 16/23 mpg.

  • "The Outlook offers better than expected acceleration both around town and on the highway, but front-drive models are slightly quicker from a stop. The transmission shifts smoothly but is often caught in too high a gear. A prod of the throttle sometimes results in slow downshifts for passing power." -- Consumer Guide
  • "And although the fuel economy-minded six-speed automatic transmission can be sluggish with downshifts, the new V6's additional power should be enough to pull the Outlook through during demanding driving." -- Edmunds
  • "Our biggest grumble -- and it's a small one -- is that the economy-tuned transmission can be reluctant to shift to the lower gears when you need a little extra acceleration." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

Reviewers generally agreed that the Outlook's driving experience is one of overall ease and comfort. In fact, many likened it to driving a family sedan.

  • "The ride quality is smooth and forgiving without being overly soft." -- Edmunds
  • "The result is a driving experience comparable to that of a tight medium-size sedan. Though you still feel its mass, the Outlook responds quickly and handles with little body roll. The ride is comfortable and compliant, more European than American." -- Motor Week
  • "Once at speed, the Outlook rides as smoothly as a large sedan while remaining controlled and responsive." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Firm, but comfortably composed and devoid of sloppy motions. Larger bumps register, though they are heard more than felt." -- Consumer Guide

Next Steps: 2009 Saturn Outlook

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