Before settling on the Outlook, be mindful that it's up against some tough competition. The recently introduced Mazda CX-9, redesigned Toyota Highlander and well-regarded Honda Pilot are highly competent all-around picks in this class, and the value-priced Ford Taurus X rivals the Outlook for interior comfort. Additionally, style-conscious shoppers should also be aware of this Saturn's two closely related siblings, the slightly pricier GMC Acadia and the more upscale Buick Enclave. Even alongside its highly qualified peers, the 2008 Saturn Outlook is a prime choice, especially for bigger families or those with lots of gear to haul.
The 2008 Saturn Outlook's smooth and sophisticated 3.6-liter V6 features variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust sides, as well as electronic throttle control. Thanks in part to its exclusive dual exhaust, the Outlook XR delivers five more horsepower than the XE - which represents a power increase of less than two percent and a bigger advantage for the vehicle's marketers than its drivers. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and offers manual gear selection. The Outlook's "body-frame integral" architecture and fully independent suspension help deliver the car-like ride and handling not traditionally associated with such a large vehicle. The Outlook is available in front- or all-wheel drive.
270 horsepower @ 6600 rpm (XE)
275 horsepower @ 6600 rpm (XR)
248 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm (XE)
251 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm (XR)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 (FWD), 16/22 (AWD)
The 2008 Saturn Outlook has a carlike unibody design and standard front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive optional across the line. All models come with a standard 275-horsepower (270 hp in the AWD), 3.6-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission, which together bring more than adequate acceleration and responsive performance. The Outlook steers and handles more precisely and nimbly than most vehicles its size, and it has a smooth, absorbent ride and an interior that's very quiet, even on coarse surfaces.