The Saturn Outlook was introduced in the 2007 model year as part of Saturn’s desire to change the perception of the company. The 2008 version is a strong example of Saturn’s commitment to improvement. It's a multi-passenger SUV capable of performance and comfort, all in one attractive looking package. As far as SUVs go, this may be one of the best on the market, especially with its low price tag. Although not completely without faults, the 2008 Saturn Outlook should be your first stop for a cheap and reliable large crossover SUV.
Body Styles: eight-passenger crossover SUV
Engines: 3.6-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed automatic
Models: Saturn Outlook XE, Saturn Outlook XR
The 2008 Saturn Outlook hasn’t gained many new gimmicks since its introduction last year. However, buyers do get standard satellite radio, a 115-volt power outlet, a rear backup camera, and a second-row floor console for the seven-passenger models new this year.
The 2008 Saturn Outlook is a fully modernized SUV with more car-like styling than that of the old burly SUV models of yesteryear. Standard features on the XE model include 18-inch alloy wheels, heated and power outdoor mirrors, a fixed liftgate window, rear liftgate door, cargo tie downs, daytime running lights, auto-delay off headlamps, and auto-dimming headlamps. The XR model adds roof rails, fog lights, and a garage door opener. Optional features include 19-inch wheels, xenon headlights, a dual-pane sunroof, power liftgate, and remote engine starting.
The interior of the 2008 Saturn Outlook is very ergonomic and functional. There is a lot of faux wood trim to give the interior the appearance of a more upscale model. The building materials are of good quality as well. The design of some of the buttons on the dashboard is a bit tiny and confusing, however, making it difficult to perform certain tasks while driving the vehicle. The second- and third-row seating provides a lot of room for most passengers. The third-row seating is a bit smaller, but it still fits adult passengers as a minivan would. Access to the third row is made easier with the Smart Slide feature that allows you to slip the second-row seats forward for extra maneuvering room. There is 19.7 cubic feet of space available behind the seats and 117 cubic feet total when all the rear seats are put down. Standard interior features on the base XE model include full power accessories, cruise control, air-conditioning, and rear seat controls. The XR model adds to the XE standard features variable-effort power steering, power driver seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote audio controls, wood-grain interior trim, dual-zone climate control, auto-dimming rear view mirror, and a trip computer. Optional features include a dual-pane sunroof, premium audio system, rear DVD entertainment system, leather first and second-row seating, front seat heaters, power passenger seat, memory settings, and a navigation system with a backup camera.
Performance & Handling
There is one engine model for the 2008 Saturn Outlook with two different horsepower ratings available. The XE has a 3.6-liter, V-6 engine that produces 270 horsepower with 248 lb-ft of torque. The XR model has a duel exhaust system that increases the horsepower to 275 horsepower and increases the torque to 251 lb-ft. Both engines use a six-speed automatic transmission and are available in front- or all-wheel drive. The 2008 Saturn Outlook isn’t exactly a fun car to drive, but it certainly handles itself well. Even with a curb weight of 4700 pounds, the Outlook is easy to drive. The ride quality is very forgiving without feeling too cushiony or bouncy. The V-6 engine is capable of some real quick movement. The six-speed automatic transmission often has a hard time finding the gear when downshifting, but the engine is capable of absorbing any real performance issues.
The 2008 Saturn Outlook comes with standard anti-lock brakes, rollover-sensing stability control, front seat side airbags, full-length curtain airbags, and OnStar communication abilities. The 2008 Saturn Outlook performed well in NHTSA government crash tests, scoring a perfect five out of five score for front and side impacts. Other standard safety features include child seat anchors, engine immobilizer, post-collision safety system, tire pressure monitoring, electronic brake force distribution, and passenger airbag sensing deactivation.
EPA Fuel Economy
Saturn Outlook: 16/24 mpg city/highway
- Great ride
- Lots of space and comfortable seating
- Lots of towing capacity
- Hefty list of standard features
You Won't Like
- Small dashboard buttons
- Six-speed automatic slow to downshift
Isn’t the most refined SUV, but a low price and surprising drivability make it an interesting buy.
If You Like This Vehicle
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- Ford Edge