The Big Crossover: the Saturn Outlook

By: Anthony Fontanelle

General Motors is finally putting effort in the promotion of their subsidiary Saturn. The brand created to combat the increasing number of Asian car imports in the United States have been slightly neglected by General Motors in the past years. Recently though, the Detroit-based car manufacturer is taking steps to help the brand. One new auto model offered by the Saturn brand is the crossover Outlook which uses General Motors' Lambda platform which it shares with the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia.

The crossover is fast becoming a favorite among car buyers due to its relatively low price. Another strong selling point of the Outlook is its size. The crossover utility vehicle is designed to be bigger than its Saturn Vue SUV sibling. The adequate space inside the Outlook is part of the brand's effort to appeal to the Americans' penchant for roomy vehicles. The crossover vehicle, according to General Motors, can comfortably seat eight grownups.

Its powerplant is a 3.6-liter V6 engine which it shares with the GMC Acadia. Engine technologies such as the variable valve timing make the engine a fuel efficient one. Greenhouse gas emission is also cut down by the use of different filtering technologies. These attributes appeal to a lot of car buyers who are looking for cars with a good fuel economy due to the increasing price of gasoline.

The V6 is rated to produce 275 horsepower if fitted with dual exhaust systems. With a single exhaust system, the engine can produce 270 horsepower. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The precision engineered gearbox allows for smooth gear changes and good acceleration.

One slight drawback with the engine is that it is not as responsive as drivers would want it to be. The slow response of the engine is likened to the turbo lag experienced on some turbocharged engine. This drawback though is countered by the smooth handling response and a good suspension setting which offers a comfortable ride.

Gas mileage is a respectable 15.9 miles per gallon considering the size of the Outlook which tips the scale at more than 5,000 pounds. Its size shows its benefit in the fact that the high seating position provides a good view for the driver. The Lambda platform gives the Outlook a unibody frame structure which makes the vehicle somewhat lighter compared to other frame structures. The step-in height is also better than an SUV, thanks to the unibody construction.

Room inside is adequate giving ample headspace and legroom. Even the backseat which are commonly reserved for small persons or children can comfortably seat grownups. Interior amenities can be upgraded by choosing from the different trim packages that Saturn offers on the Outlook. Space for cargo can be increased by folding down the rear seats. This feat can be achieved even if one is standing outside the vehicle.

A power rear hatch is an optional feature. This feature allows for convenient loading of cargoes on the back of the crossover. Other options include the rear parking warning system which comes in handy considering the size of the vehicle. It helps drivers park on narrow parking lots without bumping into other vehicles and damaging the rear components of the vehicle such as the bumper and the title="Saturn taillight cover">Saturn taillight cover.

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