• Apr 12, 2006

There's little doubt that General Motors turned its eyes to Saturn for this show, as evidenced by production introductions of the 2007 Outlook, Aura, and Sky Red Line.

If not in sales, perhaps the most significant move by GM is the dawning  of the 8-passenger Outlook, which places the ringed marque into a new segment (and likely a new high-water MSRP). Twinned with the upcoming GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave on the General's new Lambda platform, if nothing else, Outlook impresses with its size inside and out.

With a large chrome grille packing the biggest Saturn emblem to date, the front end of the Outlook is certainly aggressive, both in photographs and in person. While not exactly 'pretty,' it doesn't want for presence. If anything, the nose looks like a more accomplished Relay, had Saturn had the financial wherewithal to start with a clean sheet. In fact, the advent of the Outlook itself calls into question the need for the Relay minivan, though the final verdict will need to wait until pricing is announced. Bookending the sizeable grille are clear-lensed dual element projector beams (high-intensity discharge lamps will be available).

Hit the jump for more impressions and photographs inside-and-out

  In profile, sizeable fender flares and standard 18" wheels mark out the corners (19" wheels are optional), and 'round back is standard-issue CUV, albeit with interesting details like square-tipped exhaust outlets and horizontally-oriented tail-lamps.

For the moment, at least, the sole powerplant for the Outlook is GM's 3.6-liter V6 VVT. Employing variable valve timing, the uprated XR model (signified by a dual exhaust) puts out 267 hp and 247 lb.-ft. of twist. The lesser single-piped XE is close behind, with 265 hp and 244 lb.-ft. of torque. Regardless of trim spec, powerplants will be yoked to a new Hydra-Matic 6T75 six-speed automatic, and will be available in front and all-wheel drive.

Arguably the best part of the new Outlook is what's inside. The interior itself appears well laid-out and built from reasonable materials and switchgear, though the IP's design itself is on the unadventurous side, and the fake wood is unlikely to fool anyone. Despite the straightforward execution, there are well-resolved details: the center armrest slides back and forth with a smooth, cultivated action, and the glovebox descends about as slowly as anything we've seen. The plain-looking steering wheel at least feels good in the hands, and the buttons thereon fall easily to hand.

We sat in all three rows (doing the industry standard sit-behind-yourself test), and head and legroom was commendably accommodating in all three rows. While passengers in the way back will have to clamber a bit to get back to the third row, entry and exit is easily more dignified than in vehicles like the Ford Freestyle and Jeep Commander (both of which are likely cross-shops, despite their markedly different executions). Likewise, the Outlook's available lebensraum is far superior, with a pair of 6' gentlemen journalists telling us they had enough head and leg room. Admittedly, the second row can slide back and forth to divvy up available space, but it's still quite impressive packaging, particularly given that there remains room in the cargo hold for more than a couple of grocery bags when all three rows are in use.

All in all, at first blush it's a pretty impressive package... we just can't figure out why it isn't wearing a Bowtie on the grille, or how it draws the Saturn's mission into focus.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      I just want to say that grammar and spelling needs to be taught in schools again. That is all. By the way, the Outlook looks like it's going to be a very nice vehicle.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If Microsoft's Outlook software is any indicator, the new Saturn's crash rating can't be any good!!

      Besides, looks like the Saturn group's finally coming up with some interesting vehicles, even though their naming department needs to get off their wrongly prescibed Ritalin.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I really like the front clip...it is agressive looking, and I can tell it's a Saturn to boot. I wouldn't mind the faux wood if it didn't look so 'orange', but that might just be the photography. Otherwise, no major complaints for the interior.

      I see the Outlook is getting the same modernized GM 3.6 V6 the new Aura sedan is getting...both initially seem to be a credible one-two punch for Saturn. But that seems to validate the writer's ponderance of Saturn's new role.

      Nobody'd fault Buick getting an upscale version or maybe Chevy getting a value-oriented version. With both of those brands having more of a dealer imprint, it'd seem they'd have better potential for good sales numbers.

      But with Saturn as the youngest brand, maybe it isn't such a bad idea putting your flagship-quality vehicles here. Chevy and Buick have their hardcore loyalists and their detractors, while Saturn doesn't seem to really have either yet. Focusing upon the brand with the biggest growth potential probably make sense in some fashion, I don't know.

      • 8 Years Ago
      The photographs look really amateur. Autoblog editors, you should really be careful of the photos you post here, since bad ones like these can blemish an otherwise worthy automobile, especially since this is its debut.

      Plus, I agree with a lot of what #19 (Chad) said, except that the interior may be looking worse because of the pics, even though the gray plastic and overall color scheme looks a tad disappointing. Also, I disagree about giving these cars to Pontiac, but that's just a personal opinion. For me, the Pontiac front end breaks the deal. Look at the Aura--a fantastic looking version of the Solstice. Come on, I'm sure a lot of you will agree...the Aura is way better looking than the Solstice, and for that matter, most of its competitors, as well.
      • 8 Years Ago
      My my my..!Fabulous...just fabulous.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #13 you have issues and bashing Saturn won't help them. Also, if people are going to critique interior colors and textures they need to see an actual vehicle. Pictures, especially amateur ones, can be misleading.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The IP looks much better on the official site pictures, and overall it's MUCH nicer than the the interior of the VUE and many other GM vehicles priced under 30K. That being said, did we really need 3 new variants on the CUV concept? What GM has sorely needed for years, and what I had previously expected these cars to be, is an ALL WHEEL DRIVE SPORT WAGON! Why is Detroit so convinced that Americans don't want these when there are so many superb wagons/hatchbacks coming out of Europe and Japan? I see them all over and they can be gorgeous! Many of us don't want an SUV or third row seating or even worse...another minivan that trys to look like one. Many do want sporty versatility and practical performance and cargo space! Once again GM, you let us all down with your timid short-sightedness...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Although I like the new Saturn lineup, I do not like the business modle GM has made for Saturn. If it is an Opel by any other name, then just import the fricken' Opel... if it takes the place of Oldsmobile, then why cut Olds in the first place?!?! Ok legacey costs--the "not your father's car" thing. Thats easy to break whit a 442 or a hurst/olds edition.

      Then there is also the "no hagel pricing" thing Saturn has, that's fine when you offer no vehicle that prices over $25,000. For all of you who are compeled to buy the Relay at it's upper cost of a little less than 30K, you are stupid and should be shoping elsewhere, maybe a Honda would do you better. So when this thing rolls on to the showroom floor expect the "new high water MSRP" to cause customers to actually want to hagel.

      I have looked at Saturn before; I had a '94 Grand AM that blew up and I needed a new car FAST. When I looked at the Saturn I was unaware that the no hagel really ment no-freakin-hagel. I almost blew up when the salesperson told me Saturn does no lower the price by negotation. But for all of you who do not understand how to hagel and are afrade the dealer will sell your car from under you (a friend of mine waited a week [7 days] beofre the dealer consented). Fine get ripped of by Saturn and buy a plastic POS for up to 5,000 more than you should. I'll buy the GMC for less and get a nicer truck, sorry, CUV.

      Other than the fact that it is a Saturn I like this thing, you'll see me pimping the GMC, Chvey, or Buick versions.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Finally someone at GM is listening. Just put Saturn (or Opel) in charge of everything.
      Shanannigans
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ah, the Saturn jealousy is overwhelming. Especially the guy who's (pontiac) engine blew up. You have obviously never been to Saturn and have no idea how they work. You have no idea what's in the vehicles, or what their starting price is. You're jealous because a lot of people are happy in a Saturn, while you like to be the fat old guy who wants to haggle to feed your male superego. Don't get mad at Saturn =) And what did you plan to do, haggle a $14,000 dollar car down? By the way, Saturn is volume, as volume is profit. Your sales person probably didn't like you and didn't want to tell you of any incentives! Poor number 7!
      • 8 Years Ago
      looks A LOT like the gm minivans, with the raised hood and everything.
      • 8 Years Ago
      To the dude raving about the Hyundai interior. I looked at the pic. It's nice for a Hyundai, but that's it.

      Did your computer monitor allow you to view the pic at its maximum resolution? Mine did. If not, you couldn't have seen those massive panel gaps, and the sheer number of them. Even so, I don't know how the business of the dash escaped you.

      Oh well, to each his own.

      That said, if these digital pics of the Outlook's interior are anything to go on, GM might want to do a little work on the color scheme and the gray plastic.

      Other than that, the Outlook looks to be a great car. After all, competition breeds improvement.
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