• Jul 3, 2007
It's no secret that import models seem to do well in comparison tests performed by Consumer Reports. While some accuse CR of being biased against American metal, we've spent enough time with the Consumer Reports crew to know that they strive for objectivity in their tests. They actually purchase test vehicles straight from the dealer rather than using manufacturer supplied media vehicles, and their results over the past decade of testing just supports what we've all felt in our gut: General Motors, Ford and the Chrysler Group have not been performing up to their potential.

In the current August issue of CR that goes on sale tomorrow, however, a domestic model, the Saturn Outlook, dominated a field of four other midsize CUVs including the Hyundai Veracruz, Mazda CX-9, Chrysler Pacifica and Ford Edge. Its performance earned it a Very Good rating and a place behind the top-rated Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Honda Pilot in the midsize SUV category and a second place spot behind the much more expensive Mercedes-Benz GL450 in the large SUV category. CR decided the Outlook could be considered in both categories because it's car-based and technically a CUV like most of its midsize competitors, but is so roomy and seats up to eight like many large SUVs.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

Truthfully, it sounds as if even CR was surprised by the Outlook's performance in its review. David
Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center said, "The Saturn Outlook is the most competitive volume model from General Motors in years." It and its Lambda siblings, the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave, are definitely a product of the "New GM". We've spent some time with the Outlook and plan on publishing a full review soon, but it's clear that the specs are spot on – honest-to-goodness seating for eight with a useable third row, a beefy V6 paired with a six-speed auto, Expedition-like room with an RX350-like ride. Our only gripe is that the Outlook's fuel economy hovers in the mid-teens and its friggin' huge, which while accommodating can make the full-size CUV difficult to maneuver in tight spots.


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  • 33 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I thought the Outlook had a Honda engine as well?

      Or was that the Vue... can never keep track...
        far jr
        • 7 Years Ago
        That would be neither iomatic. Saturn has replaced the Honda sourced V6 with GM's 3.6 DOHC. No more Honda powered VUEs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well I'll be damned. Still CR doesn't use random sampling in its surveys last I checked, so I still can't take them seriously.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well if your going to try to give reliability ratings for something sold nation wide, then random sampling is a necessity. Otherwise it doesn't tell the whole story.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You people have to get out of your head that 'random sample' somehow equates to some holy grail of 'perfect data' or a 'perfect answer.' Because neither truly exists. That's what the science of statistics is for. If you want to rag on CR, that's fine. But using 'it's not random' is simply ill-informed.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice to see CR coming around to the domestics, although the Saturn is a place behind the Highlander and Pilot? I've recently test driven all three and the Outlook is light years beyond either of those. Oh well, change comes slowly.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It must be very hard for the pro-domestics/anti-CR crowd to deal with the cognitive dissonance this must create. First the Fusion does very well in reliability/performance and now the Lambdas are review well.

      Perhaps CR has been right all these years and, shock-and-horror, the older domestic models really were less capable vehicles?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm so glad that they got rid of the Honda V6,
      Now the Honda sheep can whine "The VUE does not have a Honda V6, It's Junk"

      The 3.6 V6 is Better in every way except for MPG's then the Honda V6.

      If the 3.6 had a Honda label on it all of the reviewers would be worshiping it
      • 7 Years Ago
      Since when is the Pacifica a mid-size... it has a larger footprint than the Honda Odyssey.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "But stop bashing CR for simply being honest and accurate!"

      Read their reports. The pre disposition they have is clearly obvious.

      " The new Chevy Impala is better in very way than the previous model it replaces. Smooth running powerfull engine with best in class mileage. All new interior with a nice exterior styling. Tight yet smooth driving dynamics.
      Some how our reviewers still liked the Camry better based on past experience and the feel of the better plastic Toyota uses in their interiors. The smell oh the smell is so much better in the Toyota,
      This is an exaggeration. But it does mimic how a typical Comsuner Reports review is written.
      • 7 Years Ago
      lol
      • 7 Years Ago
      I dont get it. The Saturn outlook isn't impressive at all neither is the Edge. Keep trying domestics keep trying.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Consumer Reports is perhaps the only auto-industry publication that does not bend over to the domestics at every opportunity.

      Have you seen a Motortrend or Car and Driver lately? They are practically PR mouthpieces for their ad-money sugar daddies. The mainstream auto-press follows a nearly bulletproof formula.

      1. Always show the "great new products" the Detroit 3 have in the pipeline.
      2. Give their products great initial reviews.
      3. Keep propping them up at every opportunity.
      4. When the disparity between their shoddy products and the competition begin to become undeniable, speak of them as "aging" in order to save face, then begin plugging the incoming "great new products" ad infinitum.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Motor Trend is a mouthpiece for the domestics? I am regular reader for god knows how long but in the end the euros always come out on top.
      • 7 Years Ago
      the surprising part was that they didnt recommend any of them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The RX350 was a groundbreaking vehicle and to a large extent, it still is the standard.

      It's terrific to see these "New GM" vehicles performing so well. I think the GMC is the nicest looking vehicle in the bunch, even over the new Enclave, which actually looks slightly out of proportion in real life (looked great in the pictures, however).

      Kudos to GM.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Had Consumer Reports failed the Saturn, all the domestic fanboys would have lashed out saying CR is irrelevent.

        Since they have praised the Saturn, all you bushwackers will come out now saying what a great job CR does.

        You cant have it both ways."

        I won't have it both ways. I still think CR is full of s**t, but I never have denied their influence on buyers. This is why this is good news for GM.

        Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they get it wrong. Flipping a coin will get a similar result.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Had Consumer Reports failed the Saturn, all the domestic fanboys would have lashed out saying CR is irrelevent.

        Since they have praised the Saturn, all you bushwackers will come out now saying what a great job CR does.

        You cant have it both ways.
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