5 years was too short a time for a great crossover SUV like the Saturn Outlook. It was great because it stood out for its amazing features when a whole spate of SUVs were flooding the market. The Outlook had a lot of things for it, really. A powerful 3.6-L 280 horsepower V6 engine gave it excellent performance on and even off the road--perfect for the weekend warrior looking for a little adventure. For those with families, it had a spacious interior that could comfortably seat 8. It certainly was a master of all trades and jack at none. In fact, the only problem that the Outlook had was that Saturn itself couldn't stay afloat!
Had the Saturn Outlook come out a few years earlier, few people doubt that the marquee that built it could have survived the troubles it eventually found itself in--it was just that good. In the middle of its ascendance, the Outlook enjoyed nearly double in annual sales that didn't let up until near the end of its production run. The thing was, while most rides were good at some thing, a lot of compromises had to be made. Not the Outlook. Apart from reliability and performance, it also earned top marks for impressive safety. Rarely do you find a vehicle getting a full five stars, front and rear, for crash safety--the Outlook managed that. It even bagged the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Pick award for two years in a row.
Sadly, though, the Saturn Outlook stopped rolling off the assembly lines in 2010, when its manufacturer quietly folded shop and quit. The hearty SUV has fought on gallantly in the years following--its loyal fans vocal enough that it became the basis for GM's Acadia. The good news is that there is still a lot of support available for current owners--there are a lot of high-quality Saturn Outlook parts in the market. That means you can replace and upgrade all systems and components on your Outlook to keep it up to par for years and years to come.
Maintaining the Saturn Outlook—Your All-Around Family SUV
Boasting its eight-passenger seating and heavyweight cargo capacity, the Saturn Outlook seems to position itself as a well-loved car by big families. Produced in 2006, this Saturn crossover SUV is based on the GM Lambda platform, and is initially powered by a 3.6 L V6 engine with variable valve timing and mated with 6-speed automatic transmission. Its ride dynamics, stability, and fuel economy received good reviews in driving tests. If you own a Saturn Outlook or you are planning to get one, here are some ideas on how to make this useful family car live up to its potential:
- Keep the tires tough and clean.
The state of your Outlook's tires will have an effect on the vehicle's handling, fuel economy, and overall performance. Therefore, it is always important to monitor your tires. Every week, check the tire pressure using a portable pressure gauge; having it too weak will give added stress to the engine and affect handling, traction, and braking. Over-inflated tires, on the other hand, are stiff and are unable to isolate road irregularities, therefore giving you a harsher ride.
Besides tire pressure, also keep track of the tread depth and make sure that it does not exceed 2/32 of an inch. Once you've observed too much tread wear, then it is time to replace the tires. Also, follow the tire rotation schedule as indicated in the manual or as advised by your local technician. It is usually advised to rotate the tires every 8,000 miles or every 6 months. When cleaning and washing your tires, use appropriate tools and leaning methods and dry them thoroughly using a car cloth. Make sure that each tire is completely dry since a damp tire is a magnet of dirt, thus making your cleaning efforts futile. It is also best to apply wax afterwards.
- Get the most out of your cargo capacity.
The Saturn Outlook boasts of having more than 100 cubic feet of available cargo space. To make the most out of this, yiu can install some of the available cargo accessories in the market to help you utilize the cargo space better. A cargo bed liner helps stabilize loads and minimize their shaking while driving. It's wise to choose a fully-ribbed, skid-resistant variety. A bed net is another tool that will help secure loads in the bed. Other accessories to help you utilize the cargo space efficiently are attachable carriers, racks, ladders, bars, and brackets.
- Check the brakes and the transmission.
Keeping the excellent working condition of the brake and transmission systems boils down to proper maintenance. Transmission is responsible for controlling gearing and providing hydraulic power. Keeping the transmission fluid at healthy levels ensures that the transmission parts are well-lubricated, and that makes it easier for you to change gears, engage, disengage, and downshift. Same goes with the braking system. It should especially be well-maintained if you often carry heavy loads while driving downhill. Invest in a brake cooling kit to avoid overheating. Constant overheating of the brakes will result to considerable decrease in stopping power. Check the condition of the brake parts for signs of wear as well; replace when needed.