2009 Saturn Outlook SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Saturn Outlook SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Saturn Outlook Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.6 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 288 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Saturn Outlook

  • The 2009 Saturn Outlook is the least desirable model out of GM's "Lambda" stable, but it still provides just about everything you'll need from a large crossover SUV.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Plenty of room for people or cargo, smooth ride, easy access to all seats, drives smaller than it really is, above-average towing capacity.

  • Cons

    Small dashboard buttons aren't user-friendly, transmission can be slow to downshift.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Saturn Outlook gets a bump in power and torque thanks to direct-injection technology for the 3.6-liter V6. Bluetooth is now optional on the base XE trim levels and standard on the upgraded XR trims. There are also two new optional Bose audio systems, real-time traffic capability for the navigation system and optional 20-inch wheels for the XR trim level.

Full 2009 Saturn Outlook Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Saturn Outlook gets a bump in power and torque thanks to direct-injection technology for the 3.6-liter V6. Bluetooth is now optional on the base XE trim levels and standard on the upgraded XR trims. There are also two new optional Bose audio systems, real-time traffic capability for the navigation system and optional 20-inch wheels for the XR trim level.


Now in its third year, the Saturn Outlook continues to be one of the better choices for a large family in need of transportation. Thanks to its spacious dimensions and class-leading cargo space, the Outlook can easily serve as a respectable minivan replacement. And the Outlook's all-wheel drive and respectable towing capacity ensures SUV-like versatility.

This year, Saturn has updated the Outlook's V6 with direct fuel-injection technology, which provides a bit more horsepower and torque as compared to last year. The rest of the powertrain remains the same, although Saturn's made sure to keep the rest of the Outlook up to date with its entertainment and convenience features by adding Bluetooth phone capability and some new, upgraded Bose audio systems.

The Outlook is one of four vehicles based on General Motors' "Lambda" platform -- the others are the Buick Enclave, the all-new Chevrolet Traverse and the GMC Acadia. Previous to this, the Saturn was the least expensive of the original three, yet it was the slowest selling by a considerable margin. Now there's the Traverse, which is priced similarly yet is more distinctively styled and has more available features.

Meanwhile, the Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Highlander are all comparable in size and price. Even the new Ford Flex is worth considering, as it offers agile carlike handling combined with a modern, sleek design. But considering its overall capabilities, the 2009 Saturn Outlook remains a great choice for families in need of space and utility.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Saturn Outlook is a large crossover SUV with seating for up to eight passengers. There are two trim lines: XE and XR. The base XE features 18-inch wheels, full power accessories, heated exterior mirrors, cruise control, air-conditioning with rear controls, OnStar, an MP3/CD player and satellite radio. The XR adds roof rails, foglights, variable-effort power steering, a power driver seat, leather seating, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with remote audio controls, wood-grain interior trim, dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and Bluetooth.

Options, depending on the trim level, include xenon headlights, a dual-pane sunroof, a power liftgate, remote engine start, rear parking sensors, premium audio systems, a rear DVD entertainment system and a navigation system with a back-up camera and real-time traffic updates. Other options include front seat heaters, a power passenger seat and driver memory positioning. If you order second-row captain's chairs, seating capacity drops to seven but you gain an optional center console between the seats. In addition, many of the XR's standard features can be added to the base model. A variety of wheel choices and sizes are also available, including optional 20-inch wheels on XR trims.

Powertrains and Performance

The Outlook XE has a 3.6-liter V6 rated at 281 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. The XR model's dual exhaust boosts those numbers to 288 hp and 270 lb-ft. Power is sent through a standard six-speed automatic transmission, and both trims are available as either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Properly equipped, the Outlook is capable of towing up to 4,500 pounds. The front-drive 2009 Outlook rates 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. The AWD version checks in at just 1 mpg less.


Standard safety features include antilock brakes, rollover-sensing stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and GM's OnStar service. In crash tests, the 2009 Saturn Outlook scored an optimal five out of five stars in both front- and side-impact evaluations conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Outlook's cabin is both functional and pleasing to the eye. The faux wood in XR models is convincing enough, and the overall quality of interior materials is impressive. However, many of the buttons on the dashboard are a bit too small and similar-looking, making them hard to find and operate.

The first- and second-row seats are comfortable and can easily fit children or adults. The third row might not feel as roomy as a minivan, but it still offers more space than the average crossover SUV. Access to rear seating is easy thanks to the second row's "Smart Slide" feature, which flips the cushions up as the seatback slides forward, creating a wide path of entry. Cargo capacity is 24 cubic feet with all seats up, and a class-leading 117 cubic feet with all rear seats down.

Driving Impressions

While the 2009 Saturn Outlook doesn't have the sporty character of, say, the Mazda CX-9, it's easy and pleasant to drive, especially considering the vehicle's size and hefty 4,700-pound curb weight. The ride quality is smooth and forgiving without being overly soft. And although the fuel economy-minded six-speed automatic transmission can be sluggish with downshifts, the new V6's additional power should be enough to pull the Outlook through during demanding driving.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Never again!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn Outlook XR 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I realize that this vehicle is no longer being made, but I warn you not to buy an old used model either! We have had nothing but problems since we bought this vehicle at the end of 2009. A loose airbag connection, replaced radio, rebooted computer/software issue, replaced 2 coil packs at different times, a leaking strut, a leaking water pump, a rebuilt transmission and a malfunctioning rear hatch door. It has only 60,000 miles on it, and most of this has been since it hit 40,000. Worst, most unreliable car I've ever owned! Back to Mazda for me! Will never purchase a GM product again!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

Headlights and misfires

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn Outlook XE 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

i bought this car new.around 20000 i started havin issues with it.since ive owned it it has been to the dealer several times.ive had 3 headlights burn out and a 4th right now.1 time they said the harness terminal melted. also i have taken it in forcheck engine light that comes on around every 5000 miles.its always seems to be the same thing.misfire on 6 2 times and misfire on 2.its sputters often but i just have to wait for the check engine light to come on again.dealership is 30+ miles away.this car has made me not want to ever buy a new car again!it hasnt ran like a new car since it has hit 20000!im now at 39000 and just waiting for the engine light to come back on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great vehicle except...

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn Outlook XR 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I've owned the XR for a about 1 year and it has been great. The only drawback is the transmission is a little sluggish when trying to excelerate in automatic mode. The problem is reduced when you use manual mode. If you know you are coming up on a situation like entering a crowded interstate you'll need to manually downshift to 4 or 5 to be able to have sufficient power to merge. The first time I did this I was in automatic mode and scared the hell out of me. The another minor item is when filling the tank. Be aware that a sleeve is in the opening so the nosel is partically sealed triggering shutoff prematurely. I can get another 2-3 gallon in the tank by pulling the nosel back when filling.

I love this car!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn Outlook XR 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

This is by far the most elegant and stable suv I have ever owned. I've had a Chrysler Pacifica, a Jeep Commander and my last was a Ford Edge. They all pale in comparison to the Outlook.

Best for the buck

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn Outlook XR 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

My Budget didn't account for the Luxury vehicle we wanted but the Outlook was an amazing solution. It is dollar for dollar everything I expected and more. It has the look and feel of a Luxury vehicle and I've noticed more heads turning and more compliments than I have with our previous vehicles. I keep hearing, " I didn't Know Saturn made anything this nice."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great suv

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn Outlook XE 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I have almost had this vehicle for a year. I just love it. It drives like a dream and I get very good gas mileage on mine. I love the style and look of it. It has plenty of room and is very comfortable to drive and ride in. Wish I hadn't got the black interior because it shows everything. But other than that it is my third Saturn and like with the others, I have had a great experience.

Talk About The 2009 Outlook

2009 Saturn Outlook Discussions See all Started By

We purchased our 2009 Outlook in 2010 to accommodate our growing family. Approx. 1 year after purchase, the car had to be placed into service to replace the timing belt, the crank shaft and the crank...

I am interested in leasing the Saturn Outlook 2009 or 2010, please let me know the current GMAC MF and residual values...

Omg!im so upset after reading every post. I'm sitting in a hotel because my Saturn outlook 2009 decided to die on 1-95 this am. We were pulling onto the merge lane form the rest stop and my husband ch...

Read more about the 2009 Saturn Outlook

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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