NEW FOR 2009:

– New, more powerful 3.6-litre V6 engine with variable valve timing and direct injection
– Maximum towing capacity increases to 2,359 kg (5,200 lbs)
– Premium audio system replaced with Bose 5.1 Cabin Surround system with DVD and nine speakers (Bose non-surround system also available)
– Bluetooth standard on XR, available on XE with Preferred Package
– Backup camera available on all models
– XM Real Time Traffic Display available on XR
– New base cloth upholstery on XE
– XR compass moves from rearview mirror to driver information centre
– Exterior colours: Quicksilver replaces Silver Pearl; Silver Moss replaces Ocean Mist

For 2009, the Saturn Outlook receives a new engine; the displacement is still 3.6 litres, but horsepower increases to 281 hp on the XE model and 288 on the XR model, up from 270 and 275 respectively in 2008. Other trim changes include a new premium stereo package, Bluetooth availability, and a backup camera that can be ordered independently of a navigation system.

A sibling to the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave, the Outlook uses a 3.6-litre V6 with six-speed automatic transmission. It seats up to eight people and is available in front- or all-wheel drive, in XE or XR trim lines.

Features on the XE include 18-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, privacy glass, power locks with keyless entry, roof rails, rear spoiler, intermittent front and rear wipers, metallic interior accents, cruise control, floor mats, power windows with driver’s express down, tilt and telescopic wheel, illuminated vanity mirrors, cloth bucket seats, 60/40 flat-folding Smart Slide second-row seats, 60/40 split-folding third-row seats, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input, tire pressure monitoring system, automatic headlamps, single exhaust system, and OnStar.

The XR adds tri-zone automatic climate control with second- and third-row controls, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, woodgrain trim, garage door opener, exterior temperature display, compass, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, eight-way power driver’s seat, rear-seat audio with headphone jacks, XM satellite radio, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, variable assist power steering, dual exhaust system, and fog lamps.

Depending on the model, available options include xenon headlamps, seven-passenger seating, two-panel sunroof, 20-inch wheels, leather upholstery, navigation system, and rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

The Outlook is a big vehicle, but that translates into a comfortable ride and a confident stance, especially on highway hauls. It’s roomy and comfortable in the first two rows, but while there’s a lot of space in the third row, the cushions are flat and firm. The second-row seats slide fore or aft, to maximize legroom depending on the number of passengers, and the seats move easily for convenient access to all rows. They also all fold flat for a giant cargo floor.

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