Test drove one today - Saturn Outlook Online Community
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-11-2007, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 59
Test drove one today

Well, after I had driven one of the first Acadia's to arrive in January--a rather loaded Acadia SLE FWD--and loving it, I've been trying to convince my mother to trade her Suburban for one not only because of how well they drive and how great they look, but also because she's been sucked in by high gas prices too much in the past three years but still needs something that can both be a daily short commute vehicle and be able to fit 4 people, 3 dogs, and their stuff when need be.

Interest died off there for a bit until gas went up the latest time and she finally asked me out of the blue about Acadias and what kind of gas mileage they got. So, back to looking at the different models and options, I realized it wasn't possible to build an Acadia how she'd really want--cloth, but with things like the DIC, steering wheel controls, etc.--but could very well equip an Outlook XR perfectly. Then, still being new to the Saturn idea, there also was the no haggle, etc. thrown in.

Then finally today was my first trip both to a Saturn dealer and also driving an Outlook.

Best part was actually getting to drive one of the NICEST ones they had, and essentially perfect in terms of colors, an XR FWD in White Diamond Tricoat, with beige & black interior, leather, center buckets, dual sunroof, and 19" polished wheels--very, very stylish and got looks on the drive. Stickered a little over $36k, and that's definitely more stuff than we'd want, but for what it had, an INSANE deal compared to competing crossovers with less room and capability and much nicer than an overpriced Tahoe or Yukon with less room and truck dynamics.

The Acadia I drove in January was a base SLE with the 18's and the Goodyear Fortera tires, and it just sucked up every little bit of road irregularity and didn't float. The Outlook has the same suspension tuning, but this one had the optional 19's and Goodyear RS-A performance tires, and still sucked up bumps just as well but did it more crisply and it had a tad sharper feel overall. For me alone, it's a toss up between the wonderful ride of the 18's and the still great ride but more athletic responses of the 19's. The brakes were also phenomenal, and somehow felt better than I remembered, and it had great pickup--though, even being a later unit, the shifts were somewhat goofy and it seemed confused at times. As is, wouldn't bother me, just something I noticed.

That all said, I loved it, and with a combination of the dealer and the vehicle itself, actually am liking the Outlook more than the Acadia now. The interior, at least in the black or tan/black, is extremely nice, and just adds to the German luxury sedan look and feel on the road. And, as well, the doors and such are trimmed out better than the Acadia--things I've read from many people--with soft, upholstered door panels and nice textures elsewhere. I actually kept thinking I was in some kind of new VW, both from the interior design and materials, and how it firmly yet silently and absorbent went down the road. Even the wood was great, at least in combination with the tan/black, and looked real and like it should be there.

Also for my first experience at a Saturn dealer, it was a really good one, and I could already see why people like it so much. Clearly told them I was shopping for my mother, and to that extent they were just as helpful if I was doing it for myself, and now I just have to work on still convincing my mother to at least drive one herself--that alone should sell it. We'll see.
caddycruiser is offline  
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 07:12 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4
Re: Test drove one today

Nice post I had a similiar experience I drove the Acadia first about six weeks before purchasing my XR,fully loaded except AWD Gold Mist same interior as the one in your pictures it is sharp!!!.
I was very impressed with the Acadia but felt the styling "plays it too safe" inside and out.
After driving it I knew a wanted the Lambda platform and decided to wait for the Enclave.
An Outlook stopped along side me at a stop light and I decided to check it out...
I must admit I did have a mental block about Saturn;nothing bad just the brand in my opinion (at the time) was too utilatarian,er dowdy.
My mind was changed immidiately after spending time on the lot Saturn has some slick forward thinking vehicals all at a great value.
The Saturn division is now positioned to be GM's shining star; they now have the product to do so and yes Saturn dealers are a joy to work with.
They called me twice since my purchse to ask if everything was o.k. and if I had any questions about features/functions etc (the XR is feature rich once you spend some time with it you realize just how much thought went into it.)
A week after my purchase they sent a tin of Gourmet choclate chip cookies to my home to say thank you... nice touch!
OUTSTANDING customer service.

Saturn has become the division it was always intended to be.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 59
Re: Test drove one today

Yep, sounds just like my reaction, so now it's just trying to convince the queen mum who I was actually shopping for to go drive one herself and not just hear about it.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 10:21 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 9
Re: Test drove one today

Originally Posted by caddycruiser

and it had great pickup--though, even being a later unit, the shifts were somewhat goofy and it seemed confused at times. As is, wouldn't bother me, just something I noticed.
Wondering if you could elaborate a bit more on this? Goofy how? I think I know what you mean by "confused", but I'm always looking for more info on people's perception.

lzwhb2 is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-13-2007, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 59
Re: Test drove one today

Originally Posted by lzwhb2
Wondering if you could elaborate a bit more on this? Goofy how? I think I know what you mean by "confused", but I'm always looking for more info on people's perception.

I know exactly how you feel from the Acadia thread, trying to get a better reaction, and I really wish I could elaborate better, but it was hard. We had the A/C blasting and the XM on, so it was hard to even hear the engine, but from my seat time, it shifted smoothly, but I was keeping it right around 45-50 and varying it, and it just seemed to be a little jumpy and confused as to what gear to pick and stay in or change out of. The extra 2 gears give it a much better range of ratios to pick from, and compared to the early Acadia I drove in January that seemed to be more lax as far as pickup, this Outlook wanted to run hard and shifted clean and crisp under load but then would get a little unsure of itself when the load was varied at that speed. Kind of reminded me of my '95 Cadillac Fleetwood I drove there, and that I'm in the middle of re-sorting out and fine tuning the transmission shifting parameters and they're off a bit--shifts generally well, but as things vary or stay steady at a certain level, the shifts feel odd.

I know that's really, really vague, though. The best way I can put it is, under load from a stop, it snicked right through the gears quickly appropriately. But when just maintaining a typical speed or varying it somewhat in that range, namely the 45-55 I was doing, there seemed to be a little too much shifting and almost uncertainty of what it should either be dropping down into or upshifting into. In reality, like I said, it really wasn't too bothersome, considering how strongly it would accelerate from launch and the general feel of the shifts, but also rather than having a nice range of ratios to pick from and doing so quickly and easily, it just seemed to not know "this or that" kind of a deal, when it came to sticking to a typical speed or varying it a bit. Again, I know that's hard to decipher, but I'd just say the perception of what it's doing is the issue, and if it just picked gears more assuredly and either stayed there or downshifted quickly, then right back up, as needed, it might be better. Kind of the perception of struggling and unsure, but clearly having too much power and ratios to choose from to actually be.

Shifting up through the range quickly to keep the RPM's low in general driving is great, but the reaction time to downshifts and return and also maybe just staying in our out of one gear at a common cruising range could help...at least the perception, that is. It's a tough battle, I know, to get all the parameters right to deal with all the different driving conditions possible, but just a little more refining to better steady things out could help.

That all said, I'm also really aware of the smallest things, and I could definitely see a typical person really not noticing anything, but I could also see others like myself wondering why there could be as much up and down at certain times, when there's an obvious strong powerband. I've not driven one, and I know it's been brought up before, but something more to the likes of how the CX-9's Aisin 6-speed is proclaimed to perform (and I know, completely different engine, weight, etc., also acknowledged)--snicks right through the gears steady and smooth, picks and holds the right thing at steady speed, and then will drop without hesitation as needed when the pedal is pressed more, could be something worth examining again.
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