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.