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Discussion Starter #1
I've been looking for about six mos now for an Outlook. I've weighed my options of new vs used and looked nation wide. I found some that were eventually sold out from under me; I found others that I myself pulled out of and decided not to buy.

After finding a few pretty good deals all across the country, I finally found exactly what I was looking for - only 90 miles away. Perfect. Exterior, interior, quad seats, DVD, 19" wheels - all the bells and whistles I was looking for and then some.

I've rented these and have driven out of state many times. I was impressed with the MPG just as much as the style and room. Wow - the room. Awesome. Now that we our third child, it was time to buy.

I've driven this to work (18 miles one way) for a few weeks, and I've driven it out of state. I can't tell you how disappointed I am in the MPG for city and highway:

Averages:

City: 15.8
Highway: 19.7

I know the sticker reads 18 city/26 highway, which is what the EPA listed this in 2007. I know the EPA now lists highway at 24. But 19.7?!? 15.8?!? I saw one post where a post stated they had sub-14. They’d probably be ecstatic with mine – I, however, am not.

Is this common? It’s ridiculous that I’m over six MPG lower than advertised.

I took it into the Saturn shop today, and they checked the (correct me if I’m wrong) ECM transmission controller. They said it was recalled and replaced by the original owner, but they went ahead and reprogrammed it again. They stated all tire pressures, air filters, etc. were fine, and they advised me to monitor it for a few tanks.

I do love this vehicle, but it seems it was grossly misadvertised. Are there other solutions to rectify this? Are there any recourses against…here it comes…GM? Saturn? Is there anything Penske is doing about it?

Thanks in advance.

Frustrated
 

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that sounds about right. with any car you are not going to hit the numbers perfect. I get about 17-18 with a good mix. If i do a straight highway tank(long trip) i will range from 22-26. I have done all city say in pittsburgh and gotten 14. i have a AWD rated for 16/22 she is a heavy car and you need a light ass foot to get the highway rating
 

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I usually get 16-17 around the city and up to 20 on maybe 2/3rds highway. I've never done a straight hwy trip over 250 miles. While I'm not crazy about the mileage, I was only getting 22-23 in my 2006 v6 vue with mixed driving, so I'm not losing too much. I did get 29 mpg on a 250 mile hwy trip though, which is a lot better than the outlook could do.

Overall I'm not disappointed with the outlook at all. If I take into account that it gets say 5 mpg less than my vue on average and I drive 15k miles a year. With a fuel cost of even $3.00 per gallon I'm at most spending about $500 more per year in fuel. It's a trade off I'm willing to make.
 

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Typical around town driving is 17-19 mpg. Straight highway I have seen 32+mpg. 60-65 mph is usually around 24 but as soon as i increase to 75mph steady it drops to a consistent 22mpg.
Overall about 19mpg. Not bad for a big car.
steverem
 

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Did some more testing. Took a three hour trip out of town a 75 MPH and came right back (yes, right back) at the same speeds. Total time on road was six hours. The XR FWD (I don't think I mentioned that it was a FWD) got 17.5 MPG. Oddly enough, I filled up at a half a tank with in town driving, and it was 21.5 MPG.

I can't state how much I like this vehicle. If I had purchased brand new, however, I might have returned it as it appears almost as if it's false advertisement. 18/26 (or 18/24 for today's standards) doesn't compare at all to 16/19, which is what I'm getting.

Thanks for the replies. I realize the harder I drive it (I do ease into it), the faster it goes (yes, on the highway I run about 70-75), and the more AC I use (always on, btw) the more it's going to hurt the MPG. This just seems excessive.

Also, I got the EP (or EPM?) transmission controller reprogrammed and the tire pressure checked. I've also had the air filter checked. All checks out. My friend said he thought the original owner probably didn't "break" it in correctly. I haven't heard of that before, but that might have something to do with it.
 

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almost no car is going to hit the EPA numbers so you need to forget about that. Doing 60-65 will help alot on the highway mileage. But if you live in a hilly area or do alot of stop and go expect ok local miles
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I guess that's the craziest part - I live in the f-l-a-t-t-e-s-t part of the US. No trees, no mountians, no hills, no lakes. When I get on the highway for road trips, it's all one way until I get there unless I have to fill up for gas.

I'll continue to monitor it as the seasons cool to see how the AC affects it. I noticed on a full tank of gas that it reads 389 Miles of expected mileage from the full tank. That's a number I would've expected to read in the 400s.
 

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I know this may sound dumb, but are you resetting the DIC after each fill up?

I have found that driving 60 to 65 gives me better MPG than 70 to 75 and even 50 to 55. The engine seems to be designed for 65. Of course using the AC, how hard you accelerate, is the tranny goinging into sixth, all play a major factor in the MPG. I have gotten as high as 27 on the highway but usually I am around 23. In the city I am around 13 to 14 as there is not much freeway traffic here, mostly stop and go. I have found that the main problem with my MPG is me and my driving habits. My wifes Aura that has the same engine and tranny gets better mileage than me because of her better driving habits, unless of course she is late for work.
 

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What grade of gas are you using? I found I get a little better if I use the standard unleaded instead of the ethanol blend. Ethanol may be cheaper, but its not as good on the engine.
JC
 

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I think a major issue here is the aggressive throttle and transmission calibration on the '09 models. My 09 FWD, which I have only had for a couple weeks, seems to launch quickly from a stop, a lot more so than the '08's I have been around. Frankly, I wish it didn't do that except under heavy throttle. And, mine downshifts at the slightest provocation on the highway, even while in cruise control. I am convinced that enough power is available in sixth gear for the moderate power I need to maintain or slightly increase speed in almost flat highway driving, but the car does not agree. Downshifts are typically to 5th or 4th. 5th, in particular, comes up all the time. I have never once had a delayed downshift that others have complained about for earlier model years.

The big disappointment for me is the manual shifting mode will not keep the transmission in higher gears. Goose the throttle a bit and it will drop a couple or 3 gears, even while the indicator says it's set to 6th. Is my car malfunctioning or do they all do that? Really takes away from the advantage of the manual shift, which I thought would be a good substitute for appropriate programming for the transmission in automatic mode.

Otherwise I'm happy with the car, but this transmission programming impacts mileage and the useless manual mode (which does force downshifts, but the automatic forces them anyway) does not do anything to improve things.

BTW, our best mileage so far has been through Kansas at about 21MPG. Mountain driving on I70 and other roads through Colorado was above 18 (better than I expected). The worst mileage is so bad it is unmentionable.
 

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The manual shift on these Lambdas is more for keeping your tranny from going into a higher gear (set it to 5 and it wont go into 6th as an example). I use it for down shifting to slow down on the highways instead of using the brakes as much. With time the it wont shift down as much once the vehicle gets broken in, however both my now gone Outlook and my current Acadia have always shifted to 5 in a heart beat. 6 is mainly for cruising. When it gets to 5 it usaully takes a little longer to shift down to 4th.
 

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compnurd said:
i have not seen a non ethnaol blend station in a long time
The BP stations here in Ohio almost all say 10% Ethanol. It seems to run OK in my Buick Lucerne and Honda Accord, but I would think it could lower the mileage.
I wouldn't touch E85 with a 10' gas hose even if my cars could use it.
 

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A major problem is that ethanol
has a smaller energy density than gasoline. It takes about 1.5 times more ethanol than gasoline to travel the same distance.

Therefore leading to worse MPG
 

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Thought I would post my current, most recent, experience on mpg with my 09 XR FWD. Took delivery on this bad boy on 7/28/09. She just turned over the first 1,000 miles. Just filled up today, logging 305 miles on this tank and pumped 16 gallons in her. Thats a solid 19 mpg. My best yet. Started out at just over 15 mpg from the first tank. This 4th tank had better than 200 miles running around town, stop and go, and the rest running with cruise and varying between a fixed 50-55 mph and as high as 65 mph. The air was used approximately half the time.

I am very pleased where shes at considering the size of this vehicle and with the kind of driving we put her through. Really feel the mid 20s are very reachable running at 65 mph but have not had a steady long trip to confirm this. I found that things like making sure your tires are at 35 psi all around and keeping that tach below 2,500 rs will help with decent mpg.

Although my Outlook was built in September, 08, I am not experiencing any trans issues (knock on wood). She is smooth as silk and doesnt hang up in any gears. I remember my salesman, Doug Gamble at Saturn of Lakeside coordinated with the service department on any outstanding TSBs that would applly to this Outlook.

I do need to pay particular attention to how she downshifts when you have to get around a car quickly (nailing her) on the interstate. Again, those times I do tip into the gas to get around slower traffic, she does drop to 5th or 4th smoothly and without hesitation accelerates forward.

Great car!

Just my 02.

Regards,

Jim
 
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