Automaker keeps new models coming with Outlook
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Saturn's becoming more like the Energizer Bunny -- it just keeps going and going, cranking out all-new models as fast as they can find a name for them.
The latest to hit the road is the Saturn Outlook, a full-sized crossover with three row seating, OnStar, and just about every safety feature you can imagine. What's more, its got a decent base price range: $27,255 to $31,555.
It's powered by a 270 or 275 horsepower 3.6 liter V-6, depending on your choice. Fuel mileage is rated at 18 mpg city/26 highway for front-wheel drive versions and 17 city/25 highway for all-wheel drive versions.
The first thing you will likely notice, after taking in the beautiful exterior, is the quality.The 2007 Saturn Outlook.
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There are no gaps, globs of paint of other defects inside or out that would detract from the overall impression of this car. Part of this is due to extra diligence at the factory -- and the fact that the company literally started from scratch to meet optimal standards in quality, design and engineering.
Depending upon which version you get, you'll be able to carry eight adults or seven if you choose second row captain's chairs. The third row seat was spacious enough for adults, too, not just children.
When the seats are folded flat, the Outlook has about 117 cubic feet of cargo room. If you leave the third row seat up, you'll still find that you have 19.7 cubic feet for groceries, toys, etc.
But the Outlook is hardly the only story at Saturn. The company is armed to the teeth with a sleek new sports car -- Sky -- that's a sellout for the foreseeable future, and a new family sedan called Aura that has wowed even the most jaded analysts.
As a result of all this, just as Mustang and Chrysler 300 were the talk of the industry for the last two years, Saturn will now be a media star.
The most hoopla-worthy of the new products, in my view, is the sleek, well-put together Saturn Aura. It promises to make people sit up and take notice, especially when they find out that the projected residual value of the car after three years sits at 51 percent, only an insignificant three points away from Toyota's Camry.
This is one of the few cars I've driven in which the base model almost renders the upscale one unnecessary. With premium interior materials, tasteful aluminum and wood trim, the base model doesn't look anything like a bargain-basement version. It's substantial, comforting and with quality control that rivals Camry at prices that start at $19,985 for the XE and $23,945 for the XR.
The new Aura gets GM's first six-speed automatic transmission that will be teamed with the 3.6 liter, 252 horsepower V-6, rated at 18 mpg city and 29 on the highway. Lower-level Auras get a 224 horsepower, 3.5 liter V-6 rated at 20 city/30 highway. The Aura will be available in two model levels: the base XE and the up-scale XR.
Each Aura will have standard automatic climate control; driver information center; universal home remote; power steering, windows, brakes; and side head curtain air bags.
First Published February 13, 2007 12:00 am