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Old 02-19-2008, 06:33 PM   #1
Bowzer
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Default Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

Hi all. I've been enjoying reading along in your posts and wanted to step up and yell "howdy" as I ready myself to get the keys to a new Outlook.

FIrst of all: LOVE this platform -- Lambda that is -- and my wife's and my experience with a weekend long test drive back in December left us completely impressed. The interior layout and utility seemed exceptional for my 3 kids six and under. The "no minivan" rule from my wife was satisfied in spades with the looks. And I am very impressed with the balance of the wheelbase size and driveabilty. So for design, consider us sold.

I come from some 25 years of always having a Honda in the driveway. I have been a self-described import snob when it comes to automobile build execution. With truth in the details, I have always felt my Hondas were not necessarily "do it all vehicles" as much as "do what it says it will do everyday" type of vehicles...and it's something I have come to count on and expect.

So while we're truly looking forward to this new vehicle, here are my concerns:
1 - Execution in build. I've read some of the posts regarding water leaks, vibrations, and the power steering escapades. As a new vehicle, as long as GM diligently comes up with fixes, I can deal with that. It's a somewhat normal part of the new vehicle intro process (not necessarily excuseable but something that is all too common).
2 - Long term integrity & dependability. My wife and I drive a lot. Usually our two vehicles come in at 20-30k of mileage each a year. I've averaged 200k miles on every Honda I've had with no major service failures except a transmission on my last one which was a covered recall. I really hope this vehicle can pony up to at least 100k miles with good service.


From what I've seen so far, the build quality is exceptional for the price point. Attention to detail seems evident. I am a bit worried though after reading about the leakages and some of the trends. I would love to hear from you on more thoughts...especially if you are also an import rollover!

THanks again...looking forward to joining the ranks.

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Old 02-19-2008, 07:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

if you drive alot gm is the way to go. low maintenance and long lived.

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Old 02-20-2008, 12:25 AM   #3
Telove
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2007 Outlook XE
Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

Hello! I wish I could provide positive feedback, but my dealings with my 07 Outlook, the Saturn dealership, and the Saturn Headquarters has not been a pleasant one. My situation is opposite of your's...I've always bought American and now I'm going for foreign, lol. I'm looking into trading mine in after 7 months of ownership. I now have 23K miles on it and seems like something else comes up every 1K miles that passes. We are averaging about 2 service appts a month

HOWEVER, I have read wonderful reviews on the Outlook and have met some people who have not have one single problem with their's. I bought mine with 10K miles on it, so I'm pretty sure the previous owner didn't take care of it by the problems we've been having.

You mentioned having kids. One thing I will recommend is getting an Outlook with the captains chairs instead of the bench seat for the 2nd row. This is a current annoyance I'm having at the moment...I have a 2nd row bench seat and two kids in latched carseats, so in order to get someone in the 3rd row, they either need to crawl in through the hatch or I need to completely rearrange and unlatch the carseats. Nothing life-threatening, but it has definitely gotten annoying over the several months we have owned the car!

Good luck in your decision!

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Old 02-20-2008, 08:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

ive mostl y had gm cars for 1.5 million miles. ive had as many as 158,000 on one car. ive had so little problems i couldnt buy anything else. not to say i havnt had any but not alot.i only do minimal maintanance. my outlook has 10k and my aura 16 k and never been back. BUT i buy new. ive never trusted rental returns. even today about 25 percent have rolled miles. some turn out ok. some have alot of problems. just my opinion.

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Old 02-20-2008, 01:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

I have had my 07 Outlook since 2/6/07 and now have 20,322 miles on it. I have not had any problems. I also do not have the sun roof either. Not something I particularly care for. I think it is like any vehicle. Some people have problems and some don't. I hope you enjoy it once you get it! This is my third Saturn vehicle.

...
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

THanks for the replies so far.

Telove: I hate the sounds of the situation you are dealing with. If Saturn Corp isn't cooperating, that would be my biggest beef. Any car can have problems but the reaction is something Saturn has complete control over. A less than supportive atance does not bode well. BTW, we are indeed planning on the 2nd row captain's chairs and your scenario is exactly one of the reasons I had thought of. THanks for confirming and sharing!

THanks, too to all others chiming in. I do plan on getting the sunroof and am hopeful regarding the problems ID'd so far. Has anyone noted tire wear with 20k miles at this point?

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Old 02-20-2008, 03:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

The sunroof issues have mainly been due to the drain lines being too short and allowing water to pool. A few issues have been with other areas not being sealed well. Some (Acadia forum) have had leak issues without the sunroof. It seems that the Acadia is suffering from many more problems than the Outllook.

I'm just over 20,000 miles on my Outlook with the 19" Goodyear RSA tires. I rotate every 6,000 miles and have about 5/16" of tread depth. The tires still grip well and I have no issue with hydroplaning, noise or shaking.

...
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Ebony Leather, Captain's Chairs and everything else from the audio/video/convenience world

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Old 02-20-2008, 04:05 PM   #8
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2008 Outlook XE
Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

I am a Saturn salesman and I own a 2008 XE. From what I've seen coming through our service dept., the leaks have only been on the 2007 models. I haven't seen any of the 2008's that I have sold come back with issues.

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Old 02-21-2008, 03:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

I believe I've had one 2008 owner report roof leaks. This is out of over 130 vehicles, most of them Enclaves but a few dozen Outlooks and Acadias as well.

That said, overall the repair rate is half as high for the 2008s. I'm about to post the details in a separate thread.

...
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Old 02-21-2008, 06:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

I've kept my 2007 loaded XR outside most of the time, through rain, ice and snow, double skyscape sunroofs, and ZERO leaks. I've had my 2007 for one year and 18,000 miles. I've driven it on three long-distance trips through all kinds of weather. No leaks.

My only repair prolem was getting the power steering pump replaced at 11,000 miles (for excessive noise). No other issues.

And, yes, my other two cars are import brands (see my signature). So far, my Saturn Outlook (my first Saturn) has been just as good.

...
2007 Saturn Outlook XR AWD, loaded, including HIDs and heated leather
2008 Acura RDX-Tech, loaded, including HIDs and heated leather
2002 Nissan Altiima V6, loaded, including HIDs and heated leather

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Old 02-22-2008, 04:19 PM   #11
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

The thing is, a power steering pump replaced at 11,000 miles for excessive noise is all it takes to get a "worse than average" these days.

They don't all leak. I'd even put the percentage in the low single digits for the 2007s. The problem is that when you sell tens of thousands of these things, even problem that affects 5% affects hundreds of vehicles.

As I often say, forums can make problems seem more common than they actually are. The reality is that the 2007s average a single successful repair trip per year (and perhaps a second for diagnosis and ordering the part), and this single trip usually involves something minor like a broken lumbar adjuster lever. People do get upset when something like this breaks, especially if it happens more than once. But from another perspective we're talking about an inexpensive repair.

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Old 02-25-2008, 12:16 AM   #12
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

Just for anyone's edification, our 2007 XR, with almost everything on it (no nav, no entertainment, no towing pkg) has been OUTSTANDING.

Aside from regular oil changes (my husband is an old-school 3000 mile guy), the only time I have had the car in the dealership is for the transmission re-programming, which made a huge difference. No leaks. No problems of any kind.

My dealer, Saturn of Racine (Wisconsin) has been wonderful. We are treated like family there, and I do not mind one bit that I drive 53 miles one way to deal with them.

We have driven from Chicago to Cleveland and back and from Chicago to Charlotte and back. At least once (and usually much more) during each of these trips, my husband said, "I love this car." At the end of next week, we are driving to Atlanta and then to Vero Beach, Florida. It is the first time in MANY years that my husband has agreed to drive my vehicle on a very long trip. My husband, all six foot, ten inches of him, LOVES my car....

Hope you like yours as well as we do

...
Debby in Illinois

2007 Outlook XR Gold Mist
8-passenger
Convenience
Enhanced Convenience
Premium Trim
Chrome Assist Step
Sunroof

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Old 02-25-2008, 02:54 PM   #13
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

Thanks for sharing the experiences everyone. It helps...

I may need to start this as another thread but: Just what makes Saturn special to so many of you? THis is asked as someone who is normally buying Honda's, etc. and while Honda certainly has a large group of its own Kool Aid drinkers and preachers, curious to what is making fans of Saturn. And, is Saturn still a different kind of car company as touted in its beginning?

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Old 02-25-2008, 04:27 PM   #14
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

My Outlook is my third Saturn. THe first I bought in Sarasota Florida and the other 2 in Maryland from the same Salesman. For me there are a couple things that makes Saturn so special.

First, my salesman emails me regularly. Either promotionals, happy birthdays, how are you doing. Those kinds of things. Everytime I go in for service (oil change or regular maintenance normally) if he is there he comes up, says Hi, asks how my husband and I are doing. The service department staff are very nice as well.

I have had very little problems with my Saturns and they are comfortable to drive.

I listen to my husband complain about the dealerships he uses for his car, and have not had the problems with Saturn customer service that he has had with his.

...
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Midnight Blue

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Old 03-01-2008, 04:23 PM   #15
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

THe time grows closer to get the new set of keys...waiting on some timing on some personal stuff and to see what incentives may come out on the Outlook shortly.

So the wife wants black...me, I think silver or white look great. She'll probably win...it ill be her car after all. Black cloth interior for sure as it'll be easier with the kids 6 and under.

I've gotten pretty cheap in my old age...but have to admit, I'm looking forward to this getting in the driveway.

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Old 03-03-2008, 06:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

Hell, my Saturn is second only to my dog. It's always there, always ready to go, gives me almost no trouble, and just seems to know me.

I'll probably be buried in mine.

...
This is one fine, plastic example of American engineering!

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Old 03-13-2008, 09:50 AM   #17
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

Status Update:

I've been waiting to see what GM will be offerring for the Spring in incentives on the Outlook. The focus has been heavy for Aura's and the Vue to date. Just got a message from a dealer they have new inventives just announced...I haven't looked at exactly what they are yet.

But here's the new twist: Outiftted the way my wife would like it, the cost is coming in at MSRP of around $35k. For that, I could possibly get into an Enclave with the same desired equipment, get a better warranty, and a quieter ride...plus a bit more availability in dealer service support with more locations and ability to be serviced at other GM shops. This hinges on if Buick dealer will come down about $2k off of sticker...which is usually not too unheard of...but those Enclaves are not exactly numerous. We'll see how it goes.

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Old 03-13-2008, 10:15 AM   #18
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

I think one reason the Outlook isn't selling better is that getting an Enclave for the same amount or less is very doable. As a result, the Saturn will only cost less if you want a base vehicle.

Around Detroit, you can easily get a Cadillac CTS for $500 over invoice. This is without negotiating. I'd expect the same with the Enclave.

...
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:58 PM   #19
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

I've always had imported cars and love them! However, maintaining them become expensive. I bought the Saturn Outlook because I needed something that would fit my 3 children + 1 step-child. My Passat which I bought new in '99 was starting to cost $$$$. I needed something that was bigger, and looked nice. The quality between the German cars I have owned and the Saturns; even the Sky are not the quality that I'm used to, but for the price of the Outlook, I figured it was do'able. The Outlook I have is not the base model, but it's not the high-end model.

It would be nice to see some changes as far as simple quality, but then I bet the price tag goes up. :-)

I think you will be happy with the choice. Great room & great crash tests results.

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Old 03-13-2008, 07:01 PM   #20
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Default Re: Nervously stepping into a new Outlook

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowzer View Post
Thanks for sharing the experiences everyone. It helps...

I may need to start this as another thread but: Just what makes Saturn special to so many of you? THis is asked as someone who is normally buying Honda's, etc. and while Honda certainly has a large group of its own Kool Aid drinkers and preachers, curious to what is making fans of Saturn. And, is Saturn still a different kind of car company as touted in its beginning?
Forget all that drivel. Drop the fanboy (Honda). Just get what you want. My Outlook is my FIRST Saturn. I also own Nissan and Acura. When the Lambda platform came out I investigated it and loved what I learned. Then I visited Buick, Saturn and GMC dealers to see the cars. I thought Buick Enclave was the ugliest (exterior) of all. But the new Chevrolet Traverse is even uglier. The only thing I liked better about the GMC Acadia was the cool heads up display on the windshield. Outlook lacks that feature.

I could've bought any Enclave I wanted. My Outlook was stickered at 41.2K. But Enclave is so ugly, I just couldn't do it.

...
2007 Saturn Outlook XR AWD, loaded, including HIDs and heated leather
2008 Acura RDX-Tech, loaded, including HIDs and heated leather
2002 Nissan Altiima V6, loaded, including HIDs and heated leather

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