In 2006, GM introduced its Lambda platform, and re-designed its line of SUVs and minivans to better incorporate this new framework. One of GM's subsidiary brands, Saturn, phased out their poorly-selling Relay minivan, and replaced it with the mid-sized Outlook SUV. The Outlook shared the same platform as the Chevrolet Traverse, the GMC Acadia and the Buick Enclave. It was described as "premium" in press materials, but slotted in at the second-lowest price point among its 3 sister vehicles. The vehicle sold slowly at first, partly due to engine water-draining issues and several problems with faulty rivets in the load floor near the rear hatch. Once these problems were corrected, the Outlook began to pick up speed, selling almost 35,000 units in 2007.
That was the peak year for the vehicle, and by 2009, sales had been cut down to a third of that number. After a withdrawn bid to buy the failing Saturn Company fell through, GM announced plans to close all Saturn operations by October of 2010. As a result, the Outlook is no longer sold, although leftover parts at the factory in Lansing, Michigan have been assembled into new Outlooks. It is not known where or when they will be sold. Outlook car insurance quotes, much like the vehicles themselves, are becoming scarce as the company and its cars disappear.
The Outlook came standard with a 3.6 liter 275 hp engine, and included a number of features that GM was very proud of. The basic Outlook model seated 7, with two captain's chairs in the second row and a bench seat as the third row, but this could be upgraded to 8 if the second-row chairs were replaced with bench seating as well. In addition, GM introduced their "SmartSlide" concept, in which the middle row, be it bench seating or captain's chairs, could slide forward while their backs flipped forward, providing greater legroom for the back row, or more storage space. The back row of seats also flipped forward, increasing the cargo capacity of the Outlook. The Outlook received 5-star safety ratings from the NHSTA in side and front impact testing, and was an IIHS top safety pick in 2008 and 2009.
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