New Wheels

Wow, has it really been three weeks since my last post? Yikes. Well, life around here has been a little hairy. I’ll spare you the litany of stuff that’s happened (Hey, stuff happens to everyone, right?), but the biggie was the transmission slipping on our van as we came home from our memorial day camping trip. Turned out to be mostly due to a leak that was easily repaired, but our friend who’s the service manager at the local Acura dealer, said it didn’t it didn’t look healthy. Even though it ran fine after getting fluid in it, he recommended not towing with it again.
It was about 6-7 months early, but with a big trip planned for the end of June, the hunt was on for a replacement vehicle. On Tuesday, we traded out faithful Honda Odyssey for this:
2010 Sautrn Outlook Front
It’s a 2010 Saturn Outlook XR. I had pretty much settled on one of the GM ‘Lambda’ crossovers (Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave and Saturn Outlook) due to their combination of roominess, economy and towing capacity. The seating is nearly as roomy as our minivan and the cargo space behind the third row is double that of most 3 row SUVs (although half what the Odyssey had). At 17/24 MPG, it gives up only 1 MPG highway to the new Odyssey EX-L and actually beats the LX. It’s the towing that convinced me, though. The factory tow package comes with a larger cooling system, a larger alternator that will charge the trailer battery while driving, a dedicated ‘tow mode’ on the transmission that reduces shifts and provides more engine braking on hills and a 5,200 lb rating (1,700 lbs more than our Odyssey). The Odyssey always felt like it was near its limit, and I guess it was.
I really like the look of the Chevy best, but the Saturns were significantly cheaper. This Outlook was several thousand dollars cheaper than the comparable Traverses we looked at. I guess that folks must be wary of buying a Saturn since GM shut down the brand. I didn’t care, since under the skin it’s just like the others. The Outlook would have frankly been my last choice based on styling, but I’ll take the bargain.
2010 Outlook Rear
As a result, this top trim XR was within our price range and it’s the best equipped vehicle we’ve ever owned. Leather seats, heated seats, remote start, power tailgate, 3 zone auto climate control, bluetooth and the tow package among other features. The Outlook was the only 2010 Saturn made and they were all sold to rental outlets. Ours has 12,000 miles on it and was built in September of 2009 and sold to the rental company in December. It’s certified, so we have a total of 42 months or 36,000 miles of factory warranty left.
I’m sad to see the van go, but I’m very happy with this new Saturn, Interesting that we would get the last model year Saturn made, we also owned the first year sold to the public, a 1992 Saturn SL2 (there were a few 1991s sold to, ironically, rental companies).
Oh, and I didn’t waste any time putting it to work. This is from today:
outlook and trailer

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