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Saturn Outlook Real World MPG

steverstever Posts: 52,457
Please report on your Outlook's mileage. Please include any details that will help others compare their mpg to yours - how much city/highway driving, your model, 2WD/4WD, your terrain, etc. Thanks!


  • kmastejkmastej Posts: 6
    I drive in the suburban city area (flat terrain), lots of stop and go. Just doing errands for myself and the kids. When I first got the vehicle I was getting about 14.7 mpg, I was a bit disappointed with that. Then I took a freeway trip and got up to 17 mpg. Now I average 16 mpg. I have the XR/FWD/19" wheels. The sticker says 18 in the city and 23 on the freeway.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    How many miles are on your odometer now? Usually mpg keeps increasing as the drivetrain breaks in (or maybe after 10,000 miles, you ease off on goosing the new car to enjoy that new car pep, and that helps your mileage, lol).
  • chuckhoychuckhoy Posts: 420
    After driving it about 2 weeks, my mpg averages in the 16-17 range for 75% suburban driving. It goes WAY up on the interstate. I love the 6th gear because it loafs around at 1800 rpm at 75 mph.

    From personal experience it makes a big difference who is driving it in my family. My wife is the type who firmly believes that a right foot must be on a pedal at all times. Gas or brake, no coasting. Never. She gets about 13-15 mpg in it. Me, I'm a gaget guy so I love to watch the fuel economy readout go up and up and I am a firm believer in coasting down hills (something a car this big does very well) and easing off the gas. I can usually get over 20 mpg for the same driving area as my wife.

    I have found that if you keep it under 2000 rpm, your mileage goes through the roof.
  • mchappellmchappell Posts: 52
    I've found our Outlook is VERY sensitive to a heavy right foot. Mileage stinks around town: 13-14MPG. If I lock the cruise at 65-70 on the highway, mileage is great. Last time I got on the highway, I reset the mileage readout, and by the time I exited (25 mi?), the readout was showing 28.2MPG. The same trip with a heavy foot/traffic was about 21.

  • chuckhoychuckhoy Posts: 420
    I expected that with a 275 hp V6. It is also a very large and heavy vehicle.
  • Can you guys post some numbers based on the fuel refills? I know that the computer is pretty accurate, but I would like to know the Outlook's real world numbers. I think the new transmission should be a real benefit on the highway.
  • nastacionastacio Posts: 370
    Sorry, no refill numbers, just 16 mpg on the computer during a mixed circuit of road/city. Green engine during a test drive, though.
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    28.8? WOW
  • 323 miles about 20.7 gals.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    You put in 20.7gal? How big is the fuel tank?
  • Outlook 2007 XR FWD
    Outlook has a 22 gallon tank.

    I've been driving my outlook for 4 months and my odometer reading is at little over 8000 miles.

    Dashboard computed mileage is about 5% more than actual gas mileage in Houston, TX (one of the hot places in the nation, but shouldn't be much more than 2%, which is caused by the volume increase of the gasoline).
    For example, when actual gas mileage is 16 mpg, it will show about 17.3 mpg on the dashboard.

    Actual Mileage:
    Lowest (full tank, 90% local): 12.4 mpg
    Highest (full tank, 90% highway): 19.5 mpg
    The mileage at speed of 70 mph in cruise): 24 mpg
    The mileage at speed of 80 mph in cruise): 19 mpg
    The total overall mileage: 16 mpg
  • My Outlook is 6 month old @ 15k miles - i am getting 14.5 city, 20 mpg highway with a good tail wind! Not to mentioned all the other problems i have with the vehicle.
  • i a real world @ 10k it should had improve but my xr outlook started to do better mpg @ 8k but at around 12k it went down hill quick!
  • What other problems are you having with your vehicle?
  • chuckhoychuckhoy Posts: 420
    I have been consistently getting about 17-18 mpg in mostly suburban driving. It bumps up to the mid 20s on the highway. I have about 6.5k miles on it and the mileage had seemed to improve a bit since we first got it.

    No problems to report so far. The tranny reflash improved mileage a bit too. It seems more willing to go back into 6th after an incline than it was before.
  • naatz1naatz1 Posts: 188
    I too am interested in what other problems you have had???

    I am seriously thinking about buying one. Look at the Crossover SUV Comparison forum post 3633 Re: AWD Criteria / Test drives Oct 20, 2007 (10:27 am) for a fairly controlled test drive where I summarized the Outlook XR AWD "winning" vs a VeraCruz and Jeeps (I would have bought an 07 XE this week with a $1k rebate until my wife decided she MUST have leather seats). Here is my Outlook report from that forum:

    Quiet roomy road warrior. Wife says like our old ext Caravan but I pointed out the swing doors and Fortera 18s that seemed to get her outa that mindset. MPG: 20.5, 16 Highway/City. This last number dropped since we were on a stoplight course late in the day during rush hour. Note we wanted an XE due to budget reasons but all they had were XRs, we are still debating the value of leather which the wife likes & will see if we can swing it depending on when our son's current car sells. Oh yes - did an erroneous first test drive on a FWD version and MPG was 23.5, 24 ... incredible, but unfortunately not the drive train we wanted.
  • chuckhoychuckhoy Posts: 420
    Personally, I don't like leather because I tend to sweat when I don't have cloth seats. But, I am willing to put up with it because it is SO much easier to clean. This is important if you have kids. Many tings that would ruin cloth come right off of leather. It also wears better when abused by kids.
  • My Outlook’s fuel mileage is a disappointment. My last vehicle was a Tahoe and the mileage on the Outlook isn’t much better. With the large V8 in the Tahoe, my driving was usually at a low rpm and I had a lot of power available for acceleration if needed. With the six cylinder engine in the Outlook, the rpm is up to 1800-2000 at 25-30 mph (same as 65-75 mph) and acceleration is terrible. This is after three updates to the transmission.

    At 10,000 miles, here are my mileage numbers for the last three tanks of gas:

    Week___total miles__act gals___act MPG__DIC MPG___DIC error

    1_______318_______17.4______18.3______17.4______ -4.8%
    2_______327_______19.0______17.2______17.5______ +1.7%

    My driving was about 60% highway and 40% local. According to the DIC,
    the best average MPG that I’ve seen is 21.9 MPG for highway and 14.8 MPG for local driving.

  • My city mileage sucks rocks - 13-14 MPG. However, given that most of our driving is in city traffic, we've NEVER had a car that got great city mileage.

    If I lock the cruise at 65 on the highway, and reset the DIC, I can see 27-28MPG. Higher speed, long/steep hills, or any additional acceleration really lowers the number.

    I have no complaints about acceleration - floor it and it goes. I've found that you can't be wimpy with this transmission. If you are, it thinks about it for a few seconds; I guess to make sure you really wanted to accelerate.

  • My wife calls our Outlook the"Big Lots" car. We have had a few problems with ours (noisey front end,poor radio,chipping paint,Etc..). What problems have you had?
  • chuckhoychuckhoy Posts: 420
    This is a post I promised about the mpg I got on a recent trip to my Dad's house for Thanksgiving. It was about a 700 mile round trip with a jaunt into downtown Chicago to the Shedd Aquarium and tot he local mall to go shopping with the wife to prevent domestic violence from shopping withdrawal.

    Overall we got about 22 mpg for the trip that was 90% highway at 75mph.

    No, that was not too great. But, there were a couple of mitigating factors. Firstly we had to fight the wind the whole trip. We had a wicked cross wind on the way there that was a constant 20 mph with gusts past 30 mph as we travelled in the aftermath of the first winter storm in the area. Many cars in the ditch. The Outlook handled the wind just fine and I was surprised at the little amount that such a large vehicle was tossed around. If that wind had shifted 9 degrees, we could have used a bed sheet to sail to Chicago. As it was, I'm sure it did not hurt a lot, but it did not help any. On the wy home it was a different story. The wind did shift, but not in our favor. We had to travel the whole way into a decent head wind. That killed our mpg.

    Secondly, being stuck in holiday gridlock in a major metro area did not help the cause a whole lot. We did a lot of sitting in traffic and stop-and-stop-and-go.

    Overall I was a bit disappointed, but it was in the ballpark of what I expected. I would have liked to see the 25 I had seen in previous trips but it was only a 10% difference easily attributed to the conditions.

    On a side note: you need to turn off the stability control to do a proper powerslide in the snow.
  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    Agree, the MPG is not impressive! My wife's 7-year old mini-van gets 22 on the highway at 75 MPH.

    Overall, the MPG ratings of all the CUVs has been very disappointing.
  • jenjrjenjr Posts: 2
    4800 Miles on the car and have heard it all, the mileage stinks. Returned to dealer multiple times and they claim nothing they can do. Mileage was best 13.5 and has been going down since. Ww had the trans recall performed mileage went up on -the highway on way home to 20.5 and then started to fall and never came back up again. No at 11.

    Dealership seems clueless on how to fix the issue.
  • chuckhoychuckhoy Posts: 420
    What is the rpm that your tach is reading? Mine is always below 2000 when traveling below 75-80 mph. Your awful mileage may be due to your tranny not being in the right gear when not accelerating.

    Also, what is your driving style? If you are gunning it fromstoplight to stopliglight and doing a lot of aggressive driving on the freeway your mileage will be terrible.
  • jenjrjenjr Posts: 2
    After reading all the articles we have continually attempted to keep the rpm under 2000, we tried higher octane gas as suggested by dealer, and still no improvement. After the transmission campaign (recall) the mileage improved for one tank and started to drop off and no improvement since. I had it back to the dealer 3 times for mileage, I contacted saturn to take and scheduled another appointment at different dealership. At this point I'm ready to contact an attorney for lemon law on tranny. If the milage improved once why can't they fix it. Now they tell me there is nothing wrong?? I don't buy it.
  • chuckhoychuckhoy Posts: 420
    That does suck hard. I have been fortunate that we have had no problems with ours. I have been getting about 16-18 in suburban driving and 22 or so on the highway. If the wind is out of the right direction, I can get it up to 25.

    I see no reason why anybody should get 11mpg. There has to be something wrong with it. Is a brake "sticking"?
  • 1200 miles on our '07 XR FWD, and the mileage is a disappointment thus far. Interstate only driving at 75 in eastern Iowa gets me maybe 21. Combination of Interstate and around town gets me about 16. A two hour trip yesterday at 65mph crossing through a few small towns got me 21. I expected better with an 18/26mpg sticker. All these numbers are using the onboard computer for avg mileage, which seems to be pretty close.

    One thing I notice is that it shifts easily into 5th going up hills on the interstate, and it likes to stay in 5th sometimes much longer than it should. Especially in a head wind. If it's not shifting up I'll just tap the brake to get it back into 6th and then resume cruise.

    Still very happy with this vehicle even though I was wanting better mileage.
  • jeyhoejeyhoe Posts: 490
    Jumping in here briefly as the Oulook/Acadia/Enclave triplets are on my radar to replace my Navigator. So I am curious about what folks are getting mpg-wise. I must say the numbers I see in here are about what I would have expected. Probably like most of you, I hoped for more!
    I looked up the '08 and apparently the new EPA numbers are 16/24 for the FWD Outlook. That jibes pretty well with the numbers in this topic. cpkramers, you're getting about 16/21, but you're cruising at 75 and that IME will lower the highway number. Especially with a fairly boxy vehicle. I know in my '04 Nav, I can get 18-19 on the highway if I keep it between 60 and 65mph. Go faster, and it's down to 16-17. In town, just going back and forth to school with the kiddos I'm lucky to see 12. Interestingly, the sticker on my 4WD Nav was: 12/16 It's always been my experience that the EPA number on the sticker is *very* close to the numbers I'll see driving the car. I'm a fairly average driver. Dont goose it that often.
    Last, it is interesting to note that nearly identical cars can get different mpg numbers. I recently had my Nav in the shop and had a rental Taurus for several days. Then I picked up the Nav, drove it home and had to bring it back cause something wasn't right. Got a different rental Taurus. Both cars had appx 18000 miles on em. I drove both over pretty nearly the exact same terrain for a couple days. The first one showed just shy of 22mpg on the computer when I returned it. The second one was over 25. That's about 15% difference. If the engineers could figure out where that 15% comes from and guarantee it on every car - that's a better than cylinder deactivation and direct injection combined! :)
  • We have had our '07 Outlook FWD since October 2007. I immediately added air to 34psi at each corner. At the first oil change, I went with Pennzoil synthetic. I am currently looking for a K&N air filter to replace the stock filter.

    So far we average anywhere from 14-18mpg in regular driving, which mostly is a 20 mile round trip commute from 5 miles outside of town. On the highway we get 26mpg with cruise set at 74mph under very windy conditions. After the K&N filter is installed and after the switchover from the wintertime blend of gasoline, I'm hoping to get to 28mpg on the road and maybe average 17-18 in town.

    Am glad we didn't kick out the extra $$$ for AWD. We've had unusually frequent and heavy snow/ice conditions this winter and our Outlook has gone thru it all with no problems. :shades:
  • Hi all we own a Outlook with 22,000 we bought it new. In town we get 10 to 12 max. On the freeway I tried a trip at 65 mpg using the everthing I knew how c/c it was just my wife and 2 kids drove approx 300 miles and had to fill up we were getting 15 on the freeway. Best mpg so far on the freeway is 17.5. That's both with the computer telling us and doing the math and they are close. I have had it to the dealer several times for this issue all they say there are no codes so they don't know. Next at 15,000 the water pump let go on my wife. Now at 22,000 the tires are bald. The rear hatch has broken. What a pos we bought. GM can stick it and I will go by Dodge or Ford.
  • paynskipaynski Posts: 11
    After 3+ years of mostly city driving, I traded my '08 Saturn Outlook + $11.5K for a new 2012 Kia Optima LX. The dealer gave me only $11.5K for the Outlook. In general, I liked the Outlook. The 2 biggest annoyances were the poor gas mileage and annoying transmission shifting. We never got more than 13mpg city, 22 mpg hwy. I had the transmission software updated shortly after we bought it to improve the slow down-shifting issue. This improved it some, but it was still slow to down-shift, and hunted on hills. This also took the fuel economy down 1-2 mpg. The best features about the Outlook was the ride comfort, handling, powerful engine, spaciousness, and clever folding 2 rear seat rows. I was sad to see it go, but I no longer needed such a big car for an in-city "grocery getter". I opted to keep my '93 Suburban for family road trips, which still runs great after 160K mi. The Kia Optima got 21mpg on the first tank in city driving. Driving 18K mi/yr, this will save me over $2K/yr in gas!
  • kmanzikmanzi Posts: 7
    I have accurately documented the fuel economy, resulting in the finding out I get an estimated average of 11.85 MPG combined City/HWY AFTER the Transmission Software and Calibration Update was made in 2009 (orig.released on May 2008). For tracking data, I used a 6 month period from January - June 2012. (For those who don't know, the original transmission software had a hesitation when accelerating (providing a flat spot b/w 35-50 mpg). GM will not advertise this update, you must ask for it and be firm. However, the negative impact will be the fuel economy, which obviously GM did not research properly.
    A GM (outsourced company) service rep... told me that the software is an "option" and I should be glad to hear they offer that "option", and my sales person should have review all of my options such as engine size, etc. It is a trade off between performance and fuel economy and if I wanted performance I should have bough a sports car. I responded, and quickly corrected him to say, no this is not an option, it is a manufacturers defect and I want it fixed. Here are the results of my findings...believe me, this took time to pull it all together, but it is accurate: Average MPG is 11.85 Combined City/Hwy from Jan - June 2012

    Lowest MPG Recorded was 8.90, Highest MPG Recorded was 14.80
    Total Miles from Jan - June 2012 is 6330 miles, using 587 gallons at $2170.
    Total Cost of Excess Fuel Consumption Since Software Update in 2009: $5069.00

    I contacted the National Highway Safety Admin, Better Business Bureau, and next steps are CT Attorney General, Possible EPA and perhaps small claims court for the $5000 refunded to me from gas. GM was no help - they went around in circles leading me on week after week month after month. Our tax dollars bail them out, and they are still rude and incompetent. The Saturn Customer Service number doesnt even bring you to a GM operated customer service department. GM Outsources that first level of calls...all you need to do is look on Linked in to confirm it. It was an outsourced service rep that was rude and told me the transmission issue was an "option".
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