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Saturn Outlook Real World MPG



  • 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!
  • 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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