• Oct 12, 2007

click above image to view gallery of the 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line


The second generation of General Motors' original hybrid SUV has arrived, and it's still the cheapest hybrid SUV on the market, but just barely. The $24,795 price slides under the Ford Escape Hybrid by only $280. The new mild hybrid Vue Green Line being introduced this fall is the first of a trio of hybrid variants that will appear over the next two years. This time next year, a Two-Mode hybrid version will appear, followed by a plug-in version the following year.

For now though, the belt-alternator-starter (BAS) system has been optimized to yield a couple more miles per gallon. The Vue has earned a rating of 25/32 mpg city/highway under the new 2008 EPA test procedures, which is quite a feat considering most hybrids saw their fuel economy drop with the EPA's new testing procedures. Combined with a 19 gallon gas tank the Vue can cruise for 585 miles on the highway, which should be enough to outlast most bladders. For those with a more limited purchase budget, a non-hybrid 2.4L four cylinder Vue is also available now for $21,395.

Update:
GM verified that the Vue hybrid is in production and they will still arriving in dealerships over the next few weeks. By Mid-November they should be widely available at all Saturn dealers.
[Source: Saturn]



PRESS RELEASE:

New Saturn Vue Green Line is fuel economy leader

* Saturn's re-designed hybrid rated at 32 mpg highway; 585 miles on one tank of fuel
* Most affordable hybrid SUV at $24,795

Detroit -- Saturn today announced that the all-new 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line hybrid will have a fuel economy rating of 25 miles per gallon in city and 32 miles per gallon on the highway -- the best highway mileage of any sport utility vehicle.

Saturn also announced that the Vue Green Line will have a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $24,795, making it the most affordable hybrid SUV on the market.

"You can go green without going broke," said Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak, "and with the Vue Green Line, you also don't have to give up utility, safety or comfort."

High mileage, long range
In combined city and highway driving, the Vue hybrid's fuel economy estimate is 27 percent better than the non-hybrid four-cylinder Vue. The fuel economy estimates are calculated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, using the government's new 2008 testing procedure that was revised to better reflect real-world mileage.

The hybrid Vue's 28 mpg combined city/highway rating gives the Saturn line-up a compact utility with significantly better fuel economy than the Honda CRV (22 mpg) or Toyota RAV-4 (23 mpg). The Vue Green Line also provides SUV capability with better fuel economy than that of popular sedans, such as the Toyota Camry (25 mpg) and Honda Accord (24 mpg).

The Vue Green Line's highway fuel economy will allow the vehicle to travel up to 585 highway miles on one tank of gasoline, farther than any competitor's SUV. That is enough range to travel roundtrip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, from Washington, D.C. to New York City or from Detroit to Chicago. Potential one-way single-tank trips include Atlanta to St. Louis, Denver to Salt Lake City and Milwaukee to Kansas City.

Hybrid technology, features
The Vue Green Line's hybrid system combines sophisticated controls with a precise electric motor/generator mated to the 2.4-liter, 172-horsepower, four-cylinder engine and a modified automatic transmission. The system delivers fuel economy gains through advanced engine control algorithms including early fuel cut-off during deceleration, optimized transmission shift controls and by smoothly stopping the engine at idle. The system also features regenerative braking to capture electrical energy during braking, electric power assist during acceleration, low-rolling resistance tires and improved aerodynamics.

Several displays provide the driver with information regarding the Vue's hybrid system operation, including:

* Charge/assist gauge - Indicates when the hybrid system is providing propulsion assist or when the hybrid battery is being re-charged.
* Eco light - Illuminates when the vehicle is meeting or exceeding the federal government's fuel economy rating.
* Auto stop position on tachometer - Indicates when the engine shuts off at idle.
* Driver information center – provides instantaneous and average fuel economy information, in addition to other important vehicle data.

In addition to the hybrid system, standard features on the Vue Green Line include 17-inch polished alloy wheels, rear spoiler, painted fascias and single-zone automatic climate control.

All Vues, including the 2008 Green Line, feature a comprehensive array of standard safety equipment that includes six air bags, active front head restraints, a pedal release system for the accelerator and brake, StabiliTrak electronic stability control with trailer sway control, antilock brakes, tire pressure monitors and OnStar.

Quiet, responsive ride and handling comes from front and rear stabilizer bars, MacPherson strut independent front suspension and independent multi-link rear suspension, along with a double-isolated engine cradle.

The non-hybrid 4-cylinder 2008 Vue XE has a suggested retail price of $21,395 and a fuel economy rating of 19 city/26 highway.

In 2008, Saturn will introduce a 2-mode hybrid Vue, which will increase fuel economy by an estimated 45 percent over the comparable non-hybrid model. Saturn also has committed to producing a plug-in hybrid Vue that will get approximately twice the fuel economy of any SUV currently on the market.

Saturn, a division of General Motors Corp., markets vehicles in the U.S. and Canada through a network of about 450 retail facilities, with a focus on providing innovative products with solid value and excellent customer service. In 2006, the brand began a major revitalization of its portfolio with four new vehicles: the Sky roadster, the Aura midsize sedan, the Vue Green Line hybrid and the Outlook crossover. The aggressive pace continued this year with the launch of an all-new Vue compact crossover and the new Astra small car (Fall 2007).


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      So If I'm an 8 mile commuter, what is my motivation to run out and buy this one instead of waiting for the plug-in? Why mention that it's coming when it is more appealing than what is current iteration and therefore can hamper sales?
        • 7 Years Ago
        If you're an 8 mile commuter, the only reason to look at a mileage sticker at all is your own vanity.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think you're giving too much credit to the average consumer. Whereas automotive enthusiasts will know that there's a better version coming out soon, nearly everyone else will just bite and chew whatever marketing puts out there for the mass media.
        • 7 Years Ago
        my point exactly. Its nice to save energy, but its not everything. I'd love to have a bio-diesel or something that runs on a renewable though... Not this band-aid technology that only benefits the people that drive too much yearly...
        • 7 Years Ago
        If youre an 8 mile commuter, more energy will be consumed manufacturing the battery pack of your plug in hybrid than it will save you in gas.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM needs to add a striking feature to all their hybrid vehicles so they can be easily distinquished. The owners want to say "I am green" and to be able to justify the higher cost. That is why the Prius is a success.
      I would suggest a solar spoiler for all hybrids that would charge the battery when parked. The spoiler could be a simple bolt on feature.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Ohh, it's got an SUV label on it, who cares that it can't do anything that my Mazda3 can't it's OK because SUVs are cool and compact cars are un-cool."




      Dude, the comment after yours says that the interior room is comparable-guess what-the VUE is a CAVERN inside-you could play a four on four game full court.

      Something you couldn't do with the 3.


      Otherwise the Vue is simply better looking.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Cool beans.

      But I will take the Escape Hybrid: 34 city/30 highway/32 combined (according to fueleconomy.gov)
      • 7 Years Ago
      I guess some hybrid is better than no hybrid at all. I think GM should only quietly advertise their hybrid models as they are not quite up to par with the more advanced systems from Toyota (and similarly due to license sharing, Nissan). But, any mileage increase over the normal version is pretty neat, even if it is not necessarily cost effective.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I would like to know how this is working on highway miles. Hybrids do squat for highway mileage and this is a mild hybrid at that. Has GM figured out how to game the test?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Everyone games the test. Automatic transmissions are calibrated to shift optimally while undergoing an FTP75 test. The new US06 test is much tougher(a little scary w/ a 1ton diesel, actually), but both tests are still in use.

        Robert- De-caff, buddy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      32mpg on the 2008 scale from a mild hybrid! That's very impressive. Considering the Mercury Mariner gets only 28mpg (27hwy) with the full-on Prius-style system.

      This is great, but also slightly bothersome from the point of view that this mild hybrid system is so cheap and so effective that it could easily tear away almost all the potential customers from the coming more expensive dual-mode version, especially given that the dual-mode will likely only boost the city mpg, and not raise the figure we're talking about.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow so it's a 5 passenger car that gets 32 freaking MPG, exactly how am I supposed to be impressed?

      Ohh, it's got an SUV label on it, who cares that it can't do anything that my Mazda3 can't it's OK because SUVs are cool and compact cars are un-cool.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Um, well, under the new 2008 numbers that hot little Mazda3 5-door is only rated for 29mpg on the highway and 22 in the city. Versus the hybrid Vue's rated 25/32mpg. The Vue also has 56.4 cu-ft of cargo room in the back vs the Mazda3 5-dr's 43.8 cu-ft. And the Vue is available with AWD (though the GreenLine hybrids may not be...).

        Wow, so the Mazda3 has less cargo room and worse fuel economy, exactly how am I supposed to be impressed?
        • 7 Years Ago
        It can haul more cargo than your Mazda 3 can. It has AWD available. It can tow.

        Gee, it sounds like there are many things that this Vue can do that your mazda can't. Why do you feel the need to make snooty comments about it?

        Be happy with your car and let others be happy with their Saturn Viue.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I get 30Mpg in mixed driving, including a 25 miles each way commute on L.A. freeways.

        Mine is almost completely loaded (didn't get leather or NAV) and I got mine for under $19k.

        My Mazda3 tows more often than 99% of SUVs do (I tow about 8 times a year). Mazda of North America doesn't publish towing capacity for the Mazda3 (they'd rather have you buy a CX7) but according to the UK specs the 2.0 can tow 1300Kg (>2800lb) which is higher than the Vue Green Line which is 1500lb.

        Cargo volume measurements (or all measurements for that matter) don't always translate into real usable space (or actual legroom). Once I was transferring boxes of things from the back of my Focus hatchback to the back of an Expedition, the boxes which fit easily in the on-paper smaller hatch of the Focus wouldn't fit in the expedition (extra boxes had to go on the back seat).
        • 7 Years Ago
        Robert,

        I agree that your Mazda3 (if it is the 5-door) will do most of what the average Vue owner will do. I will say that while the Mazda3 will hold 5 people as comfortably as a Vue, it will not hold as much stuff (the Vue's cargo volume is 12 cubic feet larger), so you don't run into the problem of being able to take people, or their luggage, but not both.

        That being said, I keep telling people I know who are looking at SUVs to get wagons, they are way better options 99% of the time.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I drive a 350Z but I would buy a plug-in hybrid because we need to stop spending $300 billion dollars a year on foreign oil, of which a big chunk goes to Russia, Venezuela and Persian Gulf states.

      Regarding the VUE, how come their IP does not have a gauge for the battery or coolant temp?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Kill the abundance of uselessly gaudy chrome trim and it would look a lot better. Seems to only work well with the silver paint, can't imagine why...

      And why is GM waiting so long to deploy a two-mode true hybrid? I guess they really just want to wave the "most affordable hybrid SUV" flag as long as they can.

      Their claimed 45% fuel economy increase for the two-mode will be interesting to see if it really pans out, but a quick math check yields 27/37 (compared to the 4-cylinder), which may or may not mesh up with reality due to the fact that true hybrids tend to get the best economy in the city column.

      The exact status of the plug-in is merely passed along as a "commitment" with no date promised or even alluded to.

      Do they think people will want to choose from so many powertrain options in one vehicle? They already have six sub-models in the Vue line and they're adding at least three more? That's a bit of a challenge to cost effectiveness, inventory management and return on investment. Sort of a shotgun approach -- blast as wide as you can with bird shot and see what you can hit.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Umm... How about the all that chrome surrounding the entire side window areas and the oddly-placed fake vents flanking forward of the front doors?

        Do your homework before you insult people -- I'm merely stating fact. Saturn's current offerings for the Vue are FWD 4-Cyl, AWD 3.5L V6, FWD 3.6L V6, AWD 3.6L V6 and Red Line FWD and AWD with the 3.6L V6. Today they've added the mild hybrid Green Line and they're going to augment with a two-mode and plug in possibly by the end of next year.

        Show me another single vehicle that throws out such a broad powertrain net and I'll eat my crow.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Gaudy chrome trim? Are you sure you're looking at the same car as mentioned in this post. All I can see is one chrome piece in the front grill and an anodized aluminum section in the lower part of the front and rear fender. So what is your point?

        The millage per gallon is measured with the new 08 standards which are much closer to reality than the old specs. If you still get 30mpg on highways its pretty good for a car in this class.

        Can you count to three? If thats to difficult for you than of course its a problem that they offer now 3 different power trains. 4 Cylinder, 4 Cylinder Hybrid and 6 Cylinder. I really don't get your point on how many models they offer. Every other car company has similar options available.

        If you hate Saturn than just say so and don't waist your time writing this absurd comment.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The new Vue is the leader in it's class in many ways, go drive one and you will find out. Does it matter how much is weighs? The Vue was one of the original cross over vehicles, it is really a car with a compact SUV body, gets better mileage than many mid cars. Safe, reliable, solid resale. It is a winner.

      roar
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well, consider me impressed. I've test-driven the redesigned Vue and was very impressed with the quality of materials and fit and finish, inside and out. With a Vue that achieves relatively good fuel economy in an SUV-like package, I think it is well worth the asking price - especially if there is a hybrid tax credit involved. Looking forward to a test-drive in this new Vue Green Line as the last 4-cylinder Vue I drove was a bit lackluster in the motivation department.
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