2004 Saturn VUE

Day 1 The "electric lime" Vue Red Line is dropped off at work just before lunch. I hadn't even taken a bite out of my sandwich when I get the first "Is that your car for the week? Man it's ugly," comment. It won't be the last. On the way home from work I pull into a city grocery store with a tiny parking lot. Three tight turns later I'm in. But I'll admit it's a small spot for any car. A beat-up, rusting, early 1990s Toyota, lowered and complete with an aftermarket exhaust drives by with the passenger hanging out to get a look at the Lime Hulk I just parked. He won't be the last. First day driving impressions leave us perplexed. The high-riding position — which is usually so alluring to SUV buyers — is non-existent. The captain's chair of a front seat also puts you in a lounging position by default, so even if you want to drive fast it looks like you're cruising the strip. Otherwise the 250-hp engine has great power for something this heavy. Note: The pictured Vue Red Line here is from Saturn's website. Next time we'll prepare more and take pictures of the actual test car. Needless to say the black paint looks much more reasonable than the Electric Lime of the test vehicle. Day 2 The commute to work this morning wasn't bad. The VUE has gigantic tires that make it stick to the road like glue. Add that to the lowered suspension and there isn't much body lean going on here. I also made it through some yellow lights with the engine revving healthily. Bumpy city roads (this reviewer lives in Chicago) are murder on the suspension though. You feel it mostly through the steering wheel, while the leather seats remain relatively free of vibration. Vue's large cargo area easily swallowed my gym bag and looked ready to haul a lot of groceries. The Electric Lime color is still attracting gape-mouthed stares everywhere we go. Days 3-5 Over the past three days I can officially report that the Electric Lime color still has not grown on me, or anyone else. Anytime I pull up to a booming car at a stop I shrink into the captain chair front seat. Why can't automakers give journalists a normal color on test cars? But with all this negativity given to the vehicle's looks there had to be some journalistic balance. After pulling up into the lot at work I took a walk around the modified SUV. The profile of the Vue is actually well done and has a noticeable swoop from the front fender to the second set of doors. The color matched body extensions on the front and rear look awkward in green but the black production photos show that the designers weren't simply aping tuner style. The large wheels are also nice enough to keep stock instead of finding a set of aftermarket 20s. All this attention to detail though …
Full Review
Day 1 The "electric lime" Vue Red Line is dropped off at work just before lunch. I hadn't even taken a bite out of my sandwich when I get the first "Is that your car for the week? Man it's ugly," comment. It won't be the last. On the way home from work I pull into a city grocery store with a tiny parking lot. Three tight turns later I'm in. But I'll admit it's a small spot for any car. A beat-up, rusting, early 1990s Toyota, lowered and complete with an aftermarket exhaust drives by with the passenger hanging out to get a look at the Lime Hulk I just parked. He won't be the last. First day driving impressions leave us perplexed. The high-riding position — which is usually so alluring to SUV buyers — is non-existent. The captain's chair of a front seat also puts you in a lounging position by default, so even if you want to drive fast it looks like you're cruising the strip. Otherwise the 250-hp engine has great power for something this heavy. Note: The pictured Vue Red Line here is from Saturn's website. Next time we'll prepare more and take pictures of the actual test car. Needless to say the black paint looks much more reasonable than the Electric Lime of the test vehicle. Day 2 The commute to work this morning wasn't bad. The VUE has gigantic tires that make it stick to the road like glue. Add that to the lowered suspension and there isn't much body lean going on here. I also made it through some yellow lights with the engine revving healthily. Bumpy city roads (this reviewer lives in Chicago) are murder on the suspension though. You feel it mostly through the steering wheel, while the leather seats remain relatively free of vibration. Vue's large cargo area easily swallowed my gym bag and looked ready to haul a lot of groceries. The Electric Lime color is still attracting gape-mouthed stares everywhere we go. Days 3-5 Over the past three days I can officially report that the Electric Lime color still has not grown on me, or anyone else. Anytime I pull up to a booming car at a stop I shrink into the captain chair front seat. Why can't automakers give journalists a normal color on test cars? But with all this negativity given to the vehicle's looks there had to be some journalistic balance. After pulling up into the lot at work I took a walk around the modified SUV. The profile of the Vue is actually well done and has a noticeable swoop from the front fender to the second set of doors. The color matched body extensions on the front and rear look awkward in green but the black production photos show that the designers weren't simply aping tuner style. The large wheels are also nice enough to keep stock instead of finding a set of aftermarket 20s. All this attention to detail though …
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Retail Price

$17,025 - $24,200 MSRP / Window Sticker Price
Engine 2.2L I-4, 3.5L V-6
MPG Up to 24 city / 29 highway
Seating 5 Passengers
Transmission 2-spd CVT w/OD, 5-spd auto w/OD, 5-spd man w/OD
Power 143 - 250 hp
Drivetrain all wheel, front-wheel
Curb Weight 3,207 - 3,630 lbs
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