2008 VUE Green Line New Car Test Drive
For 2008, Saturn has retired the second-generation, facelifted Vue five-seat crossover vehicle and replaced it with an all-new vehicle that is closely based on GM's German Opel Antara in terms of its basic layout, platform, and interior decor. It will eventually be sold around the world in Saturn, Opel, Chevrolet, Holden and Daewoo brands. About the only things left over from the old plastic-sided Vue are a couple of its powertrains. Otherwise, it's a much fresher, sportier-looking vehicle than the big, slab-sided square-cornered SUV it replaces.
As such, the all-new 2008 Saturn Vue presents itself with a slightly smaller interior in terms of its total cubic feet of storage, but a much more pleasant and useable interior than the outgoing model provided.
With two trim levels, three engines, two transmissions and a choice front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the 2008 Saturn Vue fits below the larger and roomier, eight-passenger Saturn Outlook in both size and price. The Vue retails from about $21,400 for a basic front-drive model to more than $31,000 for a loaded all-wheel-drive version. While the starting price is more than $3,000 higher than that of the previous model, the list of additional standard content is quite long, so the value proposition is still a good one. With this breadth of offerings, the new Vue provides a step up for the Saturn sedan customer with a growing family, or a step down in size and an improvement in fuel economy over a minivan or mid-size SUV.
With the 2008 Saturn Vue, you get a whole lot more style, more power and acceleration over the 2007 model. The available V6 engine comes with a six-speed automatic that replaces the previous five-speed automatic, and better highway fuel economy (when checking the 2008 numbers against the 2007 numbers, remember that the EPA has changed the testing procedures resulting in fuel economy ratings that are lower and more realistic results). The Vue V6 AWD model is rated at 16/22 mpg City/Highway, while the four-cylinder front-wheel-drive version gets 19/26 mpg, a substantial difference. With a V6 engine, the Vue is rated to tow up to 3500 pounds.
Saturn loaded the new 2008 Vue down with safety equipment. The Vue comes standard with a full complement of air bags, traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes.
With more standard features, more power, and better fuel economy, the all-new 2008 Saturn Vue represents a vehicle that's full of space and storage, easy to use, easy to drive, and easy on the eyes.
The 2008 Saturn Vue comes in a choice of XE and XR trim. Three powertrains are available, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder Ecotec engine, the 3.5-liter V6 engine, and a high-feature 3.6-liter V6 with variable valve timing. The four-cylinder engine comes with a four-speed automatic transmission, and the two V6 engines are mated to GM's new six-speed automatic. Both XE and XR versions are available in front-drive and all-wheel-drive versions. Later in the year, an sportier Vue Red Line or RL version will be added to the lineup, featuring larger tires and wheels, the 3.6-liter engine, and other sporty interior and exterior touches and decors. In the last quarter of 2007, Saturn will offer the Vue Green Line hybrid, or GL version, using the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, and GM's compact, inexpensive hybrid power unit.
Option packages for the Vue include a Preferred package with eight-way power driver's seat, leather wheel, heater power mirrors, lighted visor vanity mirrors, and automatic temperature control ($740); a Convenience package with rain-sensing wipers, heated washer fluid, remote starting and a universal remote for gates, garage doors and home lighting ($505); a Premium package with leather seating, leather shift knob, heated front seats ($1075). Options include a DVD navigation and CD/MP3 player system ($2145) and a high-end stereo system ($325). Also available is a tap-shift feature on the automatic transmission ($170), a trailer towing package ($350), power sunroof ($800), fog lamps ($115), cargo cover ($50), cargo divider, chrome trim package, and a stereo/6CD upgrade ($295).
All-wheel drive is available for the XE ($3120), XR ($2000), and RL ($2000).
Safety features include OnStar Safe and Sound emergency communications, ABS, traction control, and StabiliTrak electronic stability control. This version of StabiliTrak includes a trailer-stabilizing system that automatically applies the brakes when it detects the trailer swaying behind the vehicle.