2009 VUE New Car Test Drive
This is the second year for the second generation of the Saturn Vue, a sweet spot in terms of reliability. Completely redesigned for the 2008 model year this latest Saturn Vue is based on a German Opel, and it offers quality fit and finish, a versatile interior, tasteful style, and solid value in a compact crossover utility vehicle. It represents a vast improvement over the first-generation Vue. It drives nice and handles well. And many find it's just the right size.
The Vue is stylish outside, while inside is a versatile cabin that offers several alternatives for hauling people or cargo. The interior is attractive and European in style, modern and classy, with comfortable seats.
The 2009 Saturn Vue is available in three trim levels, with three engines, two transmissions and a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The standard four-cylinder engine delivers an EPA fuel economy rating of 19/26 mpg City/Highway. Equipped with the V6, the Vue is rated at 17/24 mpg City/Highway with front-wheel drive, and with all-wheel drive it's rated 16/23 mpg. Properly equipped, the Vue V6 is rated to tow up to 3500 pounds. We found it delivers more than sufficient power and acceleration performance, especially with either of the two V6 engines.
Saturn has given the Vue a generous level of safety equipment. The Vue comes standard with a full complement of air bags, traction and stability control, and anti-lock brakes.
Since the Vue was all-new for 2008, changes for 2009 are minor. Brake Assist now comes standard on all models, there is an enhanced Driver Information Center, the Convenience Package for the XE model now includes heated seats, there is an available Chrome Package for the V6 models, there are some new colors, and a few other small changes.
With lots of standard features, good power, decent fuel economy, a commendable level of ride and handling, and a versatile interior, the Saturn Vue represents a vehicle that's full of space and storage, easy to use, easy to drive, and easy on the eyes.
The 2009 Saturn Vue comes in a choice of XE, XR and Red Line trim levels. Three powertrains are available: The 2.4-liter four-cylinder Ecotec engine, a 3.5-liter V6 engine, and a high-feature 3.6-liter V6 with variable valve timing. The four-cylinder engine has a four-speed automatic transmission, and the two V6 engines are mated to GM's six-speed automatic. All three trim levels are available in front-drive and all-wheel-drive versions, but the four-cylinder engine is available only with two-wheel drive.
The availability and content of the various option packages is somewhat dependent upon the trim levels, but, basically there is a Preferred Package with eight-way power driver's seat, leather wheel, heated power mirrors, lighted visor vanity mirrors, and automatic temperature control ($1,020); a Convenience Package with rain-sensing wipers, heated washer fluid, remote starting and a universal remote for gates, garage doors and home lighting ($920); a Premium Package with leather seating, leather shift knob, and heated front seats ($1,075); and a Chrome Package, with front and rear lower fascia moldings ($195). Other options include a DVD navigation and CD/MP3 player system ($2,145) and a high-end stereo system ($325). Also available is a trailer towing package ($350), power sunroof ($850), fog lamps ($150), cargo cover ($85), cargo divider, and a stereo/six-CD upgrade ($295).
Safety features include OnStar Safe and Sound emergency communications, ABS, Bake Assist, 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.