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Saturn Vue Reborn as Chevy Captiva for Fleet Sales

By Automotive Staff | March 15, 2011
Well, this is interesting. The Saturn Vue crossover may be coming back. However, don’t expect to see the (in)famous badge at any dealerships, which was discontinued last year. Instead, General Motors is introducing the 2012 Chevrolet Captiva Sport for fleet sales only. First, though, why not sell fleet buyers an Equinox, which is a similar class of vehicle, and even rides upon the same platform? The answer lies with supplies. Consumer demand for the second-generation Equinox (along with its corporate cousin, the GMC Terrain) has almost outstripped supply since its debut. Commercial clients are equally interested in purchasing the model, but as retail sales are generally more profitable than those to fleets, GM is understandably hesitant to strip consumers of supply. Adding the Captiva Sport to Chevrolet’s North American portfolio (it’s already sold as a Chevy in select South American markets) and relegating it as a fleet-only vehicle essentially allows GM to have the best of both worlds. The plant in Ontario, Canada will continue cranking out as many Equinoxes and Terrains as consumers can handle, while the factory in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, will produce a near-identical crossover for fleet and commercial customers without cutting into Equinox supplies. Better yet, since that plant previously produced the Vue (and probably still retains tooling for the model), the cost to bring the Captiva Sport to market will likely be far less expensive than if GM sourced a second production base for the Equinox/Terrain twins. The sheetmetal may scream Saturn (or Opel, if you’re more familiar with the Antara sold abroad), but beneath the skin, the Captiva Sport is quite similar to the current Equinox. Despite riding on a shorter 106.6 inch wheelbase and measuring seven inches shorter overall, the two models do share GM’s second-generation Theta platform. Unlike the Vue, the Captiva Sport’s powertrain options mirror those of its consumer-oriented siblings. A 182-horsepower, direct-injection 2.4-liter I-4 is found in LS-trim vehicles, while a 264-horsepower, direct-injection 3.0-liter V-6 is standard on Captiva Sport LT and LTZ models. Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment on Captiva Sport LS models includes 17-inch aluminum wheels, a six-speaker audio system with XM satellite radio, air conditioning, and remote keyless entry. LT models throw in the aforementioned V-6, OnStar telematic services, and Bluetooth phone connectivity. The top-end LTZ trim adds leather seating, a sunroof, a rear-view camera, a 10-speaker audio system, and allows buyers to opt for all-wheel-drive, if so desired. GM expects the Captiva Sport to be available beginning in the fourth quarter of 2011. Pricing has yet to be announced, but a Chevrolet spokesperson tells us the model will priced very close to the Equinox, which carries a base price of $23,490 (including destination). via General Motors / Chevrolet courtesy of Automobile Magazine Staff
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2 comments
Katie_Lucille
Katie_Lucille

I'm really sorry to hear about your frustrations, Dennis! Your Equinox is still a powerful vehicle, and I'm happy to help if you ever have Equinox questions. Please don't hesitate to contact me anytime! Best, Katie, GM Customer Service

Dennis Ziolkowski
Dennis Ziolkowski

We traded in a perfectly good 2009 Saturn VUE XR for a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox, because we thought the Saturn was going to by the wayside. With this information, it makes my decision one of the worst I ever made! The Saturn had a V6 for more power, little lower gas mileage than what we are getting with the Equinox (Equinox touted 32 mpg - have never hit it, the most has been 26 mpg), and on top of that my wife loved the Saturn. This is a perfect example of bait and switch. No wonder the dealer was so eager to make a deal and give us a pretty good trade in value. This makes me feel like a fool and a consumer that has been taken to the tool shed!!! If I would have known this (obviously this car existed under the Captiva name, we would never had traded.

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