Saturn VUE Origins
Although the Saturn VUE sold well, it didn’t receive much critical acclaim. To compensate for this, Saturn incorporated steady improvements to expand the VUE’s lineup of models with the hybrid Green Line and the high-performance Red Line. This first-generation crossover from GM was an attractive vehicle for consumers due to its low price and the famed "no-hassle" Saturn buying experience.
The second generation VUE, which Saturn introduced in 2008, improves on the original vehicle in several ways and even has the look and feel of a European car.About the Saturn VUE
Safety, like many other Saturn cars, is a prominent engineering focal point for the VUE. Crash-test ratings represent one of the strongest attributes of the 2009 version of the car. The Panic Brake Assist, a remarkable innovation from the GM stable, helps decrease stopping distance in emergency situations and proves instrumental in boosting the car’s safety ratings.
The VUE passes all crash tests conducted by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) with flying colors. In the IIHS tests, the VUE earns the highest possible rating. The car earned the title Top Safety Pick, 2009, with IIHS stating that the car displayed "good performance in front, side, and rear tests."
In the NHTSA tests, the VUE earns a perfect five-star rating for both the front-impact and side-impact tests. The rollover is the only category in which the VUE receives less than five stars.Saturn VUE Features
The 2009 version of the Saturn VUE boasts a full redesign from earlier models.
The exterior of the Saturn VUE has an athletic and sporty look, with dual stainless steel exhaust tips and prominent side vents. When it comes to the interior, the VUE offers comfortable seating positions and ample legroom for five individuals. The rear seats of the VUE can be folded flat to expand the cargo area. The cabin itself minimizes wind and road noise, which makes the Saturn VUE one of the quietest cars in its class.
The 2009 Saturn VUE offers three engine variants: a 164-hp, four-cylinder, 2.4-liter engine; a 215-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine; and a 257-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 engine. The 2.4-liter engine offers a fuel economy of 19/26 mpg city/highway. The 3.5-liter, V-6, four-wheel drive engine in the XE model pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The steering wheel of the 2009 version of the VUE is precise and crisp. The car provides a smooth ride and absorbs most bumps. Electric power steering comes on the four-cylinder model, though the V-6 variants come equipped with hydraulic power steering.
Power windows, air-conditioning, and keyless entry are some of the standard features on all versions of the VUE, including the basic XE model. The advanced model XR has fog lamps, larger alloy wheels, automatic climate control, a dual-outlet exhaust, a rear cargo organizer, a power driver’s seat, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Options for the top XR model include a sunroof and heated leather seats.Saturn VUE Evolution
The first generation Saturn VUE was manufactured from 2002 to 2007. The car had plastic body panels, while the second generation has steel panels. Though the car’s interior is nothing to write home about, the 2006 version significantly improves upon it. The earlier variants score poorly with regards to ergonomics and the quality of interior materials.
General Motors introduced a special high-performance version of the Saturn VUE, known as the Saturn VUE Red Line, in 2004. The same 250-hp, V-6 engine powers this version, so the power and torque output remain the same. However, a sportier suspension, ground-effect front bumpers, 18-inch alloy wheels, and chrome exhaust tip help improve the performance. The interior also flaunts a sportier look with the addition of special black suede leather seats, a special instrument cluster, and a higher quality audio system.
The Saturn VUE offers a continuously variable transmission (CVT) in the models released from 2002 to 2005. The CVT improves fuel efficiency and mileage, and the cars contain a 143-hp, four-cylinder, 2.2-liter engine. This transmission boosts the performance of the car in comparison to the five-speed automatic. Long term reliability, however, still remains an issue with this powertrain, and GM discontinued the variant. Later models offer an optional five-speed automatic transmission. The five-speed manual transmission model remains the standard.