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I'm super impressed with the new design of the Saturn Vues. I went to the local dealership and checked them out and the interiors are very upscale too. The prices are extremely affordable. I left the lot feeling much better about the direction that GM is taking its fleet. European styling with great fuel economy at very affordable prices.

Then I went home and started researching the Saturn Vue hybrids.

First, they are very hard to find. Second, they apparently don't get consistently near their EPA MPG ratings. And finally, over at saturnfans.com, all of the Vue's are getting some fairly bad comments from users.

I really wanted to say I'd found my next family SUV. I'm really desperate to replace my gas guzzling Jeep Grand Cherokee. I still hope Saturn proves me wrong, but my initial impressions are to stay away from the Vue for now.

I understand in late 2008 they will be producing a "dual mode" hybrid Vue that promises greater fuel economy, along with all the great things about the view such as european styling and upscale interior appointments. Hopefully they will have worked out their customer satisfaction issues by then too.

Also, in 2010, we hear that the Saturn Vue will get plug-in capability, albeit at Cadillac pricing (~ $50k)

Man, it's hard to be fuel efficient in 2008 when you have a family and need a car capable of hauling car seats and groceries along with the wife and two kids...
 

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Ford Escape Hybrid might be an alternative

As impressed as I am with the Vue's styling, I'm equally impressed with the Ford Escape Hybrid's fuel economy and customer satisfaction. This is bolstered by the fact that a community of Escape owners appears to be growing and rivaling that of Prius owners in their attempts to wring every bit of gas out of a mile (hyper-miling).

If you could give me a Ford Escape with the Vue's body styling and upscale interior at Vue pricing, I would be completely sold.

Why can't we have it all?

(PS: Any word on when the next body style update on Ford Escape will be?)

Saturn should just license Ford's tech and with their body style and interior, I believe it would be an instant winner for folks looking to downsize to a midsize SUV.
 

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As impressed as I am with the Vue's styling, I'm equally impressed with the Ford Escape Hybrid's fuel economy and customer satisfaction. This is bolstered by the fact that a community of Escape owners appears to be growing and rivaling that of Prius owners in their attempts to wring every bit of gas out of a mile (hyper-miling).

If you could give me a Ford Escape with the Vue's body styling and upscale interior at Vue pricing, I would be completely sold.

Why can't we have it all?

(PS: Any word on when the next body style update on Ford Escape will be?)

Saturn should just license Ford's tech and with their body style and interior, I believe it would be an instant winner for folks looking to downsize to a midsize SUV.
If you can hold off until 2009 you'll be able to "have it all" --and a lot more! When GM Chairman Ric Wagoner introduced the Cadillac Provoq in early January this year, I discovered that the Provoq was based on a 2008 VUE body (almost identical in length, height, width & weight). As a result, I began heavily lobbying GM at the top levels (Bob Lutz & others) to include a 35+ mile EV-only option for the 2009/10 Plug-in VUE (their claims have been for only 10 miles EV-only). At Volt Nation in NYC I met with Bob Lutz & gave him 20 copies of a 2-page technical dissertation showing how the Plug-in VUE could also be offered in a 35-mile EV-only version by use of the Chevy Volt's 16KWh battery ....with very little additional engineering effort.*

Before I flew up for Volt Nation and to meet Lutz in NYC I decided to test drive the 2008 VUE myself, just based on the rave reports I'd seen from European automotive writers (GM introduced the car there as the Opel Antara in 2006), and here's an example review I'd strongly suggest you read: http://www.uberauto.com/news/opel/opel_antara_-_elegant_4wd_crossover_2006080242.html

Lutz seemed very receptive to my proposal to offer the Plug-in VUE with a 35 mile range, so I was glad I made the trip. We'll see what happens. Meanwhile, I fell in love with the 2008 VUE & bought one (I plan to trade it for the 2009/10 Plug-in VUE with an EV range almost equal to that of the Volt). I'm not an impulse buyer, so I did extensive research after test driving the car. The link above is one example of my online findings; the Edmunds link below with 70 or so '08 VUE owner's comments is another. Bottom line: IMO the '08 VUE is the best compact SUV on the world market for the money. Only BMW's X5 is better (at 2 or 3 times the price) --in fact, I think Opel may have hired engineers & designers away from BMW to design the nearly-identical-sized VUE.

Owner's reviews of the 2008 VUE: http://www.edmunds.com/saturn/vue/2008/consumerreview.html

*PM me if you'd like a copy of the 2-pg dissertation I gave Bob Lutz in NYC
 

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They would need to make it a car and not a SUV or crossover. They just don't get it that not everybody is willing to drive a SU?.
 

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Is it true that the early 2008 Saturn Vue uses a dual-mode alternator that charges and starts the gasoline engine?

Would it also be true that the same early 2008 Saturn Vue relies primarily on the gasoline engine to turn the wheels while the alternator/starter provides additional power when needed?

How then is this a better hybrid than the 2008 Toyota Prius which costs less, has better MPG and offers an electric motor driveline?
 

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Also, in 2010, we hear that the Saturn Vue will get plug-in capability, albeit at Cadillac pricing (~ $50k)

Man, it's hard to be fuel efficient in 2008 when you have a family and need a car capable of hauling car seats and groceries along with the wife and two kids...
I'm somewhat in the same boat with the family and grocery issue. But the plug-in is only capable of 10 miles of EV range. And it sounds like the Volt will be out by then. I think I'll just wait for the Volt or competitor EV. I'll just squeeze my family into it :)
 

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I've been parsing the GM verbage closely about the 2-mode Vue Hybrid. From the way I read it the 2-mode Vue will probably have the same fuel economy as the current mild hybrid. I say this because the current mild hybrid is paired to their 4 cylinder engine. The claims about the 2-mode Vue is that it will have 45% to 50% better milage than the 6 cylinder Vue. Looking at the EPA ratings this would put the 2-mode in the same fuel economy numbers as the 4 cylindes mild hybrid.

I'm not complaining but I was hoping for better numbers. GM is making a big deal about the towing capacity of the 2-mode so I think this is the motivation. I believe they are trying to entice more hybrid owners by promising them no compromises over a stock and beefy SUV. I understand the strategy.

Now do I jump on the 2-mode later this year or wait for the plug-in?
 

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Now do I jump on the 2-mode later this year or wait for the plug-in?
Well, you know what GM is hoping...and their marketing tactics are obviously working with some of us on this forum. Personally, I am refusing to buy any new vehicle until I can power it with a plug in some capacity.
 

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Has anybody learned anything new lately about the Vue 2-Mode? I am very interested in getting one when they come out. Mostly interested in pricing and fuel economy which I doubt has been decided upon yet. What about the towing capacity, I think I read that it is 3500 lbs? Also, does anybody know where the batteries are going to be stored? I hope it isn't in the cargo area, because that might break the deal for me.

nasaman,
How do you like your Vue? What type of room does it have? Do the rear seats fold flat?
 
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