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2008 Saturn VUE Green Line Hybrid Review – The General Goes Green, Sort Of

Monday July 28th, 2008 at 6:77 AM
Posted by: AKramer

Interior

Slide inside the VUE Green Line and you instantly notice the higher quality of materials used throughout. The dashboard and interior panels are made from a smooth, soft plastic material that is quite unlike the hard, shiny junk still found in so many cars. The seats are upholstered in cloth, not leather, and feature a somewhat clumsy manual adjustment instead of the increasingly common power settings, but they are reasonably comfortable. The Green Line comes with relatively few interior options, but does feature a 6-speaker sound system with CD and Satellite Radio that produced surprisingly clean, full-bodied sound.

2008 Saturn VUE Green Line Hybrid - interior 2008 Saturn VUE Green Line Hybrid - center stack 2008 Saturn VUE Green Line Hybrid - back seats

Interior space is excellent from the perspective of the front seats. There is plenty of leg, head, and arm room and all the controls are well placed. Move to the back row and things shrink quite a bit, with somewhat limited legroom, especially with the front seats moved back. The trunk is also a bit on the small side, which is partially due to the tucked-in design of the rear of the car, but the rear seats fold down very easily for extra room. A few other interior oddities:

  • The steering wheel is quite large, almost awkwardly so, which initially required some getting used to.
  • The parking brake handle is placed right next to the driver’s seat and has an odd, wrap-around shape that feels a bit weird every time you grab it.
  • The front seats have enough lumbar support to make any chiropractor happy, but you’ll need to dial it back for anything resembling comfort.

Exterior

The newly redesigned exterior is quite smart and snappy looking, with the streamlined, teardrop profile that is so popular among the new breed of crossover SUVs. The overall shape is a bit reminiscent of some of the recent designs coming out of Korea and rumor has it that GM consulted with Daewoo on the overall design of the car. Chrome accents are liberally, yet tastefully applied, including on the window trim, front grill, and eye-catching 17” alloy wheels. About the only miscue is a pair of faux air vents placed ahead of the front doors. Like on the 2008 Ford Focus, these just look weird.

2008 Saturn VUE Green Line Hybrid

Value / Who Should Buy It

Like the Saturn ASTRA that CarReview recently reviewed, the VUE Green Line is a frustrating car to drive due the inconsistency between its mediocre powertrain and surprisingly refined road manners. It’s almost as if someone married the engine/transmission of a cheap rental car with the ride/handling of a mid-size luxury sedan. Some customers will undoubtedly cut the VUE Green Line some slack due to its improved fuel efficiency, but even here the results are less than stellar. After almost 400 miles of casual driving, most of it taking place on the freeway at 65 mph, we recorded 28 mpg, well below its freeway rating of 32 mpg.

Compared to other hybrids on the market, most of which achieve superior mileage without sacrificing any performance in the process, the current VUE Green Line’s minimal hybrid technology will be a hard sell. Although it is competitively priced and is generally a well-built, nice looking car, customers looking for the real deal in a hybrid crossover SUV should definitely wait until the 2009 VUE Green Line, with the two-mode hybrid system, arrives on the scene.

Build

Interior

Performance

Handling

Styling

Value

Overall

Rating

4.5

4.0

2.5

4.0

4.0

3.5

3.75 B-


 

>> See all of the Saturn VUE Green Line photos in our photo gallery

>> Do you have an opinion of the Saturn VUE Green Line? Submit your review of a 2008 Saturn VUE Green Line at CarReview.com

>>Saturn’s Official web site & home page for New Cars, SUVs & Crossover Vehicles: www.saturn.com

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2 Responses to 2008 Saturn VUE Green Line Hybrid Review – The General Goes Green, Sort Of

  1. Pingback: Table of Contents – Expert Reviews - suzuki 125

  2. observer says:

    What, no lynch squad from the I-love-my-Green-Line-posse?





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