Every time I found a web site about the Saturn Vue Green Line, all I could find was a bunch of web sites that just copied the information off of other people's web sites. So I bought this Saturn Green Line and decided to put my own web site with my own unique pictures and information.
I previously owned a 2004 Saturn Vue V6 that I traded in for this new Saturn Hybrid. I originally test drove the 2006 Vue with the Ecotech 2.2L engine. That vehicle was rated at 27 MPH on the highway and that's only 1 MPG more than I was currently able to get with the V6 Vue. This Saturn Green Line says that it gets 27 MPG in the City and 32 MPG on the Highway. I put more miles on a vehicle in a week than anybody in America right now (as far as just commuting back and forth to work at my day job), so I can thoroughly test a vehicle out in a short amount of time. To give you any indication on how much we drive, I haven't even had this vehicle for 30 days yet and we've put almost 4,000 miles on it so far. We put 2,000 miles on it in less than 2 weeks right after buying it and it has never even left the state we live in.
We bought this vehicle because we needed something practical to carry all of our luggage and the dog cage when we visit family on the other side of the state. A passenger car is just too small. Since we put over 50,000 miles a year on a vehicle, we need something that is super cheap on gas. I previously owned a 2003 Kia Sorento and it just consumed far too much gas for our needs. I ran some gas mileage tests on it when we had it and I was averaging 16 to 18 MPG in the city. That comes out to nearly 1/2 of what this Vue Hybrid can do and the Hybrid did not cost much more than the Sorento did. Sorentos are selling for not much less than this Vue is selling for. And now that the 2007 models from GM also have 100,000 mile warranties just as the Sorento's have, I would rather get something made here.
Since we commute far to work, we also drastically cut down on vehicle maintenance costs by using Amsoil motor oil in the transmission and engine. We also own this 2007 Saturn Ion. After switching both the engine and transmission over to Amsoil, the gas mileage went up nearly 4 MPG. The fuel savings will pay for the oil and transmission flush many times over making the oil changes cost us nothing in the long run. I had the transmission oil changed at 3,600 miles. You're probably wondering why I would change the fluid at such low miles. For every 20° degrees F above 175°F, transmission life is cut in half. I have talked to far too many people who have spent thousands on unnecessarily rebuilding their transmissions once they have put high mileage on the vehicle. I'm preventing that rebuild by putting in Amsoil right now. (Sorry Mr. Mechanic. I simply don't feel like paying $1500 to $2000 to rebuild my transmission in the future. It's cheaper to use Amsoil today.)
The Amsoil we use is the 0W30 and it lasts up to 1-year or 35,000 miles (that's not a typo. Yes, that's 35,000 (as in thirty-five thousand), not 3,500). The oil filters they have last up to 1-year or 25,000 miles before needing to be changed. Since the Ecotec engines in the Saturns do not have a typical screw-on filter as most cars do, we order the Wix filters through Amsoil and change them every time the Oil Change light comes on the dash. The oil doesn't get drained until it hits 35,000 miles. The Amsoil oil for the Vue costs approximately $40 dollars for the year. This oil lasts up to 11 times longer than conventional oil. In the same time frame, we would consume (i.e. waste natural resources) 55 quarts of oil . With Amsoil, it's simply 5 quarts during that 35,000 miles. All of Amsoil is 100% synthetic and is made right here in the USA. It's not imported from Iraq, Venezuela or any other foreign country. It's all made in a labortory from pure synthetic base stocks. So when you use Amsoil, you are truly reducing the dependency on foreign oil. If you want to compare savings... look at something such as Jiffy Lube charges. If we went to Jiffy Lube 10 times, that would be about 10 x $27 = $270 in oil changes vs. the $40-70 we spend on Amsoil. Plus we would not get the 2 to 4 MPG increase in gas mileage from using the oil at Jiffy Lube that we would with the Amsoil. The increase in fuel effeciency pays for the Amsoil. So by not going to Jiffy Lube and using Amsoil, I'm saving at least $270, plus not having the hassle of driving over there all the time. So when people say Amsoil is expensive, they simlpy have not sat down and ran the numbers. Think of it as getting a rebate from the gas station every time you drive.
The Saturn Green Line edition has a spoiler that is attached. They say the spoiler dramatically reduces drag and I can attest to that statement. My previous 2004 Vue did not come with this. The spoiler was not attached from the factory. The dealer has to install it once they receive the vehicle from the manufacturer. Our Green Line was the very 2nd Green Line Vue that the dealer sold. They forgot to install the rear spoiler and we drove for nearly a week without it. I drive mostly on the highway. When I did the gas mileage tests, I noticed that my gas mileage was only 27.5 MPG. I called our salesman and he told us that they forgot to install the spoiler. We went back and waited a couple of hours and they finally installed it. On the following tank the fuel, the gas mileage went to 30.02 MPG. Our last tank I was able to squeeze an amazing 469.6 miles out of 13.444 gallons of fuel and I still had about an 1/8th of a tank left. I could have easily kept going until 500 miles or so before running out of fuel. The most I could get out of a tank with our 2004 Vue V6 was about 400-425 miles with the fuel guage pegged past empty. But I can you one thing that probably helped getting the gas mileage so high. During that tank of gas, I tried to drive not far above 55 MPH and about 90% of the time, I drove with the A/C turned off since it was cool outside during a cold front.
The interior of this Saturn is adeqate for our needs. I like it a little better than the 2004 Vue we had. The radio seems nicer but this particular radio does not play MP3's. The one in our black 2007 Ion (see picture up above) looks nearly identical as the radio in the Vue and can play MP3's. One thing I did notice is that the 2004 Vue had more leg room. If you are a big person, you may notice the door handles hitting your leg when the doors are closed.
The acceleration is not nearly as fun as the V6 we had, as the V6 had 250 horsepower using the same Honda engine that comes in the Honda Pilot and Acura MDX. This engine, (as you probably read on all of the other web sites about the Green Line that copied data from each other), has 170 horsepower with the 2.4L engine which makes it a little more acceptable to drive. It has passing power on the highways. You can floor it and the engine will rev to 5,000 RPM's and pass right by other vehicles at 70 MPH.
This particular Saturn Vue model came with the chrome package and an electric sunroof. As you can see the rear bumper has a chrome plate. That made the price go to about $25,000 (which is still THOUSANDS cheaper than a Ford Escape or Lexus 400h.) This vehicle will get me from point A to point B just as those vehicles will, without spending thousands of dollars extra to do so. $25,000 is also about the same price that many people are spending on a small Prius or Honda Insight as dealers have markups on them and those vehicle will not carry the pay load that the Vue will.
As you can see above, there is a small chrome piece coming from the bottom of the bumper up towards the grill.
I'm sure most of you are wondering what the Saturn Hybrid batteries look like. Because it's a Hybrid, it did not come with a spare tire. Here's a photo:
As you can see, the battery pack is nothing like what the Toyota Prius, Ford Escape or Lexus 400h has. Saturn uses a very small 36V battery. If you took it out, it would probably be about the same size about maybe 5 to 7 motorcycle batteries put together side by side. The Hybrid version of this vehicle is simply an "assist". It runs on the engine 100% of the time. When the batteries are charge sufficiently, they assist when needed. When you come to a stop light and depress the brakes, the engine will turn off until you let your foot off of the brake. While sitting at the stop light with the brake held down, if the batteries are drained of power, the engine will stay running until they are charged. The vehicle does not run soley on the batteries the way other Hybrids do. GM wanted to make a low-cost Hybrid. This one has no frills the way the Prius has. The Prius is a technology marvel, but you are paying a premium for that expensive computer system. The Prius we test drove before buying this Vue was $30,000. I did like the Prius, but when doing a test drive with 4 people in the vehicle, it felt like a death trap that could not get out of its own way. The Vue has a lot better acceleration and is a lot more practical. It's great for travelling to Disney World or going to Home Depot or Lowes to carry home a stove, fridge, washing machine or any other appliances too large to put into the trunk of a car.
In the above photo, as you can see on the right hand side, there is a little fan to keep the battery cool. The one thing about this battery is that since it is so small, it should be fairly low cost and easy to replace once the vehicle is 7 to 8 years old, if the battery should need replacing. I'm sure you've probably heard horror stories of other Hybrid batteries needing to be replaced. That was one of my worries as well. I did not want to spend $3,000 to $5,000 on a set of batteries once the car was 7 years old and had 200,000+ miles on it. The batteries would cost more than the vehicle was worth.
It's still neat to hear people walk by as they look and point and they exclaim, "Look, that Saturn is a Hybrid!" as you never really see these things on the road very often. After driving both the Vue Green Line and the Ion around, I'm kicking myself for not buying two Vue Green Lines. It's a joy to go nearly 500 miles on a tank of gas before having to fill up!
That's what it looks like under the hood. It has the 170 HP 2.4L engine, just like higher performance Saturn Ion has. That Hybrid cover just covers up most of the electronics. There's a small amount of modifications made to the transmission to make this a mild hybrid. That engine has no problem hitting the redline at 7,000 RPM's when you need to pass somebody on the highway. In my experience, the key to getting the 32 MPG HWY mileage stated on the window sticker has been achieved by doing mostly 55-65 MPH with no jack rabbit starts and running with the A/C turned off. After doing numerous gas mileage tests, I have seen that running the A/C eats up a lot of fuel. The oil filter on this Ecotec engine is more difficult to remove than the same one in the Ion. There's a water host up against the oil filter. When you try to pull on the filter, the hose snaps in place. Since I use the Amsoil 0W30 which lasts up to 1-year or 35,000 miles (whichever comes first) I usually order about 10 oil filters to keep handy. That 0W30 oil will give you the best protection of any oil on the market. There's no other oil from anyone else guaranteed in writing to last that long. With my extensive driving, I will only need to do 3 oil changes every 100,000 miles. That's a total of 15 quarts of oil for 105,000 miles of driving. If I did it the old-fashion Jiffy Lube way with the 3,000-mile oil changes that they tout, I would have used 175 quarts of oil for the same miles driven. That's 175 quarts of oil made from crude oil taken from Iraq or some other foreign country. No thank you. I'm increasing the gas mileage with Amsoil (which pays for the oil itself at the pump) and I'm reducing the dependency on foreign oil, which all of you should be doing.
The cover simply pulls off with little effort. The computer and fuse box are located right under it. The Hybrid transmission is very small.
I highly recommend that you use Amsoil in all of your vehicles and even lawn equipment. This stuff saves me a fortune every year in maintenance. And those of you with large families who have teenagers who drive, if you're maintaining multiple vehicles, you stand to save thousands of dollars in maintenance in the long run. Amsoil made the very first synthetic oil for cars, years before Mobil 1, Castrol, Valvoline, Havoline or any other oil company here started. Hence they trademarked "First in Synthetics". If you care about saving money each year and care about not rebuilding engines and transmissions, I can't emphasize enough to use this stuff. I've seen noticable differences in every vehicle I put it in. Amsoil is sold through the mail through a mail order catalog and is delivered by U.P.S. That's why you don't see it in stores.