A family friend of ours currently has a 2005 Honda CR-V and wants to get a new vehicle. She doesn't like the looks of the new CR-V so I showed her some alternatives. I showed her everything from the Nissan Rogue to the Ford Escape - however she really liked the looks of the Vue. She decided to look at the Green Line Hybrid as she likes 4-cylinders and because she uses her vehicle for business - get better gas mileage as well. So when I went a couple weeks ago with one of my friends, I got some information for her. Unfortunately, all the 2008 Green Lines are sold out so she would have to order a 2009 and there is already a wait list for them. She decided that she could wait but wanted to get a feel for it first before she makes a final decision so I suggested that she take out a 4-cylinder XE. The salesman had no problem with that so that's what we did tonight.
The new Vue is without a doubt GM's nicest compact SUV. It has a premium look and feel to it and the interior quality is lightyears ahead of the last gen Vue and Torrent/Equinox. It's also lightyears ahead of many of its competitors as well which is generally unheard of in a GM product.
The salesman gave a brief overview of the Vue and then handed us the keys and we were off. She drove it first and then I drove it back to the dealership. Acceleration from the 2.4L ECOTEC is best described as adequate. It has good around town acceleration but don't expect it to pass semi-trucks on the highway with ease. The 4-Speed Auto shifts smoothly in typical GM fashion, however the 6-Speed or even the 5-Speed Auto from the Torrent/Equinox would help improve performance and economy. The Electric Power Steering has been tuned perfectly for the Vue and feels a lot better than the Torrent and previous generation Vues that I have driven. Brake pedal feel is firm and has good modulation. The Vue rides nicely and while I didn't come across too many curves on the route, I'm sure handling will be more than adequate for most drivers. Road noise is well muted and is noticeably quieter than our friend's CR-V.
Overall, we both came away impressed with the new Vue. It's about time GM offered products like this and I think if more people who wouldn't normally consider a GM product (like our friend), visit a GM (especially Saturn) dealer, they will come away impressed as well. Our friend decided that she is going to order a 2009 Vue Hybrid and wait a few months for it to come in.