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2008 Saturn Vue Green Line: Mild on the fuel economy
John Matras
Automotive Examiner
September 3, 2008
FULL Review

It’s a good thing our 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid is painted a pleasant pastel Sea Mist Green because it’s a very, oh, mild color. Which fits in nicely with saying the Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid is what’s known as a “mild hybrid.”

A big part of fuel savings for city drivers is the stop/start mode. Stop and the engine stops running, saving fuel. It starts up again to drive away. Because the Vue Green Line can't run under just electic motor alone, fuel savings from the start/stop mode won't show up on the odometer but in a comparison of a vehicle without it, savings could be significant if stop time is a significant part of the daily drive.

We were disappointed in the fuel mileage we achieved with the hybrid drivetrain. In a week of driving, we were unable to show much more than 20 mpg, despite the EPA estimates of 25 city/32 highway miles per gallon. Perhaps those numbers are easier to make on flat ground. We do most of our driving on hilly roads, and with the four-speed transmission with a conservative shift map that wants to shift up early and stay in a higher gear longer. On level roads, that just makes the Vue Green Line accelerate slowly, but on hills, the Vue first bogs down, requiring more throttle from the driver to keep up speed. Except that’s not enough, but pushing down more makes the transmission shift all the way down to second, the engine whirring away just to maintain headway. No doubt the electric motor is kicking in to keep up speed, but the drain on battery charge and fuel economy is still there, and it doesn’t seem like gravity ever really pays it back on the downhills. We suspect the EPA’s numbers are more valid for flatlanders.

Our tester was equipped with the optional “Comfort and Convenience Package” that includes and eight-way driver power seat, heated outside mirrors, heated windshield washer nozzles, rain-sensing wipers, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, all for $925, a relative bargain. With $625 destination fee, the total list price for our test 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid was $25,720. That’s lower than the price on full hybrids, but then so will fuel mileage be.

General Motors has already announced that in 2009, a dual-mode hybrid Vue using a system similar to that on the full-size GM 2008 SUVs will be available, and in 2010, a plug-in hybrid Saturn Vue will also be offered.

They well may be worth the wait, though be prepared to pay more. On the other hand, your mileage may vary, and your Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid just may be born to be mild.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-572-Autom...aturn-Vue-Green-Line-Mild-on-the-fuel-economy

 

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How appropriate, I've just spent the last 3 days in a 2009 VUE Hybrid while my demo was leant out to a customer.

It’s a good thing our 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid is painted a pleasant pastel Sea Mist Green because it’s a very, oh, mild color. Which fits in nicely with saying the Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid is what’s known as a “mild hybrid.”
Thanks for testing a 2008 when they are already out of production. Also, I applaud you talking about a vehicle with a color that is also no longer available. You should have saved your review for when you could have gotten an 09. not to mention, 'Green Line" is not even in Saturn's vocabulary anymore.

But with 3789 pounds to pull about with 176 horsepower, the Saturn Vue Green Line hardly a ball of fire. Zero-to-sixty takes more than ten seconds. That’s better than the base Vue which has 3825 pounds to haul about and doesn’t have the boost motor, but if even with the Green Line, if merges into fast moving traffic are part of your routine, plan to plan ahead.
What part of "Hybrid" don't people understand. To complain about speed in a Hybrid is a terrible idea. I also think this reviewer never experienced an actual merge on the highway with this Hybrid. Sure, the 4cyl VUE is a slow-go off the line, however a 4cyl makes all its torque in the high RPM range. So merging has never been a problem for me or any of my customers. I would take this guys warning to plan ahead with a grain of salt.

We were disappointed, however, in the fuel mileage we achieved with the hybrid drivetrain. In a week of driving, we were unable to show much more than 20 mpg, despite the EPA estimates of 25 city/32 highway miles per gallon. Perhaps those numbers are easier to make on flat ground. We do most of our driving on hilly roads, and with the four-speed transmission with a conservative shift map that wants to shift up early and stay in a higher gear longer. On level roads, that just makes the Vue Green Line accelerate slowly, but on hills, the Vue first bogs down, requiring more throttle from the driver to keep up speed. Except that’s not enough, but pushing down more makes the transmission shift all the way down to second, the engine whirring away just to maintain headway. No doubt the electric motor is kicking in to keep up speed, but the drain on battery charge and fuel economy is still there, and it doesn’t seem like gravity ever really pays it back on the downhills. We suspect the EPA’s numbers are more valid for flatlanders.
My average has been much better on a new motor with only 385 miles on it. Barely broken in at this point. My average after doing 80 on he highway the whole way in and doing a lot of city driving ( I live in Royal Oak ) and driving it pretty regularly through Farmington HILLS has hovered right around 26.3 mpg. however it seems the reviewer wanted speed from this particular vehicle and was probably lead footing it around town.

So far I am very impressed with 09 VUE Hybrid. My one complaint, the glove box is rattling like mad, its in our service department now to remedy that. The other Hybrid we have is much quieter and no rattles. So obviously, this one was just a fluke.
 

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Newsflash: hilly roads isn't city driving. The guy could have been less of a douche and done the same comparison in another hybrid and mentioned the detriment to efficiency. Methinks going uphill in a Prius drops fuel economy too. Ugh.
 

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We'd probably have one of those rare '08 GLs in our driveway if it were comfortable to drive.

coaster.n3rd, have you had any larger and/or taller people look at the Vue and have issues with the accelerator placement or center stack width intruding with knee room?
 

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coaster.n3rd, have you had any larger and/or taller people look at the Vue and have issues with the accelerator placement or center stack width intruding with knee room?
The 07' Yes and rarely the 08' MY will prove difficult for customers that are much larger and not just "big".

The biggest complaint is the seats. They are very uncomfortable and I've even done an exchange from a VUE to the AURA because of the discomfort. I've been spending time in the Hybrid for the last few days and I sort of adjusted to the seats a bit. Except I still hate "reaching" for the wheel, once I get my seat comfortable.

I long for my AURA demo with the leather and the extremely comfortable and supportive bolstering that the VUE does not have.
 

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3800 lbs is a lot of weight to pull around with a 4 banger hybrid or no so I suspect that the hilly terain accounted for the poor mileage reading. I'm sure if he tested something like a Prius on the same route the mileage would have been a bit lower than normal but then again those lovely Toyota trip computers like to report much higher mileage than you are actually getting so I don't know.
 

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I long for my AURA demo with the leather and the extremely comfortable and supportive bolstering that the VUE does not have.
It seems like the VUE's seats are made exclusively for tiny people. I did recently checked out a Red Line and its seats are far better than Hybrid/XE/XR models. They have better bolstering and the grippy suede inserts keep you in place better. The cushion, like other VUEs, is still way too short. I hate the feeling of half my thighs past the front edge of the seat and I'm only 5'10". At the very least, they need to make the RL's bolstered seats standard across the board.
 

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The cushion, like other VUEs, is still way too short. I hate the feeling of half my thighs past the front edge of the seat and I'm only 5'10". At the very least, they need to make the RL's bolstered seats standard across the board.

I concur on all points. The cushion is awful, the bolstering digs into my side instead of supporting me. I'm the same height as you, so I probably am experiencing what you do.

I've posted this before, but a Johnson Controls (the seat supplier) employee bought a VUE off of me, she worked on the team that designed the seats and even she said the seats were and I quote "A Piss Poor Design."
 

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This thing's at home in big city stop and go traffic, which is where I'd think you'd test it.
Otherwise I wouldn't expect it to do any better than a regular VUE.
 

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The ecotec engines vary greatly from driver to driver. Some people get in the low 20s with a non hybrid ecotec, some people consistently get up to 40 MPG.
 

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The reviewer is an idiot. How do you go about reviewing a hybrid in the mountains. That's not even what they are for. Buy a 4X4! Lame!

As far as the engine and the seats, I've found the Vue to have adequate power all the hundreds of times I've driven one. Also the seats are much better than the Aura, well cloth for cloth. Although the Aura Leather seats are nicer. Some people's bodies feel good in certain seats, I like seats that don't have a lot of curvature too them for tha back but decent side bolsters, which the Vue has.
 

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The short seats is why I passed on the VUE and we really liked and wanted to buy it. I have $2300 in GM earnings plus all the GM incentives. So my price would have been a steal.

However, at 6'2" I need leg comfort. I simply fell off the seats. GM needs to add 3 inches to the seat/thigh support and make the power version available on the lower models ... without having to buy the pricier models.

Other than that - we would have bought it.
 

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it says in the article that they 'showed' 20 mpg. Was that one glance at the DIC only? Did they drive 500 miles mixed and divide it by the gas they put in the tank?

Real world numbers by the way for the Vue hybrid are quite good on a credible web site....fueleconomy.gov
 

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it says in the article that they 'showed' 20 mpg. Was that one glance at the DIC only? Did they drive 500 miles mixed and divide it by the gas they put in the tank?

Real world numbers by the way for the Vue hybrid are quite good on a credible web site....fueleconomy.gov
Actually, I don't think the VUE has a DIC that calculates fuel economy for you. I don't drive one on a daily basis but I did notice this difference when I test drove one.


Also, it does say very clearly on the EPA estimates that RESULTS MAY VARY!!!
 
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