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TaHoE Drives: 2005 Saturn VUE Red Line
The VUE gets peppy with the Red Line



Can this little SUV save Saturn? Yes. Will it? Who knows, but lets hope people notice Saturn's new sporty SUV, the Saturn VUE Red Line. The Red Line Package includes: Sport-tuned suspension with performance springs and struts, 18" alloy wheels, Fascia and side-rocker ground effects and chrome exhaust tip. Notice the absence of a Supercharger or Turbocharger as found on the VUEs sibling, the ION Red Line. The Red Line is not a special trim level, rather an option package that you can check off on the FWD or AWD VUEs for a price of $1,995 and its definitely worth it.
Design
VUE's design is distinctly Saturn. This may be a negative for some, or a negative but its definitely more attractive than the puny RAV-4 or the strange looking CR-V, but not as attractive as the Equinox. The Red Line adds a sporty flavor the VUE's style with new rocker panels, an aggressive lower front facia and a chrome exhaust tip, not to mention the sporty 18" wheels. The Red Line, in my opinion, is a must if you buy the VUE, it is easily worth $2,000.



Interior

The VUE's interior is not as bad as some make it out to be. Since the 2004 update, the VUE's interior is much more sporty and attractive. The Cadillac sourced steering wheel adds a lot to the VUE's interior. VUE's interior is very sporty and modern, its about as appealing as the Equinox's. There are plenty of negatives though, the "Metallic" trim around the center stack is of horrible quality and doesn't even look like metal at all. Window switches are in the least logical place on earth, the middle (hey at least the gauges aren't there). The radio looks old, even though its pretty new, and the overall layout reminds me of a Kia Sportage, not something to be proud of. However even with all these negatives, the VUE RL grew on me, A LOT! It's really strange actually, I went into the dealer feeling like the VUE would be the worst vehicle I had ever driven, but I guess the combination of the charming personality of the VUE and the charming personality of my salesperson really got me thinking what a great SUV the VUE really is. I almost felt bad not buying one...almost.

Power/Handling

The power from the Honda sourced 3.5 is great. It pulls the VUE with pride and confidence (something the old Opel sourced V6 definitely did not do). The VUE RL felt much faster than the Equinox (VUE's Cousin on the Theta architecture). In fact the VUE RL goes from 0-60 in 7 seconds, at least one second quicker than the Equinox. The VUE's transmission was smooth shifting and allowed for impressive acceleration without any efficiency drawbacks. The VUE also have sharp turn in, and handling abilities thanks to its stiffer suspension which did not jolt the occupants. The Steering is also much improved over the standard VUE.

The Red Line should bring more attention to Saturn and the VUE, and with that attention will be $2,000 per person wanting the Red Line Package on their VUE's, however those people better hurry, there will only be 3,000 Red Lines this year, with 7,000 being produced next year. The Red Line comes in Electric Lime Green, Black Onyx (My Tester), or Silver Nickel. I hope however Saturn comes out with a metallic red for its RED LINE. 3 Cheers for GM and Saturn, they definitely have a winner with the VUE Red Line.


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The Verdict

Pros: Awesome styling, great power, no dents!

Cons: Prices climb quickly, some interior materials are poor, only 3000 made!

Overall Rating: 9.3/10.0

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Specifications
2005 Saturn VUE
Selected Style: AWD Red Line

Exterior: Black Onyx
Interior: Light Gray Leather Seating Surfaces

Total MSRP: $28,760.00

Base Price:$17,495
MSRP: $28,760.00
Color & Options: $4,130.00
 

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Good review, nsap.
Only, I don't like the expensive price of the Saturn RED LINE Vue....$28K is a lot for a Saturn....
 

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Originally posted by gmwsag@May 9 2004, 10:10 AM
Good review, nsap.
Only, I don't like the expensive price of the Saturn RED LINE Vue....$28K is a lot for a Saturn....
I actually test drove it...hence the TaHoE Drives title...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I take zero credit for this one! Tahoe drove it, I just posted it because it is part of the BiWeekly Editorial...
 

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:D Hey NSAP!.. tell TaHoE thanks for stopping and taking in the VUE (hehehe)..nice review. I still kinda chuckle when I see the use of a Cadillac steering wheel in a Saturn. Its not a bad thing I guess....
 
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