2007 Saturn Vue FWD Hybrid (644)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2007 Saturn Vue FWD Hybrid which of course is a cross breed with an Inline 4-cylinder internal combustion engine with a battery backup – of sorts.

As you read this review consider emailing me with a testimony of your experience with a Saturn, OnStar or anything else. I’ll include your comments in future issues that will surely help others to avoid costly mistakes when buying their new car.

Over the past 15 years I have been unable to review the cars new and then go back and drive that car after several years of use, so your comments could add a dimension toe my reviews that others would like to hear your experience over time. Share those feelings and we can add some balance from your views.

Observation:

Traffic enforcement – I watched with amazement that a traffic cop ignored a slow driver obstructing the flow of cars lined up behind that slow traveler. Yes it was an old man and even if the cop just gave him a warning at least he would be made aware of the dangers of driving much slower than the normal flow of traffic. If they are not admonished they surely would cause road rage and frustration of average drivers who then make poor decisions to pass. How many accidents are caused by slow drivers? I suspect it is a very high percentage. For those who fit this category of slow drivers remember when you took your driving written exam one of the questions may have been letting you know that if 5 or more cars are being held up by you, you are to pull over and let them pass. And there are posted signs everywhere that state “Slower traffic use right lane”

I encourage you to be “aware” and “courteous” by pulling over to a slower lane or turn out when others want to pass. I do it all the time especially when I’m in no hurry or just out for a stress free drive. And you know what, I feel better when I am considerate to others who are sharing the road with me. Try it – you’ll like it too.

Handling & Performance:

With the rising gas prices that yo-yo up and down and up and up and up and down and up again, it is comforting to know that I can drive over 30 miles on one gallon of gas. And the nice thing is most Hybrids don’t give up any perceptible performance.

Styling:

I rather like the size of this Vue because it fits so many, especially small young families.

I do however believe they could have done better with the interior design. I found the armrest for the driver to be obstructive in mountain driving where there are many turns. I routinely give these cars what I call the Crest Test from northern desert towns to the southern cities of Los Angeles . The arm rest was annoying and it is obvious those who test drove the car for production and design simply ignored the obvious flaw. I’m average height and weight but of course they could have used jockey’s do the testing. Well…. It’s possible.

Fit and Finish:

Quite good and the dent resistant side panels really do work which has been a feature of this one car company. As you may recall there is a price the designers must deal with which is the seams which can’t have as close tolerances as with non-flex surfaces. It is however, in my opinion a small price to pay for those who get crazy by inconsiderate drivers in parking lots or run away shopping carts that cause dings and dents on most car surfaces.

Cost:

Quite good for a hybrid. Prices seem to be coming down for this ecologically responsible auto option for us all – not just the green peace folks. Al Gore will love you. Gee I wonder if he drives a Hybrid?

Conveniences and comfort:

Very good. I continue to give high marks for OnStar communication on GM cars. I particularly like the “Turn-by-turn” feature for navigation and have used the system many times for assistance with directions, finding a gas station late at night, finding a particular store or getting out of potential trouble by making a wrong turn into a questionable neighborhood. Somehow having a real person to talk to in this day and age is comforting and rare.

I think the pull out organizer in the rear cargo area is helpful to keep groceries etc. from flying around. Very cool.

Consumer Recommendation:

Consider adding the OnStar convenience on your next car purchase.

Recognized Competition:

Saturn Vue $22,870, Mazda CX-7 $24-28,000, Hyundai Santa Fe $21-28,000, Chevrolet Equinox $22-29,000, Pontiac Torrent $22-24,000, Subaru Forester $21-27,000, Jeep Liberty $22-28,000, Toyota RAV4 $21-27,000, Honda CR-V $21-28,000, Mitsubishi Outlander $21-25,000, Nissan Xterra $20-28,000, Mercury Mariner Hybrid $26-28,000, Ford Escape Hybrid $25-27,000.

Good News:

Very good fuel economy, ecologically responsible, dent resistant technology, OnStar availability with “Turn-by-turn” feature and a thoughtful cargo organizer.

Bad News:

Design flaw in the arm rests but not much else to complain about. Sorry.

Standard Equipment:

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder 170 hp engine, hybrid system with electric motor generator unit, regenerative brakes, 4-speed auto trans, 4-wheel independent suspension, 100,000 mile oil change interval, extended hybrid component warranty, OnStar 1 year service, dual front airbags, passenger sensing system, daytime running auto lights, traction control, child safety rear door locks, rear window washer wiper, theft deterrent system, air conditioning with filtration system, power windows and locks, steering wheel audio controls, compass and temperature indicators, cruise control, fold flat passenger seat back, 70/30 split folding rear seat, remote keyless entry, fold away rear cargo organizer and dent resistant body side panels.

Gas Stats:

$3.19/ Gal avg. Apr. 4, ‘07

 www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

27 City and 32 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $22,370.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2007 – An Automotive Love Affair

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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