The Vue receives a spiffed-up interior that is both more refined and functional. New features include a new family of better-looking and better-playing radios, the addition of radio controls on the steering wheel, and the availability of leather-appointed seats. OnStar, with its Advanced Automatic Crash Notification and Safe & Sound plan, is another new standard.
The Vue is a four-door, midsize crossover utility vehicle (CUV) with seating for five. Despite its compact nature, the flexible Vue still affords 30.8 cubic feet of cargo space when loaded with passengers. Fold the second-row seat flat and cargo volume increases to 63.8 cubic feet. And if you drop the front passenger seatback to its flat position, there's room for an eight-foot ladder.
The Vue has received excellent government crash-test scores, getting five out of five stars for front- and rear-seat occupants in both frontal and side impacts, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Frontal dual-stage air bags for the driver and front passenger are standard, as are frontal seat belt pre-tensioners that engage at the same time as the air bags. A head-curtain air bag system to help protect front- and rear-seat passengers in a side-impact collision is optional. All Vue models also come standard with Saturn's Power Package, consisting of power windows/door locks/mirrors, cruise control, remote keyless entry, and an alarm system.
The standard engine is the economic Ecotec 2.2L inline four-cylinder, rated at 143 hp and coupeed to a 5-speed manual transmission with a synchronized reverse gear that reduces grinding if the driver shifts before coming to a complete stop. A Hydra-Matic 4-speed automatic is optional. Saturn also offers a more potent, 250-hp 3.5L V-6 engine with variable valve timing, which it touts as the most powerful engine in its segment. The V-6 comes with a smooth 5-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission equipped with grade logic control-a feature that helps eliminate hunting between gears. Properly equipped, this little crossover sport utility can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
The Saturn Vue competes in the very popular Compact CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) segment, consisting of 18 models (with at least six more entering the fray in 2006). Crossover vehicles-vehicles that offer a combination of SUV passenger and cargo utility values, plus car-like comfort, handling, and fuel economy-represent the hottest segment in America.
The sales leader in the group is the Ford Escape, with 165,122 units sold in calendar year 2005, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM The Honda CR-V was next, with 150,219 units sold in 2005, followed by the Chrysler PT Cruiser (133,740) and Chevrolet Equinox (130,542). The Saturn Vue ranked fifth, with 91,972 units sold.
|4 CYL (M5)||5 speed manual||$17,390||143-hp / 2.2L 4-cyl||23/29|
|V6 (A5)||5 speed automatic||$21,390||250-hp / 3.5L 6-cyl||20/28|