GO
Avg. Price Paid:$9,536 - $9,536
Original MSRP: $25,645 - $25,645
MPG: - TBD - City / - TBD - Hwy
Search Used Listings:

2008 Saturn VUE Hybrid Interior

This interior review was written when the 2008 Saturn VUE Hybrid was new.

Reviewers generally find the five-seat interior of the 2008 Saturn VUE Green Line to be good quality for such an affordable vehicle. However, the front seats get mixed reviews on their comfort, and the backseat is criticized for being too small.

Seating

The VUE Green Line seats five, though the front seats get better reviews than the back. The Auto Channel says the front buckets "provided decent support and comfort." TechnoRide, however, isn't pleased with the tester's optional leather upgrade, calling the seats "flat, unsupportive, and not very leather-like." The Green Line's Premium Trim package comes with leather-appointed seats, a leather-wrapped shift knob, and three-mode heated driver and front passenger seats.

The rear seats get some harsh criticism, with the Chicago Tribune commenting that the "Green Line holds five passengers, but at least two in back better be aerobics instructors or able to hold their breath a long time." Similarly, the New York Times calls the rear seats "excruciating; passengers will yearn for the relative comfort of flying cross-country in coach class." On the other hand, the Orlando Sentinel says, "There's decent room in the back seat for two adults, or three if it's a short trip." And Mother Proof is also pleased, noting, "Surprisingly the backseat has quite a bit of legroom for my teenager, even when he is sitting between two booster seats."

Interior Features

Cars.com refers to the VUE Green Line as "a no-frills machine," and most auto writers agree that it's a modestly equipped vehicle. "A luxury mobile the Vue Green Line is not," says Mother Proof. "It has the basics and a few nice little extras like the previously mentioned cargo management system." Standard features include automatic air conditioning, cruise control, power windows and door locks, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and XM Satellite Radio. Options are few, and TechnoRide is disappointed in the lack of hi-tech features, noting, "Other technology? We can cover it all in one paragraph: OnStar comes standard."

A major gripe among reviewers is the hybrid's air-conditioning unit, which runs off the engine rather than the electric motor. This means the unit cuts off when the engine shuts down at stoplights. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports, "During our test, we had outside temperatures in the upper 80s, and when we stopped at traffic signals, the car's air conditioning began blowing warm air when the gasoline engine cycled off." They go on to add that this only happens when the vehicle is set in Economy mode, which shuts down the engine at stops to conserve fuel economy. To remedy the problem, drivers can easily switch to a mode that keeps the engine going at stops, but as the Los Angeles Times says, that "defeats the purpose of a stop/start hybrid."

Though reviewers generally like the placement of the dashboard controls, they don't like that the VUE lacks the fuel consumption information centers that other hybrids feature. The Green Line has an "ECO" sign that lights up when the engine is conserving fuel and beating the Environmental Protection Agency's estimates. The New York Times feels this isn't enough, noting, "The typical hybrid driver needs real-time information to wring the most miles from the fuel, but Saturn provides only silly green lights and a little dial and pointer." The reviewer goes on to suggest that "a meter to monitor mileage on a specific trip would be much more useful." The Family Car says the VUE's "ECO" sign is "not conveniently placed and doesn't show up well when the driver is wearing sunglasses."

Cargo

The VUE Green Line provides the same cargo volume as its gasoline-powered counterpart -- 29.2 cubic feet with the seats in use and 56.4 cubic feet with the second row folded down. The Auto Channel reports, "Cargo space was very good with the rear seat in passenger position, and, folding it down, I was able to transport my bicycle easily, with no need for disassembly." Cars.com compares cargo space to non-hybrid competitors, commenting, "That space is slightly smaller than newly redesigned rivals in the segment, like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Mitsubishi Outlander. Or course, none of those small SUVs get this kind of gas mileage and all are around the same price or more."

The cargo area comes with a rear cargo organizer that doesn't impress the New York Times, which describes it as "a set of hinged plastic dividers so flimsy that my friends guffawed when I showed it to them." The Chicago Tribune, however, appreciates the feature, saying there's "ample cargo capacity with an organizer that lifts out of the floor to keep the items stored there from banging around."

Review Last Updated: 2/17/09

Next Steps: Saturn VUE Hybrid