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#20

in 2009 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $10,669 - $10,669
Original MSRP: N/A
MPG: 25 City / 32 Hwy
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2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Before this model year, the Vue Green Line was a mild hybrid. Instead of running on electric power only, it ran on a gasoline engine aided by an electric motor. However, that's all changed with the new 2 Mode, which has two electric motors and a larger V6 engine -- and improved fuel economy.

  • "The Vue's biggest problem is that it's heavy: roughly 3700 pounds in four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive form, going past 4000 pounds for a V-6 with all-wheel drive. Four-cylinder performance is sluggish, although the 3.6-liter in the XR and Red Line models makes for a more sprightly vehicle. The Vue rides quite nicely and handles in a carlike - if slightly inert - fashion." -- Car and Driver
  • "The Vue Two-Mode rides lower than its non-hybrid brethren, for better aerodynamics, which also helps that planted-on-the-road feeling. It cornered well and was eminently comfortable for four, adequate for five." -- HybridCars.com

Acceleration and Power

The base Vue Hybrid comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The new 2 Mode model borrows the conventional Vue's more powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine. According to the EPA, the Vue Hybrid nets 25/32 mpg city/highway with the 2.4-liter engine and 27/30 mpg with the 3.6-liter engine. 

  • "Acceleration from a stop was modestly acceptable, and the Vue was able to cruise comfortably at highway speeds. But if a spurt of power was needed - on a hill or in a passing situation - the response from the engine compartment was, well, weak and belated." -- The Family Car

Handling and Braking

Test drivers are generally disappointed with the Vue Hybrid's handling and electric power steering. 

  • "The ride is controlled, albeit exhibiting more than one SUVs share of body roll; the steering gets the job done with a vague feel; and the tires cry in protest when challenged." -- Autobytel
  • "The Vue's suspension is tuned to provide a comfortable ride, and it felt too soft when changing directions or braking quickly. The ride was smooth but the suspension was noisy on rough surfaces." -- Kansas City Star

Next Steps: 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid

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