The Vue was introduced for the 2002 model year and was designed by Saturn. It was manufactured at the Spring Hill GM plant. Its unibody platform is shared with the Chevrolet Equinox, Pontiac Torrent and the European Opel Antara. The first generation ran from model year 2002-2007.
Four-cylinder Vues use the Ecotec I4. The L81 V6 from the L-Series and 5-speed Aisin AF33 automatic transmission were initially offered, but starting in 2004, all 6-cylinder Vues were equipped with the 250hp (186kW) Honda-manufactured L66 engine and a Honda transmission. The four-cylinder Vue was available with the VTi continuously-variable transmission (CVT) until GM canceled it for 2005.
The Vue received a facelift for the 2006 model year. Upgrades included a redesigned interior with higher-quality materials, a new bumper and grille, and some minor cosmetic pieces to the exterior. OnStar is now standard as well as cruise control and automatic headlights.
In IIHS crash tests the Vue receives a Good overall rating in the frontal offset crash test. In 2008 models came equipped with standard front and rear head side curtain airbags and front seat-mounted torso airbags. These models were given an Acceptable overall rating in side impacts. Models without side airbags were given an overall Poor rating.
Saturn introduced a special high-performance line of vehicles in 2004 under the name, "Red Line". The Vue Red Line includes the 250hp (186kW) L66 V6 and sportier suspension tuning for performance. 18in alloy wheels, ground-effect front bumpers, chrome exhaust tip, special black leather and suede seats, footwell lighting, and a special gauge cluster complete the visual updates. It also includes some special interior features as well, such as a higher quality audio system.
The high-performance Vue Red Line was joined for 2007 by an environmentally-oriented Green Line model. The Vue is a mild hybrid, or assist hybrid, using what GM calls a "Belt alternator starter" BAS Hybrid system. A large electric motor is connected to the crankshaft via a special accessory drive belt, with a modified automatic transmission fitted.