The History Of Saturn VUE

The Saturn Vue is a compact crossover SUV from General Motors' Saturn marque, and was Saturn's top-selling model in the United States until the Aura outsold it in the summer of 2008. It was the first vehicle to use the GM Theta platform. The Vue is the oldest model in the Saturn lineup since the demise of the L-Series in 2005. A second generation Vue was launched in 2007 for the 2008 model sharing styling with GM's global Antara model. The vehicle is also known as the Chevrolet Captiva (Mexico, Europe, Brazil), GMC Terrain (Middle East, not related to the North American version), Holden Captiva (Oceania), Opel Antara (mainland Europe & Ireland), and Vauxhall Antara (UK).

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.

Red Line

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.

Green Line

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.

It automatically stops the engine when the vehicle comes to a halt and instantly restarts it when the vehicle must move again. Not to be confused as just a "start-stop" system, the electric motor also assists somewhat during initial launch, during torque smoothing and when under heavy acceleration. A 36-Volt Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery pack is located under the load floor powers the motor/ generator unit, as well as collects and stores regenerative braking energy.The regenerative charging and electric motor assist functions are shown to the driver via an analog gauge on the dash board, and real-time fuel-economy feedback is accomplished via an "eco" light that glows when the instantaneous fuel economy is beating the window sticker fuel economy values.

The fuel savings are 20% up from the base vehicle's 22mpg-US (11L/ 100km; 26mpg-imp)/ 27mpg-US (8.7L/ 100km; 32mpg-imp) city/ highway EPA sticker to 27mpg-US (8.7L/ 100km; 32mpg-imp)/ 32mpg-US (7.4L/ 100km; 38mpg-imp), the highest highway fuel economy of any 2007 model SUV sold in the US market. In Canada, according to Saturn "the result is a Vue that gets an estimated 8.8L/ 100km (32mpg-imp; 27mpg-US) city and 6.7L/ 100km (42mpg-imp; 35mpg-US) highway."

The Green Line has a 170hp (127kW) 2.4L Ecotec DOHC-phaser engine which replaces the standard 144hp (107kW) 2.2 L engine, resulting in the improvement of 0-60 mph acceleration time by 1.0 seconds. Pricing for the hybrid is about US$2,000 more than a similarly-equipped Vue, and debuted in production form on January 8, 2006 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Green Line went on sale in fall 2006.


Saturn introduced the all-new second generation 2008 Saturn Vue at the 2007 Greater Los Angeles Auto Show (held in Nov-Dec 2006) and is a re-badged Opel Antara. A preview of the new design was shown at the 2006 New York International Auto Show as the Saturn PreVue concept, which itself was based on the Opel Antara GTC concept displayed in Frankfurt in 2005. While the PreVue had only two doors, production Vue models have four.

Trim levels include the XE, XR, the sporty Red Line and hybrid Green Line. The standard engine is a 169hp (126kW) 2.4 liter I4 Ecotec with variable valve timing. Optional engines include a 222hp (166kW) 3.5 liter V6 and a 257hp (192kW) 3.6 liter DOHC V6.

Production moved to Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, where the Chevrolet HHR is produced.

Red Line

The second-generation Vue Red Line uses the same 3.6 L DOHC V6 from the XR trim level, making the same 257hp (192kW) as in the XR, but adds several more sporting changes to separate the Red Line from the XR. This includes Tapshift, allowing manual shifting of the 6-speed automatic transmission, a reduction in ride height of approximately 1-inch (25mm), and a sport tuned suspension "has differently-tuned shocks and struts, different spring rates, and unique bushings and stabilizer bars." Exterior appearance changes include 18in alloy wheels, more aggressive front bumper, tail lamps and exhaust tips.

Green Line and 2-Mode Hybrid Models

The Vue Green Line Hybrid uses with the same mild hybrid BAS Hybrid system with the 2.4 L Ecotec as first generation Vue. Software updates and optimizations to smooth the operation as well as improve fuel economy. Fuel economy under the new 2008 EPA standards is 25mpg-US (9.4L/ 100km; 30mpg-imp)/ 32mpg-US (7.4L/ 100km; 38mpg-imp) city/ highway. A full/ strong hybrid model featuring GM's Two-Mode system has been introduced for the 2009 year model.Combined with a "hybridized" version of the 3.6L V6 and the industry's first FWD 2-mode transmission the 2MT70.Saturn has also decided to drop the "Greenline" badge for 2009. For the 2010 model year GM is expected to release a plug-in hybrid version of the same 2-mode hybrid platform. This will make it the first plug in hybrid with the system as original equipment.



The latest Saturn Vue is given the IIHS's Top Safety Pick award. It receives a Good overall score in both the front and side impact tests.

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