In the market for a new vehicle? With gas prices on the rise and global warming becoming more and more of a threat, many are turning to fuel efficient hybrids. You might think that hybrid vehicles are out of your grasp because of their notoriously high prices, but Saturn has a solution for this.
The new 2007 Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid is the gasoline-electric hybrid version of Saturn’s compact SUV. It is also the first SUV hybrid from General Motors. I recently had the opportunity to try out this amazing SUV and was quite impressed.
Powered by a new, more affordable hybrid system, the Vue Green Line delivers a 20-percent improvement in fuel economy. It gets an estimated 27 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. This incredible vehicle is simple, stylish and flexible. Not only that, starting at under $23,000, it is the least expensive hybrid currently on the market. Perfect for you all you thrifty fashionistas out there!
With this new hybrid design, you get additional power from the motor/generator during acceleration. It also allows increased fuel economy through engine shut-off at idle, fuel cut-off during deceleration and the capability to capture electrical energy through regenerative braking. Genius!
I had never driven a hybrid vehicle before, so I didn’t know quite what to expect. As I mentioned above, the engine actually turns off when the car is stopped and idling. This was quite disconcerting at first, but I quickly got used to it and learned to like it.
The car breaks very smoothly, which makes for a very pleasant ride around town. This makes it the perfect SUV for housewives and moms that need to run errands often or pick kids up from school.
As with most hybrid vehicles, the electric motor will assist the gas motor when you accelerate quickly, so this helps it to get up and go. Just don’t expect it to drive like a sports car!
My favorite features include the leather seats and the ultra comfortable interior. It’s very roomy inside the front as well as in the back. There is plenty of room for 2 kids as well as a car seat in the back seat. I also found that it was easy to fold the back seats down to make more room in the back for transporting furniture or other large items.
In the far interior of the vehicle is a Cargo Area Organizer which quickly and easily opens to create a storage basket for your groceries. This is a genius feature in my opinion. It’s the perfect place to safely hold your groceries or other shopping goods so they aren’t flying around the back as you drive and it’s design is intuitive.
I also like the the quiet engine and viewing area through the front windshield. However, the windshield wiper settings leave me wanting more. Even on the highest setting, it’s not quite fast enough to clear the windshield in a downpour.
One of the things I really don’t like about this vehicle is the location of the power window controls. They are right in the center console on either side of the shifter instead of on the door. This probably wouldn’t bother most people, but I find it to be annoying.
In the picture to the right, you will notice the red arrow is pointing to the driver side window control.
Another thing I’m not crazy about, is the alarm reminding you to fasten your seat belt. I’ve heard this comes standard in most GM vehicles now, and is probably considered a “feature” by most people, however I’m not impressed. Most states have a mandatory seat belt law anyway, so I don’t see this as a “low point” in the vehicle.
There are definitely more things I like than dislike about this SUV though!
A normal SUV is big and hard to park, but this one drives like a sedan. It’s shorter than my husband’s Buick, making it sporty and more convenient to drive in my opinion. It swiftly glides around corners and parks easily in tight places.
I was especially pleased with the number and position of the power outlets. With all the in-car electronics we use these days, just one outlet doesn’t cut it. There is an impressive 3 outlets all within reach from the driver and passenger seats. This makes it really convenient to plug in my iPod as well as my laptop and my husband’s Magellen GPS system.
I also like the hidden compartment located under the cup holders in the center console. It’s the perfect place to stick things like your CDs, iPod, cash, or other things you don’t want stolen out of your car!
All in all, I am very impressed with this vehicle and would absolutely recommend it to anyone in the market for a hybrid.