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2009 Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode Hybrid  (Source: General Motors)

  (Source: General Motors)
GM gives the Vue a swankier hybrid system

General Motors is truly moving forward with hybrid technology and it's not afraid to put its latest products on display. DailyTech has already detailed the two-mode hybrid Silverado/Sierra and Tahoe/Yukon. GM is now dropping its two-mode hybrid system into the compact Saturn Vue crossover utility vehicle.

The two-mode hybrid powertrain couples two actively-cooled 55 kW electric motors and a 1.8 kWh 300V NiMH battery with the existing 3.6 liter V6 engine. The system is currently available only in a front-wheel drive (FWD) layout, but the system is still good for a 50 percent increase over the non-hybrid Vue in city traffic -- overall fuel economy is increased by 30 percent and the maximum cruising range balloons to over 500 miles.

If GM's percentage estimates hold true, the Vue Green Line 2 Mode will deliver EPA ratings of 24 MPG in the city compared to 16 MPG for the standard 3.6 liter Vue with FWD. For comparison, a Toyota RAV4 with FWD and a 3.5 liter V6 is rated at 19 MPG in the city.

For those keeping score, the current “mild” hybrid Vue Green Line already achieves EPA ratings of 25/32 with its four cylinder engine. It's quite possible that the Vue Green Line 2 Mode could surpass those figures once the final EPA ratings are handed down, but not likely by much. One must also take into consideration that the Vue Green Line 2 Mode has a much more powerful V6 engine – which allows 0-60 sprints in 7.3 seconds – and can tow 3,500 pounds. So while the two vehicles will likely receive similar EPA ratings, the Vue Green Line 2 Mode is the more accomplished performer.

"The Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode challenges the notion that a compact SUV can't be both powerful and efficient," said Saturn general manager Jill Lajdziak. "Customers tell us they want a compact SUV that will respect the environment and save money at the gas pump, but they don't want to give up performance and utility. We've responded with the Vue Green Line 2 Mode."

GM will start production of the Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode hybrid in the latter half of 2008.



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RE: Nice
By FITCamaro on 1/7/2008 8:27:42 AM , Rating: 2
I don't really consider these vehicle's SUVs. But I think it's a good vehicle to own for a small family. Far better than a big Expedition or a Tahoe which gets far worse mileage and won't be utilized.

If I was married, I'd get one of these for a family vehicle. Maybe not the hybrid model, but I like the Vue.


RE: Nice
By mdogs444 on 1/7/2008 8:41:51 AM , Rating: 2
Im with you on that, I don't consider this an SUV by any means - too small, FWD, and small 4-cyl motor (unless you get the upgraded V6/Hybrid).

I just dont see the point in spending $30k on a small SUV just because its a "hybrid". If I was going to buy one of these, I'd get the regular 257hp 3.6L V6.

But then again, if I was going to buy an SUV, which I will again soon once my lease is up next month on the Jeep, I'm going to get something larger - Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, or another Grand Cherokee.


RE: Nice
By Chris Peredun on 1/7/2008 9:05:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just dont see the point in spending $30k on a small SUV just because its a "hybrid". If I was going to buy one of these, I'd get the regular 257hp 3.6L V6.


The "regular" Vue only nets 16mpg city and 24mpg highway - if this one nets the listed benefits of 50%/30% and reaches 24/30 city/highway, that's a significant increase.

Whether it's enough to justify the cost is another question entirely.


RE: Nice
By mdogs444 on 1/7/2008 9:15:07 AM , Rating: 2
The increase in gas mileage is nice - but I will not spend more money on a hybrid rather than a regular ICE. I just do not trust the reliability yet, and even if it is more reliable, the cost of fixing them would be astronomical if something were to happen outside of warranty.

Besides, I have a large boat to tow, and the Saturn is not up to the task, at least for me.


RE: Nice
By tjr508 on 1/8/2008 2:37:01 PM , Rating: 2
I don't consider the Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, or the Grand Cherokee to be SUVs either since they're all three ubibody.


RE: Nice
By Enoch2001 on 1/7/2008 2:23:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If I was married, I'd get one of these for a family vehicle. Maybe not the hybrid model, but I like the Vue.


Ironically I am married and just had a baby 7 months ago. Sold my Mazda MX5 and bought a 2008 Vue Redline. Although the engine is the exact same in the standar XR, I only get 20 mpg on the highway.

That said, it's one sweet crossover. Rides smooth, the interior is a HUGE improvement over the Saturns off yesterday, and it rides very tight. I couldn't be happier, despite the crappy mileage.


"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher














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