2008 Saturn Vue Green Line Promises to be Fuel Economy Leader
Saturn promises that its all-new 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line hybrid will have a fuel economy rating of 25 miles per gallon in the city and 32 miles per gallon on the highway. Offering as many as 585 miles on just one tank of fuel under optimal conditions, this compact SUV could just have the best highway mileage of any sport utility vehicle currently on sale.
Saturn has announced that the Vue Green Line will have a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $24,795, making it the most affordable hybrid SUV on the market by several hundred dollars less than its closest competitor, the Ford Escape Hybrid.
"You can go green without going broke," says Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak, "and with the Vue Green Line, you also don't have to give up utility, safety, or comfort."
In combined city and highway driving, the Vue hybrid's fuel economy estimate is 27 percent better than the non-hybrid four-cylinder Vue. These fuel economy estimates are calculated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, using the government's new 2008 testing procedure that was revised to better reflect real-world mileage.
The hybrid Vue's 28 mpg combined city/highway rating gives the Saturn line-up a compact utility with better fuel economy than the Honda CRV (22 mpg) or Toyota RAV-4 (23 mpg). The Vue Green Line also provides SUV capability with better fuel economy than that of such popular sedans as the Toyota Camry (25 mpg) and Honda Accord (24 mpg).
The Vue Green Line's highway fuel economy will allow the vehicle to travel up to 585 highway miles on one tank of gasoline, farther than any competitor's SUV. Under optimal conditions, that's enough range to travel roundtrip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, from Washington, D.C. to New York City, or from Detroit to Chicago. Potential one-way single-tank trips include Atlanta to St. Louis, Denver to Salt Lake City, and Milwaukee to Kansas City.
Hybrid Technology and Features:
The Vue Green Line's hybrid system combines a precise electric motor/generator mated to the 2.4-liter/172-horsepower, four-cylinder engine and a modified automatic transmission. The system delivers fuel economy gains through advanced engine control algorithms including early fuel cut-off during deceleration, optimized transmission shift controls, and by smoothly stopping the engine at idle. The system also features regenerative braking to capture electrical energy during braking, electric power assist during acceleration, low-rolling resistance tires, and improved aerodynamics.
Several displays provide the driver with information regarding the Vue's hybrid system operation, including:
* Charge/assist gauge - Indicates when the hybrid system is providing propulsion assist or when the hybrid battery is being re-charged.
* Eco light - Illuminates when the vehicle is meeting or exceeding the federal government's fuel economy rating.
* Auto stop position on tachometer - Indicates when the engine shuts off at idle.
* Driver information center - provides instantaneous and average fuel economy information, in addition to other important vehicle data.
In addition to the hybrid system, standard features on the Vue Green Line include 17-inch polished alloy wheels, rear spoiler, painted fascias, and single-zone automatic climate control.
All Vues, including the 2008 Green Line, feature a comprehensive array of standard safety equipment that includes six air bags, active front head restraints, a pedal release system for the accelerator and brake, StabiliTrak electronic stability control with trailer sway control, antilock brakes, tire pressure monitors, and OnStar.
Quiet, responsive ride and handling comes from front and rear stabilizer bars, MacPherson strut independent front suspension and independent multi-link rear suspension, along with a double-isolated engine cradle.
The non-hybrid four-cylinder 2008 Vue XE has a suggested retail price of $21,395 and a fuel economy rating of 19 city/26 highway.
In 2008, Saturn will introduce a two-mode hybrid Vue, which will increase fuel economy by an estimated 45 percent over the comparable non-hybrid model. Saturn also has committed to producing a plug-in hybrid Vue that will get approximately twice the fuel economy of any SUV currently on the market.
Read Jody DeVere's review of the 2007 Saturn Vue Greenline.