2008 Saturn VUE Hybrid SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Saturn VUE Hybrid SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Saturn VUE Hybrid Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 172 hp @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/32 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Saturn VUE Hybrid

  • Although unable to operate completely on electric power, the 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line hybrid offers superior gas mileage for the same price as comparably equipped non-hybrid competitors.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    One of the few hybrids to make financial sense, good fuel economy, low price, high-quality interior, solid European feel.

  • Cons

    No all-wheel-drive version available, less cargo capacity than some rivals.

  • What's New for 2008

    The Green Line is the mild hybrid version of the completely redesigned 2008 Saturn Vue compact crossover SUV.

Full 2008 Saturn VUE Hybrid Review

What's New for 2008

The Green Line is the mild hybrid version of the completely redesigned 2008 Saturn Vue compact crossover SUV.

Introduction

It shouldn't take a Nobel Prize in economics to realize that buying a hybrid to save money isn't always the wisest financial decision. Put simply, the price premium associated with all that high-tech gasoline-electric wizardry would take years to recoup with fuel savings alone. Federal tax credits aid some models, but the 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line has more going for it than just the generosity of Uncle Sam.

The Vue essentially shares the same unsophisticated, "mild" hybrid technology found in the Aura Green Line sedan and Malibu Hybrid. Compared to the systems found in the Ford Escape Hybrid or in Toyota's various vehicles, the Saturn electric motor provides very little assistance during acceleration and does not have enough juice to power the Vue by itself. Instead, the electric motor is mostly used to automatically restart the gas engine when it shuts down at a stop, which is where most of the fuel savings originates. However, while the related Aura Green Line sedan provides a meager 2 mpg advantage over the standard four-cylinder Aura, the Vue Green Line betters its gas-only edition by 6 mpg.

So the Vue Green Line is more fuel efficient than the regular Vue, but how does it do against its true competition? Well, the hybrid Vue is on average about 5 mpg more efficient than four-cylinder competitors like the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Toyota RAV4. The Vue has a slightly higher base price, but when comparably equipped, the four cash out for about the same. But, with a $1,550 federal tax credit, it's technically cheaper. The Vue may not be a class leader (especially in terms of space), but this newly redesigned crossover still boasts solid road manners, a lengthy features list and a high-quality interior.

On the surface, the Ford Escape Hybrid (and its Mercury Mariner and Mazda Tribute siblings) would seem like a natural competitor, but with its "full" hybrid system and substantially better city fuel economy, it's a much different animal than the Saturn. The forthcoming Vue Green Line V6 two-mode hybrid will be more of a rival to the Escape, given its full hybrid system. Though it will certainly cost more, it should also be much better, considering its greater power output and the general superiority of the Vue over the Escape. It's unknown what its federal tax credit will be, so we'll have to wait and see how pricing will compare. If the environment is a primary concern, however, its better fuel economy and lower emissions rating will make it a better choice.

For now, though, the 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line makes a lot of sense. It gets significantly better gas mileage than its primary competitors and costs less when you consider tax credits, while still being an attractive, well-built compact crossover. It doesn't take a Nobel Prize in economics to view the Vue Green Line as a wise decision.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line is a compact crossover SUV available in one trim level that seats five people. Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels; automatic headlights; keyless entry; cruise control; full power accessories; automatic climate control; steering wheel-mounted audio controls; OnStar and a six-speaker stereo with single-CD/MP3 player, auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.

The Comfort & Convenience Package adds rain-sensing wipers, heated mirrors and windshield washer nozzles, eight-way power driver seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and universal garage door opener. The Premium Trim Package adds leather upholstery, leather-wrapped shift knob and heated front seats.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line is principally powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 172 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. A small electric motor provides a little power assist during acceleration, though its primary role is to restart the engine after it automatically shuts off at a stop. Electricity is recouped by capturing energy normally lost during braking. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard, and the Green Line comes only with front-wheel drive.

Fuel economy estimates are 25 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, which are both 6 mpg better than the regular four-cylinder Vue FWD.

Safety

The Vue Green Line comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, active front head restraints and OnStar. In government crash tests, the 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line achieved four out of five stars for driver protection in a frontal crash. It got five stars for front passenger protection. Side impact crash protection also resulted in a five-star rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Vue its highest rating of "Good" in its side and frontal-offset crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The generic low-grade plastic of the former Vue's interior has given way to a posh new appearance, with far nicer materials more typical of European cars. Controls are simple and well marked. An array of chrome-accented round shapes, from the gauges to the air vents to the climate controls, lends a sense of classic style to the cabin. Brushed-aluminum accents on the steering wheel, door panels, parking brake and shift knob further the upscale treatment.

Unlike many other hybrids, there are no prominent battery packs or other components that interfere with interior or cargo space. However, at 56 cubic feet, the Vue's maximum cargo capacity is still small compared to some rivals that offer nearly 20 more cubes. Front seat comfort is generally adequate, though some folks may find the seat cushions a bit short and the seats somewhat lacking in lumbar support. The comfy second-row seats recline and offer decent legroom.

Driving Impressions

Although it's the lightest Vue sold, don't expect particularly brisk acceleration from the 2.4-liter four-cylinder that still needs to lug about 3,800 pounds. Its weight may impede acceleration, but it does give the Vue a very buttoned-down feel -- it feels very much like the European-designed car it is. The ride is tuned on the soft side, but never feels floaty and soaks up bumps with assurance. Unlike the weighty steering feel of the Vue XR and Red Line, the Green Line's electric power-assist system feels looser and doesn't offer much feedback.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Unhappy that the dealership did

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Saturn VUE Hybrid Green Line 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

We bought this vehicle 2 days ago. Everything seems fine FOR NOW. Except who knows what is going to happen in the future. We purchased this SUV thinking we were going to be very happy and have no problems. Come to find out that there is a recall on the battery in this vehicle and NO ONE TOLD US, if we would have known, we would not have bought this car . I believe that we should have been told. We just have to wait 4-6 weeks before this problem gets fixed. Needless to say we will never deal with Saturns again and we will never buy anything at another Hyundai dealership again. Hopefully, some how things will get fixed and we'll get to keep this vehicle for a long time, but who knows.




We love it

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Saturn VUE Hybrid Green Line 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

Have had this one for 2 years and still love it. We had a 2007 standard Vue with manual transmission and this one gets 5mpg better in the city than our old one even though it weighs 800 lbs more, and it is leaps and bounds nicer inside and out over the 1st Gen Vue. The best part of it is the exterior styling. We get asked by people all the time if its a Lexus. In black its really good looking. Only problem we have had is a bad suspension bushing, which was replaced under warranty.




Good but traded in

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Vehicle: 2008 Saturn VUE Hybrid Green Line 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

My driving experience was good with this vehicle, but the ownership experience was not. We bought this vehicle based on past experience we had with Saturn. Then gm got rid of Saturn, but promised to service our vehicle. Since it was a hybrid we were skeptical but were willing to see. At 27k the service lights came on and the local gm dealership said it was the battery but there were none in the us. A week and a half later we still don't have our vue back. When we get it back we will be trading it in and never buying another gm product.




18 months and counting

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Vehicle: 2008 Saturn VUE Hybrid Green Line 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

We've found the Greenline to be the vehicle we expected and more. It is my wife's vehicle and she drives it like she would any other car. Certainly not optimizing mileage yet our avg mpg is 27. I keep to tire pressure around the maximum 50psi for optimum tire roll. We've also traveled 2000 vacationing recently and it performed admirable.




It's a lemon! no joke!

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Vehicle: 2008 Saturn VUE Hybrid Green Line 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

16K miles in and it's my 4th trip to the dealership to the address the Fuel Economy issue. A hybrid that can't get more than 18 MPG in the city???!!! It's a Joke! Here is why... GM Hybrid technology is faulty. Ford got theirs from Toyota and the Escape gets 30 MPG (my neighbor has one) that's not a Joke. Maybe it's because it's a Mild Hybrid and GM never got to the full hybrid or plug in as expected.




Depends on the driver

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Vehicle: 2008 Saturn VUE Hybrid Green Line 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

Not being a full hybrid getting good milage out of this car really depends on the driver and how much they drive. If your making infrequent short trips your looking at an average of 20-22MPG. The killer is not running 100% off electricity at lower speeds. This was a used 2008 I got for a steal (18,990 for hybrid with only 9000 miles and leather, sunroof, etc). The previous reading had 20.7MPG for the average. Probably why they sold it so quick. I cleared this and was at 30.1MPG myself by the time I got home (60 miles). That took work, my guess is 26-28MPG with my usual driving style. Thats definately not bad for a SUV and better than my 4cyl Altima which was around 24.8.



Talk About The 2008 VUE Hybrid

2008 Saturn VUE Hybrid Discussions See all Started By

neis18
neis18
02-26-2014
My 2008 Saturn Vue Hybrid has been having some issues. The stabilitarak light comes one as does the Check Hybrid Engine and the Engine Light. In doing some research, I am finding some various recalls ...


hybridvue
hybridvue
09-26-2008
Third - have you tried any of these Saturn Vue Hybrid specific driving tips that I have put together?...


hybridvue
hybridvue
01-04-2007
mile radius) as it seems that most of the Saturn Vue Hybrids around are Storm Gray. As for the roof rack, you can always get it added but keep in mind that your gas mileage will go down with the addi...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 25
  • cty
/
  • 32
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Other VUE Hybrid Years

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