2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid SUV

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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 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid

  • The 2009 Saturn Vue Hybrid's "mild" hybrid system produces superior gas mileage, but it's also significantly more expensive than the non-hybrid four-cylinder competition.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Impressive fuel economy for an SUV, perfect crash test scores, high-quality European-designed interior.

  • Cons

    No all-wheel-drive option, unimpressive cargo capacity.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Saturn Vue Hybrid loses last year's "Green Line" moniker but is otherwise unchanged.

Full 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Saturn Vue Hybrid loses last year's "Green Line" moniker but is otherwise unchanged.


The 2009 Saturn Vue Hybrid sports some mighty fine fuel economy ratings for its size -- 28 combined mpg evokes economy cars, not 3,800-pound compact SUVs. But the Vue Hybrid's MSRP starts at about $28,000, which is thousands more than the base price of a Honda CR-V or a four-cylinder Toyota RAV4. To its credit, the Vue Hybrid is nicely equipped, boasting such upscale standard features as alloy wheels and automatic climate control, and buyers will also likely benefit from a federal tax credit. Nonetheless, the Vue Hybrid's 4-5 mpg edge over its rivals may not seem significant enough to justify spending all that extra cash.

Though a more complex "two-mode" Vue Hybrid is promised for the near future, the current model continues to shares its mild hybrid technology with the Aura Hybrid sedan and its corporate cousin, the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. Unlike the more complex systems found in the Ford Escape Hybrid and Toyota's various hybrid vehicles, the Vue Hybrid's small electric motor provides negligible assistance during acceleration and is incapable of powering the Vue by itself. Instead, the electric motor's primary purpose is to restart the gas engine when it shuts down at a stop. Most of the Vue Hybrid's fuel savings derive from the gas you're not burning when the Vue is stationary. These savings are remarkable, though -- the Vue Hybrid betters the conventional four-cylinder Vue by 6 mpg, whereas the Aura Hybrid manages just 2 extra mpg.

Beyond its green credentials, the Vue Hybrid features solid road manners, plenty of standard equipment and a high-quality interior. However, it's hampered by a mere 56 cubic feet of maximum cargo space -- the segment-leading RAV4 boasts 73, and most other compact SUVs are at least in the 60s. There's also no all-wheel-drive option. In other words, the 2009 Saturn Vue Hybrid is an SUV that doesn't haul a lot of stuff and can't go off-road, a combination that doesn't exactly set our pants afire.

The Vue Hybrid seems mired in a no-car's land between conventional four-cylinder small crossover SUVs and the Ford Escape Hybrid (and its Mercury Mariner and Mazda Tribute siblings). The traditional four-cylinder SUVs are cheaper and still reasonably fuel-efficient, while the "full" hybrid Escape yields 32 combined mpg, produces fewer emissions and don't cost that much more. If you're sold on the Vue but want to burn as little gas as possible, the Vue Hybrid makes perfect sense. Otherwise, the above-mentioned models will likely serve you better.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Saturn Vue Hybrid is a compact crossover SUV available in one trim level. 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 and Convenience package adds rain-sensing wipers, heated mirrors and windshield washer nozzles, an eight-way power driver seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Premium Trim package adds leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped shift knob and heated front seats. Other options include a sunroof and a six-CD changer.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2009 Saturn Vue Hybrid is 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 smidgen of extra help during acceleration, but its primary role is to restart the engine after it automatically shuts off at a stop. Energy normally lost during braking is recouped by the Vue Hybrid's regenerative braking system. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard, and the Vue Hybrid comes only with front-wheel drive.

Fuel economy estimates are 25 mpg city/32 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined.


The Vue Hybrid 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 2009 Saturn Vue Hybrid achieved a perfect five stars for both frontal and side-impact protection. Likewise, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Vue its highest rating of "Good" in side and frontal-offset crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Vue Hybrid sports the kind of high-grade materials one expects to find in European cars, which makes sense given that the Vue is essentially a rebadged Opel Antara from GM's European division. Controls are simple and well marked, and an array of chrome-accented round shapes, from the gauges to the air vents and climate controls, lends a sense of style that's rare in this segment. Brushed-aluminum accents on the steering wheel, door panels, parking brake and shift knob add to the upscale ambience.

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. There are no prominent battery packs or other components to impinge on interior room, but the Vue Hybrid still musters just 56 cubic feet of maximum cargo space, which isn't much for an SUV.

Driving Impressions

Don't expect brisk acceleration from the 2.4-liter four-cylinder, as it's saddled with 3,800 pounds -- that's some serious poundage for a compact SUV. Also, don't be alarmed when the engine shuts itself off at stoplights. The ride is soft, but the 2009 Saturn Vue Hybrid never feels floaty and soaks up bumps with assurance. On the downside, the Vue Hybrid's electric power-assist system feels numb and imprecise.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Vue living up to mileage

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Vehicle: 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

I have over 40,000 miles on my 2009 Vue Hybrid. Absolutely no problems and I am averaging 28.6 mpg. I like the way it looks and rides. Too bad it is not being continued.

Disappointed vue driver

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Vehicle: 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

Purchased in the Cash For Clunkers program last summer. Looking for a reasonable choice in SUV's. Looking for decent mileage combined with utility. Vue is very good looking, receive frequent compliments. Mileage has never lived up to expectations. Blame pitiful 4 speed automatic. Can't keep up with interstate traffic or cruise any hills at speed. Constantly pushing it to downshift to stay with traffic. Should have waited for the 4cyl Equinox. Lost cell phone to a drink buried in the deep well cup holder. Sliding arm rest won't stay in forward. Front door won't stay open on incline. Considering getting out of ASAP, even if it means taking a loss. (Hybrid battery pack failed at 17,000 mi)

European styling and engineering

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Vehicle: 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

Love the vehicle. First Hybrid. Work for Car Rental company. Tried Escape Hybrid, Altima Hybrid, Prius. Previous 03 VUE trade in. V-6, AWD. The suspension on these VUE`s is excellent, and it survives mileage. Alignment is important. Love the independent suspension design. Now, that Saturn is gone, will go to Chevy Equinox, or GMC Midsize SUV. Waiting on Hybrid and hope, AWD. Interior is eye catching, durable.

Hybrid system questionable

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Vehicle: 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

I had a Honda Hybrid so I went with the supposed reliability of a Saturn Hybrid. The Service Hybrid light came on unexpectedly several months after buying it and hybrid system was not working.Took it to dealer and the Hybrid battery had a leak. Battery was replaced. Now 5 months later hybrid light back on and Red battery light came on, showing hybrid system not working and battery not charging at all. Other than long commutes on hwy, city driving mpg was poor at about 20- 21 mpg. Should be better. I now question the cars reliability?

Home run for saturn!

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Vehicle: 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

As this was my first Saturn and my first hybrid purchase, I did considerable research before finally buying. I knew to expect a pretty decent crossover, but this little Vue Hybrid has exceeded every expectation! Being German-born and raised, I appreciate the smart, no- nonsense, 'European' interior styling - no useless fluff or silly eye candy here. The exterior is truly gorgeous; it grabs your attention unlike earlier Vues or most competitive offerings. Mileage so far has been outstanding: 1900+ miles driven on 3 1/2 18-gallon tanks of gas! Stop-and-go city driving is returning 25-28 MPG and highway 38- 40. In fact, with cruise engaged at 65 MPH, I easily top 42 MPG on level roads. Bravo GM!

Hybrid shamybrid

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Vehicle: 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

Ok, so here is the deal with any car, its like the lotto you have a very small chance of getting a lemon, and yes I guess I must have got one. Avg 20 MPG combined, with optimal settings per the book. Took to dealer service, they stated anything from 20-30 was ok, and that it could take up to 4K miles to break in the engine, bullony I read the whole manual and advised the service manager that per the manual it says if the car stands for 3 months it can cause major damage to the hybrid battery and, my car was sitting at the dealer lot for 8 months and only got 60 miles, so he agreed to replace it, we will see what happens, I hope this resolves the problem. waiting to see savings....

Talk About The 2009 VUE Hybrid

2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid Discussions See all Started By

Bought our 2009 Saturn Vue Hybrid just shy of 6 months with low mileage. Did not have any problems with it until we took it in for an oil change at CO-OP in my local town. First the air conditioner ...

My 2009 Saturn Vue Hybrid all of a sudden developed a screeching sound upon starting. I took it into my dealer, who said that it was a bearing and a pulley system that needed replacement- for $700. Th...

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

Gas Mileage


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

Other VUE Hybrid Years

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