2009 Saturn VUE SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Saturn VUE 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 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 169 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Saturn VUE

  • With its handsome styling, agile driving dynamics, wide choice of powertrains and attractive cabin, the 2009 Saturn Vue stands as a strong competitor in the compact-crossover segment.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Powerful V6 in XR and Red Line trims, handsome styling inside and out, ideal handling and ride balance, top safety scores.

  • Cons

    Less cargo capacity than in most rivals, higher price than that of many rivals, front seats not ideal for some larger folks.

  • What's New for 2009

    For the 2009 Saturn Vue, a four-cylinder version of the XR trim level debuts, as does Bluetooth connectivity.

Full 2009 Saturn VUE Review

What's New for 2009

For the 2009 Saturn Vue, a four-cylinder version of the XR trim level debuts, as does Bluetooth connectivity.


After being a bench warmer for years in the compact-crossover SUV game due to lackluster build quality and performance, the Saturn Vue made it to the starting lineup last year after getting in shape via a thorough redesign. And for 2009, the Saturn Vue remains a well-rounded player, thanks to its smart Euro-based design (it's a twin to the European Opel Antara) that combines good looks, a welcoming cabin and solid driving dynamics.

Other factors that contribute to the Vue's appeal include high-end safety and convenience features such as the standard stability control and the availability of a navigation system and satellite radio. Saturn's small crossover also offers a wide choice of power, ranging from a 164-horsepower four-cylinder to a 257-hp V6.

Overall, the 2009 Saturn Vue can stand tire-to-tire against this segment's stalwart entries such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, as well as other popular small crossovers like the Ford Escape and Hyundai Tucson. It does have some downsides, however, such as a lack of cargo space, lackluster fuel economy and pricing that's typically a couple thousand dollars more than the competition. But if you can live with these drawbacks, the Vue should make for a very pleasant and practical daily driver.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Saturn Vue is a five-passenger compact SUV that comes in three trim levels: base XE, midgrade XR and sporting Red Line. The XE comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, keyless entry, full power accessories, OnStar telematics, steering-wheel audio controls, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat and a CD/MP3 stereo with satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.

Opting for the XR adds 17-inch alloy wheels, luggage rack rails, automatic climate control, a power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth and heated side mirrors. The Red Line features a lowered, sport-tuned suspension, a rear spoiler, chrome exhaust outlets, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front sport seats, leather and suede upholstery and unique instrumentation. Most of the XR's additional features are available as options on the XE, and one can also get optional leather seating and heated seats on those models. Other available features include a premium audio system and CD changer, a navigation system, rain-sensing wipers and a remote engine starter.

Powertrains and Performance

The Vue XE and XR (front-wheel-drive versions only) are powered by a 2.4-liter inline-4 (164 hp and 160 pound-feet of torque) mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The XE V6 (all-wheel drive only) has a 3.5-liter V6 good for 215 hp and 220 lb-ft of torque. It's connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. Both the XR and Red Line trims feature a more powerful 3.6-liter V6 (257 hp and 248 lb-ft) matched to a six-speed automatic. A manual shift control feature is standard on the Red Line and optional on the XR.

With the 3.6-liter V6, this Saturn scoots. In 0-60-mph testing, we clocked a front-wheel-drive Vue XR at 7.3 seconds; it's a tad slower than the segment's jackrabbit, the RAV4, but it's still very quick. Fuel economy, however, is a bit below average; front-drive Vues with the four-cylinder get an EPA estimate of 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. The AWD 3.5-liter V6 has a 15/22/17 mpg rating, while the AWD 3.6-liter V6 is actually a bit better at 16/22/18 mpg.


A wealth of safety features is standard on all 2009 Saturn Vue models, including antilock brakes, stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active head restraints.

In government crash testing, the Vue scored five stars (out of five) for both frontal and side impact tests. The Vue also aced Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, scoring the top rating of "Good" in that agency's frontal offset and side impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Vue's interior boasts an attractive design with quality materials typically found in fine European cars. The 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.

A pair of adjustable cargo nets keeps items from sliding around in back. At 56 cubic feet, the Vue's maximum cargo capacity is small compared to some rivals that offer nearly 20 more cubes. Front-seat comfort is adequate, though some folks may find the seat cushions a bit short and the seats somewhat lacking in lateral and lumbar support. The second-row seats recline and offer decent legroom. A third-row seat, an increasingly popular (but of debatable value) feature for small-to-midsize crossover SUVs, isn't offered.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Saturn Vue's 3.6-liter V6 is powerful and robust, though sometimes its normally smart and quick-shifting six-speed automatic hunts on inclines, seemingly not sure whether to hold a gear or step down to maintain speed. The steering is precise and properly weighted, allowing easy maneuverability in parking lots while providing a solid, confident feel at speed on winding roads and interstate freeways. Most Vues are tuned for a soft ride -- the sportier Red Line trim is the obvious choice for driving enthusiasts.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Nothing but trouble

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn VUE XR 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I have had nothing but trouble since I bought this vehicle. Even had to be towed once. The check engine light stays on all the time and they cannot fix it. I drove a rental more than I drove the vue for the first year I owned it because it stayed in the shop. Currently at only 50,000 miles the starter has gone out. The vehicle also gets poor gas mileage compared to other comparable SUVs. Not only am I done with Saturn. I'm done with GM. GM is not standing by their product that I have had trouble out of since the day I bought it. It also has very limited passenger space when compared to other similar vehicle.

Best value for the money

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn VUE XE 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I don't understand expert reviews that say the 2.4 Ecotect motor in the Vue is underpowered. Ward's Auto World rates GM's 2.4-liter Ecotec as one of the best engines built in America. While not a dragster or a muscle car it has plenty of power to get on the freeway. It defiantly is not sluggish espesially from a stand still. Its gas mileage is better than expected at 26 miles per gallon city/freeway. We are past owners of Cadillacís. Mama has not had to give up any luxuries. In fact some of it's standard features are options on other sub-compact crossovers you have to pay extra for. We really do not feel we could have found a better value for the money. So far we couldn't be happier.

Best value for the money

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn VUE XE 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Plenty of power. Runs like a scalded dog. Have absoulutly no problem getting on the freeway or passing. 1st tank of gas used in city and freeway 23.5 MPG. 2nd tank 24 MPG. Can't wait to see what it will get on a trip. Wife loves the blue tooth, XM radio, premium trim, leather heated power seats. Pleanty of room front and back. Lots of head room too. Looks better than than most other compact SUV's inside and out. Was thinking about buying a Cadillac SRX but MPG wasn't that great. Drove a Toyota CRV but the seats were too hard. Some expert reviews just don't do it justice. Personally I think it beats all other compact SUV's hands down. In fact I may just have buy another one.

I love my vue!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn VUE XR 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I have been looking at the Vue for quite a while now. When I was researching SUV's I always went back to the Vue. I am not sorry. I love it. The gas mileage, for an SUV, is quite good. I am just sorry that GM has chosen to rid itself of Saturn. Shame on them and shame on Penske for not taking it over. It's your loss.

So far so good

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn VUE XR 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

Just purchased this car used with low miles on it. Excited to see how it handles. So far I love the interior, the solidness of the build and the way it looks. Its really starting to shine. I'll be doing some good detailing on it since I am somewhat compulsive when it comes to cars. Replacing a '05 Ford Escape base model. I don't think even the '09 version of the Escape XLT matches this car.


by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn VUE XR 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I just bought my v6 vue loaded with leather, I just can't say enough about it, I don't know why people says it gets bad gas milage, I am getting 27.5 mile per gallon on highway not bad for an suv and did I mention the power 257 hp wow and the 6 speed transmission is great. Too bad this company is going bye bye. The only thing this suv should have is seperate climate controls. So, if you are looking for a great suv with great looks, handling and power don't hesitate go and get yourself the xr v6 sat vue now before it is too late.

Talk About The 2009 VUE

2009 Saturn VUE Discussions See all Started By

VUE XE 2009( not 4 wheel drive).When driving at low speed the brakes come on either 2 wheels or the 4 wheels without even touching the brake pedal.My GM dealer is puzzled and confirms the master cyli...

Hi, is the junction box under hood very visible? or is tis one of the dealer recall. I own the hybrid vue 2009 but I only get 19/23 MPG and wonder it is the same problem....

Yesterday, smoke from the sunroof area started coming in the vehicle. My wife was about 40miles from home taking a summer class and had to call campus police and the local fire department in case of ...

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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