By KBB.com Editors
Launched in model year 1991, the Saturn brand was conceived by GM to lure away lucrative import shoppers. Nineteen years later, there finally is an entire lineup capable of doing just that. The 2009 Saturn Vue, and its high-mileage offspring the Vue Hybrid, is the fourth of five recently added vehicles that have totally reformed Saturn's showroom floor in a relatively short time span. The Vue's bold styling and rich interior might represent key victories in the battle for the hearts and minds of the buyers that have made the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 best sellers in one of the hottest segments in the market.
In a good way, the 2009 Saturn Vue feels like a larger SUV than it is. It's eager powertrain and plush cabin combine in an SUV that feels more substantial than others in the category.
Compared to category stalwarts like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the non-hybrid Vue's fuel economy figures leave something to be desired. Also, it doesn't offer some of the technology that's becoming more widely available in the category, like remote-sensing unlock and start.
A V6 hybrid model using GM's 2-Mode Hybrid drive will arrive in 2009, becoming the second hybrid model in the Vue lineup. Saturn has dropped the Green Line name and now simply calls its hybrid the Vue Hybrid. New features on all Vue trims include standard Panic Brake Assist, available Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and OnStar 7.2 with Directions and Connections download direct to navigation screen.
Driving Impressions To this point, all of our drives in the second-generation Vue have been in models equipped with the 3.6-liter V6. So equipped, the Vue is plenty powerful, if not as...downright fast as the Toyota RAV4. We suspect the 3.5-liter V6 will provide adequate power, while the four-cylinder's appeal most certainly lies in its fuel economy advantage. The 2009 Saturn Vue is as eager and agile as most of its competitors and as comfortable on the highway. Steering, throttle and brake response were all in line with our expectations for the category. The return action of the optional tap-up/tap-down shift lever was frustratingly slow, but that's of little or no concern for most considering a Vue.
A 3.6-liter V6 and six-speed automatic transmission combine to deliver effortless power and smooth shifts.
The 2009 Saturn Vue boasts the most premium-like interior in the segment.
Especially when outfitted with leather, the 2009 Saturn Vue offers the richest passenger cabin in the category. A generous helping of high-quality materials and contemporary styling combine in a comfortable and attractive interior. We would have liked more lateral support while cornering, but the seats are otherwise comfortable and a definite improvement compared with the previous model's. Backseat passengers are treated to good legroom and, for carrying cargo instead of people, the rear seat will fold flat on a 60/40 split. One tiny complaint: the transmission selector didn't operate as smoothly as we'd have expected.Exterior
With its big and bold front end, trendy side vents and sloping roofline, the 2009 Saturn Vue is among the sportiest-looking SUVs in the segment. Moving up the ladder from XE to XR to Red Line, exterior differentiators include body-color fascias, fog lights, a roof spoiler, larger wheels and dual exhaust outlets.
In base trim, the 2009 Saturn Vue features air conditioning, a CD/MP3 sound system with auxiliary input jack, XM Satellite Radio, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, 16-inch wheels and auto on/off headlights. Every Vue also has stability control and six airbags.
In addition to upgraded powertrains, the 2009 Saturn Vue offers at extra cost a DVD-based navigation system, automatic climate control, rear DVD entertainment system (dealer installed option), leather seating, heated front seats, six-disc CD changer, all-wheel drive, premium audio system and remote vehicle start. OnStar's Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity is optional on XE and standard on XR and Red Line trims.
Every 2009 Saturn Vue XR and Red Line features a 257-horsepower V6 matched to a refined six-speed automatic transmission, with optional manu-matic shifting. All-wheel-drive XE models get a less powerful, less sophisticated 3.5-liter V6, while front-wheel-drive XE models get a four-cylinder/four-speed automatic transmission combo. GM has promised to introduce in 2009 an updated Vue Hybrid featuring its 2-Mode hybrid drive teamed to the 3.6-liter V6 engine.
2.4-liter in-line 4
169 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
172 horsepower @ 6500 rpm (Hybrid)
161 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5100 rpm
167 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm (Hybrid)
EPA estimated fuel economy: 19/26 (FWD), 25/32 (Hybrid)
222 horsepower @ 5900 rpm
219 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA estimated fuel economy: 16/23 (AWD)
257 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
248 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2100 rpm
EPA estimated fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 17/24 (Red Line, FWD), 16/23 (AWD)
By Disappointed (WI) on Monday, June 03, 2013
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Awful car!! - My approximate mileage is 40,000
Cons: "Completely unreliable since day one!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"In the less-than-5-years we owned this car (we bought it new), we had it in the shop 9 times for major things! Bought a new car Saturday, after we were told that BOTH THE TRANSMISSION AND THE ENGINE needed to be replaced, since the car is not currently drivable! Don't know if we had a lemon or what, but the vehicle was completely unreliable!! We've owned Saturns since the late '90's, but if they still existed, we'd never buy another one after the Vue!"
By lw (GA) on Saturday, March 30, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had my Vue for 2 years and drive it both around town and on the highway. It is a little slower on takeoff than I'm used to, but I've had big V-8 engines for many years. I've got to say, though, that the 30mpg on the highway and 28mpg city driving is really nice. The ride is very comfortable and the seats have good support. I can put three car seats in the back (two toddler-size and one infant-size). There's lots of room in the back end for groceries and vacations stuff. The AC/Heat is efficient;as a matter of fact, it does the best job of defogging my windshield of any car I've ever driven. The Sirius/XM radio is very nice to have and the sound system is very good. In short, I love, love my car."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Nt (MA) on Saturday, February 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"After trading down from new rogue for this SUV (XE FWD with ~ 65k on it) I am not disappointed, surprisingly . Looks great. European Opel design Ii guess. Drives alright. Has a bit more power than the lazy CVT rogue. Far less road noise in rain as well. Few things: Seats are way down. GM Must be compensating for higher CG. I drive at max seat height and still can't see much around. I'm 5'7". Still need a booster seat I guess. The climate control unit needs 475 dollar computer and new aux input jack . Not sure who's fault is that. Other than that it has been reliable. Why the values are so low in KBB. Because the brand died?"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By CJ (CO) on Saturday, February 09, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great family vehicle."
Cons: "Touchy steering at highway speeds."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"My wife and I bought our Saturn Vue in 2009. I have been more than happy with this vehicle so far. We have never had a single issue in 70,000 miles. My only regret is that we will not be able to replace this with a new Vue. Oh well I guess we will try to buy a used Captiva with a 4 cyl."
By Robert (MO) on Monday, October 29, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great handling, reasonable price; full featured"
Cons: "A-pillars are too thick; impedes side vision."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this Vue when the previous (housewife in Michigan) traded at the end of the lease. Couldn't be happier. Seats my 3 grandkids in the second seat; added a tow hitch for my camper trailer. The extra-tight turning radius continues to amaze me. Gas mileage-in mostly city driving--is 22-20 mpg. The 4-cyl is more than adequate for 99% of my driving. Were I to redesign, I'd make the A-pillars thinner. Several times at intersections, I've not seen an approaching vehicle. Too thick pillars is the cause. Looks good; stays sharp. Tell the Saturn "true believers" they produced a superior vehicle."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Mom (OH) on Monday, October 15, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Fun to drive, great mileage; seat did get uncomfortable during long rides. Sorry to see Saturn leave the market."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful