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2007 Saturn VUE

Overview
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2007 Saturn VUE Review

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Now entering its fifth year of production, the Saturn VUE compact SUV has made great strides since its introduction, showing a big improvement in the areas of quality, performance and value. Designed to compete with such popular competitors as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the 2007 VUE tackles the competition by offering a wider choice of engine options as well as a few unique features uncommon in this class. Consumers looking to downsize from their fuel-thirsty V8-powered SUVs, but who still need the versatility, may find the VUE an attractive alternative. Still, with many competitors now offering a third-row seat, the VUE's aging platform places it behind the curve when it comes to maximum seating capacity.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're shopping the compact SUV market for vehicles such as the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4, check out the VUE. It has plenty of room, car-like ride and handling and a fuel-saving hybrid option.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a small SUV that can seat seven, the VUE's lack of a third-row seat takes it out of the running.

What's New for 2007

The biggest news for 2007 is the addition of the VUE Green Line, a passive hybrid delivering roughly 20-percent better fuel economy than its four-cylinder, gasoline only counterpart. Unlike other hybrids, the VUE Green Line will list for under $23,000, making it the most affordable hybrid SUV available.

Driving the VUE
Driving Impressions

The base VUE's 2.2-liter Ecotec engine is not only frugal on gas, but surprisingly strong off the line. Of course, that description applies to the VUE when only two persons...

... are aboard. For anyone who intends to use his or her VUE as a weekend warrior and primary family hauler, the V6 option is probably the better choice. This engine, along with its five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, is specifically engineered for Saturn by Honda.

The V6 brings the normally demure VUE into a whole new realm - one of quicker acceleration and crisp throttle response. The new V6 has Variable Valve Timing (VVT), a system that controls intake and exhaust rates for improved low-end torque and fuel economy. The four-cylinder engine can get a bit loud when pushed, but the V6 delivers its power with little commotion or complaint.

Cargo Cutouts for Milk
The convenient cargo area includes special cutouts to hold one-gallon milk jugs.

Red Line Option
The Red Line option adds a sporting flavor.

2007 Saturn VUE Details
2007 Saturn VUE photo Interior

Inside are a host of clever compartments, including two bins in the rear cargo area that are each capable of holding a one-gallon milk jug firmly in place. There are also rear hooks for hanging shopping bags and a pull strap that makes it easier to close the rear hatch. Up front are two comfortable bucket seats divided by a wide center console with more storage areas and dual cup holders. Rear-seat passengers will also enjoy open and roomy space, highlighted by a reclining 70/30 split-bench seat. The front passenger seat folds completely flat so you can load long objects and close the rear hatch.

Exterior
2007 Saturn VUE photo

The clean lines of the VUE's exterior are plain and simple. Other than its new grille and headlight treatment and the sculpted side-sweep line, you'd never know this was a Saturn vehicle. On the flip side, this "blank-slate" look lends itself perfectly to aftermarket parts and accessories.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The VUE features a 2.2-liter engine, five-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, rear defroster, illuminated entry, cruise control, front and rear power outlets, AM/FM stereo, tilt steering wheel, full wheel covers, keyless entry, OnStar, power windows, power door locks, power mirrors and a rear wiper/washer. The VUE Green Line includes the same features but has a hybrid powertrain with a 2.4-liter engine and four-speed automatic transmission. The V6 model adds a 250-horsepower V6 with a five-speed automatic transmission, alloy wheels, traction control and anti-lock brakes (ABS).

Optional Equipment

Options include all-wheel drive (V6 only), heated front seats, a six-way power driver's seat, alloy wheels, power sunroof, leather seats, rear-seat DVD player, AM/FM stereo with CD and MP3 playback, a head-curtain airbag and the Red Line performance package available only with the V6.

Under the Hood

Though not terribly potent, the VUE's four-cylinder engine is on par with those offered by Hyundai, Toyota and Jeep. Those seeking more power or the need for all-wheel drive will want the Honda-derived V6; it's worth every penny. A nice compromise that won't break the bank is the new 2.4-liter hybrid option. Rated at 170 horsepower, the hybrid employs a motor/generator that kicks in to assist with quick starts and high-speed passing maneuvers. The gasoline engine shuts off when at idle and is quickly started again once the accelerator is depressed. A battery pack located beneath the floor provides power to the motor/generator and is recharged by the same unit whenever the vehicle decelerates.

2.2-liter in-line 4
144 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
149 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/29 (manual), 22/27 (automatic)

2.4-liter in-line 4 with Hybrid Motor
170 horsepower @ 6600 rpm
162 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/32

3.5-liter V6
250 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
242 lb.-ft. of torque 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 (FWD), 19/25 (AWD)

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