|Compact SUV; Built in USA|
|Good condition price range: $2,200 – $11,200*|
2002 Saturn Vue
2002 Saturn Vue
2002 Saturn Vue interior
2004 Saturn Vue Red Line
2004 Saturn Vue Red Line interior
What Vue lacks in handling prowess and overall refinement, it makes up for in versatility, ride quality, and accommodations–plus outstanding performance from the latest V6 engine. Added attractions include dent-resistant body panels. Priced competitively when new, the Vue has subpar resale value, especially in two-wheel-drive form. That could mean comparative bargains for secondhand Vues.
Introduced midway through the 2002 model year, Saturn’s first SUV was positioned against compact sport-utility vehicles such as the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and Mazda Tribute. But Saturn’s version was slightly larger, with the longest wheelbase in its class.
Seating five, Vues came with front-drive or all-wheel drive. They also had Saturn’s traditional dent-resistant plastic body panels.
Engines came from Saturn’s midsize L-Series cars. The four-cylinder came with front-drive only, offered with a five-speed manual transmission or optional continuously variable automatic. Like other CVTs, Saturn’s furnished variable drive ratios instead of conventional gear changes.
All V6 Vues had all-wheel drive and a five-speed automatic transmission. The AWD system lacked low-range gearing.
Options included antilock braking, curtain side airbags, and General Motors’ OnStar assistance system. Vue stored its spare tire under the rear load floor, and had a liftgate that lacked separate-opening glass. The split rear seat worked with a fold-down front passenger seatback, to accommodate long objects.
In its first full season, Saturn’s SUV added a previously unavailable powertrain combination, along with optional leather upholstery. Both the four-cylinder and V6 models could have either front-drive or all-wheel drive; in 2002, the V6 had come only with AWD. Four-cylinder AWD models came only with the CVT unit.
A new option package included leather upholstery, heated front seats with lumbar adjustment, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
A completely different V6 engine, supplied by Honda, replaced the original GM V6 this year. Borrowed from Honda’s Pilot and Odyssey, the new 3.5-liter V6 developed 250 horsepower. It mated with a new Honda-supplied five-speed automatic transmission.
Also for 2004, 17-inch alloy wheels replaced the 16s on AWD models and were available for 2WD V6 Vues. Revised steering calibrations were intended to improve steering feel. Interior trim changes included chrome-ringed, white-faced instruments. Satellite radio was a new option.
Midseason brought a newly optional DVD rear entertainment system, as well as a performance-oriented Red Line edition. Equipped with the 250-hp V6 engine, the Red Line Vue has a stiffer suspension and 18-inch wheels.
No changes of note were made to the Vue in 2005.
Midyear addition of a gas-electric hybrid makes 2006 news for this compact five-seat SUV from General Motors’ Saturn division. Launched as a 2007 model, the Vue Green Line teams a 4-cyl gas engine with a battery-powered electric motor for 170 hp. The system self-charges the batteries; there’s no plug-in charging. Unlike most hybrids, the Green Line cannot run on the electric motor alone. It comes only with front-wheel drive and automatic transmission. Also, styling is freshened inside and out for 2006 and OnStar assistance and steering-wheel audio controls become standard.
Vue carries over unchanged.