2008 Saturn Vue Green Line: Less cost, fuel efficiency rated at 25 city/32 highway
By Rory Jurnecka
GM has announced pricing on its second generation 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line hybrid, undercutting the second-cheapest hybrid SUV, the Ford Escape Hybrid, by $280 at $24,795. Set to make its showroom debut this fall, the 2008 Vue Green Line still relies on the belt-alternator-starter (BAS) system, although fuel economy has increased slightly to 25/32 mpg city/highway.
That's an impressive feat, as it has both beat the odds against more stringent EPA mpg testing procedures as well as achieved the best highway fuel efficiency of any SUV currently on the market -- and all at a lower price than the competition. A range of 585 miles should be attainable under highway conditions, considering the Vue Green Line's 19-gallon gas tank.
The Vue Green Line incorporates many technologies in order to arrive at such miserly consumption, including an early fuel cut during decleration, optimized transmission shift points, and stopping the engine at idle. Regenerative braking, electric power assist during acceleration, low rolling resistance tires, and improved aerodynamics are also used in conjunction to improve efficiency. A host of standard features are also included, such as 17-inch polished alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, and single-zone climate control.
In 2008, Saturn will bring forth a Two-Mode hybrid, allowing the Vue to run off either electric or gasoline power individually at the driver's command. A 45 percent fuel savings over the standard, non-hybrid Vue is expected to be realized. Later, GM is planning on releasing a plug-in variant as well, that is claimed to be twice as fuel efficient as any other SUV on the market.
The standard four-cylinder Saturn Vue is currently available at a base price of $21,395 and achieves a mpg rating of 19/26 city/highway.