2008 Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid Test Drive

From About.com: In its second year with GM’s mild hybrid drivetrain option, the Vue gets a complete refresh for 2008. Its new curved and sculpted look, a severe departure from old, hints at European inspiration and upscale flavor. The new Vue Green Line is decently equipped in standard trim as was our tester, with enough amenities to make a long trip comfortable--but without whiz bang.

Inside, the Vue’s fit and finish is quite good, while the choice of materials offers a reasonable balance of practical fabrics and quality composites. Of course, access covers, cup holder liners and cubby-hole inserts are mere plastic, but gone are the days of that cheap overall "plasticyness." Feeling the "heat to compete," Saturn has obviously stepped it up a few notches.

The Vue is a lot of fun to drive. It's a compact little SUV that drives not unlike a sports car. According to Saturn, attention to ride and handling is a design focus that the company is applying to models across the lineup in hopes of intensifying their vehicles' driving characteristics. Suspension tuning is firm, so it doesn't swallow up and hide bumps from occupants, but it has a nice taut, confidence inducing feel. A few quick evasive maneuvers (one for a deer, and one for a log-the-size-of-a-dog laying in the street) put a smile on Scott's face. Oh sure, the initial scare took a good ten minutes off his life, but the thrill of an obedient and competent set of shocks and springs doing his bidding added at least twelve back.

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