Green Car Journal Tests the 2009 Vue 2-Mode Hybrid, Says it Will be Priced "Under $33,000"

Todd Kaho, from consumer magazine Green Car Journal, recently had an opportunity to drive one of the first 2009 Saturn 2-Mode Hybrid sport-utilities on the streets outside of General Motors' proving ground in Milford, Michigan. Mr. Kaho was not only impressed with the Vue's on-road performance, but with its real-world fuel economy. The EPA hasn't released it's estimated city/highway mileage estimates, but "GM's internal testing places fuel economy at 28 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway," he wrote. "Judging from the instant and average readouts on our test car's onboard computer, those numbers may be conservative."

GCJ was so impressed with the Vue 2-Mode that they named it one of their five finalists for their 2009 Green Car of the Year award.

Step on the gas of the Saturn 2 Mode Hybrid and be prepared for an exhilarating ride. With the added kick from electric assist, Saturn’s new advanced hybrid really scoots thanks to 262 horsepower and 250 lbs-ft of torque. Improved acceleration is important, but for many the added fuel economy provided by electric drive at both low and high speed will likely be the primary appeal. We were also impressed with the fully blended electro-hydraulic brake system that enables regenerative braking, traditional four wheel disc friction braking, or a combination of the two. Brake pedal feel is quite normal with great stopping power. The Vue 2 Mode's 1.8 kWh 300V battery pack has 22 nickel-metal-hydride modules and is mounted below the rear cargo floor. The battery is liquid cooled, allowing GM to be a little more aggressive with battery operation. The battery eliminates the space for a spare tire, but a tire inflator is standard and if that doesn't work there is always On-Star.

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Bob Lutz Kisses Saturn's Astra, Has an Aura and Sky in His Garage

Bob Lutz Kisses Saturn's Astra, Has an Aura and Sky in His Garage

GM vice chairman Robert Lutz poses with his lips up against the side of a 2008 Saturn Astra XR. The brand says he was among the first Saturn fans to submit a photo for the "Kiss My Astra" national photo contest. As an employee of General Motors, however, Mr. Lutz in not eligible to win.