Hybrid's Point of Vue

Ira Siegel, Southtown Star newspaper's auto writer recently drove a '08 Vue Green Line hybrid. He appreciated the Vue's higher fuel economy and low price. "The Vue Green Line provides a nice alternative for those looking to spend less at the pump," he concluded.

The 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid is a smart choice for SUV buyers seeking an eco-friendly compact crossover. With a base price of just $24,170, the Vue Green Line is one hybrid that doesn't have a hefty premium added to its pricetag. And as expected, being a hybrid means that the Vue Green Line delivers better fuel economy than its non-hybrid counterpart. The Vue Green Line is rated at 25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. That’s 6 mpg better than the four-cylinder powered non-hybrid Vue XE. With an overall average of 6 mpg better than the non-hybrid Vue XE, the Green Line will travel more than 100 miles further on a single tank of gas. The four-cylinder powered Saturn Vue XE and Green Line both share the same 170-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. This engine is technologically advanced and features variable valve timing. In the Green Line, the gas engine works a bit less hard thanks to a 36-volt nickel metal hydride battery and electric motor/generator assembly. The hybrid system in the Vue Green Line is known as a "mild" system because it doesn't pack as much electrical energy as some of its hybrid competitors do. Also, the hybrid system in the Vue Green Line does not provide for electric-only operation at low speeds. Instead, the Vue Green Line's hybrid system allows for engine shut down at stops and a small amount of boost during acceleration. Overall, the ride is comfortable and feels more like a European sedan than a crossover SUV. The cabin provides accommodations for five.

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Flashback Friday: How Saturn Built a Brand

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Saturn launched its lineup of compact sedans and coupes in the fall of 1990 as an relatively unknown and untested manufacturer of "a different kind of car." The Saturn team did the impossible by implementing a set of strategies that included building quality vehicles and crafting an intriguing message that attracted car buyers who had written off domestic cars long ago. That was no small feat. In his book, "Building Strong Brands," author David Aaker set out to "not only to describe what was done but also to suggest the logic behind the strategies: why they were pursued, and how they were intended to contribute to the brand." He concluded that "although certainly some elements of the Saturn strategy may have been critical, it was the synergy of the total program rather than the power of any single element - that led to its success."