Saturn Teases with a Preview Review of its Advanced 2-Mode Vue Hybrid

2009 Vue 2 Mode Green Line Hybrid

Saturn's Mike Morrissey teased readers on the ImSaturn.com blog with a preview of the brand's upcoming two-mode hybrid Vue sport-utility. He recently met up with the Vue development team to spend a day driving six 2-Mode Vues "fresh from the factory." The new hybrid, due to be release early next year, will give customers a second hybrid alternative in the Vue lineup. It will, as Mike points out in his post, be "first vehicle to have two hybrid options."

Here are some other intriguing quotes from his writeup on the new Vue:

  • "The Vue's 2-mode system boosts fuel economy at in both city and highway driving. That's where the "2-Mode" name comes from. The vehicle can run in all-electric power, all gasoline power, or a combination of the two. (The system automatically chooses whichever is most efficient. You just have to drive.)"

  • "Other than the hybrid badges and decals, the Vue 2-Mode Hybrids look pretty much like other Vues. Turn the key to start the vehicle, however, and you experience the first difference: you hear absolutely nothing, zip, not a sound. The engine does not start, but you get a little green light on the dash telling you that you are ready to go – under electric power."
  • "With a gentle touch on the throttle, we were able to get all the way up to about 30 mph using just electric propulsion. Out on the main road, I quickly noticed one of the Vue 2-Mode's best qualities. The hybrid system is absolutely seamless as the vehicle moves between electric drive to gas engine power. You feel nothing but smooth acceleration."
  • "We were driving on public roads so we were generally sticking to the speed limit. On a section of Interstate highway, however, I got a chance to appreciate the vehicle's acceleration. I had to step on the gas to get around a slow-moving 18-wheeler so I could exit the freeway and not lose the rest of the caravan. It was the kind of confidence-inspiring capability that is missing in some other hybrid vehicles."
  • "The electronic power steering was very responsive and felt very similar to the hydraulic on the non-hybrid Vue XR V6. Crisp handling is often something you have to give up with a hybrid."
  • "Of course, when you talk about hybrids, you need to talk about fuel economy. I'd love to tell share the figures we got on our test drive, but we are still waiting for our official MPG numbers from the federal government. For now, you'll just have to trust me. Our actual on-the-road numbers were impressive and it seemed like the fuel gauge needle barely moved all day."

Click here to read Mike's full post previewing the 2009 Vue 2-Mode Hybrid.

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Hot on the heels of Rick Wagoner's announcement yesterday evening that Saturn faces an uncertain future at General Motors, comes news that plans have already been set in motion to separate the import-fighting brand from the faltering auto giant. The resulting entity will be a new, independent car company that's able to source cars from other automakers built to Saturn's specifications.