Saturn's Hybrid Vue Green Line Isn't Just Another Crossover

From OttawaCitizen.com: Lost in the explosion that has been Saturn's model proliferation in the last 24 months, I took little notice of the new Vue compact sport-utility. Though I was quite enamored of the previous generation for its bargain price and excellent, supplied-by-Honda powertrain, I was far more seduced by the Sky roadster, Aura sedan and, especially, the Astra subcompact.

So, despite enticing photos of the Vue's European sibling - the Opel Antera - I paid little attention to what is, after all, just another crossover in a crowded market.

I think I should have paid more attention. For one thing, the Vue is quite a looker. That's actually saying quite a bit, considering pretty much every other manufacturer has had a kick at this can and most of these faux-by-fauxes look remarkably alike. The Vue, on the other hand, stands out -- and not just for the Sea Mist (where do they get these names?) paint job that clothed the tester. For one thing, it shares the same chrome-accented trim with the Aura. And its rear haunches are rounded where most are square.

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The Saturn of 2008 is not quite what Roger Smith, a former GM chairman, had in mind when he launched the brand in 1985 with the promise of "a different kind of company, a different kind of car." GM initially hoped to encourage fresh thinking at its newest brand by giving Saturn more autonomy than such GM stalwarts as Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac.