Saturn's New Look Comes into Vue

Bob English from Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper recently reviewed the all-new 2008 Saturn Vue XR all-wheel-drive sport-utility. "As with all the new wave of Saturn vehicles I have driven recently," he said. "The Vue reflects a welcome, European-inspired approach to style, detail and driving dynamics."

I drove this second-generation Vue — the first was launched in 2002 — compact crossover from Saturn for the first time early last year when it was launched and quite liked it, after an initially short acquaintance. Spending a full week with it recently confirmed my earlier view. Performance is certainly one area in which the XR shines. It gets the better of the two V-6s offered, the all-alloy, variable valve timing, 3.6-litre unit that puts out 252 horsepower and 241 lb-ft of torque that's mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The other V-6 is a cast-iron 222-hp 3.5-litre, while entry-level models come with a hard-working, four-cylinder engine. Ride is firm and a bit trucky, a result of it having to be firmly sprung to deal with the hefty mass. Braking, according to AJAC testing, is as good as or better than most vehicles in its class. The interior definitely benefits from Euro-inspired design, with quality materials, including faux-carbon fibre and aluminum, formed into pleasing features.

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Flashback Friday: Did You Know?

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Saturn has had a colorful history that's full of interesting bits of trivia. Al Clapsaddle has put together a list of some interesting facts from Saturn's early years on his website. So go ahead, peruse the list below, and test your knowledge with these Saturn 'did you know' trivia bits. If you have any good fact, send them to me and I'll add them to SaturnFans.com archives.