Vue Green Line's Value Comes from its Thrift

From the Orlando Sentinel: Let's get this out of the way first: Yes, the sensible, comparatively simple Saturn Vue Green Line is a hybrid, but it does not get the astronomical fuel economy that Toyota Prius drivers crow about. But those of us who don't much care for the Prius' driving characteristics might be willing to sacrifice mileage for some of the Vue Green Line's other attributes, such as interior room and luggage capacity. And the fact that the Green Line saves some gas - well, that's gravy.

Actually, it saves quite a bit of gas, considering the relative absence of high-priced, high-tech hybrid components. The Vue Green Line is a partial hybrid, or "single mode," as the manufacturers have taken to calling it, meaning that it can't move under electrical power alone, as the Prius can. The smallish battery pack helps the 2.4-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine do its work, and it allows the engine to shut down under most circumstances at stoplights, but it does not replace the gas engine as a source of motivation.

That said, a "dual mode" Saturn Vue hybrid is due shortly, and while it will get better fuel economy, it will also be more complex and more expensive.

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