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Old 03-17-2005, 08:27 AM   #1
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2004 VUE 2.2L
2005 VUE 2.2L
Checkered Flag Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

Just completed a business trip to Detroit in the 2005 FWD 4 cylinder with 5 speed manual transmission, a great test of the need for power. This powertrain had no problems keeping up the the 85-90 MPH traffic on I-275, I-696, I-75, or I-96.

At these speeds, there are still drivers merging and going faster. I had no sense that this vehicle was lacking power. I did not have to downshift to 4th gear for lane change accelerations, it performed well in 5th gear.

Most of these roads around Detroit are in excellent condition. Traffic really moves there!

This powertrain is a superb match for this ride. I cannot understand how others really slam the 4 cylinder Ecotec in this vehicle. Fuel economy was 24 MPG at these speeds!
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2005 Vue 2.2L FWD 5 speed
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Old 03-17-2005, 10:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

Sure gets noisier up over 75 doesn't it?

24 sounds about right for those speeds. I see about a 1mpg drop when I drive 75-80 instead of 70.
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

Took mine on a road trip last weekend also. The 4cyl will jerk your head back, if you want it too, And mines has the AWD Auto.

I was able to get 25 mpg and that's 2 lane highway thru WI, with alot of stops. And a little AWD thru some snow. And 0 - 20 degree temps.

So I'm happy, and don't see the need for the 6cyl, unless your going to tow something.
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCF
This powertrain is a superb match for this ride. I cannot understand how others really slam the 4 cylinder Ecotec in this vehicle. Fuel economy was 24 MPG at these speeds!
Because you have a lot of magazine racers who have never driven one or have driven a new one for a short period of time. The numbers don't play out until you look at the gear ratios, torque curve, horsepower curve, and put it all together. The VUE is just getting into the lower end of the torque peak at 70 in 5th gear, and it only gets better from there.

Regarding towing... you really don't even need the V6 for towing unless you are trying to drag a lot around. The 2.2/manual works great for towing and doesn't require much if any downshifting to maintain 75 MPH with a trailer in tow, even in the mountains.

I'd rather have a lower horsepower and torque engine backed by a nicely geared manual transmission than a high horsepower and torque engine backed by an automatic that can't compensate for the added load well.

~D.J.~
...
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2002 VUE FWD4m - Gone but not forgotten. 5/14/2002 - 10/31/2011
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by VUEnumber1
Sure gets noisier up over 75 doesn't it?
Do you mean road or engine noise? I know the road noise picks up some (not so much after you ditch the death donut Deulers), but my engine is nearly inaudible at 75-85, other than the occasional grunt from the intake if the cruise decides to call on more power. The road noise is actually pretty quiet and tolerable when the Deulers are gone... you can carry on a quiet conversation at 80+ without any problems.
~D.J.~
...
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2002 VUE FWD4m - Gone but not forgotten. 5/14/2002 - 10/31/2011
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Old 03-17-2005, 06:37 PM   #6
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Checkered Flag Re: Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

DJ is right on about the torque curve. It is what makes the 5 speed manual Vue such a blast to drive if you let it rev above 4,000 RPM.

I have no issue towing my 17' boat with this set up either.

I really did not notice the noise, I know it is much quieter once I removed the roof racks. The stereo sounds good at speed!
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2005 Vue 2.2L FWD 5 speed
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Old 03-17-2005, 11:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCF
Most of these roads around Detroit are in excellent condition. Traffic really moves there!
I can second that. Even with 5 foot snowbanks on the shoulders, people still drive on those highways and byways around Detroit like they're in a big hurry. I guess they figure they have more cars than they need there, it's ok to smash them up.

Thanks for the report. It's good to hear such positive comments.
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Old 03-18-2005, 12:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCF
DJ is right on about the torque curve. It is what makes the 5 speed manual Vue such a blast to drive if you let it rev above 4,000 RPM.

I have no issue towing my 17' boat with this set up either.

I really did not notice the noise, I know it is much quieter once I removed the roof racks. The stereo sounds good at speed!
we took our VUE when it was new on a 3500 mile round trip PA to LA (louisiana) before it's 1st oil change, so it was all new on new duelers. cruise set at 80mph much of the time, and I wouldn't describe it as noisy. I thought it just sings at that speed. comfortable, too. didn't wear me out the way my VW used to on long trips.
now, you want to talk about noisy, try a '85 golf auto (85hp w/ 3 speed no overdrive) at highway speed! 24mpg and REAL NOISY! not even buzzy, more of a drone. real glad I don't have that car any more.
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Old 03-18-2005, 11:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCF
Most of these roads around Detroit are in excellent condition. Traffic really moves there!

I've lived and driven in the Detroit metro area for almost 20 years, and I've never considered or heard anyone else consider the road conditions as "excellent". The roads in your area must be really bad....

I will say that there has been a lot of improvement the last couple of years as they try to prepare for next year's super bowl. I also agree that traffic moves fast (or not at all at times) and the 4cyl manual does just fine.
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Old 03-19-2005, 10:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioVueBoy
Do you mean road or engine noise? I know the road noise picks up some (not so much after you ditch the death donut Deulers), but my engine is nearly inaudible at 75-85, other than the occasional grunt from the intake if the cruise decides to call on more power. The road noise is actually pretty quiet and tolerable when the Deulers are gone... you can carry on a quiet conversation at 80+ without any problems.
~D.J.~
It's engine noise for me. It's easily twice as loud at 80 than it is at 70. It's weird.
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Old 03-19-2005, 11:59 AM   #11
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Default Re: Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by VUEnumber1
It's engine noise for me. It's easily twice as loud at 80 than it is at 70. It's weird.
Hmm, your engine must be shifted on its mounts or something... mine is damn near inaudible until about 100, when you hear the intake start growling a bit.
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Old 03-19-2005, 05:01 PM   #12
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Default Re: Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCF
This powertrain is a superb match for this ride. I cannot understand how others really slam the 4 cylinder Ecotec in this vehicle. Fuel economy was 24 MPG at these speeds!
I second that!
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Old 03-19-2005, 06:32 PM   #13
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Default Re: Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioVueBoy
Hmm, your engine must be shifted on its mounts or something... mine is damn near inaudible until about 100, when you hear the intake start growling a bit.
~D.J.~
Doesn't really bother me. 99% of the time I'm at 72mph or less anyway.

Thanks for the idea though, If I need another set of trans mounts I'll have them check it out.
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Old 03-19-2005, 07:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by VUEnumber1
Doesn't really bother me. 99% of the time I'm at 72mph or less anyway.

Thanks for the idea though, If I need another set of trans mounts I'll have them check it out.
Yea, if you have a 2003 you might not have the latest mounts. If you take it in under warranty and complain about vibrations in reverse and first gear, they might fit the latest mounts for you.
~D.J.~
...
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Old 03-19-2005, 08:00 PM   #15
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Default Re: Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioVueBoy
Yea, if you have a 2003 you might not have the latest mounts. If you take it in under warranty and complain about vibrations in reverse and first gear, they might fit the latest mounts for you.
~D.J.~
I did, they did, and if it does it again I'll have them check the motor mounts (if they're separate) too.
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Old 03-19-2005, 09:21 PM   #16
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Default Re: Detroit Driving Report: FWD 5 Speed Manual

I got to drive my mom's '02 VUE down 75 to 7-mile when I was looking at a Jeep and loved it. I hate heavy traffic, cars were whizzing by, the roof was open, and I was just enjoying myself at a decent 75-80mph pace. 696 is a killer - had to run that with my 92 SL once......some crazy traffic down that way
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