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Old 03-05-2014, 05:12 PM   #1
almies
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Default Would you buy a used Vue today?

For the past couple years I have wanted to get Vue, I currently and have owned various Saturn SL's over the past 12 years and I was waiting until we paid off my wife's student loan before I would purchase a newer car. We did that back in December and I have been keeping my out for a Vue that I liked.

I have now found one, but after driving a couple newer used sedans, Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima, a couple weekends ago I am second guessing on whether I really want to bother with the Vue.

Would you buy a Vue today? Looking at the 3.5 AWD.
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:11 PM   #2
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2006 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

If a Vue is what you want, then go for it, if you find a good one. The 3.5 V6 AWD is a good on-road vehicle. Just know the AWD is a 'dumb' system. The rear wheels only engage when the fronts slip. So don't expect anything more out of it than a good kick in the butt when the fronts slip.

I've had mine since 07 and really like it. It does fine year round and has made it though the mountains on trips that I didn't think was actually possible.

The center support bearing is probably the weakest point in the drive train, it sounds like a teapot squealing as you drive down the road, but is relatively inexpensive to fix. Flush the tranny fluid every 30-50K miles (not the 100K the service manual recommends) and do the periodic maintenance and it will last for a long time. OH, and be sure that the 100K timing belt and water pump change has been done if the one you are looking at is around that mileage.

If you opt for a 4-cyclinder, just make sure it doesn't have the VTi transmission. Any 4-cyclinder out there that has a 'mechanics special' tag and list needs transmission, is one to avoid. Other than that they are good little utes. IMHO
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

Given the choice between a Ford, Nissan and a Vue I'd choose the Vue. You're also not comparing apples to apples. The Ford and Nissan are sedans while the Vue is an SUV. If you had put choices of Toyota and Honda SUV's in there my advice would be VERY different.
But in the part time (retirement job) I have I am exposed to many different brands and types of cars. I would because of what I see and experience with them eliminate anything Ford, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, VW, Volvo, Lincoln. Also some Chrysler namely anything based on the old Sebring (cloud car) chassis which are the Avenger and Chrysler 200. And no I don't think I'd want another. They just don't measure up to an "S" series
There you have my advice and $00.02
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

No.

But I really don't like GM cars- old, new or anything in between. My VUE was good while we it- really nothing to complain about. But I wouldn't get another one. It felt cheap. It was loud. It was slow (I had the 4 cylinder). I hated the steering. In the snow, it felt numb. The brakes were finicky. The suspension always had "character".

Get what YOU like. You'll be the one that has to live with it. If you want a VUE, get a VUE. If something else tickles your fancy, get that.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

Yes, at auction to save some coin, FWD, and only a 4 cyl ( 04-06)
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:04 PM   #6
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2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

Bought the wife an '04 Vue, 2.2L 5-Speed, about 1 1/2 years ago, after I've owned a '93 SL2 Manual and '01 L-200 Manual. All have been great cars, and with only 111,000 on the Vue's odometer, I don't see her parting with it anytime soon as she refers to it as her "Black Beauty". It's been VERY reliable, albeit somewhat "boring" to drive. The interior, while functional and well laid-out, just seems "plain" and well, "blah". Like another poster said, the Electric Power Steering feels "numb", especially on wet or slick surfaces, which doesn't really inspire confidence. The suspension is a bit "twitchy" over bumpy roads and definitely requires the driver to "be awake". The engine, even mated to a 5-speed manual, is "just adequate", and requires a good bit of rowing a not-as-slick-as-I'd-like-to-see-it shifter for more-than-leisurely acceleration.

Would I buy another one? As a primary vehicle, No, nor would I consider anything in the current GM lineup. I'd definitely get one though as a 2nd car or as a car for my oldest kid in a few years when he starts driving.

As for "primary" vehicles, I'd most likely lean towards Subaru, as my current 2nd car, a 1999 Forester S, is an absolute JOY to drive, even with 212,000 miles on the clock currently. The 2015 models which should start appearing in Spring 2014 have added some nice features to the Premium trim with the 170 HP 2.5-litre, and I can still have a manual transmission with it (6-speed) if I so desire. (The CVT is a complete turnoff to me, even with "simulated ratios" and 2 different "paddle shift" modes.)
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

I think one of my biggest hurdles with it is the huge drop in MPG, from mid to high 30s down to low 20s. I know this is to be expected.

Also, I went from an SL2 down to an SL over the course of 12 years. From auto with all the options down to a standard with manual everything.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

Maybe.

It's not a particularly nice vehicle, but it gets the job done. It's loud, prone to some cheap parts breaking, and not particularly confidence inspiring in snow/ice. But it's cheap, functional, and overall pretty reliable as far as actual running. It gets pretty god fuel economy, the V6 has pretty good power, has a reasonable amount of space and is overall pretty useful.

That said... I don't think I'd buy another one today. Not because of faults with the vehicle itself, but because my life has changed from when I got mine. I've got a house now, more money, and different interests. I'd likely be looking at a luxury SUV (or perhaps another Grand Cherokee Overland), a truck, or something like the Outlander or new Forester XT. Ideally, I think I'll end up with a Sierra Denali or Escalade EXT next, but who knows. With 125k on my RL right now, I don't foresee any need for it to be replaced any time soon.

If my situation were different, I'd buy another one if it fit my needs. Although truthfully, I'd probably still want to err on the side of something a bit more robust.

What I can tell you for sure is I wouldn't buy an Altima or Fusion if I were car shopping.
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

Yes, with a couple of caveats.

From my experience, the Vue with the 3.5L Honda V6 is a very reliable vehicle. Yes, there are a few weak spots but every vehicle has them. The ones on the Vues can be annoying but mostly low cost and regular maintenance keeps most at bay. They have a ton of space and are very convenient for a multitude of duties.

I will say though, after driving an '06 V6 AWD model for almost 4 years, it can be a very boring vehicle to drive. The handling on the non-Red Line version is pedestrian at best. The suspension isn't necessarily soft but the slightest curves are a challenge with this vehicle at any speed. Now, Megan makes replacement lowering springs to help cure some of this but again, an additional cost.

Another "concern" is the overall quietness of the vehicle. Those plastic panels are great for wear and tear but the insulation is horrible. Again, if you take the time to redo the insulation yourself with something like the bubble wrap silver insulation that some have, you will do yourself a world of wonder.

Lastly, and my biggest issue with my personal vehicle, is the issue with the rusting tailgates. This is somewhat regional but many owners have noticed rust bubbling under the paint of the rear tailgate on non-Red Line Vues from '06 to '07. It can be a costly repair for a mostly cosmetic issue. Very annoying to have a vehicle sold for it's "anti-rusting" abilities and have rust on the back. This is the only vehicle I've ever owned that has any form of rust.

What I do like about the Vues? They are still good looking small SUV's, even by today's standards (anyone look at a newer Honda CRV lately - yuck). They can be had for fairly cheap for what they have on them. Parts are fairly inexpensive. Reasonably comfortable. Lots of space inside - people are shocked by how much I can fit in mine. Fairly unique as there aren't a ton of them on the road. More power with the V6 than many other SUV options even today. Red Line models don't offer any additional performance (other than handling) but look absolutely terrific - one of the best looking small SUV's ever made in my opinion.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:19 PM   #10
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2006 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

I like Tom's post. I love my Vue still today. But, I wouldn't get one for nostalgia's sake. Mine's been a great car, but I knew I was getting into cheap when I bought it. I love my car, its been through a lot and been very economical, and beyond reliable. But given parts are going to be harder to come by every week, and they are all getting older at this point, I'd look elsewhere unless you really "LOVE" the Saturn brand. It's gonna take some work to keep a Saturn Vue on the road in the next few years.

But, if you are in a pinch, and need a small, cheap used SUV, it may not be a bad option for a few years. "A few years" are the key words....
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

That's a good point about the longevity and availability of parts down the road. It's hard to invest in a brand that doesn't exist any more.

However, for the price of this Vue with only 64k miles on it I would feel foolish to pass by it. My SL has 125k miles and burns about a quart of oil every 800 miles or so and seems to just be getting worse. I wonder how much of that though is due to the extreme cold temps.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by almies View Post
That's a good point about the longevity and availability of parts down the road. It's hard to invest in a brand that doesn't exist any more.

However, for the price of this Vue with only 64k miles on it I would feel foolish to pass by it. My SL has 125k miles and burns about a quart of oil every 800 miles or so and seems to just be getting worse. I wonder how much of that though is due to the extreme cold temps.
Never see a used (or new really for that matter) car purchase as an investment. Remember that a lot of the backbone of the Saturn Vue's have commonalities with other GM products and the drive train in the 3.5L with a bunch of Honda's. Those types of parts will be produced for a long, long time.

The exterior panels are where you will start to have issues down the road but let's face it, if you get in a big enough collision to crack several exterior panels, chances are your entire Vue will be written off.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Routs View Post
Never see a used (or new really for that matter) car purchase as an investment. Remember that a lot of the backbone of the Saturn Vue's have commonalities with other GM products and the drive train in the 3.5L with a bunch of Honda's. Those types of parts will be produced for a long, long time.

The exterior panels are where you will start to have issues down the road but let's face it, if you get in a big enough collision to crack several exterior panels, chances are your entire Vue will be written off.
Sorry, didn't really mean invest as in an investment, more like spend my money on just because it's a good deal and I want something other than my SL, badly. I originally was looking at the Vue for the 4 cylinder manual for the gas mileage. I wanted an SUV, but that got better than low 20s like all the other SUVs and was affordable.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by almies View Post
Sorry, didn't really mean invest as in an investment, more like spend my money on just because it's a good deal and I want something other than my SL, badly. I originally was looking at the Vue for the 4 cylinder manual for the gas mileage. I wanted an SUV, but that got better than low 20s like all the other SUVs and was affordable.
The 2.2L is used in tons and tons of GM products, so I wouldn't worry about parts there either. The biggest complaint I hear about the 2.2L is the lack of power. If you are cool with that, there shouldn't be any issue.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:23 PM   #15
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

I'm more concerned about Vue specific items such as suspension components. One can't get reliable control arms etc from a junkyard. Maybe they are common on the Equinox, but I'm not smart enough to know...

I know I can (either a 3.5 liter Honda or a GM 2.2 liter) get a used motor or motor parts since its used in a lot of other cars.

Original poster asked if we would buy another one. I would not, even though I love my ride for what it is.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:51 AM   #16
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

Almies,
I have owned my 07 3.5 V6 AWD automatic, just like you are looking at in other words, Vue for a grand total of about 6 months now and here are my thoughts on it so far. Full leather interior with heated front seats...NICE.... 3.5.. fairly smooth with good power and 25 mpg on highway, 5 spd auto... start doing the drain and refill on its fluid right after you get it and should be fine. Interior, roomy, comfy, the folding armrests on the front seats are a nice option, the passenger front seat folding forward to lay flat as work space is nice. The back seats have the ability to actually partially recline on them or flip forward and lay nearly flat giving A LOT of room for stuff. The tiedowns in the back end are nice to have and may be needed to hold some weights in place for when I take it into the snow belt as the Vue is light and needs the extra weight to let the AWD do its' job correctly. Exterior, nice, clean, and simple, but with a little bit of a statement look I think. Not flashy, not silly looking, but not boring either. I gave it a good wash and wax a week or so ago and was pleasantly surprised at how nice it really looks. The Service Manager at the Acura dealer I went to with questions on the trans was actually surprised at how nice it looked, the features on it, and compared it very favorably to the MDX, which costs A LOT more. I have learned a lot about these cars since I bought mine 6 months ago, and all else being equal, I would buy another one. It has its' quirks that are kinda annoying, no power run on after ignition shut off being the biggest, but I can deal with that. Is it the be all to end all...NO... does mine show definite possibilities of being in my possession a LONG time... YES.... Do I tell people that I like it and think it is a good little SUV... YES.
LIke someone else said though... this is your decision. What are you looking for, what are your needs, what are your expectations from it?

John
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:16 AM   #17
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

I was able to go see it on Sunday and test drove it. It's in really great condition, low miles. It is far and away better than my very basic SL.

On the comments of how the interior can feel cheap, I would have to agree. The seats plastic squeaked, something my SL doesn't do. I am sure if this was leather it would have been much better. Some normal wear and tear on the center console around the window switches, something I have seen in other Vues.

The engine and transmission were smooth, it had great get up and go compared to my SL, admittedly its a 4 cyl vs a V6. Everything worked as it should. Engine bay was clean, no leaking fluids.

I am going to purchase it.

At 64k miles on this Vue at now 9 years old, what maintenance would you do first if any?
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:36 AM   #18
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

Change all the fluids (unless you have documented proof it was done recently) and check the breaks.

Enjoy!
...
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:21 PM   #19
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

Yep definitely change the fluids, most importantly the transmission fluid, engine oil and coolant (in that order of importance). If the transmission fluid has never been changed, it needs to be done now. The oil is always a good thing to change ASAP after buying a car as it's cheap insurance not knowing when the last time it was done. Lastly the coolant in these vehicles is technically rated for 5 years. A lot of people never bother servicing it and it would be way past time on that one.

I'd also ensure you do other simple things like changing your air filter and changing the cabin air filter. Definitely a good thing to inspect the brakes and ensure your brake fluid is full.

Congrats ahead of time on the purchase and welcome to the Vue club!
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:48 PM   #20
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Default Re: Would you buy a used Vue today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by almies View Post
The engine and transmission were smooth, it had great get up and go compared to my SL, admittedly its a 4 cyl vs a V6. Everything worked as it should. Engine bay was clean, no leaking fluids.

I am going to purchase it.

At 64k miles on this Vue at now 9 years old, what maintenance would you do first if any?
WAIT

Please tell us its not an auto with the VTI...
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