- classifieds - forums

Go Back Forums > Models > Saturn Vue > Vue General

Closed Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-07-2002, 09:46 PM   #1
Junior Member
jimminor is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Central Alabama
Posts: 15
Thumbs Up Report: VUE road trip-Alabama to Colorado - long

Just got back from the annual ski trip to Colorado. This is the 17th year we have driven out. Ordered our VUE (orange, V6 AWD) middle of January and had it in two weeks! Took delevery on 02/01/02. Dealer said he altered a "production image" to match what we ordered? Left for Colorado am of 02/22/02 with 800 miles on the VUE.
During the trip out we were still getting comfortable with the vehicle. The first tank of gas yielded 21.4 mpg, the next 24.8.
We had our ski box on the roof rack and when we hit the flat lands of Kansas and eastern Colorado the strong (usually 40+ mph and head on) winds knocked the mpg to 20.4 mpg and 19 .8 (uck!) on the next two tanks. Hit Denver 24 hours later (we drive straight thru) and topped the tank off before we headed into the Rockies.
Fot those of you that have never been in the Rockies in winter, the roads are usually snowpacked. I was interested in seeing how the AWD would respond. It was PERFECT! I have taken five different vehicles on this trip. A Caravan, Trooper, SL1, Durango and the VUE. Of all of them the VUE performed THE BEST. I never felt uneasy. It tracked well and true. As soon as we got to our condo I saw the parking lot was snow packed and had about 4" of powder. I couldn't resist tryin out the AWD. I stomped the gas and it went straight foward, turned the wheels and it went where I steared. The wife said " You love this, don't you". Of course I said I did.
Used a tank and a half in the mountains driving to the five different resorts we skied. Averaged a little better than 20mpg. Not that bad when you consider that AWD was kicking in a lot and the tranny wanted to stay in 4th gear on the steep grades and sometimes kicked back to 3rd.
The trip back was some what the reverse of the trip out. The plains winds were from the side and kept the mileage to 21.3 and 21.7 on the first two tanks. The third yielded 25.2(tail wind?). The next was 24.1. Maybe it's getting broke in.
Did not see another VUE on this 3200 mile trip. Did get a lot off looks from cars passing. Even got a couple of thumbs up from passing Saturns. They seemed to take more of a note of the VUE.
All in all, we are very pleased with our VUE. It was a comfortable ride on the trip. It has plenty of power. The V6 is very peppy. You have to watch your speed if not using the cruise. I caught myself doing 85 a couple of times with it off. The wife really loves it (it's her car). She had the SL1 (96) before it and says she feels much more secure in the VUE. We got the side curtain airbags.
I have added splash guards, window wind deflectors and roof racks myself. I don't agree with what the dealers charge to install the accessories. I will later add step bars. After market, I hope. Don't really like the looks of the factory bars. I'm also looking for a 2" receiver hitch. Anybody found one? Saturn only offers a 1 1/4" hitch.
Thanks for reading. we love our VUE!
jimminor is offline Sponsored Links
Old 03-07-2002, 10:56 PM   #2
wmacblue is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 202

Well, mine's the 4cyl 2wd manual, but after 2 weeks and 1400 miles I can totally agree with your last statement: we love our VUE, too!!! It's just FUN.

And didn't you think the cruise control super smooth? I've NEVER had a car adjust in and out of cc as quietly and "unjerkily" as this one - it's great.

Also find the seats IMPROVE on long trips -- the lower lumbar support is just excellent.

Rave, rave, rave, praise, praise, praise. I really like this car a lot I hope it stays as reliable as it has been so far!
wmacblue is offline  
Old 03-07-2002, 11:15 PM   #3
Doug_E_95_SL2 is on a distinguished road
Doug_E_95_SL2's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Germantown, Maryland
Posts: 437


I have this big ol' prejudice towards any SUV.

I keep hearing great things about the Vue - on this board and from a guy at work who has a 4WD V6 (he actually needs it, lives in a canyon).

You know what? I'm gonna test drive one. Iffin' I don't land on the roof, I may just think about buying one.

Oh My! Don't tell anyone I know! Conservative Racecar-Doug with a SUV.. .. . That would be a scandal..... .

SOmething tells me I would flip that thing on my first trip to West Virginia (Bluegrass Jam, slightly sober riders, pretty-much sober driver) He hee!

Bottom line... you rode in a mini-SUV for 3200 miles and felt great!?!?!

I will check it out. How would you compare the Vue to say.... a midsized thing like a Taurus or a um, big Subaroo?

Doug_E_95_SL2 is offline  
Old 03-07-2002, 11:30 PM   #4
SATURNFAN13185-2 is on a distinguished road
SATURNFAN13185-2's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 459

I'm glad to hear you're happy with your new VUE.

Initial reports seem to put the VUE at the top of the quality list. I hope it stays that way!

I personally am anxious to see the crash testing results on the VUE. From what I understand, they should be quite good.

SATURNFAN13185-2 is offline  
Old 03-07-2002, 11:50 PM   #5
Junior Member
jimminor is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Central Alabama
Posts: 15

My car is the Durango ('99 5.2). I like it a lot, also. I, however, found this trip to Colorado in the VUE to be a very smooth ride. I felt that the VUE was faster than the Durango on acceleration and handled better on the snow packed roads. Maybe it's the new car syndrome? Don't remember feeling this way after our first trip out in the Durango. As the previous poster said, the seats get more comfortable the longer you're in them. I am 6'1" and have plenty of leg and head room. The adjustable seat height is a plus. In our SL1 I felt cramped. Seat all the way back and needed more. In the VUE I could move the seat back more if needed. And another thing. This is the first vehicle I have owned that I can get into after the wife (5'4") has driven it without having to move the seat back first. I don't have to sit first and then move my legs in. I can step in and then sit. I like this. If I ask the wife if I can drive the VUE, she replies " so. you want a VUE, too?". I like my mid-sized ute, but find the small sized muv (mall utility vehicle) much more fun to drive. And more economical, too!
jimminor is offline  
Old 03-08-2002, 12:20 AM   #6
wmacblue is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 202

I tested a subaru legacy when I was shopping... HATED IT. I found it very heavy (presumably the awd, although maybe it's just a characteristic of the car), the seats didn't fit me AT ALL, I could barely get my knees under the steering wheel (I'm only 5'9", but VERY long from hip-to-knee, making legroom a big deal). Funny, as this was my pre-test-drive first choice car. Like jimminor, I have room to burn behind me in the VUE... which leaves a BUNCH of space for backseat passengers (my daughter thinks this is great!)

Compared to the last Taurus I drove, handling the VUE's a dream... but then i HATE Big Boatlike Thing handling. The VUE doesn't handle exactly like a small car... but for its size, it's quite nippy (yet feels four-footed and secure without "tippiness").

To give you some kind of comparison to put my comments into context, I love VW Golf/Jetta handling and hate minivans . I was lookoing for another wagon and had NO intention of buying an SUV (I also thought I hated them, and had, in fact, only gont to Saturn to check out L wagons), but this one fit our needs -- and our budget -- so beautifully that we decided to ditch our prejudices. WIth the 4cyl manual I'm getting 26-28mpg, so it's not doing too badly at all on the economy ront, either...
wmacblue is offline  
Old 03-08-2002, 12:33 AM   #7
saturnal1 is on a distinguished road
saturnal1's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Lovely Minnesota
Posts: 273
Default I had SUV predjudices, one point

I'm probably as anti-SUV as you are and I'll have to admit that I really enjoyed the VUE from the extended test-drive I took with it. The one I drove did have the V6 and yes, it's reasonably quick in a straight line and yes, it handles very well for having its center of gravity as high as it does. Overall a great vehicle for the $$$ if you can get by the somewhat cheap-looking door panels. The dash and shifter are really nice, though.

Just some forewarning...

Alex Plaster
97 SC2
saturnal1 is offline  
Old 03-08-2002, 09:07 AM   #8
DAL is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 291

Finally, something I know about!

I am going to STRONGLY recommend that if you are ever going to do any real towing with your VUE, go get a class III hitch. As for the 2" ball, those are pretty easily come up with, try a local farm/feed store.

In fact, if you are going to get a real hitch (not a bumper hitch--please, for your safety and those behind you, NEVER use a bumper hitch), go find a local horse trailer dealer. They'll have everything and the capability of putting it on right, the first time, and showing you all the ins and outs of hitching things up properly.

you may want to go to and go to the general merchandise area, I am pretty sure they offer a special 3 ball hitch, you just slide it out of the receiver, turn to the appropriate size ball (1 1/2--2 1/2") and then put the receiver pin back in. Pretty nifty.

The added bonus of having a class 3 hitch? If you get a good receiver pin lock, you can leave it on forever, and if anyone tailgates you, or worse, hits you, they'll punch a hole in their radiator!

I can't tell you how satisfying that is--some imbecile was tailgating me when I was in the Toyota one day, of course in nightmarish traffic (where was I supposed to go? Climb over the cars in front?) and when some jaywalker launched himself in front of me I stomped on the brake. The idiot behind didn't. Ahh...
DAL is offline  
Old 03-08-2002, 08:28 PM   #9
Junior Member
jimminor is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Central Alabama
Posts: 15

That's exactly why I want a 2" receiver. Since I have an assortment of these on hand for all my pull toys, the Saturn hitch (1 1/4") would require me to add more. Plus, like Dal, I would feel safer with a class 3 hitch. I keep one of my drop bars in the receiver on my Durango at all times. Several years ago an idiot in a Volvo popped me at a stop sign. There was no damage to my vehicle, but the Volvo had steam coming out of the hole my dropbar with 2" ball pierced in it's radiator. Ever since I allways keep one installed. You just have to remember that it's back there. They can put a nasty bump on your shin!
Got an e-mail today from an online supplier letting me know that Draw Tite released a class 3 hitch for the VUE Wednesday (03/06/02). Part number is 75134. It's in their round tube Max-Frame receiver style. That will look good on the VUE. I'll be ordering right after I post this.
Now let's hope the stepbar manufacturers come out with something soon. I just don't like the looks of the Saturn bars.
jimminor is offline  
Old 03-08-2002, 09:58 PM   #10
Junior Member
BobsVUE is on a distinguished road
BobsVUE's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 26

Hi. I am really enjoying reading all your posts. I ordered my VUE a week ago and have to wait five more weeks to get it. Like wmacblue, I went actually looking for another wagon. I really like my '98 SW2. Just drove the VUE on a whim. When the salesman quoted the base 4 cyl FWD manual and added the limited edition "Sports Package" for $160 additional, the value exceeded the wagon's by far.
BobsVUE is offline  
Old 03-08-2002, 10:23 PM   #11
Master Member
L300Boy is on a distinguished road
L300Boy's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Puyallup, WA
Posts: 4,249

Originally posted by wmacblue
And didn't you think the cruise control super smooth? I've NEVER had a car adjust in and out of cc as quietly and "unjerkily" as this one - it's great.
You can probably thank fly-by-wire for that. Yet another reason why linkage sucks

When you get chance, notice how rock solid the cruise control is, even up significant grades or down hills. You can pretty much drive the thing by using the accel/coast. I dont know about the VUE, but the L300 transmission provides enough "breaking" to actually slow you down..
L300Boy is offline  
Old 04-15-2005, 10:23 PM   #12
Junior Member
andiemaz is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 12
Default Re: Report: VUE road trip-Alabama to Colorado - long

I was so glad to see this. We will be driving from Tampa to Detroit in a couple of months. My Vue has only got 700 miles on it so far and I love it (my former Saturn was a 1995 SL1). The last time we drove it was in my hubby's Camry and it was alright. The Vue is more comfortable and now I am not dreading the 19 hour drive as much.
andiemaz is offline  
Old 04-16-2005, 08:06 AM   #13
Master Member
twosaturns will become famous soon enough
twosaturns's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,037
Default Re: Report: VUE road trip-Alabama to Colorado - long

we took our '04 new to louisiana from pennsylvania w/ only like 1500mi on it. yes, very comfortable (better than the L200 we replaced), yes mpg improved as we went (did get 29 on a tank when the speed limit was 65- set cruise at 75-80 in the states w/ a higher limit), and we just love it.
as far as the feeling of 'flipping' or high center of gravity, it doesn't feel like that. it's really just a wagon w/ a high belt line to make it look like an SUV. my insurance co. calls it a wagon also.
for the first time in 8 years, I don't own a saturn.
twosaturns is offline  
Old 04-16-2005, 08:52 PM   #14
Senior Member
binkybaby is on a distinguished road
binkybaby's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Krum, TX
Posts: 1,666
Default Re: Report: VUE road trip-Alabama to Colorado - long

My Vue is a roomy ride for long trips, and it's very economical too. i have had the pleasure of driving a Chevy Malibu rental for the past week since my Vue was hurt in a rearending at the hands of a 21-year old kid in an F-150. This darn car is so uncomfortable on long trips-i feel like i'm wearing a pair of steeltoed workboots that r a size too small but when i'm in the Vue i feel like i'm wearing my Uggs-total comfort-except my whole body feels it not just my feet lol. If i owned that Malibu i'd rather travel in Lorie's SL1-but if it were a 4-door car i wanted i'd have bought an Ion.
binkybaby is offline  
Old 04-18-2005, 11:14 PM   #15
Master Member
Dante is on a distinguished road
Dante's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 3,608

2004 VUE Red Line
2002 SL2
Default Re: Report: VUE road trip-Alabama to Colorado - long

In December we drove from DFW to Detroit and back over Christmas. Nearly two week long road trip, lots of winter clothes, presents, a PC for mom, my bigass sub box, man that thing was full, but it all fit. She did very well, and I got up to 28MPG with my AWD V6 when I did 70 or less. Great for long trips, love the heated seats and AWD!
Tupperware cars FTW!!!
Dante is offline  
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Road Trip Report 2.4 XE ted 2008 Vue 1 06-29-2008 05:15 PM
To take a new 08 vue on road trip or not? djturner 2008 Vue 6 08-15-2007 08:20 PM
first long road trip - good omens Taxman Ion General 19 06-07-2005 08:54 AM
VUE Road Trip ricksLS1 Vue General 0 02-03-2003 09:38 AM
VUE Road Trip DebsVUE Vue General 16 08-25-2002 02:42 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:55 PM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.