The Saturn VUE compact SUV is now available with a hybrid power system. The model, called the VUE Green Line, offers a 20-percent improvement in fuel economy over that of the base four-cylinder model.

In a series-hybrid system, the internal combustion engine runs all the time, with the electric motor boosting power when extra acceleration is needed. This way, a four-cylinder engine can be used, with acceleration equal to models equipped with a larger four- or even six-cylinder engine.

The VUE’s hybrid system reduces fuel consumption by:

  • Shutting off the engine when the vehicle is stopped to minimize idling.
  • Restarting the engine immediately when the brake pedal is released.
  • Enabling early fuel shut-off during vehicle deceleration.
  • Capturing vehicle kinetic energy during deceleration (regenerative braking) to charge its advanced nickel metal hydride battery.
  • Performing intelligent battery charging when most efficient.

    The system provides additional power from the electric motor/generator during launch, when required. At wide-open throttle, such as during a passing maneuver, the system improves acceleration by using the motor/generator to bolster the gasoline engine to achieve maximum power.

    The new hybrid system also is designed to automatically maintain full accessory functionality, including climate control when the vehicle is stopped, so that hybrid operation is transparent to the driver and passengers.

    The VUE hybrid allows an appropriate balance between fuel economy and comfort by providing a system with two driver-selectable operating modes. An economy mode favors fuel economy by limiting the effect of air conditioning, while the other mode favors maximum passenger comfort and defogging performance.

    The VUE is equipped with an advanced electric power steering system for precise steering at lower speeds. Four-wheel independent suspension is a key to VUE’s controlled ride and responsive handling over a wide range of surfaces.

    Upgraded Comfort and Convenience
    VUE’s interior was reworked in the 2006-model year for more refinement and functionality, with a clean, contemporary look. The interior includes a number of clutter-fighting storage solutions, such as a rear cargo organizer that flips up to hold grocery bag-size cargo, and side-storage bins.

    The interior balances style, space, and versatility with room for five people plus 30.8 cubic feet of cargo space. With the 70/30 split second-row seat folded flat, cargo area volume increases to 63.8 cubic feet. The front passenger seatback also folds flat to help transport long items such as bed rails or an 8-foot ladder.

    A Power Package is standard on all VUE models. It includes cruise control; power windows, door locks, and mirrors; remote keyless entry; and the Saturn Security System. The standard auto-dimming inside rearview mirror includes a compass and outside temperature display.

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