What makes the Saturn Vue Hybrid different ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: What makes the Saturn Vue Hybrid different

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What makes the Saturn Vue Hybrid different

Autoweek has a review of the Saturn Vue Hybrid (the Vue Green Line) that differentiates the difference between the Saturn Vue Hybrid from other hybrids and from the conventional (gas-only) Saturn Vue.

For the most part, what makes the Saturn Vue a hybrid is different from other car makers. Its a step up from GMs previous 'hybrid', which basically used a start stop motor (see GMs pickup hybrids). GM was roundly criticized for calling those pickups hybrids, but the Saturn VUE hybrid is different. What they've created now is an assist hybrid rather than a full hybrid.

The alternator/starter motor is connected to the engine crankshaft via a toothed belt, that allows it to act as a generator (to the battery) or as a motor to assist the gas engine. This allows the gas engine to get more for less. And by keeping the electric part of the hybrid engine simple, Saturn (GM) can offer the hybrid version of the VUE for only $1,500 more than the basic package.

The EPA rates the Vue hybrid at 27/32 mpg. In real world testing (according to the article it was done by Automotive Marketing Consultants Inc.) shows the Vue hybrid gets 29.7 mpg.

You won't get all the frills, including computer readouts of your current mpg or any of the other luxuries you might expect from a hybrid. What you do get, is the lower price tag. Coming in at $7,000 less than the Ford Escape Hybrid, the Saturn is going to provide a cheaper alternate to those who want to go 'green' in an SUV, but can't afford to pay the premium for it.

Otherwise, the hybrid Vue is not a lot different than the conventional Vue. According to reviewers, the engine runs quieter than the base Vue, and the transition from gas-only to electric assist is very smooth.

Silent Savings - AutoWeek

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