Review: Test Drive Saturn Vue Greenline

Discussion in 'GM' started by Pravus Prime, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. AshenGrey

    AshenGrey Well-Known Member

    The more I think about it the more I realize that the lack of a real-time FE gauge makes the Vue just about unusable for developing efficient driving techniques. What an oversight!
     
  2. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    A bandaid would be to plunk $169 for a ScanGage II at www.scangage.com, but don't you think many customers would just get something else that had a good dash like the FEH?
     
  3. AshenGrey

    AshenGrey Well-Known Member

    That, and I just can't see the average end-user knowing how to install new gages into their car/truck/van/whatever.

    Personally, I think EVERY vehicle should have a real-time FE gage. That way, people with fuel efficient vehicles can learn how to hypermile, while people with gas guzzlers can be reminded of their bad choice every minute of every drive!
     
  4. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    I got to drive a brand new VUE Green Line today with 125 miles on it. Also got to drive a 9 month old FEH fwd. Both cars owned by the same couple.

    So let me set this up. Story time!!!!

    The owner of the VGL showed up at my counter at work today just prior to lunch to pick up some parts. He owns a HVAC company. He was pissed off when he came thru the door. I noticed the new little SUV parked out front. He informed me that was what he was mad about. Its a brand new VGL!

    About two years ago he saw fuel cost eating up his business. Being a HVAC contractor and service company he had to do something about it. This Led him to get rid of there 3/4 ton Ford and GMC service vans. They were replaced with Frieghtliner vans with diesel engines. According to him this saved a lot of money right off the bat in fuel cost. And they are rated for 1 ton, which is what most of the 3/4 ton vans were hauling on a daily basics.

    He then had his service folks stop making parts runs and such. He mandated that he and his wife would do that in there Ford Explorers. The 4L Explorers drank gas. So he figured he would give a FEH a run for this job. Bought one 9 months ago and put it in service as a parts running/light hauling rig. It paided off. Right off the bat it got twice the mpg of the Explores.

    This intern led them to purchase a HAH for there weekend trips. Mostly hwy road work to Dallas, OKC, KC and such.

    So now we are back to the upset man at my counter and a VGL parked outside. Right off the bat he stated it was cheap junk and hes taking it back. And was sorry he didn't pay attention to the knot in his stomach when he test drove it before he wrote the check for it. I know this guy follows his gut a lot so that surprised me.

    I looked over the VGL and he looked over my 06 Civic EX Sedan and took it for a spin while I worked with another customer. We then went to lunch together to meet up with his wife. He told me I could drive the FEH and the VGL back to back. He would pick up the lunch tab. Count me in!

    So here we are with cooler minds and full belly's and I get to drive the VGL and FEH.

    VGL, white. Loaded up a bit. Owners words not mine. $24k OTD includes doc fee, and dest.
    FEH white. Loaded up a bit. Owners words not mine. $26k OTD includes doc fee, and dest.
    TT&L about $1k on the FEH and would be about $1k also on the VGL. The owners don't believe in tax rebates or relief for hybrids and haven't taken any if offered on there past two hybrid purchases.

    The FEH has 30k miles on it. ( 9 months of service )
    The VGL has 125 miles on it. ( 4 hours of service ) It had to be a dealer trade.

    Ive never driven a VGL or a FEH. I cant stand SUV's. But I cant pass this up.

    I give the VGL a walk around and jump in it. First thing I notice the door closes with a rattle clanky sound. Not a soild thud like my Accord or Civic.

    The dash has a very cheap look and feel to it. The seat has the typical weak GM seat back. I could tell I could bend the seat back in nothing flat.

    We hooked up and setup my SG-I and off we went. I got 22 mpg out of the car in 20 miles of combined freeway and city driving. Tulsa to be exact. It seemed to pull ok but raspy engine noise. It had more road noise than my Civic and there was constant lite wind noise above 30 mph. I only saw the green eco light once. I fas'ed it several times. The upholstery was typical cheap GM. There was nothing inspiring about the rig at all. Got back to the restaurant and opened the hood. The BAS looked just like I thought it would look like. A cheap after thought that looked like it came out of a JC Whitney flyer.

    Now on to the FEH. I like most of you have seen hundred's of Escapes. Nothing new here. A fast walk around shows nothing earth shattering. Close the door. Not a soild thud but much more stable.

    Hook up the SG-I and off we go. Nothing earth shattering about the inside of the FEH. Except is way better than the VGL's. The seats soild every things laided out well and all where it should be. The engine just hums along.

    I managed 30 mpg in the FEH driving the same route as I drove the VGL. The FEH had 30k on it in 9 months of hard work running parts for a HVAC company. The upholstery had held up well and the plastics were not all scratched up. The FEH did have a firmer ride than the VGL. Not near as much road noise and no wind noise to speak of.

    Anyway it became very clear in a hurry the VGL was no where near the class of auto the FEH was. It was like night and day between the two rigs.

    Open the hood on the FEH and you see a drive system with thought and first class engineering.

    As we parted ways today he and his wife were on there way back to the dealer to return the VGL and order another FEH. I called him just before I left work today and asked him how it went. The Saturn dealer was a gass and stated they wouldn't take it back, yada yada yada. At which time he handed the salesman his cell phone ringing in to his lawyer. The lawyer read the salesman the riot act and they left to order another FEH. He told me they got the same deal on another FEH and should have it in 3 weeks.

    Most that know me know Im not a GM fan. I keep giving them a chance. And they keep failing. None the less I walked away from the VGL with the feeling. GM has changed nothing. There MO is still cheap tawdry, after thought design and build. If you get the chance to drive the two back to back ,,, DO-IT!

    psy
     
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    ___I just finished watching this week’s installment of MotorWeek and I heard that the Saturn VUE Greenline long term test update will be aired next week. I checked the programming schedule and it appears to be on for Episode Title: 2614/Lincoln MKX. The PBS broadcast window begins December 8, 2006.

    “Long-Term Road Test Update: Porsche Boxster & Saturn Vue Green Line”

    ___It will be very interesting to hear their comments as they do beat the hell out of their cars for the 0 - 60, 60 - 0 and slalom tests but otherwise appear to drive them more normal then what we might see from C&D, MT, or AW.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     

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