Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: Unique construction... and filtered fresh air vent.
Cons: Small center console.
Advice: Get the V6 ... and be prepaired to have this vehicle a long time!I test drove a Saturn VUE with my daughter who just graduated from college.. she uses me to evaluate the construction of vehicles since I've maintained all our cars for the last 30 years... How does the VUE compair? Very well... in fact superior... the construction is unique and very good... it's built more like a race car than the typical auto... the galvanized frame and no dent... long lasting easy to replace exterior panels are similar to the construction of a race car... they come painted and just bolt on.... insurance is discounted because of it's construction... it's easy to repair. The body on frame construction make the ride more like a full size vehicle .. smooth and quiet... the V6 is very responsive.... I personnally think it is the best small SUV on the market... built to last ... that's what I like the most because I have to do the maintenance ... I don't like cars that rust after the first 5 or 6 years... The styling is clean and the construction is the best.
Pros: The engine is nice ... and the flow through filtered vent.
Cons: Colors are limited ...
Advice: You have to put the VUE on the list ... it is unique.The VUE is a unique vehicle ... I didn't realize this until, while looking for a car for my daughter, we test drove one a week ago. The flow through filtered ventilation system works very well... the deisel vehicle in front of you doesn't stink up your car. The galvanized steel frame with poly side panels will not rust or ding ... my car now has many dings .. the engine runs really well smooth, powerful and quiet... the suspension is very quiet and smooth ... I own a larger vehicle that isn't as smooth or quiet .. this was a surprize to me. I would say that anyone considering a SUV to drive one.. they are very nice... and built very sturdy.
Pros: AWD -- handling snow and ice; vehicle size; entry height; turning radius; impact resistant body panels
Cons: Sunvisors; window switches; lack of AWD control; lack of driver's area storage
Advice: Has its short-comings, but overall a good value if you NEED an all-weather vehicle.Bought 2 Vues at the same time (for my wife and me). Both have V-6s and ABS. Almost bought a Subaru, before looking at the Vue. I am impressed with the car's ability to handle snow and ice, even on moderately steep hills. The V-6 has plenty of power, but I am disappointed with the MPG (I have usually been able to get more than the advertised MPG on a car, but I am coming up very short on the Vue). However, the MPG is still fair considering it is an AWD SUV. My wife's car had no factory defects. Mine had 3: 1) an engine mount bolt was only finger tight, allowing the engine to move around; 2) the drive shaft had to be replaced due to being out of balance and causing a vibration; 3) the instrument cluster had a large scratch across the lens. All defects have been rectified. The sunvisors are so short, that they are WORTHLESS when flipped to the side to block the sun -- don't even bother! The operation of the control knobs (especially climate control temperature) feels very, very cheap. Likewise, the door panels look cheap, and sound cheap when closing the door. There is not enough storage space, or 'cubby holes' in the front seat area for storing daily use items, but I like the pop-up storage bin in the cargo area. I like the low step-in height and low center of gravity. I hate the placement of the window control switches (a 'Saturn trademark' I was told by the salesman). The placement of the window switches are more than just untraditional, they are illogical. I've had the car 6 months, and still fumble looking for the switch where it OUGHT TO BE! Can't get use to them. I have read reviews that are critical of the feel of the electric power steering at low speeds -- I disagree; it feels fine. Good parking-lot-friendly turning radius. Love the parking-lot-friendly plastic (impact resistant) body panels. I strongly wish there was a manual overide to lock-in the AWD. This is minor, but I like the 75/25 fold down rear seat in the Vue, instead of the 60/40 that other car makers use. I also like the fact that rear seat actually 'locks' in the down position, rather than just laying down. This allows a real use of the tie-down anchors in the cargo area. The car DEFINITELY has its short-comings, but we specifically bought these vehicles for the purpose of handling the bad weather. This has been a bad winter for us, and for this task, they have performed well, and are a good value (compared to other SUVs in its class).
Pros: Surprisingly powerful 4 cylinder engine
Cons: The seat cushions are a bit short for me on long trips, electric power steering is a bit vague on center
Advice: If you're looking for value, buy the VUE 4 with sport packageI've found that the VUE handles very well and the 4 cylinder is more than powerful enough for my needs. 5 speed shifts well. Interior well set up, very useful package tray in back, controls are right where I need them. Lots of room in back seats. Great CD player. Few complaints, I'm tall, so seat cushion a bit short for me..but only noticed this about 9 hrs into a 12 hour trip, & steering is a bit vague on center. Was going thru a divorce, so price was important. VUE with the sport package (power windows, mirrors, locks, cruise, air, 6 spkr CD, alloy wheels, auto dim mirror) was about the best value out there, & 0 down, 0% interest sold it for me. Very well put together, excellent paint, quality surprised me, just a couple of occasional squeaks from dashboard. Getting close to 30 mpg on hwy. I'd recommend it without reservation.
Pros: FWD V6
Cons: Moving from a 7 passenger mini-van to a 5 passenger car/suv
Advice: Make a list of your top three vehicles and drive the Saturn last, it will be the one you choose!Before we test drove the Vue we drove the new Mitsubishi Outlander. We also looked closely at the Hyundai Santa Fe. We found that the Vue surpassed both of the other vehicles in driving performance, comfort, appearance and price. Coupled with Saturn's reputation for service we found it to be just what we were looking for. We also drove the Vue in FWD 4 Cyl. and it was a good vehicle as well, but we wanted the additional power. The VST was very interesting as it moved smoothly from gear to gear. If you are in Washington State, go to Renton Saturn!
Cons: none found yet...
Advice: Drive itThis Vue is better than our expectations. After we read about the noisy and powerless performance of the 2002 Vue, we entered with some aprehension. We couldn't believe the vehicle was this quiet and had as much zip as the ones we had read about. They must have done some reworking for this model year. We are very pleased with our decision and are happy to be new owners of our 2003 fwd 4, automatic. We are returning Saturn buyers after having great experiances with our first 93 SL2 Saturn. We like the ease of entry, high seating position and comfortable ride of the VUE. Safety and positive dealership experiance brought us back. If you're considering a VUE, take it for drive, compare other makers and don't believe everything you read.
Pros: VTi transmission
Cons: Electric assisted power steering can make steering a little too easy at times
Advice: If you want a practical car that fun to drive and uniqueThere are so many things to love about the Vue that it's hard to list them all! The Vue handles very well and the ride is smooth. I really like the visibility--you feel as if you have a big picture window to the outside world (unlike many other SUV's we test-drove) The VTi transmission works extremely well. I am always surprised how much power the small (2.2L) 4 cyclinder engine puts out. Hills and passing lanes are no problem for the Vue. Finally, I love the room! You'd think being a Saturn that you were getting into a small car. But in reality, it has plenty of room for 5 adults to fit comfortably. I think Saturn has a winning combination!