The Saturn Vue Green Line is hot. Touch the accelerator pedal and it feels more like a sports car than a sport-ute.
This hybrid has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower. But it weighs less than 3,500 pounds. It's the electric energy stored in the batteries that allows this crossover vehicle to quickly get up to speed. Because of the fuel efficiency, there is no doubt that hybrid engines are the wave of the future.
After the electric motor provides the initial acceleration, the gasoline engine kicks in and takes over. As a result, the Vue Green Line has an EPA mileage rating of 25 city and 32 highway.
By the way, all the hybrid engine components are covered by warranty for eight years or 100,000 miles.
This technology doesn't cost an arm and a leg either. The total price of my tester was $24,795, and it came with a load of desirable features. Many of those features deal with safety and security.
The Vue has been given a four-star rating for driver side frontal crash and five-star for the front passenger. In side-impact crash testing, the Vue is rated with five stars. One reason the Vue gets high marks in safety is the head curtain side airbags and the side thorax airbags.
The 2008 Vue has StabiliTrak and includes anti-lock brakes. Naturally, it has the passenger seat sensing system, traction control, daytime running lamps and automatic headlamps. It also features remote keyless entry and theft deterrent systems, plus battery rundown protection.
The interior is attractive and enjoyable. It has an auto electronic climate control and a rear window defroster. There are radio controls on the steering wheel along with cruise control. The front passenger seat folds flat to accommodate transporting long object such as a rolled up rug, fishing rods or skis.
The Saturn comes standard with power door locks and windows with express down for the driver's window. The AM/FM/CD and MP3 player are mated to a six-speaker system, great for listening to XM Satellite Radio.
EPA fuel economy: City: 25, Highway: 32