2008 Saturn VUE Review

2008 Saturn Vue XR When you look at the 2008 Saturn VUE, you’re likely to say “Golly, that looks an awful lot like the new Honda CR-V.”  And dag-nabit you’d be right, the new Vue looks far more like the CR-V than it does the old Vue.  And, truth be told, that’s not a terrible thing.  Honda sells tons of their funky CR-V, so it’s a good vehicle to imitate.

The 2008 Vue is available with 3 different engines – a wheezy 4 cylinder, a decent 3.5 liter V6, and a powerful 3.6 liter V6.  For some reason Saturn, along with nearly all American brands, feels the need to offer several different V6 engines.  Notice that no major Japanese brands offer multiple V6’s in the same vehicle.  If there are two engines, it’s a 4 cylinder and a V6.  No second V6, it simply adds confusion.

On the base 2008 Vue, Saturn cheaped out and stuck with the ancient 4 speed slushbox.  Once again Saturn, it’s 2007, and 4 speed automatics are not acceptable anymore on a vehicle costing more than about $9,000.  5 speeds is the minimum, with a strong preference towards six.  Fortunately, Saturn did drop the 6 speed automatic into all of their V6 models, including the XE, XR and Redline.  On the V6’s, you also have your choice of FWD or AWD. 

There is no Green Line Hybrid Vue yet, though hopefully one will make an appearance soon, with an updated hybrid system to go along with it’s newly found good looks.

2008 Saturn VUE Specs
  • 164 HP 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine
  • 222 HP 3.5 liter V6 ( XE trim )
  • 257 HP 3.6 liter V6 ( XR & Redline trim )
  • FWD or available AWD
  • 4 speed automatic transmission
  • 6 speed automatic on XE, XR, and Redline trims 
  • Side and curtain airbags standard
  • 4 wheel ABS standard
2008 Saturn VUE Reviews

Cars.com reviews the 2008 Saturn VUE and writes – ‘Cars.com senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder found that our XR V-6 didn’t snap back to center very well after turns, and it had dramatic torque steer. Many front-drive cars with any torque to speak of exhibit this, but nowadays most of them keep the vehicle going straight despite some wobble in the steering wheel, sometimes through the use of traction control. Under hard acceleration, our Vue’s steering consistently jerked to the side and stayed off-center, inducing a sustained turn. We’ll keep an open mind because this was an early production model. If you experience this — or don’t — drop us an email.’

Autobytel reviews the 2008 Saturn VUE and writes – ‘Forget everything you know about the Vue, from its dumpy shape to the ill-fitting plastic body panels. The 2008 Vue is based on a European-designed model from Opel called the Antera. It is altered only slightly inside and out, mostly to accommodate Saturn badges on the exterior and GM’s standard American switchgear inside. The Vue itself is the first of a new line of truly global products from General Motors. The basic platform will eventually replace the Chevrolet Equinox and Pontiac Torrent (hooray!), and much of the work was spread between GM’s North American, European and Korean divisions.’

The Car Connection reviews the 2008 Saturn VUE and writes – ‘GM has not been known for its interiors, at least not in recent years, but Saturn has been pushing the proverbial envelope with new offerings, such as the Aura sedan and, now, with the Vue. Our XR boasted a two-tone finish, with gray leather seats matching the bottom of the door panels. Most materials, dash and door alike, were soft touch, an unexpectedly upscale detail. Better yet, the design department has effectively banished that cheesy black plastic that cheapens even some high-line GM products in favor of a satin gray stack and matte chrome details around vents and gauges.’

Detroit News reviews the 2008 Saturn VUE and writes – ‘The new Vue’s exterior is more innocuous than decisive. It looks nice, but it looks like everything else. If you want something that stands out, go elsewhere. That’s not a negative comment, nice and inoffensive seems to be exactly what many consumers want. Everything on the exterior is thought out and precise. Things like the dual chrome-tipped exhaust pipes, the front fender moldings with a turn indicator mounted in it, and the roof rack are nice touches.’

Motor Trend reviews the 2008 Saturn VUE and writes – ‘So how’s it feel? The loaded XR AWD Vue sampled here represents a quantum leap in refinement, but tips the scales at over 4300 pounds. That makes it feel sluggish off the line (blame tall economy-minded gearing) and less than nimble at the helm, though body control and overall performance are admirable. Our tester weighs almost 600 pounds more than a RAV4 Sport V6 4WD and 100 pounds more than a Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD-two competitors that offer third-row seating and carry 16-20 cubes more cargo. Another unflattering fact: Most dimensions measure larger outside but smaller inside than the key rivals’-of course, that’s when measured before hitting the wall.’

Published on June 12, 2007 in Saturn

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