Saturn VUE Gas-Electric Hybrid

The word hybrid used to mean something along the lines of mutant. A hybrid rose was something that, well, just shouldn’t be. But is. Today the word hybrid is, of course, the premiere buzzword in the auto industry. In fact, hybrid is such a buzz word that it is actually become a generic term that encompasses a wide variety of realities. In fact, there is no such thing as a generic “hybrid” vehicle. Nearly every hybrid automaker manufactures their vehicle at least slightly differently the rest. Despite this, you can’t be scared of jumping into the world of hybrid vehicles; this is no time to be wary. Before too much longer, the hybrid vehicle will be almost as omnipresent as the SUV. Your time for cashing in on the cool cache of driving a hybrid is quickly running out; 2006 may be the year you can still get any trend points out of it. Always on top of trends, Saturn is ready to go with it Vue Green Line.

Saturn is rocketing into the hybrid galaxy with the gas-electric 2007 VUE, the first vehicle to make use of GM’s belt alternator start systems. Despite the main selling point of hybrids being the savings you get because of the improved mileage, the Vue is actually estimated to get only slightly better gas mileage than its non-hybrid counterparts. For instance, Saturn estimates the Vue will come down around 27/32 mpg whereas the 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid posts 36/31 mpg figures. As you might imagine, Saturn has found a way to make bricks out of this mud and straw: the company is trumpeting the VUE Green Line’s affordability over similar hybrid vehicles. The VUE Green Line should carry a premium price that is only $1500 above the price of comparable non-hybrid models.

Another way in which Saturn’s hybrid differs from others is through its investment in a not so complex, but slightly more flexible acceleration design that pledges better fuel economy through engine shutdown when the vehicle stops and a faster restarting of the engine upon the brake being released. That’s the promise, anyway, and I’m really pulling for it. Another promise Saturn is making meant to lift the Vue above the pack lies in the battery charging process, which has been designed to take place when it is at peak efficiency. The car makes use of an electric motor as well as a nickel-metal hydride battery pack to supplement the engine; because of this, it can run solely on its electric power for only a few seconds. The reason for the curtailed electric running time is because the hybrid system has been designed mainly as a supplement to the gasoline engine. In other words, the electricity is not there to propel the vehicle, but instead to provide a burst of acceleration for such things as passing.

The prime selling point of the engine of the Saturn VUE Green Line is the 2.4 liter hybrid power train that pulls 170 horses and you don’t even have to worry about cleaning up any poop. In addition, the VUE is designed with automatic functionality in mind. For instance, when the vehicle comes to a stop, a climate control mechanism kicks into gear. In addition, the Saturn VUE Hybrid will also provide the driver with dual selection capability offering a choice between a fuel economy selection that limits air conditioning, and a comfort selection that allows full blowing air as well as defogging.

The hybrid model basically takes up the design of the gas-based Saturn Vue line, retaining most of the exterior style, except for a small alteration to the grille. And in order to further improve the resistance to rolling that is an unfortunate by-product of the SUV design in general, the hybrid VUE has changed the choice of tire. Finally, perhaps the biggest difference in the Saturn Vue Green Line from other models is that it will be the first to the market available only in front wheel drive. The scuttlebutt is that there is never going to be an all- or four-wheel drive models to go along with the front-wheel drive model.

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