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Published Apr 26th 2007, 11:06pm by Jody DeVere in Pressroom Articles

Go Green Without Going Broke


POSTED: Thursday, April 26, 2007

Satunvue 2007 Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid

With great anticipation and excitement I start a week long test drive of the Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid today! I was pacing the floor this morning waiting for delivery from GM Saturn and behold !, they delivered a Green car for a Green test drive around noon!

Here is the skinny on the
Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid :

The 2007 Saturn Vue Green Line hybrid combines the best highway fuel economy of any sport utility with the lowest price of any hybrid SUV on the market.

The vehicle will carry an EPA fuel economy rating of 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. That equates a 20 percent improvement in fuel economy compared to a non-hybrid Vue, depending on driving conditions.

The impressive fuel savings comes from a new, more affordable hybrid system that costs under $2,000, bringing the manufacturer’s suggested retail price to $22,995.

“The Vue Green Line is the lowest-cost hybrid-powered SUV in the market,” said Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak. “Its lower price allows us to offer the fuel-saving benefits of hybrids to a wider group of customers.”

The Vue Green Line uses sophisticated controls and a unique electric motor/generator mated to a 2.4L VVT four-cylinder engine and 4T45-E four-speed transmission. It is a simple and flexible hybrid design that provides additional power from the motor/generator during acceleration and allows increased fuel economy through engine shut-off at idle, fuel cut-off during deceleration and the capability to capture electrical energy through regenerative braking.

“As Saturn continues an aggressive product lineup expansion, a hybrid version of the popular Vue is a natural addition,” said Lajdziak. “The Vue Green Line strengthens our position as an environmentally aware brand that provides great value – an attribute that has always appealed to Saturn customers.”

Along with the Vue Green Line, Saturn will introduce the Sky roadster, Aura midsize sedan and Outlook crossover utility vehicle during 2006. A hybrid-powered version of the Aura will arrive in 2007.

Fuel-saving performance
Vue Green Line’s innovative 2.4-liter hybrid powertrain is rated at 170 horsepower (127 kw), a powerful increase from the 143 hp provided by the 2.2-liter engine in the conventional four-cylinder Vue. This maintains the vehicle’s sporty feel, with acceleration better or equal to many non-hybrid SUVs.

The Vue’s hybrid system reduces fuel consumption by:

• Shutting off the engine when the vehicle is stopped, to minimize idling
• Restarting the engine promptly when the brake pedal is released
• Enabling early fuel shut-off during vehicle deceleration
• Capturing vehicle kinetic energy during deceleration (regenerative braking) to charge an advanced nickel metal hydride battery
• Performing intelligent battery charging when it is most efficient
• Additionally, the system provides additional power from the electric motor/generator during launch, when required. At wide-open throttle, such as during a passing maneuver, the system improves acceleration feel by using the motor/generator to bolster the gasoline engine to achieve maximum power.

The new hybrid system also is designed to automatically maintain full accessory functionality, including climate control, when the vehicle is stopped, so that hybrid operation is transparent to the driver and passengers. The vehicle allows a balance between fuel economy and comfort by providing two driver-selectable climate control settings. An economy mode favors fuel economy by limiting the affect of air conditioning, while the other mode favors maximum passenger comfort and defogging performance.

Total package
In addition to its hybrid powertrain, the Vue Green Line also features several standard upgrades, including antilock brakes with traction control, 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome-finish skid plates, body-color door handles and exterior mirrors, bright side moldings and a rear spoiler. Unique instrumentation provides hybrid system information, including a gauge that indicates power flow to and from the hybrid system and a “eco” light that illuminates when instant fuel economy is meeting or exceeding the EPA estimate.

The Vue Green Line also features all of the refinement of the conventionally powered Vue, which was restyled for 2006 with distinctive exterior appointments and a more refined interior. As with all Vues, the Green Line model offers standard power convenience package (windows, door locks and exterior mirrors), remote keyless entry, fold-flat front passenger seatback and rear cargo organizer. All Saturn vehicles also come equipped with OnStar and a one-year subscription to the Safe and Sound service plan.

I plan to take her out this weekend for a road trip in Southern California and will let you know next week my thoughts on her performance!

Jody DeVere


See article here.  

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