For 25 years, General Motors’ Saturn was known for being very ambitious. Perhaps too ambitious, critics said. However, it has proved during those times that it is, as its marketing line reads, “a different car company.” Independent from its parent company, the Saturn Corporation did its best to rival the success of Japanese brands in the United States. The Saturn Vue was one of those products that boosted the company into prominence. Although it was hailed as one of the company’s endearing products, the financial trouble GM had forced the parent company to halt Saturn production. Still, it is fondly remembered as a compact crossover SUV that dreamed a dream.
2002: Home-grown and Proud
The Saturn Vue was introduced in 2002 as its first compact crossover SUV, positioning itself as a contender among the likes of the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and Mazda Tribute. It was the first vehicle to use General Motors’ Theta Platform. The design used a four wheel independent suspension, which makes each wheel move vertically without affecting the other wheels. This made the Saturn Vue as provide a much more comfortable ride with improved handling. It drove smoother on uneven roads due to only the wheel affected each bump would move.
2004: The Red Line
A high-performance version of the Saturn Vue arrived in 2004 under the name, “Red Line.” This iteration had a sportier suspension tuning and a unique power steering calibration. Its The car itself was lowered 1 inch, had 18’ allow wheels, ground-effect bumpers, a chrome exhaust tip, and a leather and suede interior. This gave the Saturn Vue a visually stunning look, as well as a better street performance.
2007: The Green Line
The Saturn Vue went on a more environmental-friendly path when they the company released the “Green Line” Model in 2007. It is a “mild hybrid” system, using GM’s unique BAS Hybrid system. This is defined by having an electric motor connected to the crankshaft and a modified transmission. This is done to assist the vehicle when starting and accelerating. The system also stores braking energy, which helps with its goal of fuel economy. Throughout its run, the Saturn Vue Green Line showcases consistent 20 percent fuel savings.
In 2008, the second generation of the Saturn Vue was derived from badge engineering the Opel Antara, in order to accommodate cater to the American market. The “Red Line” and “Green Line” trims are kept. Unfortunately, General Motors went through a financial crisis and as a result, the Saturn line of cars were was stopped. Even so, it had a good run being one of the most affordable car companies in America, and the Saturn Vue is proof of that.