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Car Tech Video: Saturn Vue Green Line
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Car Tech Video: Saturn Vue Green Line

3:14 /

GM deserves kudos for its first hybrid SUV. It won't break any performance records, and its hybrid system could use some refinement, but the Saturn Vue Green Line is a decent combination of form and function for the price.

>> If you only have 22 some odd to spend on a car, can you get a hybrid and an SUV? You sure can, right here in the Saturn View Greenline. [ music ] Now the main thing with the Saturn View Hybrid Greenline is that A it's green. It's the hybrid version of this mini crossover SUV and B it's cheap. It's the cheapest hybrid SUV anywhere. Around 22,000 dollars. That's inexpensive. Now before we get to the hybrid technology, let's check out some other tech in the cabin. There's not a whole lot of it, but there's a little. First of all, every one of these guys has an auxiliary input jack on the stereo system, whether you get the base or the upgraded system. I like that. AUX jacks are very smart and we're happy to see that. You can also option up XM Satellite Radio on this car, it's a GM product of course, so XM only. Our vehicle didn't have that, but we've seen that before. Audio system is an in dash 6 disk CD, CD plus MP3, so store bought CD's or the MP3 you make at home. No WMA and overall the system is a very commonly seen GM piece. Now let's move on to the hybrid technology that first appears in the cabin before we get to the engine. You've gotta charge assist meter over here. That's pretty common on hybrids. It tells you if you are discharging or charging the battery pack. Are you using juice or are you putting it back in the battery? They live in the very back by the way. And then on the tachometer is another interesting indication. Auto stop and off. When was the last time you saw that at the bottom of your rev range. Because this car has auto stop technology. When you come to a stop for more than a couple of seconds, the engine's gonna shut down and then the electric motor restarts the car in a fraction of a second. We see it in a number of hybrids. This car implements that technology. The one time it will not shut down the engine at a stop is if you wanna keep the air conditioning running at all times. To do that, you either engage or disengage this economy AC button right here. And if you tell it you want AC to stay, it'll keep the engine running at stops. Otherwise it's gonna shut down. So much for the hybrid technology in the cabin. Let's go where it really lives, under the hood. Now the Saturn View Greenline Hybrid is what's called a mild hybrid. It has an electric motor in there that helps out a scrawny gas engine. Here's the scrawny gas engine. 2.4 liter, inline 416 valve, 170 horse, 160 foot pounds of torque. Nothing to write home about. The electric motor adds 115 pounds of torque. Now we're talking about moving this vehicle smartly around town. We found that it was very good at getting up out of it's own way. Doesn't feel bulky at all, despite having an underpowered gas engine. That's why the hybrid magic works. In the end, 27/32 are the MPG ratings. Very nice. Here's the electric motor. Right down there. It looks like an alternator cause it kind of is but it runs in two modes. That's also the device that restarts the engine after you've come to a stop and as you can see, it's got a rubber belt there that heads down, down to the crank and that's how it provides the additional power. It is not integrated into the transmission like a more sophisticated hybrid might be. Okay, so a real simple hybrid, keeping it cheap. Base price, 22,995. Okay, it's really 23, 650 more for that upgraded audio system. Another 6 or 7 for transportation charges, 24,300 out the door. ^M00:03:09 [ music ]

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