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Hey guys! I'm new here and a new Vue owner. I've had a quite an experience with this purchase let me tell you lol. It's starts like this... After reading up on all my hybrid SUV options I decide the Vue GL was probably for me. I scoured review sites and found that the reviews are typically very good or very bad. One person states they get exactly the EPA estimated mileage, the next person says they get nowhere close. So I decide to go test drive one.
I went on Memorial Day and they were totally slammed. There was literally a waiting room full of people waiting for a salesman. So I grabbed one quickly and asked if I could just leave my Jetta for them to evaluate the next day and take one of the Vue's home on one of their overnight test drives and they agreed. I took a base model and immediately filled it up and drove it around, first in town and then on the highway. The car was a little rattley but otherwise good, and got 26 mpg!
So I went back Tuesday to make the deal. I got a fair price on my trade but they didn't have one equipped the way I wanted. They were getting some cars in on a dealer trade on Friday and there would be one coming. So we made the deal so I could get in on the promotional financing and I took a different Vue GL home while waiting for my new one to come in. Even though this Vue was fully loaded it had lots of "quirks." The passenger seat rocked, a lot of the interior trim pieces inside were loose, it had a high pitched wind noise coming from the top of the windshield in addition to the normal wind noise and the Auto lights didn't work. But after driving around for 3 days on highway and city streets (50/50) I averaged 29 mpg. Oh it also didn't rattle like the first one did.
I picked up my car Friday and drove it all over the place of course. This car had the same weird wind noise from the windshield but none of the other problems the last one did, however the brakes "slipped" sometimes when coming to a stop. I figured they hadn't been broken in yet? I drove this car the exact same way as the other 2, same weather, same roads, same "style" but I noticed the gas gauge plummeting after the first 50 miles. When I hit 150 miles it was at half a tank! I continued to drive it to about 250 miles when it went below a quarter of a tank and I filled it up. I had gotten 19 miles to the gallon!! I was in total shock. So I drove it up and down the flat interstate about 50 miles making sure the ECO light was on as much as possible and checked again... 21 mpg. I called the dealer a few days ago complaining and they're of course like "Oh it's just not broken in yet" blah blah, but the other 2 cars I had driven weren't broken in yet either. I recalled those earlier reviews I had read and continued searching for more. It seemed to me like some individual cars just aren't programmed right or something. Some people are obviously getting horrible mpg and I can tell you from this experience that there was no reason for mine to have been so low. It wasn't my "driving style" or road conditions, etc.
Luckily I'm still within the dealership's 30 day/1500 mile exchange policy so I brought the car in Tuesday and demanded to drive another Vue equipped like mine in hopes that if it was better I could do an even exchange on it. They of course wanted to just fix the car they sold me and I'm like fine fix it, then sell it to the next sucker lol. They obliged and happened to have another car exactly like mine, even the same color (grey). I took it home and have been driving it for 2 days now, same weather, same roads, and I got 30 mpg after 100 miles. Plus this one does not have that crazy windshield wind noise or the brake slippage. Oh and it's also not a rattletrap. The steering on this one is very tight compared to the last three. So I'll be going to the dealer tomorrow and hope they back up their exchange policy and let me keep this one.
But the moral of the story is, each car is an individual. Before you buy one of these see if they'll let you take it for an overnight test drive and drive the heck out of it the way you normally would and check your mileage. If it's not good try another. Some people do drive like maniacs but there is no other reason this car should get worse gas mileage than a midsized sedan like my Jetta. And from the reviews I've seen, it seems that Saturn can't "fix" these bad mileage cars and people are stuck with them. Check for rattles, the door panels rattle like crazy on some, and check for excessive wind noise from the windshield. Try before you buy, just because it's brand new doesn't mean it's perfect. Saturn really needs to work on its consistency IMO, I'm curious to see people's experiences with the 08 Vue. Wish me luck tomorrow!
Last edited by noteasybeinggreen; 06-08-2007 at 05:54 AM.
I recently test-drove three trim level Saturn Auras before eventually getting the TCH. Saturn build quality seemed all over the map. The hybrid was most comfortable and had the best ride, but had headliner buzzes front and rear, and seemed underpowered. The XE was the tightest of the bunch with no rattles or buzzes, but the ride seemed very bobbly, and the 4-speed AT needs a fifth speed in the middle. The XR was a powerhouse but along with having a much too stiff suspension, had a strange front suspension noise coming from the left front, and seemed to be sucking fuel hard.
The full federal tax credit was enticing on the hybrid, but I couldn't get past what appeared to me to be questionable build quality, that and known Saturn RDS (rapid depreciation syndrome).
Each car seemed to have decent sound insulation for the price. But paying the dealer to pull apart the front fascia to change a headlight bulb left me with little upside to look at. (This might be an Aura-only phenom.)
Well it's done, Vue #4 is ours. I must commend Saturn of Austin for being so cooperative with their exchange policy. They definitely wanted us to try and have the original one fixed but when they could see I wasn't going for it they didn't argue or try to put up road blocks. What I HOPE is that they try and fix the car before they sell it to someone else, but chances are they won't. I'm anxious to see what kind of mileage we get with regular driving now. I'm still convinced that some of these Vue GL's are misprogrammed or have some sort of similar problem that needs to be recalled. But since noone can pinpoint it they won't do anything about it.