Got to drive a VGL and FEH back to back today

  #1  
Old 11-20-2006, 07:13 PM
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Default Got to drive a VGL and FEH back to back today

I got to drive a brand new VUE Green Line today with 125 miles on it. Also got to drive a 9 month old FEH fwd. Both cars owned by the same couple.

So let me set this up. Story time!!!!

The owner of the VGL showed up at my counter at work today just prior to lunch to pick up some parts. He owns a HVAC company. He was pissed off when he came thru the door. I noticed the new little SUV parked out front. He informed me that was what he was mad about. Its a brand new VGL!

About two years ago he saw fuel cost eating up his business. Being a HVAC contractor and service company he had to do something about it. This Led him to get rid of there 3/4 ton Ford and GMC service vans. They were replaced with Frieghtliner vans with diesel engines. According to him this saved a lot of money right off the bat in fuel cost. And they are rated for 1 ton, which is what most of the 3/4 ton vans were hauling on a daily basics.

He then had his service folks stop making parts runs and such. He mandated that he and his wife would do that in there Ford Explorers. The 4L Explorers drank gas. So he figured he would give a FEH a run for this job. Bought one 9 months ago and put it in service as a parts running/light hauling rig. It paided off. Right off the bat it got twice the MPG of the Explores.

This intern led them to purchase a HAH for there weekend trips. Mostly hwy road work to Dallas, OKC, KC and such.

So now we are back to the upset man at my counter and a VGL parked outside. Right off the bat he stated it was cheap junk and hes taking it back. And was sorry he didn't pay attention to the knot in his stomach when he test drove it before he wrote the check for it. I know this guy follows his gut a lot so that surprised me.

I looked over the VGL and he looked over my 06 Civic EX Sedan and took it for a spin while I worked with another customer. We then went to lunch together to meet up with his wife. He told me I could drive the FEH and the VGL back to back. He would pick up the lunch tab. Count me in!

So here we are with cooler minds and full belly's and I get to drive the VGL and FEH.

VGL, white. Loaded up a bit. Owners words not mine. $24k OTD includes doc fee, and dest.
FEH white. Loaded up a bit. Owners words not mine. $26k OTD includes doc fee, and dest.
TT&L about $1k on the FEH and would be about $1k also on the VGL. The owners don't believe in tax rebates or relief for hybrids and haven't taken any if offered on there past two hybrid purchases.

The FEH has 30k miles on it. ( 9 months of service )
The VGL has 125 miles on it. ( 4 hours of service ) It had to be a dealer trade.

Ive never driven a VGL or a FEH . I cant stand SUV's. But I cant pass this up.

I give the VGL a walk around and jump in it. First thing I notice the door closes with a rattle clanky sound. Not a soild thud like my Accord or Civic.

The dash has a very cheap look and feel to it. The seat has the typical weak GM seat back. I could tell I could bend the seat back in nothing flat.

We hooked up and setup my SG-I and off we went. I got 22 MPG out of the car in 20 miles of combined freeway and city driving. Tulsa to be exact. It seemed to pull ok but raspy engine noise. It had more road noise than my Civic and there was constant lite wind noise above 30 mph. I only saw the green eco light once. I fas'ed it several times. The upholstery was typical cheap GM. There was nothing inspiring about the rig at all. Got back to the restaurant and opened the hood. The BAS looked just like I thought it would look like. A cheap after thought that looked like it came out of a JC Whitney flyer.

Now on to the FEH . I like most of you have seen hundred's of Escapes. Nothing new here. A fast walk around shows nothing earth shattering. Close the door. Not a soild thud but much more stable.

Hook up the SG-I and off we go. Nothing earth shattering about the inside of the FEH . Except is way better than the VGL's. The seats soild every things laided out well and all where it should be. The engine just hums along.

I managed 30 MPG in the FEH driving the same route as I drove the VGL. The FEH had 30k on it in 9 months of hard work running parts for a HVAC company. The upholstery had held up well and the plastics were not all scratched up. The FEH did have a firmer ride than the VGL. Not near as much road noise and no wind noise to speak of.

Anyway it became very clear in a hurry the VGL was no where near the class of auto the FEH was. It was like night and day between the two rigs.

Open the hood on the FEH and you see a drive system with thought and first class engineering.

As we parted ways today he and his wife were on there way back to the dealer to return the VGL and order another FEH . I called him just before I left work today and asked him how it went. The Saturn dealer was a gass and stated they wouldn't take it back, yada yada yada. At which time he handed the salesman his cell phone ringing in to his lawyer. The lawyer read the salesman the riot act and they left to order another FEH . He told me they got the same deal on another FEH and should have it in 3 weeks.

Most that know me know Im not a GM fan. I keep giving them a chance. And they keep failing. None the less I walked away from the VGL with the feeling. GM has changed nothing. There MO is still cheap tawdry, after thought design and build. If you get the chance to drive the two back to back ,,, DO-IT!

psy
 
  #2  
Old 11-20-2006, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: Got to drive a VGL and FEH back to back today

Heh. I'm surprised you only got 30 MPG with the FWD FEH, there's a lot of easy techniques to see around 40 MPGs with it. (Heck, when it's not cold here, I can get 36 MPG easy with my AWD FEH.)

As to the VUE, well, I drove it at Hybridfest, and what I have to say about it isn't kind. Strangely enough, as far as I'm aware, it's the only hybrid on the market that doesn't offer a real time FE display of any kind.
 
  #3  
Old 11-22-2006, 05:01 AM
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Default Re: Got to drive a VGL and FEH back to back today

Originally Posted by Pravus Prime View Post
it's the only hybrid on the market that doesn't offer a real time FE display of any kind.
ECOLAME, BABY!
 
  #4  
Old 11-25-2006, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: Got to drive a VGL and FEH back to back today

Why would the dealer take back the Vue? If the guy already bought it, he has to sell it.
 
  #5  
Old 11-25-2006, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Got to drive a VGL and FEH back to back today

Originally Posted by CGameProgrammer View Post
Why would the dealer take back the Vue? If the guy already bought it, he has to sell it.
You can take a car back up to 72 hrs after the paper work is signed here. Dealers don't like it and its not publicized. It is done.

I took a Subaru back once. The dealer didn't like the price I got. They called me in to redo the deal. Basically they wanted $1500 more out of me. There claim was it was required for the note. It wasn't. We called the loan co. and all was fine. I left the car and keys with them and drove my trade in off the lot with a new tranny and battery for free that I didn't auth to be put in. I could have kept the car and walked out with it. But since they wanted to run a game on me I left them with a car that had 500 miles on it.
 
  #6  
Old 11-27-2006, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: Got to drive a VGL and FEH back to back today

The law in most states give the buyer of a new car a 3 day "cool down" period. This is to ensure that you really did want to buy the car and were not buying out of impulse.

I don't know why the auto dealers have to do this, as there is no other industry that give it's buyers a second chance.

Also, I think the law states you have to compensate the dealer for any mileage you put on the car while in your posession.
 
  #7  
Old 03-05-2007, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: Got to drive a VGL and FEH back to back today

We did the same side by side test drive, though not with the same duration, and ended up with the same conclusions.

Back when we bout our original SL2, it was a solid car. Economical, weak seats, to be certain, but great mileage.

The VUE makes the 96 SL2 look like a work of art, even at 10 years old. Noisy, cheap, and loaded with poor engineering.

The FEH on the other hand, wonderful car, ended up plunking down the money for one fully loaded, with the price still coming in at 28k, considerably lower than the comparably equipped VUE (the dealership actually wanted to argue with me as to whether it could come with a roof rack), and we get much better performance to boot.

The back is a little cramped, but more than enough room for my three daughters, and while I wouldn't recommend the vehicle for moving a household, it is fine for vacation, especially with the roof rack installed.

Anyway, yeah, what he said!
 
  #8  
Old 03-05-2007, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: Got to drive a VGL and FEH back to back today

Originally Posted by memine View Post
The FEH on the other hand, wonderful car, ended up plunking down the money for one fully loaded, with the price still coming in at 28k, considerably lower than the comparably equipped VUE (the dealership actually wanted to argue with me as to whether it could come with a roof rack), and we get much better performance to boot.

Not really sure how that's possible, unless the Saturn dealer saw $100 bills falling out of your pockets. The VGL starts at $22995, with a loaded model coming in around $25k.

It's just not possible to find one priced "considerably higher" than $28k. The VGL and FEH are two very different machines, and while the FEH will likely deliver a little better mileage, there's no question that it will cost more than the VGL.
 
  #9  
Old 03-05-2007, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Got to drive a VGL and FEH back to back today

The dealership here in Columbia, wanted to show me a sticker of 26.8K, and another 3 g in title, taxes, and tags, and that left out half of the features I wanted.

Walked out with the FEH, at 28k including t^3, and with every feature I wanted, and a true spare tire to boot...
 
  #10  
Old 03-07-2007, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: Got to drive a VGL and FEH back to back today

Originally Posted by ag4ever View Post
The law in most states give the buyer of a new car a 3 day "cool down" period. This is to ensure that you really did want to buy the car and were not buying out of impulse.

I don't know why the auto dealers have to do this, as there is no other industry that give it's buyers a second chance.

Also, I think the law states you have to compensate the dealer for any mileage you put on the car while in your posession.
It was probably passed after several stories were in the press of high pressure sales tactics used by car dealers... so their was an uproar and the government protects us from ourselves again.

Not that outlawing certain sales tactics is a bad thing.
 

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