Well, now below 23 average... - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars

Well, now below 23 average...

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  #1  
Old 04-29-2007, 07:54 PM
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Default Well, now below 23 average...

So, after 7500 miles, we're averaging under 23 MPG. We regularly get under 20 in commute suburban driving. My considered opinion: the Green Line is a worthless 'hybrid' and probably the last Saturn we'll be buying (after 3 in the past, that did exactly what was claimed, so imagine how disappointed we feel). Barely better than the VUE v6 AWD we traded in. We've given it a fair shake, it's driven gently, and it's 'broken in' - it just doesn't perform.

As to the 28+ crowd, I have no doubt you get the MPG's you report but I suspect it's your commute and driving like a monk that's doing it not the BAS - my guess is you'd be reporting really great MPG's whatever you drive, which is great, it's just not the technology.

So bottom line, if you drive normally on short commutes (we're no racers), don't buy this car. Wait till there's a choice of plug in hybrids.

Oh, well, I guess we learned the hard way. As to any GM apologists out there, yes, we did as much due diligence as possible, and if anyone thinks this performance is OK, then I would suggest you've got rather low expectations. GM is on the slippery slope down if they spend their money on brochure engineering rather than the real thing.

Don't bother flaming me - just look at the stats - they speak for themselves.
 

Last edited by OurGL; 04-29-2007 at 10:55 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2007, 08:43 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Leominster, MA
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Default Re: Well, now below 23 average...

You have every right to be upset. Saturn hyped up the greenline, and your experiences aren't uncommon. You can get decent mileage out of the VUE, but it realy isn't the technology that is giving it to you.

Pump up those tires, accelerate slowly from a start and you might be able to get the BAS system to help a little.

Lots of us have higher hopes for GMs 2mode hybrid system if it ever comes out.

One of the other moderators here gave his impression in this link Saturn Vue greenline hybrid first impression over at cleanmpg.com.
 

Last edited by Pravus Prime; 04-29-2007 at 09:19 PM.
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  #3  
Old 05-01-2007, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: Well, now below 23 average...

Many have responded to you that most GL owner's driving style / commute is the norm and not the exception, as you suggest, so I'll just keep that to a minimum.

I have to point out to others that your last tank, updated 4/29, was 17.5 mpg. You're right, that's horrible mileage. But in the notes section, you stated that this tank was 90% highway driving!!! Perhaps that was a mistake, but if that's true, it's just about impossible--in ANY car of this size, hybrid or not. That's a full 14.5 mpg LOWER than the EPA estimate. You truly have to try VERY hard to achieve that kind of dismal result.

This is again why I try to point out that your particular car, or some combination of your commute and driving style is leading to this result. It is NOT the norm for the GL, and if Saturn was able to produce decent MPG when it was in their hands, there is little left to blame when it comes to the car.
 
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  #4  
Old 05-01-2007, 09:31 AM
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Default Re: Well, now below 23 average...

To OurGL: From previous posts we both suspected that your Hybrid Vue BAS system was not kicking in properly and the numbers just don't lie. I think you got a malfunction - misprogrammed Hybrid - which is unfortunate.

In addition I would be the first to say that GM's BAS system does not compare to a full hybrid. However, at $5000 less than a Ford Escape and $10,000 less than the Toyota Highlander - you do get what you pay for. As my decision was particially based upon finances, I am sure the lower price tag was attractive to many of us Saturn Hybrid owners.

You are right - I would get good gas mileage no matter what I drove. However, I would not be pulling the mpg's I have been unless there was something to the BAS system. Even when I floored my Hybrid over the mountains 75+mph in late December I was still pulling 25mpg.

Keep us posted if you do decide to purchase a different vechicle as I would be interested in getting your thoughts and numbers on the new ride.

By the way, if you are ever in Maryland - let me know and I will let you take my Hybrid Vue out for a drive. (FYI - my wife has not even driven my Hybrid yet.)
 
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  #5  
Old 05-01-2007, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: Well, now below 23 average...

Originally Posted by phil94 View Post
I have to point out to others that your last tank, updated 4/29, was 17.5 mpg. You're right, that's horrible mileage. But in the notes section, you stated that this tank was 90% highway driving!!! Perhaps that was a mistake, but if that's true, it's just about impossible--in ANY car of this size, hybrid or not. That's a full 14.5 mpg LOWER than the EPA estimate. You truly have to try VERY hard to achieve that kind of dismal result.

This is again why I try to point out that your particular car, or some combination of your commute and driving style is leading to this result. It is NOT the norm for the GL, and if Saturn was able to produce decent MPG when it was in their hands, there is little left to blame when it comes to the car.
You're right - my fault on the typo - it was 90 city 10 highway so too quick on the fingers, now corrected. It's true - we can get high 20's on highway cruising as you can see so no real issue there except it's really not the BAS doing that.

My point is that, if it's possible to regularly achieve under 20 on mostly suburban commute, that's appalling. If a complete driver retraining is required to get anywhere close to Saturn's city, then shame on them, as I bet the same would apply to any regular gas car. If that's the case, it can only be concluded that the BAS is worthless for the majority of users from a fuel economy perspective.

By the way, I did have Saturn do some extensive city testing under similar circumstances as us and they got 20/21. They kept poor records so I couldn't document that here, so apparently they have a driving style that yields much the same.

The thing about technology is that if it takes so much retraining to use it, it won't stick around as people want to go about their everyday lives without having to worry about whether they're optimizing the technology they're using. Under real world condidtion, I think the BAS is falling into that category - not worth bothering with
 
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  #6  
Old 05-01-2007, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Well, now below 23 average...

To HybridVUE: thanks for the thoughts. There's no malfunction to be found - in the time we've had it, Saturn/GM have had it for over a month checking everything out. We probably have the cleanest bill of health of any VUE on the planet so no malfunction unfortunately. We had so hoped that something would be found given our total disillusionment but, sadly, not. To their credit they have tried pretty hard to figure this out.

The bottom line is that it's not suited to a 15 min suburban commute (a potential 12 stops over about 5 miles on a bad day). What I'd love to see is one of the higher FE folk try a similar course and see what they get. That would be a pretty good test.

Highway MPG's are fine (not stellar) but good enough to keep us happy from that point of view. Then again, I don't see anyone averaging 35 there either...
 
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  #7  
Old 05-02-2007, 05:16 AM
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Default Re: Well, now below 23 average...

If I am ever on the left coast I will drop you a line and we can run a test or two on your home course.
 
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  #8  
Old 05-07-2007, 08:05 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Default Re: Well, now below 23 average...

Here's my take on things:
Our GL is upset that the mpg's are not as posted. I understand. If you look at the performance of any of these hybrids there's quite a range. It's still early days on the 2007 Vue GL and the new model is on it's way, but I think the performance of the current model is emerging.

There are now 19 people posting results on GreenHybrid.com and the average MPG is 26.5. The 26.5 average is against the Vue GL's EPA ratings of 27 city and 32 highway. That means the average experience is 0.5 MPG less than the city rating. Some people that bought seem to have expected to get somewhere between 27 and 30 mpg. I did myself and I'm actually getting 24.4 at the moment. I have a 7 mile commute with 8-10 stops. After understanding my commute and the relative performance of this car I'm happy with it's peformance. I used to have a Grand Prix and got about 18mpg on the same path. I now have a better car for my family that gets much better mileage. As a celebrated American statesman once said, let's look at the record...(All of these average come from GreenHybrid.com)

Here's how the Vue GL compares to the competition in average perfomance vs. EPA city/highway ratings:
Vue GL 2WD Avg=26.5 vs. rating of 27/32 (0.5 below than lowest EPA rating)
Escape 2WD Avg=31.8 vs. rating of 36/31 (0.8 above lowest EPA rating)
Escape 4WD Avg=28.6 vs rating of 33/29 (0.4 below lowest EPA rating)
Lexus 400h Avg= 25.0 vs. rating of 31/27 (2.0 below lowest EPA rating)
Toyota HiHi 2WD=26.1 vs. rating of 33/28 (1.9 below lowest EPA rating)
Toyota HiHi 4WD=25.5 vs. rating of 31/27 (1.5 below lowest EPA rating)

There's just nothing to get upset about with the Vue GL. It's performing exactly like these other cars in relation to their EPA ratings. The mileage sweet spot (highway vs. city) is reversed, but the position in relationship to EPA ratings is the same. Only one of these hybrid SUV averages above either of it's EPA ratings. The Vue does better than the Lexus and Toyota models. Look at the Lexus performance where you pay about 50 grand and get 2 points under the EPA highway ratings! The issue is with the EPA way the ratings are done, not with the promises of any of these cars or manufacturers

My point is caveat emptor. I understand that if you're at the bottom of the curve you could be mad, but this is typical of any car model. Mileage varies with conditions.

If you want a cheap and attractive SUV that gets great mileage the Vue GL is an awesome choice. The Saturn Vue Hybrid does it's best work on the highway, so if your driving includes a lot of highway driving you should expect getting in the high 20's. A few people on GreenHybrid.com are even getting about 30mpg. If you do mainly city driving like me you will probably get around 23-25. If it's a mix it will be somewhere in between. I've driven my car through a cold winter and have seen my mileage creep up about 2.5 mpgs recently. If this holds for the next six months I may end up averaging 25-26 mpg which is very respectable.

Peace...
 
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  #9  
Old 05-11-2007, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: Well, now below 23 average...

Driving style and commute has alot to do with it.

As an example: In Chicago I followed a Prius (original PriusI) down Lake Shore Drive one day in 2004. He had a sign in the back of his car that read: 34/25 does not = 52/45. I noticed the LARGE sign in the back window and also noticed he was FLOORING the car up and exit ramp and then flew down LSD at about 70 (in a posted 45 mph) weaving in and out of traffic.

If you hammer the car and drive it like a sports car you will get horrible MPG. If you drive it on short trips and lots of stop and go in cold weather, you will get poor MPG.

I do not drive like a Granny, but did take into consideration I would be driving on the highway 80+ percent of the time. I try to drive at a normal speed while trying to manage a balance of fuel economy and not getting shot for driving like a 90 year old!!!! I drive within 10% of the speed limit on roads that go up to 70 MPH. If you want a decent MPG SUV for driving around town, you just about can't beat the VUE for price and MPG. I'd check to see if you have a mechanical issue and I would try and learn to drive the car to it's potential. It's not hard to get 30+ MPG if you try. It is also very easy to drive the car hard and complain about the MPG.

Just my 2 cents!

Dundertaker
 

Last edited by Dundertaker; 05-11-2007 at 09:51 PM.
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