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Is the Saturn Vue Green Line a Turning Point for Hybrids?

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    and most are in the $25K to $26K range

    That is still $3k to $4k over what you are claiming is an entry level Prius. I say you won't find one. If you order one as a few folks have. It is 6-9 month wait. The dealers don't want to sell them.

    You are just being blind to the truth. Toyota hybrids are priced for the upper middle class PERIOD!!!

    And I give GM credit for offering a hybrid the bulk of the middle class can afford.
  • jonnycat26jonnycat26 Posts: 101

    Who said you need a "loaded" TCH or Prius? They are still available with ALL the hybrid technology for $26K for the TCH and for $22K for the Prius.....before TTL of course.....but nonetheless, that does not price them out of middle income buyers range !!


    A base Prius doesn't include side airbags (at least it didn't). That's a huge step backwards, and in my opinion, a car I'd never put a family in.

    And while it doesn't have the distracting instant MPG-o-meter of the Prius, the Vue does have a trip MPG calculator. That with the "ECO" light is probably simpler and better than what I have in my Prius. I know I'd trade.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Who CARES if it is a $30K cost to own? That's the going rate for ANY $22K car, not just a Prius !! That means the Hybrid Vue will be a $31K cost to own too....so by your logic, that puts the Vue "above average" also, does it not?

    If the base Prius is $21,725 (which it is) and the base Vue is $23,000 (which it is) then HOW IN THE WORLD is a Prius for FAT CATS and a Vue for JOE AVERAGE?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    If the base Prius is $21,725 (which it is) and the base Vue is $23,000 (which it is) then HOW IN THE WORLD is a Prius for FAT CATS and a Vue for JOE AVERAGE?

    If you could find a base level Prius it would be near the average car price. In the largest car market in the World CA. You are not going to find, today, a Prius for anywhere near $21,725. I am not sure you will find the VUE for $23k. That was your posted price which is at least $2k less than the cheapest Prius you will find in my area of CA. I would think it would be tough to find a TCH for the price you paid in Phoenix, here in San Diego.

    I do think GM will put more of them out for sale than Toyota does their hybrids. They may go overboard and end up with surplus and have to give rebates to unload them. I would imagine the VUE uses the same 42 volt lead acid battery system that is in my GMC PU truck. That in itself will make it less expensive to build.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    You might get lucky and find one - I know Railroad James did....

    But REGARDLESS, you **CAN** go and ORDER a base Prius with a small deposit. Anyone can do that. That's why it is not a "fat cat" vehicle.....Sure you can spend $32K on one, but you can also spend merely $22K on one !!!

    I'm sure you can ORDER a base Vue Hybrid too.....
  • All I see are a bunch of posts arguing about the average cost of a new car

    BTW why would anyone want a hybrid VUE? It's not such a good car to begin with.
    One of my friends was a sales manager for Saturn and he bought an ELEMENT!!!!

    The people who own the Kayak shop by me had a Vue and got rid of it for an ELEMENT!!! Because the Vue was always breaking! :P

    The back seat of the Vue is like sitting on the floor. Why would anyone want this car?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    had a Vue and got rid of it for an ELEMENT!!!

    The same could be said for the Element. Who would buy that ugly thing. It makes the Aztek look snazzy. The VUE sales are up this year 10% the Element is down a bit.
  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    There is certainly some smug in the air tonight. ;)
  • Well apparently most of the many people buying the Element think it's snazzier than the Aztec was.
    If Vue sales are up 10% that's still only 110 Vue's, Ha Ha Ha! :D
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    You are a funny guy. The VUE has sold 46k so far this year. The Element is lucky to have sold 26k this year. You are the first person I have seen post that does not think the Element IS UGLY!!! AZTEC ugly is kind of a benchmark for how ugly can they make a car. The Element may become the new benchmark.

    I've never been a Saturn fan but the VUE is not bad looking. Better looking than most of the Japanese wannabe SUVs.
  • fshifshi Posts: 57
    VUE is the least expensive SUV on the market. This is a correct statement. Why would someone even raise prius, which is a compact car to compare with VUE, basically a crossover? Does anybody cross shop these two?

    PLUS, Prius is for fat cats and VUE is for joe average, this is true too. Money is not the only factor to separate fat cat and Joe, say 26k vs. 23k. It depends on how he spend it and how much function does he get. People willing to buy a 20k mini is a fat cat, while people buy a 25k impala is still Joe, since he weight function more than the "image".
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,913
    I guess my original intent wasn't really to comapre the VUE to other hybrids. The point is more that I think a vehicle that doesn't make you think about it being a hybrid is the kind of thing that can increase the purchase of hybrid/more fuel efficient vehicles.

    Kind of like if you came up with a healthy breakfast cereal that kids would like. ;)

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    I think a vehicle that doesn't make you think about it being a hybrid is the kind of thing that can increase the purchase of hybrid/more fuel efficient vehicles.

    I agree. It is strange to me that the very strongest hybrid proponents seem to poopoo the VUE approach. It does not have all the bells and whistles so it is not a REAL hybrid. That seems counter productive in my eyes. I think the simpler they make the hybrid the better the chance of wide spread acceptance.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    What's NOT fine is not giving the instrumentation panel a live, real-time MPG meter so drivers WHO CARE can improve their gas mileage (the whole POINT of owning a hybrid, no?) by learning how the car manages at various throttle positions, speeds, and environments.

    That's not a "bell" or a "whistle" but merely a basic tool that any hybrid, however unobtrusive it desires to be, should always have.

    And why would anyone buy a hybrid vehicle and not CARE about the MPG they are getting? Is that not idiotic?

    Make it as SIMPLE as you want to, but don't leave out the BASICS.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    Make it as SIMPLE as you want to, but don't leave out the BASICS.

    The basics to some are obviously different than to others. My GMC has a MPG reading for the current tank of fuel. That is enough for me. My Passat had a instantaneous readout and was OK but not something I would pay extra to get. XM Radio is a basic I would not buy a new car without. Can't get that in a TCH yet. Sad but true.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well for those who did not know this before, a real-time MPG meter IN A HYBRID VEHICLE is basic requirement !!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    a real-time MPG meter IN A HYBRID VEHICLE is basic requirement !!

    I guess that has to go down in the negative column for hybrids then. Until they can build a hybrid that gets great mileage without being a hyper miler they will NOT be accepted by the average buyer. That is the biggest complaint that people have to change their driving habits to gain anything mileage wise. It is the job of the automaker to give better mileage for the average driver.

    For example people go from a V6 to a 4C Camry and get better mileage without any change in driving habits. That is the challenge to the hybrid manufacturer. Only those living in a dream world believe you will change the world's driving habits. It would help if they EPA ratings were closer to reality for the hybrids.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says: "For example people go from a V6 to a 4C Camry and get better mileage without any change in driving habits." and "That is the biggest complaint that people have to change their driving habits to gain anything mileage wise"

    That just the key Gary - WE ALL NEED TO BECOME BETTER FUEL EFFICENT DRIVERS !!! That's part of the battle for sure !!!

    Until MORE people start to realize that jackrabbit starts and trying to beat everyone else to the next red light or the next exit is a COMPLETE AND UTTER WASTE OF FUEL then the oil demand will NEVER substantially go down !!

    People SHOULD start caring about how much gas they waste and using the tools the car provides to improve their economy !!

    There are some people who will NEVER change, but there are millions of those people like me who CAN change. It was ONLY WHEN I BOUGHT A HYBRID that I learned HOW to use the instruments to help me conserve fuel !!
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,913
    I agree it's a good thing if we all become more efficient drivers. The point of the question about the VUE is this. Take a look around at the general population... everywhere. People don't seem to want to DO anything anymore. They want something to do it for them. God bless the hypermilers out there. They love doing what they do and it make a contribution to the effort. But to a lot of people, and I get the feeling that it's more people than I'd LIKE to think it is, hypermiling looks like WORK. Just like they think driving a manual is work. They have to pay attention and be aware.
    They want to turn the key, step on the tall skinny one on the right to go, and step on the one on the left to stop. That's it. They don't care if it's a TRUE hybrid or not. If it can get better mileage and they don't have to work at it is what will sell it to the masses. And isn't getting the mileage up for the ENTIRE fleet of cars out there the goal?

    It doesn't matter, and it's not about if something is "better". It's about getting more people into more efficient vehicles.

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Good points all around..........BUT.....:)....allow me to clarify some of my stuff from earlier.....

    We really don't know what number of 35+ year old drivers are like I was - not particularly caring about the MPG I got, but not a total wasteful hog.

    I was not a speed demon because I hate to pay speeding tickets and the resultant Defensive Driving course and higher insurance rates, but I did not particularly take any actions to improve my MPG. I wouldn't put myself in the "just press the tall skinny one to go and the wide one to stop" crowd, but I did pretty much "go with the MPG flow" as it were.

    But THEN, when I got a hybrid, and saw that little real-time meter and realized that NOT PAYING ATTENTION hit me in my WALLET area, SHAZAM SHABLAM a little light bulb went up over my head.

    THAT"S the EUREKA MOMENT I want Saturn Vue and all other standard hybrid buyers to have !! And SO MANY of them CAN have that moment, because before they bought a hybrid, they never before saw the REAL connection between driving differently and thus saving money !!! Too many people do not know that making just a few, minor changes to your driving habits can save yourself GAS MONEY !!!

    Having a real-time MPG meter in ALL cars would potentially save MILLIONS of gallons of gas per year in the USA. All I'm asking is that car makers NOT leave out that handy and inexpensive little tool on their hybrids, no matter HOW mild it is !!

    Is that so hard to expect? :confuse:
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    Having a real-time MPG meter in ALL cars would potentially save MILLIONS of gallons of gas per year in the USA.

    I really don't think it would. Many cars have instant mileage readouts and I doubt the consumption is going down. I put it on the automakers to quit building cars just for performance and make economy a higher priority. As long as people buy for performance all the little gadgets in the world will not save a nickels worth of gas. Take Toyota the big Green automaker. They have built 5 hybrids. 2 for economy 3 for performance. How is that helping any cause except Toyota's bottom line. It makes the fat cats look green. None of the 3 are even PZEV rated.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    gary says "Many cars have instant mileage readouts"-end quote

    Not enough. Far too few. My point is that ALL HYBRIDS SHOULD and that is not an opinion but an obviously plain observation from an educated hybrid advocate.

    And of course it would save gas if people knew. That's how anything is saved...

    1. you save electricity in your home because there is a meter.
    2. you save water in your home because it is metered and you know how much you are using.

    If you have a meter, you will use it when your WALLET is associated with it. That's undeniable.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    1. you save electricity in your home because there is a meter.
    2. you save water in your home because it is metered and you know how much you are using.


    C'mon how many people check their electric and water meters? That is craziness. I turn off lights and use the AC and heat sparingly. But I don't remember ever checking the meter. I just think it is another crutch that is not needed and adds cost to the car. KISS is a good motto that cars are drifting too far away from. Makes me want to buy older cars and fix them up. I don't like the tinny plastic cars we are being sold today. They get worse every year not better.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,913
    There's apparently enough that's distracting to people behind the wheel as is. I don't think giving them something else that you want them to monitor while they're driving is high on my list of tasks I'd add ;)

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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,913
    We have an open chat tonight that i'm hosting if you guys want to take this up there!

    The Edmunds Member Chat is on tonight. The chat room opens at 8:45PM ET Hope to see YOU there! Check out the schedule

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    you AS USUAL missed my point Gary........

    I meant to imply that people will CARE about improving gas mileage WHEN THEY CAN MEASURE IT THEMSELVES AND CONTROL THEIR CONSUMPTION.

    And to do that, a hybrid needs a real-time MPG meter.

    It's not deniable. They need it. As a self-educated hybrid expert and hybrid advocate and owner of two hybrids and a Segway, I have credentials in these areas.

    Hybrid cars need real-time MPG meters to help the drivers learn how ro reduce fuel usage and improve the economy. All cars need them, but hybrids even MORESO because they have the technology to make the information PAY OFF in the POCKETBOOK of the owner.

    If the owners who "don't want another distraction" want to keep their eyes on the road all the time, more power to them. But to those who WANT such a tool, it's inexcusable to leave it off the vehicle.

    It's like my old Granpappy used to tell me:

    Sonny Boy, it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it !!!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    Hybrid cars need real-time MPG meters

    Hybrids need to get EPA mileage without all that crappola. I thought I read on the TCH thread that you did not get all the fancy mileage features without the NAV. Didn't you buy the stripped version?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I did buy the base model, and it has a real time MPG meter in the form of a needle gauge. It provides all the info I need to figure out how to drive the car.

    I'm at a disadvantage (like I was with my HCH) because my commute is so short (7 miles one way in the summer and about 6 miles one way during the school year) so my car is usually more than halfway finished before the car will go into EV mode.

    This short commute is all that kept me from getting 52-53 MPG from my HCH, and it's likely to keep my TCH numbers at 36-37 MPG.

    The TCH shines at highway speeds though. I have a little video of the dashboard at 75 MPH and the real-time mileage registering at 45-55 MPG at that speed.

    Anyone who drives a solid 15+ mile hwy commute at 50-75 MPH should seriously consider the TCH.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    As far as the EPA mileage variance, once the EPA revises their test to meet 2008 reality of the way people drive, the 2008 models will do a much better job of reaching EPA. They say that's the plan - revised test for the 2008 model year cars.

    I also think the EPA tested the TCH, because the early reports had the TCH at 43 city/37 hwy and then the EPA ratings came out and it was 40/38. I think Toyota gave the EPA the 43/37 and after the Prius bruhaha, the EPA decided to test the TCH themselves.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    I agree that the EPA ratings for the TCH seem closer to reality. It seems from those posting that you get better highway mileage than city. Not sure how they came up with the higher city rating if the car was actually tested. None of the hybrids have turned in better city mileage than hwy in real life. I think they put too much weight on the auto shutdown. I am planning to make a test after it cools down a bit here in San Diego. I will disable the auto shutdown and see if it drops the mileage. My 2005 GMC hybrid averaged 15.14 MPG for the first year and 3665 miles. The last month has been nearly AZ hot with AC blasting. I noticed the last 400 miles it has dropped to 14.53 MPG. I will test it for several fillups without the auto shutdown and see if it is better or worse. One report said if the stop was less than 2 minutes it takes more gas to start the engine than if it was idling. Of course with your HSD it is entirely different.
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