Saturn Vue Real World MPG

jclnickjclnick Member Posts: 7
My Vue is nearly 1 year old. Overall, it's fine. There are a couple of things that are weird, like iron screws that rust and wind noise on the passenger side.

I'm lucky to get 22 MPG! Why the window sticker showed a range from 23 to 29 escapes me. I'm no speed demon, but I'm not a slug either. I recently took two trips to a neighboring state and it was freeway all the way. What gives with the 22 MPG?? It seems the EPA "Estimated Fuel Economy" is completely misrepresented.

Anyone else have this issue?


  • jer78jer78 Member Posts: 3
    I have the exact same model, but I average from 24 MPG city and 28 MPG highway. I use mid grade level fuel, that seems to help. My friend is a mechanic and said that shouldn't make any difference...but hey, I am getting better gas mileage now. I also put a fuel system cleaner(88 cents @ Wal-mart) every 3000, and occasionally an octane booster (97 cents @ Wal-mart). Hope this helps. Where are the screws rusting at? As far as the wind noise, if you still have warranty, you might want to take it into the dealership, your wind stripping and sealers may be loose or have a leak.
  • jclnickjclnick Member Posts: 7
    Thanks for the reply. I tend to run 87 octane. I'll give the mid-grade a try. I do also run the occasional fuel system cleaner in. Guess I'll try octane booster also! The screws are on the mud flaps. I fail to understand why any car manufacturer would use any material that would rust. I was told by Saturn that they are iron screws. A couple had fallen out and they were replaced. I'll take my vehicle in and have the wind noise looked at. I can't believe you get 24 to 28 MPG!! Another friend suggested using a K & N air filter. His mileage increased by 2 MPG by doing that and nothing else.

    Thanks for your reply. :-)

  • gregoirebgregoireb Member Posts: 1
    While I don't have a VUE (maybe in two years my wife will) I found that putting a K&N filter increased mileage in both our 2001 L200 and LW300 about 1.5 to 2 mpg in combined driving.
  • jclnickjclnick Member Posts: 7
    Thanks for the info on the K&N. As soon as I get over the wicked cold from hell, I'm buying one!
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    You may be interested in the K&N Air Filters, bolt-on power? discussion too.

    Steve, Host
  • uga91uga91 Member Posts: 1,065
    I also have a 2005 4 cylinder 5 speed VUE and I also get 22-23 mpg in town. The window sticker estimates are usually high, anyway. There was a big deal in the news about how the government is changing the way they rate mpg because the current way is not realistic at all. The hybrids are expected to lose the biggest chunk of their mileage estimates. Compared to the 14 mpg my F-150 SuperCrew gets, I'm very pleased with 22-23 in my VUE!
  • jclnickjclnick Member Posts: 7
    Hi Steve:
    Yeah, I guess you're faring far better with the Vue vs. the F150! I'm just glad I don't have to pay CA prices anymore. The hybrids will surely take a beating with the ratings MPG, but then again, it should have been an honest estimate anyhow! Can't trust the G-Men!
  • scottnewvuescottnewvue Member Posts: 5
    Since GM has performed a 3000 mile real world driving test on the VUE Hybrid, I'm more inclined to buy it. The EPA runs a car on a conveyer style system. There is no way you can get real information that way. I saw a special report recently the even the Prius's numbers were false positive, losing about 30 to 40% of the estimates from EPA's mpg. GM said the VUE averaged around 31.9 mpg in their real world test. I'm all about that! :shades:
  • pisulinopisulino Member Posts: 78
    I was able to put 50MPG with my last tank......

    I had to push it for 30 miles and got the other 20 when the engine was still running !

  • brlatmbrlatm Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 2006 Vue 4cyl 5 speed Fwd in Feb. I now have 9000 miles on it and I get 22.3 mpg. I took it back to the dealership and they ran a diagnostic on it and said that I was wrong that it gets 30 mpg. They have then accused me of not doing math right, buying bad gas, too much wind, bad driver habits, etc... I travel 140 miles roundtrip to work and it is all Interstate driving with no traffic. I set the cruise control at 75 and sit back. This is my 3rd Saturn and the first time that I have ever had a problem. Anyone else have a similar problem???
  • waiwai Member Posts: 325
    Your highway speed of 75 miles ate more gas than at 60 miles. In my case my average speed of 80 miles give me only 20.5 miles/Gallon but is a 2.8L V6 engine.
  • laniecarneylaniecarney Member Posts: 1
    Purchased V6 Vue in January. Wish we never had. Paid 28,000 but the vehicle is cheaply made and has very little storage. Sticker said 20/28 (avg 17-23/23-33). Getting 14.4 / 22.3 Just returned from dealer who said nothing wrong and the numbers on sticker are approximate. Also noticed tailpipe is getting rusty after 3 months (car has the whole chrome package so why not chrome the one tailpipe). And when you open the 2 back windows you get a wind tunnel noise and can't hear the radio. Know this is supposed to be about MPG so thanks for letting me vent about crappy Saturn. My previous wonderful 1994 Chrysler V6 250hp got 29mpg at 75mph (too bad it had an engine fire).
  • ocmike3ocmike3 Member Posts: 232
    I just filled my first full tank. I have the FWD V6 w/auto and I got 21+mpg in mixed driving (mostly city/side roads). I am pretty happy with that and the Vue isn't anywhere close to being broken in.
  • jclnickjclnick Member Posts: 7
    Yeah, I'm with you. I'm the original poster regarding gas mileage. I fail to understand why the Feds allow misrepresentation of gas mileage info- particularly with the price of gas climbing. I agree with you about your Vue, overall. I find it cheaply made also and will not be buying another. I'm told that using mid-grade gas along with a K&N filter will show improvement. That's my next step. I leased this sucker for 3 years with 2 to go. On the upside- I can stand my bicycle up on it's fork mounted bike rack without trouble and it hasn't broken down on me. I'm totally against using iron screws for mudflaps and other parts of the car because they RUST! I also notice the rust underneath the back part of the vehicle.. gast tank area I suppose. Ahh well, an affordable vehicle with some design issues I guess. It serves me well, but I won't re-buy unless huge changes are made!
  • 68mpolo68mpolo Member Posts: 21
    i have the V6 FWD...i get at best 25 mpg highway and around 18-20 mpg town. I was pretty upset at first but I figured EPA overestimates nowadays higher mpg's helps sell cars. Haven't changed my filter yet but I will soon and then I'll repost.
    I totally agree with some of you with regards to this SUV's shortcomings. I can honestly say that I will not buy another Saturn. On a positive note though, I like the direction the company's going with it's future model.
  • uga91uga91 Member Posts: 1,065
    A K&N filter is a waste of time and money. A complete set up will run you about $300 and you will see about 5 extra horsepower and gain a mile or two in mileage. Running higher grade fuel is a waste as any gain in mpg is negated by the extra money you spend on gas.

    If any of you were serious about gas mileage, you would not have bought the VUE with the V6 engine--you would have bought one with the 4 cylinder. Or, you would have bought an economy car. But, since you post you do 75 mph on the highway, you announce you crave speed over conservation.

    To brltam, if you get 22 mpg on the road, something is wrong. I get 21-22 mpg in the city in my 2005 4 cylinder 5 speed VUE.

    To jclnick, huge changes are on the way. The next VUE will be smaller and a lot different from the current VUE. This is due to the larger Outlook that is on the way.
  • sparky20sparky20 Member Posts: 8
    I totally disagree with your sentiment.

    I believe it is foolish not to buy the honda V6. First it is a far superior engine and transmission than the 4 cyl. Plus, I get 28 mpg hwy and 20 straight city. Mixed driving nets about 25 mpg. About the same mpg as the 4 cyl. Plus, I get way more power for towing and a much more fun vehicle.

    Anybody, who doesn't spend the extra $1,500 to get the Honda engine and transmission, is truly missing out on the Vue experience. What a vehicle the Vue V6 is.
  • uga91uga91 Member Posts: 1,065
    You may be right. However, that is not what this thread is about. This thread is about "Why is VUE mileage so terrible? I got one with a V6 and I run 75 mph and my mileage is terrible. I will never buy another Saturn again as long as they make such horrible mileage vehicles." I am reminding them that they did not buy economy cars and they do run them economically.
  • sparky20sparky20 Member Posts: 8
    Just figured out my long term mileage on my V6 VUE. The mileage came in at just above 25 mpg, with 50% city and 50% hwy. I am absolutely elated with this gas mileage.

    Why would anyone not by the V6 is beyond me. What a great performing vehicle, great mpg, with absolutely incredible performance for an SUV.
  • ocmike3ocmike3 Member Posts: 232
    hmmmm.... I thought the topic was "Saturn Vue: MPG-Real World Numbers" I didn't quite translate to your version.
    My third tank was 20.8mpg which was mostly city, "Spirited" driving, I thought was pretty good. I'd be lucky to get 14-15mopg driving like in my GXP or the Canyon I traded for the Vue.
    I think the V6 is fun - it is a totally different driving experience than the 4 cyl. I tried.
  • alefouralefour Member Posts: 6
    i have a new 2006 vue v6 auto and disappointed in mpg as many of you seem to be. rated at 22 city and 28 highway, but i get 15 city and 20-21 highway. i have checked mpg with every fill up and same. really disappointed in mpg. bought the vehicle to haul stuff and to tow behind motorhome. traded an 03 jag in for it, knew creature comforts were being sacrificed, but needed something for the wife to haul plants and junk and to tow behind rv on trips. however for mpg to be off 30% or so is terrible. i don't know if something is out of adjustment or what, very disappointed though.
  • uga91uga91 Member Posts: 1,065
    You're right, that was the topic. I have posted my mileage here a couple of times. However, the topic seems to be turnign into more like what we see in Post 22.
  • uga91uga91 Member Posts: 1,065
    "i have a new 2006 vue v6 auto and disappointed in mpg as many of you seem to be."

    "really disappointed in mpg."

    "i don't know if something is out of adjustment or what, very disappointed though."

    This is what I am talking about.
  • nrs1nrs1 Member Posts: 1
    My husband and I rented a Saturn Vue V-6 while on a recent trip. The gas mileage was atrocious. I don't know if the vehicle had been abused prior to our rental but it had only 4000 miles on it. Our mileage, much of it highway for the first tank of gas was 16.2. I thought maybe we didn't start with a full tank but the next time we filled up it was 15.4. We are not abusive drivers by any means and had driven a V-6 1997 Maxima for years with mileage of 24 to 25 on every tank and a 1999 Lexus GS 300 with consistent mileage of 22 to 25. Both of those vehicles had much more horsepower and were lots of fun to drive. We were considering purchasing an AWD vehicle when we return to the US but this has made me think that a Honda Civic or Fit would be a better choice for an around town vehicle for myself. My husband can choose what he wants but the budget won't allow a gas guzzler at the current fuel prices. He might have to get a second job!!
  • alefouralefour Member Posts: 6
    you are right i do get worked up when the auto makers misrepresents an important feature of a car such as the mpg. i think we should expect realistic numbers.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    The EPA estimates the fuel economy numbers and the manufacturers have to put those numbers on the sticker.

    The EPA is supposed to be revising the testing method to try to make the ratings more realistic. That should help lessen the surprises and increase the pressure on the auto makers to raise the mpg.

    Steve, Host
  • bonanaplesbonanaples Member Posts: 5
    I just purchased a slightly used v6 Vue with 3,000 miles- just used 4 gallons of gas and went 70 miles- this is like 15 mpg- I am so dissapointed- this is the same mileage I was getting with my v8 Ford Explorer who needed a major tuneup- I am surprised by how fast the car wants to go but I am driving it very cautiously- any ideas on how to get better mileage? I really believed the stickers of the cars were true and thought it was 20 city- 28 hwy.
  • ocmike3ocmike3 Member Posts: 232
    I've consistently found most of my vehicles pretty close to the EPA.(with the exception of a Dodge & a Volvo which did get lower) I would say, if anything the EPA city is a bit more optimistic than the Hwy estimate.
    My GM vehicles have consistently met/beat the EPA in hwy driving. This VUE having a Honda motor might be different.
    So far my tanks fills on my 06 V6 FWD have delivered consistent 21+mpg verses my Canyon which got 17-18 in the same driving. So I calculated my estimate for the Vue on Hwy using this delta and I should get 26-28 on the hwy. That's okay by me for the room and size of this rig. I haven't had the opportunity to do a road trip yet and just hit 1k miles, so I'll keep checking.
  • sparky20sparky20 Member Posts: 8
    I have a 2006 FWD V6 VUE. I just got another 24 mpg again. About 50% hwy and 50% city. This vehicle is beyond excellent.

    What other SUV could I buy that has 250hp and continually returns 24 mpg. Straight hwy, I have hit 29 mpg!!!! This is beyond all expectations.
  • uga91uga91 Member Posts: 1,065
    Thanks for pointing this out...
  • uga91uga91 Member Posts: 1,065
    It's been in the low to mid 90's here in Columbus, GA and with the A/C running in city driving, my mileage went from about 23.5 mpg down to 21.6 mpg on the last fill up today. Oh well, a small price to pay to be comfortable!
  • martianmartian Member Posts: 220
    I have a 2003 VUE (manual 5 speed, 4 cylinder). My city mileage is low (about 22 MPG), because my commute involves 19 stoplights. On the highway, I do much better-if I drive 60 MPH, I can get over 32 MPG. I actually think the engine is geared too low-I think the overdrive gear should allow 2000 RPM at 60, whereas the engine turns over 3000 RPM. Overall, I am satisfied, although I would prefer leather seats (will be putting them in).
  • sparky20sparky20 Member Posts: 8
    Well folks, I took a long highway trip last weekend and got 28mpg on about 500 miles of driving. Could one possibly buy a better SUV than the V6 Vue? I just can't imagine it. The power on this vehicle is incredible and the gas mileage is incredible. This SUV defies logic.

    Getting a Honda V6 and the polymer non rust body panels is the best of all worlds. This is the best vehicle I have ever owned.
  • bonanaplesbonanaples Member Posts: 5
    I am happy to report that I am now getting great mileage with my 06 V6 Vue. I bought it slightly used with 3000 miles and took it to the dealership to complain about the mileage. They explained to me that the engine had to have at least 5000 miles to get broken in and get the true mileage. We just returned from a 3800 mile vacation and I closely watched the MPG. It did do 28-29 MPG highway driving at the speed limit. I took it up steep mountain trails and down steep roads and it preformed very well. Overall on the trip we averaged 25-28 MPG with Mountain driving and stopping and going through small towns. I am now home and getting 24 MPG city with 7000 miles on the engine. I am happy with the MPG now that the engine is "Broke in."
  • ocmike3ocmike3 Member Posts: 232
    I think I would agree with your dealership. I haven't been able to take any long hwy trips yet(will be doing a long one in August), but I noticed my daily commute mileage keeps inching up each week. I've got just over 2800 miles on it. The in last 3 weeks we had some pretty hot weather and I've been running the AC a lot. With the AC on most of time, my mileage has risen to 21.6 mpg for my weekly cycle.(mixed, mostly city & backroads)
  • wd181wd181 Member Posts: 2
    After reading all of the posts, I feel a little better. The vehicle has 32,000 on it; the best mileage was 26 on a 600 mile trip with a tail wind; the worst was 14.7, same trip but pulling a U-Haul trailer into the wind. In general, I'm disappointed with the overall MPG; I keep track of every gallon of fuel, fuel additive, air cleaner change, and oil change (Royal Purple 5W-20). Oh yes, it has a K&N in it; total waste of $$$, no increase in MPG, but am doing my part in saving a tree or two. I have a 54 mile commute, work three days and drive home; average mileage (combined city/highway) for the last 8 months is 20.9 MPG. It's been my experience that turning off the speed and cruise can increase mileage, especially in hilly terrain; does anyone know if the shift points can be changed?
  • uga91uga91 Member Posts: 1,065
    I've been reading these posts for a while (and, yes, I'm a VUE owner) and I've come to two conclusions. One, it is amusing to read the posts from those owners who say they are upset with the mileage they get. You must not have done any research. I also hope that you are upset with Honda and not with either GM or the Saturn Division as Honda made the powertrain (but I don't have to tell any of you that since you all post that the Honda powertrain is the only reason why you bought your VUE). Two, someone did the VUE a favor when it comes to the good gas mileage that you are getting. According to the compare feature, the VUE does well against the Honda offerings with the same engine. According to Edmunds, the V6 VUE gets 19/25 mpg. This seems to be in line with what is reported here. I read many posts showing better stats than this. The Acura MDX is rated at 17/23 mpg, the Honda Pilot is rated at 17/22 mpg and the Honda Ridgeline is rated at 16/21 mpg. Only the Odyssey shows better mpg ratings with 20/28 mpg.

    So, to sum up: If you are upset with your mileage, yell at Honda; and, compared to the Honda offerings with the same engine, the VUE does well.
  • jason330ijason330i Member Posts: 35
    According to Edmunds, the V6 VUE gets 19/25 mpg. This seems to be in line with what is reported here. I read many posts showing better stats than this. The Acura MDX is rated at 17/23 mpg, the Honda Pilot is rated at 17/22 mpg and the Honda Ridgeline is rated at 16/21 mpg. Only the Odyssey shows better mpg ratings with 20/28 mpg.

    So, to sum up: If you are upset with your mileage, yell at Honda; and, compared to the Honda offerings with the same engine, the VUE does well.

    ummm, did it ever occur to you that the vue is smaller and much lighter than all the other vehicles you mentioned? apples to oranges.
  • uga91uga91 Member Posts: 1,065
    Well, it's the same powertrain. I still say that if you're upset with the V6 mileage, then you should talk to Honda about it and not blame GM.
  • ocmike3ocmike3 Member Posts: 232
    Just returned form 8 days of travel, putting 4286 miles on our 2006 FWD V6 VUE.(Odo now has 7450 miles)
    I believe that I can support the EPA mileage estimates of 28 mpg Highway for the most part.
    Total miles driven 4286 and we used 167.6 gallons petrol. This equals an average of 25.6 mpg for the entire trip. (A total of 16 stops to add gasoline.)
    Best mileage: 28.5 mpg on two tanks: Rawlings, WY to N. Platte, NB & Rawlings, WY to Tremonten, UT
    Worst mileage: 21.4 mpg: Cheyenne, WY to Rawlings, WY
    We ran consistently 70-75+ mph through Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska & many areas of Missouri. (Speed limits are 70 or 75 mph in most areas we drove in these states.)
    The killer seemed to be wind. On the tanks we got the lowest mileage, we were bucking strong 25-30 mph head winds.
    I’m very happy with the mileage as we cruised loaded at 70 -75 mph for 12+ hours on 4-5 of the days we traveled. Two adults, two kids and all our stuff; 700 – 800 pounds of people and stuff.
    If we had taken it easy and cruised 60 – 65 mph; I’m betting the mileage would have pushed 30 mpg on several tanks. (We got 4 tanks @ 27.96, 28.5, 27.8, 28.5 mpg and 26 mpg or better on 7/16 tanks.)
  • uga91uga91 Member Posts: 1,065
    Wow, 4286 miles in 8 days is 535.75 miles a day! Did you even stop to eat at any point over that 8 days? Back in June, we drove over 1500 miles while gone 8 days (Columbus, GA to Springdale, AR and back) and I thought that was an unreal amount of driving. My hat is off to you!
  • ocmike3ocmike3 Member Posts: 232
    Drove Portland, Or to Eureka Springs, AR and back. Left Aug 2 and arrived Aug 4. Return Trip was Aug 7 - 9. We did two days of 800 - 900 miles with 250 - 350 miles left for the 3rd day. Trip over was roughest as we planned to stay somewhere in western WY(Green River/Rock Springs, etc) on night one; but couldn't find a motel w/vacancy in WY. Finally caught a couple of hours at a rest stop just W of Cheyenne; then drove to St. Joseph, MO day 2. Got a good dinner and motel that night!
    The VUE was a pleasure to drive - comfortable and I could even walk after all those hours in the driver's seat. I've logged hundreds of thousands of road miles and I can say that about only a few of the vehicles we've owned.
  • ocmike3ocmike3 Member Posts: 232
    I've got over 8500 miles on our V6 FWD VUE. My daily commute is mostly city, about 13 miles one way. I'm consistenly getting 21.5 to 22 mpg with the V6 for this commute. I don't hit much stop and go, but do have at least 30 stop lights or signs to contend with.
  • drivvendrivven Member Posts: 54
    We bought our VUE in Sept. 2003 and absolutely love it. It's perfect for my wife and I've found it extremely handy at times to haul wood for my hobbies, etc. For groceries it's a dream. It may not be a luxury car, but we didn't buy it for that - our BMW provides that (but not the reliability I might add).

    With regards to mpg, it might not get what's advertised but it doesn't fall that far short. On the highway it'll managed 25-28 and around town between 17 and 18. Again, we bought it for its utilitarianship, not its economy, although we did consider that in the equation when comparing to others in its class. One of the biggest sellers was the ride, however. It was by far the best riding of the vehicles in its class.

    There are so many factors when considering, or creating mpg that not one issue can decide the outcome. Proper tire inflation is very, very important. If you don't mind a bit harsher ride you can put a couple extra pounds in all around. That may improve you mileage a bit. Tire wear will be abnormal, but if you're after that all important extra 1-2mpg, give it a try. And I'm a firm believer that the makeup of the tire itself has a lot to do with the resistance to roll. Just a bad belt in one of them can cause some rolling resistance and upset the mpg. And what if more than one tire has that problem?

    Driving habits can be the biggest culprit. Leaping away from a stop sign/traffic light is the worst offender. And believe me the V6 has a lot of capability to do that.

    Someone on the forum mentioned wind resistance. We've found a 2-3 mile drop in mpg if we're fighting a wind on the road. Not much we can do about that, unless we travel at night when the wind is generally not as predominant.

    If great mpg is your major desire in a vehicle, you bought the wrong vehicle - we didn't.

    There are all kinds of tricks to improve the mileage, but basically it's common sense driving and good vehicle maintenance.
  • trraffictrraffic Member Posts: 6
    I bought an 07 AWD V6 three weeks ago. First tank I got 15.8, the last (second) I got 14.8. I do about 95 percent city/traffic driving--my 10.5 mile commute takes me about 45 minutes, including the hills of western PA. When I am able to break free of the traffic for 10 minutes on the way home, I tend to drive around 55 mph. Reading a post above, I am hoping it will get better. I currently have over 1K on the car. I was not expecting to get in the 20s. But I was hopeful to get around 18, especially b/c another AWD V6 Vue owner (05 or 06) said she gets around 19 with city driving.

    I also was surprised that my low fuel light did not come on this morning. I ended up getting over 14 gallons; I would have thought having only 2 gallons left would have triggered that. Good thing I got gas before going to work!
  • michaellnomichaellno Member Posts: 4,120
    Let the engine break in. My wife drives an '04 AWD V6 and, in our very unscientific calculations, she gets between 19 and 23 MPG on a tank.

    Granted, her commute is about 15-20 miles of most two lane highway that she drives at 55-60MPH, but I suspect that your mileage will increase once you've got a few thousand miles on it.
  • twaintwain Member Posts: 185
    We had a 2003 V6 FWD Vue with the old, nonHonda V6. It wasn't a bad engine either. We routinely got high 20s on the hwy and low 20s in town.

    But the Honda V6 does about the same with 70 more horsepower.
  • ocmike3ocmike3 Member Posts: 232
    I sat down and calculated the overall mileage we've gotten since we bought our 2006 FWD VUE w/Honda V6 new in April 2006. It's primarily my daily commuter ~ 30 miles per day, mixed driving. We've put ~15108 miles on it bought about 660 gallons reg octane petro... Avg = 22.89mpg. I'm pretty darn happy with that. In an excursion PDX, OR to E.S., AR (and back) we had several tanks register 28-29mpg cruising 65 -75 mph. (Head winds can be a mileage killer)
  • horatiohoratio Member Posts: 5
    Can you tell me what your range per tank of gas is? Are you able to get near 400 miles?
  • ocmike3ocmike3 Member Posts: 232
    its possible, we did it twice on the trip last summer. We were averaging 24-29 mpg running on the hwy - depending on the wind(strong headwinds in ND-WY killed the mileage). Even though it only has a 16 gallon tank, we could run 400+ miles between fill ups with the mileage we got.(you do have to look ahead for stops depending on whre you are at - we were running OR to AR and there are a lot of distances between gas stops in some parts) as I mentioned we were booking 65-75 mph all the time.
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