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Old 02-24-2008, 05:42 PM   #1
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2008 Saturn Vue XE FWD

Picture taken at the Myrtle Beach State Park off of King Highway South of the strip.

Colleen and I are pleased to announce that we have taken delivery of our new "toad" from Saturn of Florence, South Carolina.

We couldn't be any happier with our choice. The 2008 Saturn Vue isn't a makeover or a re-skinned version of itself but a totally new from the ground up German designed and engineered vehicle by GM's Opel AG affiliate.

Our XE features the following equipment:
ZLF26 Saturn Vue XE FWD
B34 Floor Mats F&R
FE9 Federal Emissions
LE5 2.4L 4 Cyl DOHC Ecotec Engine. DOHC 16V, VVT, 169HP/161lbs_ft Torque
MN5 4 Speed Automatic Transmission w/ tap shift
PCQ Premium Trim Pkg, Leather F&R, Shifter Knob, Heated Seats
R6H SDS Charge
R7Y Communications Plus
T96 Fog Lamps
UE1 1 Year On-Star
XXX 3 months XM-Radio
V59 Chrome Roof Rails
WPF Preferred Pkg. 8W Power Seat, Leather Wrap Steering, Power Heated Mirrors, Visor Mirrors Lighted, Auto Electronic Climate Control
WPG Convenience Pkg., Rainsensing Wipers, Heated Spray Nozzles, Remote Start, Universal Home Remote
XXX Fully Automatic Sun Roof (lifetime guarantee) programmable, express open & close and auto close on exit
XXX Body Stripes (gold)
XXX First Place Finish

Just yesterday I programmed the Universal Home Remote, very cool! The car is very comfortable to drive and we both love driving it. The days for us of buying big engines in cars are gone. I was actually impressed with the 2.4L engine in the 2LT HHR when we were shopping. The performance from the same engine in the heavier XE is adequate and we hope that it will repay our confidence in MPG savings around town and on the highway. Our rating is allegedly 19/26. Remarkably the XE FWD has a 19.2 gallon fuel tank. This vehicle should have long legs compared to the 2004 AWD V6 we traded. The 2004 plastic body panels, AWD and Honda V6 weight just about the same as our new metal skinned I-4 FWD at about 3800 pounds. One of the after market features we had installed before delivery was the sun roof. It's a Hollandia Model 700 by Webasto and carries a limited lifetime warranty on all parts.

I was pleased to learn that the 4 speed automatic has a tap shift button on the side of the shift lever. I simply place the shift lever in "M" and I can manually shift the transmission. I was thinking that the 6-speed XR only had the tap-shift feature. Surprisingly the IP has a compass and a outside temperature gauge however missing are the GM mileage readings for instant, average and DTE. This vehicle does have a low tire pressure warning system however it does not display individual pressures like one might see in the Equinox but simply presents a idiot lamp.

The steering wheel mounted cruise and radio controls are new to us and they are really cool to have. The seating surfaces, steering wheel and shifter knob are leather which adds a nice touch to the interior. While at home Colleen frequently uses a heating pad so the fact that the seats are heated in the XE puts a smile on her face. The rear seats actually do fold absolutely flat. The seat cushion moves forward on a track as the seat back comes down. The seat also has holes for the seat belt anchors so they don't get pressed into the seat cushions when the seat is folded. Nice touch. The front passenger seat also folds down in the event one has a need to transport something longer that wouldn't fit if the seat didn't fold down.

The glove box is approximately twice as large as the 04 Vue and there is also a nifty storage drawer under the passenger front seat. The center armrest elbow pad when unlocked slides forward. The console has 2 compartments both kind of small however they will accommodate small personal effects. The A & B pillar covers are fabric covered with softens the interior of the vehicle and adds a layer of quality to the German engineered interior.


2008 Saturn Vue featuring the optional DVD Based Navigation System

Safety on this vehicle - more than I expected as it features a 7 bag system. Open the door - no reflector on the door panel but a bright red lamp in the bottom corner of the door trim. This is the first vehicle we have owned with a pedal release system.

If there is anything at all I would improve would be the audio system. There are 6 speakers however it would seem little if any power and no bass as such. There is an auxiliary input in the face of the radio and today Colleen and I purchased a mini phone plug cable and hooked up her i-Pod Mini. That worked well. On our way home from Florence yesterday we called On-Star and it really works! They knew who we were and the year, make, model and color of the car. We set our pin number in the event we ever get locked out. On-Star can unlock the doors. One other feature that I am waiting to see is my remote vehicle diagnostic which will be sent to me in e-mail.

The vehicle has Stabilitrack and Traction Control. Impressing me is the fact that the security system has an engine immobilizing control. I absolutely had to have the driving lamps since in South Carolina there aren't a lot of street lights out in the country and the driving/fog lamps make a big difference to me in that they provide lighting directly in front of the vehicle. Our XE has 4 wheel disk brakes whereas our 04 model had a disk/drum combination. The drums developed a squeak which for all the cleaning and adjusting we did, still came back again and again to make itself known.

Our vehicle has all the standard equipment of the upscale XR as options and more and aside from the V-6 engine and 17 inch tires our Vue is pretty well loaded. The only other option would be the $2000.00 GPS radio and 180 Watt optional audio package. I definitely would have gone for the 180 watt audio package I guarantee you as it has 10 speakers.

One additional benefit of the XE are the Firestone tires. These 16 inch units should be easily available from any number of tire manufacturers whereas the 17 inch Bridgestones are only available from 1 other manufacturer Cooper.

This vehicle is a carbon copy of the German engineered and built Opel AG Antara. The car was assembled at the Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico.

Now having bought our new XE we have to get the thing ready for the road. We plan on having a Blue Ox baseplate installed, the new state of the art (all equipment under the hood) auxiliary braking system by SMI called the Duo and finally we need to have a 2 inch receiver installed. The Vue's trailering package only features a class 1 receiver however it isn't compatible with any of our gear. All our stuff requires a 2 inch receiver for our bike rack and our Hitch Haul.

If at all possible I plan on buying the Duo and installing it myself. I will take lots of pictures so you can do it to. I do not plan on installing my baseplate since one of the required tools is a sawzall! The last receiver that we had was a U-Haul model which was actually tubular rather than boxy like other models so it presented a much cleaner install.


The Saturn Vue leather interior featuring fabric covered roof pillars.

If anyone has suggestions or recommendations with any or all of this equipment I would certainly like to hear about it.

The outside lighting package in my opinion is much better than the predecessor in that it features something that I have wanted for a long time, a side body mounted signal light indicator. The vehicle also has separate front a rear side marker lamps like an ICC vehicle.

The actual deal maker in all of this was price. The XE was approximately $5,000 less than the Vue XR which has the V6, 6 Speed, full body paint, 17 inch wheels and tires and a great number of standard features which are optional on the XE. The President's Day sale gave back $2500.00 in incentives which made this a sweet deal. Comparing this vehicle to the $30,000 machines we were considering including the Equinox Sport the XE more than fits our lifestyle and meets our need for a toad. The windows sticker even had the following line item, "flat towable". Saturn knows how important that capability is for RV'ers.
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:42 PM   #2
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2008 Saturn Vue XE FWD

Picture taken at the Myrtle Beach State Park off of King Highway South of the strip.

Colleen and I are pleased to announce that we have taken delivery of our new "toad" from Saturn of Florence, South Carolina.

We couldn't be any happier with our choice. The 2008 Saturn Vue isn't a makeover or a re-skinned version of itself but a totally new from the ground up German designed and engineered vehicle by GM's Opel AG affiliate.

Our XE features the following equipment:
ZLF26 Saturn Vue XE FWD
B34 Floor Mats F&R
FE9 Federal Emissions
LE5 2.4L 4 Cyl DOHC Ecotec Engine. DOHC 16V, VVT, 169HP/161lbs_ft Torque
MN5 4 Speed Automatic Transmission w/ tap shift
PCQ Premium Trim Pkg, Leather F&R, Shifter Knob, Heated Seats
R6H SDS Charge
R7Y Communications Plus
T96 Fog Lamps
UE1 1 Year On-Star
XXX 3 months XM-Radio
V59 Chrome Roof Rails
WPF Preferred Pkg. 8W Power Seat, Leather Wrap Steering, Power Heated Mirrors, Visor Mirrors Lighted, Auto Electronic Climate Control
WPG Convenience Pkg., Rainsensing Wipers, Heated Spray Nozzles, Remote Start, Universal Home Remote
XXX Fully Automatic Sun Roof (lifetime guarantee) programmable, express open & close and auto close on exit
XXX Body Stripes (gold)
XXX First Place Finish

Just yesterday I programmed the Universal Home Remote, very cool! The car is very comfortable to drive and we both love driving it. The days for us of buying big engines in cars are gone. I was actually impressed with the 2.4L engine in the 2LT HHR when we were shopping. The performance from the same engine in the heavier XE is adequate and we hope that it will repay our confidence in MPG savings around town and on the highway. Our rating is allegedly 19/26. Remarkably the XE FWD has a 19.2 gallon fuel tank. This vehicle should have long legs compared to the 2004 AWD V6 we traded. The 2004 plastic body panels, AWD and Honda V6 weight just about the same as our new metal skinned I-4 FWD at about 3800 pounds. One of the after market features we had installed before delivery was the sun roof. It's a Hollandia Model 700 by Webasto and carries a limited lifetime warranty on all parts.

I was pleased to learn that the 4 speed automatic has a tap shift button on the side of the shift lever. I simply place the shift lever in "M" and I can manually shift the transmission. I was thinking that the 6-speed XR only had the tap-shift feature. Surprisingly the IP has a compass and a outside temperature gauge however missing are the GM mileage readings for instant, average and DTE. This vehicle does have a low tire pressure warning system however it does not display individual pressures like one might see in the Equinox but simply presents a idiot lamp.

The steering wheel mounted cruise and radio controls are new to us and they are really cool to have. The seating surfaces, steering wheel and shifter knob are leather which adds a nice touch to the interior. While at home Colleen frequently uses a heating pad so the fact that the seats are heated in the XE puts a smile on her face. The rear seats actually do fold absolutely flat. The seat cushion moves forward on a track as the seat back comes down. The seat also has holes for the seat belt anchors so they don't get pressed into the seat cushions when the seat is folded. Nice touch. The front passenger seat also folds down in the event one has a need to transport something longer that wouldn't fit if the seat didn't fold down.

The glove box is approximately twice as large as the 04 Vue and there is also a nifty storage drawer under the passenger front seat. The center armrest elbow pad when unlocked slides forward. The console has 2 compartments both kind of small however they will accommodate small personal effects. The A & B pillar covers are fabric covered with softens the interior of the vehicle and adds a layer of quality to the German engineered interior.


2008 Saturn Vue featuring the optional DVD Based Navigation System

Safety on this vehicle - more than I expected as it features a 7 bag system. Open the door - no reflector on the door panel but a bright red lamp in the bottom corner of the door trim. This is the first vehicle we have owned with a pedal release system.

If there is anything at all I would improve would be the audio system. There are 6 speakers however it would seem little if any power and no bass as such. There is an auxiliary input in the face of the radio and today Colleen and I purchased a mini phone plug cable and hooked up her i-Pod Mini. That worked well. On our way home from Florence yesterday we called On-Star and it really works! They knew who we were and the year, make, model and color of the car. We set our pin number in the event we ever get locked out. On-Star can unlock the doors. One other feature that I am waiting to see is my remote vehicle diagnostic which will be sent to me in e-mail.

The vehicle has Stabilitrack and Traction Control. Impressing me is the fact that the security system has an engine immobilizing control. I absolutely had to have the driving lamps since in South Carolina there aren't a lot of street lights out in the country and the driving/fog lamps make a big difference to me in that they provide lighting directly in front of the vehicle. Our XE has 4 wheel disk brakes whereas our 04 model had a disk/drum combination. The drums developed a squeak which for all the cleaning and adjusting we did, still came back again and again to make itself known.

Our vehicle has all the standard equipment of the upscale XR as options and more and aside from the V-6 engine and 17 inch tires our Vue is pretty well loaded. The only other option would be the $2000.00 GPS radio and 180 Watt optional audio package. I definitely would have gone for the 180 watt audio package I guarantee you as it has 10 speakers.

One additional benefit of the XE are the Firestone tires. These 16 inch units should be easily available from any number of tire manufacturers whereas the 17 inch Bridgestones are only available from 1 other manufacturer Cooper.

This vehicle is a carbon copy of the German engineered and built Opel AG Antara. The car was assembled at the Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico.

Now having bought our new XE we have to get the thing ready for the road. We plan on having a Blue Ox baseplate installed, the new state of the art (all equipment under the hood) auxiliary braking system by SMI called the Duo and finally we need to have a 2 inch receiver installed. The Vue's trailering package only features a class 1 receiver however it isn't compatible with any of our gear. All our stuff requires a 2 inch receiver for our bike rack and our Hitch Haul.

If at all possible I plan on buying the Duo and installing it myself. I will take lots of pictures so you can do it to. I do not plan on installing my baseplate since one of the required tools is a sawzall! The last receiver that we had was a U-Haul model which was actually tubular rather than boxy like other models so it presented a much cleaner install.


The Saturn Vue leather interior featuring fabric covered roof pillars.

If anyone has suggestions or recommendations with any or all of this equipment I would certainly like to hear about it.

The outside lighting package in my opinion is much better than the predecessor in that it features something that I have wanted for a long time, a side body mounted signal light indicator. The vehicle also has separate front a rear side marker lamps like an ICC vehicle.

The actual deal maker in all of this was price. The XE was approximately $5,000 less than the Vue XR which has the V6, 6 Speed, full body paint, 17 inch wheels and tires and a great number of standard features which are optional on the XE. The President's Day sale gave back $2500.00 in incentives which made this a sweet deal. Comparing this vehicle to the $30,000 machines we were considering including the Equinox Sport the XE more than fits our lifestyle and meets our need for a toad. The windows sticker even had the following line item, "flat towable". Saturn knows how important that capability is for RV'ers.
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:20 PM   #3
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Isn't it great we just bought one to tow also. It has the Demco plate and the US Gear Unified brake system installed. We have only had it out once but it follows great. This picture was taken before the base plate and brakes were installed. The Vue is the XR V6

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Old 02-25-2008, 04:25 AM   #4
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Good luck with the new Toad. We think they are great vehicles.
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Old 02-25-2008, 05:41 AM   #5
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Mike,

"This is the first vehicle we have owned with a pedal release system."

I'm not quite sure what that is - can you explain? Is it a parking brake release?

I would love to hear some actual MPG results for the four cylinder model. Love the power my V6 has when needed and I consistantly can average 27 - 29 MPG in highway driving. A nice fact is that it's pretty much a wash, weight-wise, with the new all-metal body panels and having the 4 cyl. engine.

Maybe at the FL WIT rally in March I can get a look-see at the under hood braking system.
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:16 AM   #6
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Does Saturn still sell at a fixed no haggle price???

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Old 02-25-2008, 06:34 AM   #7
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Mike;

Thanks for the post and the pictures. I am looking forward to seeing it hopefully at Forest City in July. (you & Coleen also)

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Old 02-27-2008, 07:28 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ding-a-ling:
"This is the first vehicle we have owned with a pedal release system." </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Frank, I think it's a component of the front collision safety system which includes the pedal break away system and 7 air bags I'm told. Some air bags will deploy in a front end collision while others will activate in the event of a roll over. I guess it's separate logic in the bag system.

My insurance company likes this vehicle, get this, brand new vehicle $3.00 less. (not perhaps a hundred more)
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:25 PM   #9
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Hi Driver

Congrads on the new toad.
Looking foward to seeing you in Camp Hatteras in April.
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Old 02-28-2008, 06:55 AM   #10
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Hi All,

Hey Mile & Colleen best of luck, it looks and sounds very nice !!! See you sometime in April in Conway, before we move up to Hatteras !!!!!!
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:19 PM   #11
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Hi DriVer.......That Vue sure is a pretty "toad." Something that nice just should not be called a toad! Saturn certainly has come a long way with its vehicle line. We've owned several of them over the years and the current SL-2 is getting a little long in the tooth at nearly 90k miles. Just may have to go to our closest Saturn retailer.

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Old 02-28-2008, 06:53 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by CoastieSCPO:
Just may have to go to our closest Saturn retailer. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Bob, When I first saw the 08 Vue here and there, it peaked my curiosity. Then when I looked inside it was totally unlike the 04 Vue's which in comparison can only be described as Spartan. There are so many upscale creature features in the Vue that to us it wasn't a very hard sell.

We took out an XR to begin with with the V6 and the 6-Speed auto and it was very impressive. We then took out the XE with basically the same accessory packages without the sunroof and we all went for a ride. There were 4 of us in the XE and I thought that the XE's 4 banger was very much up to the task of being a people mover.

OK so I'm already used to less than break neck acceleration but the XE isn't a slug either. The Ecotec DOHC 2.4L VVT spins up rapidly and it doesn't take long at all to be up to the speed limit. Although there's a full 90 day trade back upgrade policy I think this one's a keeper. Colleen insisted on the sun roof and it works better than any other roof I've used. It has 2 programmable buttons, express open and close and auto close when you turn the key off.

I was concerned about the smaller tires but so far the ride is just as good to me as the 17s we had on the 04 even better! We are trying to focus on stretching our fuel dollars so we hope the 4 cylinder engine will return the trust we're putting int it. The polar white color has grown on me in fact it's probably the only color that I really like on the Vue.
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:26 AM   #13
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Does Saturn still sell at a fixed no haggle price???

-Tom
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Old 03-01-2008, 08:23 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Tom N:
Does Saturn still sell at a fixed no haggle price??? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Not sure but we added the base price of the vehicle plus all the options, plate transfer and (max) $300.00 sales tax to SC and subtracted $2500.00 and a downpayment that was obtained from our trade. Pretty simple deal.
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