Saturn Vue 3.5L V6 Review

As already mentioned we went ahead and bought a used 2006 Saturn Vue, the 3.5L V6 front wheel drive version. Generally it’s a very good car, great performance, 60mph comes in roughly 7.5 seconds which is pretty good for a large car, it’s powered by a 3.5L V6 Honda VTEC engine so it has plenty of punch from a standing start, although the traction control tends to be a little slow to react. It took me a few days to get used to the feather light throttle pedal; it’s very easy to get wheelspin with very little force being put on the accelerator. The brakes are excellent; four wheel ABS breaking means it stops on a dime at low speeds and does a brilliant job of stopping from higher speeds in good conditions. I’ve not driven it in the rain as yet so I can’t say too much about wet weather performance at this time. The handling is pretty good in general but as you’d expect from an SUV it tends to understeer and roll if you try to take a 90 degree corner at more than 25 – 30mph. The steering is pretty accurate and smooth, there’s no dead zone in the steering and it had electric power steering that becomes more resistant as higher speeds to improve highway stability. It has plenty of kit inside, electric windows, doors, mirrors and seats which are also heated, automatic door locks when drive is engaged and auto dimming rear view mirror. Cruise control is a nice bonus as my right foot tends to get tired as there is little to no resistance in the accelerator pedal, engage cruise control and chill out, I can increase and reduce speed with the touch of a button and resume speed after slowing. I only have one annoyance and that is the wind noise and bizarre rattling when travelling at 50mph or more. I spent the first 10 minutes of highway driving playing with the window controls as it sounded like one of the windows was not fully up. My solution is to just crank the stereo up to drown out the noise. The stereo system itself is OK, not the best sound I have ever heard, the stereo in my Chevy Cavalier sounds better. I spent some time tweaking it but couldn’t get the sound right, I need to crank the volume up to get an sort of bass response. With the EQ set to +/-0 on the bass and treble it sounds like a cheap portable radio, I have it set to bass +7 and treble +5 which gives a reasonable sound with the volume at +20 and above. So overall I am happy with our purchase, the wind noise is annoying but we I live with it, I love the V6 performance and the gas mileage is pretty good, we travelled about 140 miles on about 2/5ths of a tank of fuel, which is pretty good for a 3.5L V6 engine. I’m very thankful that Saturn went with a Japanese engine rather than a big American gas guzzler.

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