Saturn Vue hybrid pricing, mileage announced

The Saturn Vue hybrid SUV is introduced
The Saturn Vue hybrid SUV, seen here at the Detroit auto show last January, looks like its gasoline-only sibling, but has more horsepower and gets 20 percent better mileage. Stan Honda / AFP-Getty Images file
/ Source: msnbc.com

General Motors took a major step into the market for hybrid vehicles on Wednesday, announcing pricing for the 2007 gasoline-electric Saturn Vue that makes it the least expensive hybrid SUV available.

The base price for the 2007 Vue Green Line was set at $22,995, including destination charge. That’s about $4,000 less than the next least expensive hybrid SUV, the Ford Escape Hybrid.

The front-wheel drive Vue hybrid received a fuel economy rating of 27/32 mpg in city/highway driving by the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s 20 percent better than a non-hybrid Vue, but less than the Ford Escape Hybrid at 33/29 mpg for a two-wheel drive.

Like other hybrids, the Vue hybrid’s fuel saving features include:

  • Electric power assist during acceleration;
  • Early fuel cut-off during deceleration;
  • Shutting the engine off at idle;
  • Capturing electrical energy through regenerative braking.

The electric motor adds 27 more horsepower than the gasoline Vue, for a total of 170 in the hybrid.

“The Vue Green Line’s acceleration is comparable or better than similarly equipped non-hybrid SUVs,” Saturn said in a press release.

Saturn is producing the hybrids in Spring Hill, Tenn., and the first will begin arriving in showrooms later this summer.

Saturn, a GM division, also recently announced plans for a Green Line hybrid version of the Aura sedan in 2007.

Like other new hybrids, the Vue Green Line qualifies for a federal tax credit. The exact amount has yet to be determined for the Vue hybrid, but should be around the $2,000 for the Ford Escape Hybrid.

GM makes mild hybrid pickup trucks, but the 2007 Vue Green Line is its first entry into the full hybrid market.