Besides a half-hearted attempt with a version of the Chevrolet Silverado, General Motors has so far been largely absent from the hybrid market. That was until the company released the 2007 Saturn Vue Green Line. Like hybrid competitors currently available, the 2007 Vue Green Line features an electric motor that works with a regular gas engine to provide power. In this case, that engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. A battery pack is located under the rear cargo floor. The hybrid technology allows the gas engine to shut off during deceleration and while the Vue is sitting idle, regenerative braking to capture what is usually wasted energy, and an electric motor to supplement the engine’s power during acceleration. That added boosts helps the 2007 Saturn Vue Green Line to reach 60 mph one second quicker than its gas-only counterpart. The official word from GM is that this hybrid powertrain operates in a way that makes it “virtually transparent to the consumer.” That’s good news, as is the Green Line’s reported fuel economy, which is expected to be 20 percent better than the regular Saturn Vue – 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.
If those numbers are indeed realistic, drivers of the 2007 Vue Green Line can expect to save some money at the pump, just like they did when buying their new hybrid Saturn. Unlike many other hybrids, the Green Line commands a premium of only $2,000, resulting in a base price that hovers just below $23,000.