The "different kind of company" from Spring Hill, Tennessee, known for its no-haggle pricing and dent-resistant body panels, now builds a different kind of SUV. Saturn teamed with General Motors Performance Division to engineer the Vue Red Line, an SUV that offers more sport while maintaining the 'ute.
Enhanced utility comes from increased towing capacity (up 1000 pounds to 3500), thanks to a 3.5-liter Honda-sourced V-6. The new powerplant (standard in any V-6-equipped Vue, Red Line or not) offers 38 percent more power and a 24-percent bump in torque over last year's Opel-based V-6. This class-leading power is matched to a Honda five-speed automatic gearbox, in either FWD or AWD.
Included with the Red Line package are stiffer and shorter (by 26 mm) springs to reduce body roll and lower the center of gravity for improved handling. Sport steering improves on-center feel, the lack of which was a disappointment in last year's Vue V-6.
Giving the SUV a purposeful stance are 245/50R18 Bridgestone Turanza performance-touring tires on six-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels. The final touch to the "slammed tuner" look comes from custom front and rear fascias, rockers, black air intakes, tinted rear glass, monochromatic paint, and a chrome exhaust tip.
The Red Line package costs $1995 and includes ABS. With upgraded materials, instrumentation, noise isolation, and performance, the Vue just may give some a new outlook on Saturn.