2005 Saturn VUE Red Line AWD Hond V6 from North America
An attractive oddball that's faster than it looks
Ignition cylinder replaced twice. Receiver in sliding roof window mechanism replaced. Both under warranty. Rear wheel alignment is out and can only be fixed with after-market part.
Strong handling, Honda engine and distinct styling make this an attractive package that stands out from the crowd.
However, road noise is high and the quirky controls--designed evidently to be different rather than useful--take quite a while to learn. The on-demand AWD isn't much use in everyday driving; the lag leaves the slightly aggressive driver chirping the 18-inch low profile tires on starts and corners. But, at least, you'll be doing it from some of the more comfortable seats around.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th November, 2007
Updating my review at 90,000 kilometres.
The reliability issues have appeared in spades just after the warranty expired. In the past year, the rear driveline has been replaced -- a common failure of the centre bearing; main seal replaced; and now there has appeared the dreaded front-end clunk, whose source my experienced technicians can't pinpoint. Rather than start changing parts willy nilly, they advised we drive it till it gets worse. Instead, my wife is sticking to her Cayenne S and me to my Hemi Ram. It sure looks good. Hoping to trade it to a dealer who doesn't take a test drive.
Updating again, at 145,121 KM.
Suspension showing its age, helped along by our notoriously pot-holed roads and liberal applications of salt five months a year.
Replacements include: right front wheel bearing hub assembly, left front wheel bearing, left front drive shaft, sway bar link kit (right side). Struts and shocks are overdue for replacement.
Honda engine is running smoothly after replacing a faulty ignition coil. Not a tuneup yet, but mileage deteriorated to 16.2 litres per 100KM city driving.
When you average the ownership experience over more than nine years, not bad at all (and it still runs rings around our newest vehicle -- a 2014 Focus SE manual).
Apparently the reviewer found out that the trade-in value is, well, not much?
Test drove a Red Line a few years ago, but passed it up due to the unreliable Honda drive train. Might have bought it if it had had a more reliable American GM engine.