Review: 2006 Saturn Vue

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If you're looking for an all-weather wagon that provides some on-road smiles and sports a nice interior, by all means check out the Vue. It holds its own against players ranging from the aging Ford Escape to the sleek Nissan Murano, and it has a few unique calling cards, such as its dent-resistant plastic body. The updates made over the last two years have breathed fresh life into the Vue, making it more desirable now than when it was a new vehicle--a rarity in the marketplace. While you don't buy a compact SUV to haul the Grady-White around, the V-6 Vue also offers a 3,500-pound towing capacity, enough to handle most small boats. If you favor a tuner look and need the all-weather versatility of a small SUV, the Vue Red Line is about the only option out there--though be aware that the Red Line is not rated as a tow vehicle.

It's been around for a few years, but class-leading power and keen interior and exterior updates have kept the Vue in the mix in the hotly contested compact-SUV segment.

What's Hot

  • Available 250-hp V-6
  • Nice-looking interior
  • Well-equipped for the money

    What's Not

  • Slow four-cylinder models
  • Not the roomiest back seat
  • ABS not standard, stability control not offered

    The Vue gets a freshened front end, a nicely redesigned interior, and more standard power accessories on all models for 2006. New audio systems further improve the driving experience.

    Clearly, the Vue shines brightest with the V-6 powertrain, though historically, the four-cylinder has had a more favorable IntelliChoice Cost of Ownership Value Rating. If you spend a lot of time in your car, XM satellite radio is a welcomed option. The Red Line package includes a unique grille, lowered suspension, spoilers and big, 18-inch wheels.

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