Recall Alert: 2002-2004 Saturn Vue


Vehicles Affected: 202,115 Saturn Vue SUVs from the 2002 to 2004 model years in the U.S., with around 13,000 more outside the country.

The Problem: Two potential issues exist. The first is that if you stop the vehicle and put the automatic transmission in Park, you could have a hard time getting the key out. "The ignition cylinder can bind, and the key can get stuck in there," GM spokesman Alan Adler told us. The second possibility is an opposite problem: The key may be removable when the car is stopped but not in Park. Although this is an ignition-related issue, Adler said that there is no danger of what GM has termed "unintended key rotation" — i.e., the key getting bumped out of the Run position while the car is moving, which is responsible for more than 10 million GM recalls this year. "It's not an ignition switch" problem, Adler maintained. "That is not the issue here." That said, GM said in a press release that it's aware of two crashes and one injury "potentially related" to the Vue's issue.

The Fix: GM dealers will inspect the key for either problem. If it exists, dealers will replace the ignition cylinder and keys for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Saturn customer assistance at 800-553-6000. Adler says he doesn't have a timeline yet on how long it will take for replacement parts to show up, but GM recommends that owners ensure their vehicles are in Park before exiting; stick-shift SUVs (yes, Saturn did sell a few) should be put into Reverse and the parking brake should be set.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

By Kelsey Mays | August 8, 2014 | Comments (3)

Which New SUV Is Comparable to the Saturn Vue?

"Which new SUV is comparable to the Saturn Vue? I am driving my fourth Saturn Vue and have been really frustrated at the thought of replacing it. I already looked at the Equinox but passed because it is not comparable — it's bigger and pricier. Then I saw the Chevrolet Captiva! Problem solved — or so I thought (fleet only). If I can't buy a Captiva, I will go to another brand. I buy new, so a used Captiva is not an option in my mind."


By Matt Schmitz | October 20, 2013 | Comments (1)

Top 10 Most-Read Stories of the Year


Out of thousands of Kicking Tires posts in 2012, a little novelty news item about the return of Chevrolet's Captiva Sport enjoyed something of a captive audience. The post, about the short-lived Saturn Vue crossover reappearing as the 2012 Chevrolet Captiva, finished the year with nearly 15% more reads than its nearest competitor.

Perhaps it was the sheer oddity of the thing, as the Captiva isn't sold at dealerships, but instead was brought back by General Motors for rental-fleet duty.

Further down the list are our top 10 cars we recommended for surviving the Mayan apocalypse aftermath, which if you're reading this now is, mercifully, irrelevant. Check out the rest of the list below:

1. The Saturn Vue Is Back as the 2012 Chevrolet Captiva Sport
2. Honda Confirms 2013 Civic Updates, Mum on Specifics
3. 2013 Mazda3: What's Changed
4. 2013 Hyundai Elantra Sedan: What's Changed
5. Top 10 Cars for the 2012 Apocalypse
6. 2013 Honda Accord Sedan Shrinks, Gets Plug-in Hybrid Model
7. 2013 Subaru Forester: What's Changed
8. 2013 Honda Odyssey: What's Changed
9. 2013 Honda Pilot: What's Changed
10. Recall Alert: 2005-10 Honda Accord, 2007-10 Honda CR-V, 2005-08 Honda Element

By Matt Schmitz | December 31, 2012 | Comments (1)

The Saturn Vue Is Back as the 2012 Chevrolet Captiva Sport

2012 Chevrolet Captiva SportThis is a strange development to say the least. The somewhat popular but short-lived second-generation Saturn Vue is coming back to the United States as the 2012 Chevrolet Captiva Sport.

You’ll see it on the streets, but you won’t be able to buy one new, and you’ll probably see it at used-car dealerships over time. That’s because the Captiva Sport is coming for the sole purpose of fulfilling fleet orders, according to General Motors.

The Captiva Sport will be available in LS, LT and LTZ trims. All models will include 17-inch aluminum wheels, air conditioning, power windows and locks, and electronic stability control. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. Up-level trims will offer features like leather seats, a rearview camera and sunroof.

The Captiva Sport is powered by a 172-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder on the LS trim and a 264-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 on the LT and LTZ trims. All models use a six-speed automatic transmission.

The Captiva is sold around the world except in the U.S. With huge demand on the retail side for the Chevrolet Equinox, the Captiva Sport fleet option could take pressure off the popular crossover in the U.S.

As far as we know, this is the only vehicle you’ll see in rental fleets that you can’t buy at a dealership. The Captiva Sport will become available to fleet customers late this year. We had thought this model may be coming, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has already tested the vehicle, giving the Captiva Sport a four-star rollover rating; frontal and side crash-test ratings aren’t yet available.

Should this car be available to regular car buyers, too? Tell us in the comments below.

By Colin Bird | March 11, 2011 | Comments (218)

GM Stops Saturn Production; What Now?


GM stopped producing new Saturns yesterday after news broke that its deal to sell the brand to Penske Automotive Group fell through. People were shocked in both the executive suites of Detroit and the 350 Saturn dealerships across the country. Add in the thousands of Saturn owners and potential buyers, and there’s a lot of confusion over the future of GM’s formerly “different” car company. Here’s what you need to know if you’re a Saturn owner or potential buyer.

By David Thomas | October 2, 2009 | Comments (29)

Saturn Deal Falls Through, Brand to Die


Today, Penske Automotive Group is withdrawing its plan to purchase Saturn from GM. In turn, GM has issued a statement declaring it will not seek other buyers for Saturn and will wind down the brand and its dealers.
The terms of this process — including how long new Saturns will be produced and sold — will be announced at a later date.

Penske cited problems securing deals to sell other makes and models besides the current crop of GM-sourced vehicles. The company said a deal with a third party to make future Saturns fell through and that led to the deal’s termination.

Saturn now joins Pontiac and Oldsmobile in the GM graveyard. The sale of Hummer is still ongoing.  
By David Thomas | September 30, 2009 | Comments (15)

Recall Alert: 2008 Saturn Vue

08SaturnVue GM has issued a recall for 44,451 Saturn Vue crossovers from the 2008 model year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The crossover’s body-colored door handles might stick or bind. In this case, a door may not latch.

An unlatched door could come open while driving, putting the occupants in danger and increasing the risk of injury.

Dealers will replace the outside door handles with new chrome handles for free. Owners may contact Saturn at 800-972-8876 or NHTSA at 888-327-4236.


By Stephen Markley | June 29, 2009 | Comments (7)

Penske Reaches Deal With GM to Buy Saturn

Vue With Hummer sold off earlier this week, GM has now announced a tentative deal with Roger Penske for the businessman to buy its struggling Saturn brand.

According to Saturn, the deal would save more than 13,000 jobs and keep 350 Saturn dealerships from closing.

Under the deal, GM would continue to make Saturn products — like the Aura, Outlook and Vue — for Penske until 2011.

There’s been no word on whether GM will continue to build the Sky or Astra. The assembly plant for the Sky is due to close this summer, and Saturn didn’t release a 2009 Astra in the U.S.

After 2011, Penske reportedly plans to sell globally sourced vehicles; Automotive News is reporting that Penske will sell Renault Samsung vehicles built in South Korea at Saturn dealerships.

The tentative agreement saves Saturn and its customer-friendly dealers from an almost certain death. GM had previously announced that without a buyer it would close the brand down by the end of this year.

GM, Penske reach tentative deal for Saturn brand (Detroit Free Press) 
Penske plan: Sell Samsung vehicles at Saturn stores (Cnet)

By Colin Bird | June 5, 2009 | Comments (15)

Saturn Vue Two-Mode Hybrid Rated at 28 MPG

Front_qtr_IM Remember the Saturn Vue Two-Mode Hybrid? If you don’t, you’ll never know it, as this Saturn Vue model will never go on sale.

The vehicle was so close to launch that the EPA even tested it: The Vue Two-Mode would have received a 27/30 mpg city/highway, 28 mpg combined rating. That means the ill-fated 255-hp hybrid crossover would have been more fuel-efficient than the 2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid (though that model is larger and comes equipped with all-wheel drive), but less efficient than the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid and 2010 Lexus RX 450h.

The Vue Two-Mode Hybrid was part of Saturn’s aggressive hybrid strategy, which was intended to lead to a plug-in hybrid in 2010. The Vue Two-Mode Hybrid was equipped with a powerful V-6 engine and could accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds and tow up to 3,500 pounds.

The model would have complemented the Vue Hybrid, which has a 172-hp four-cylinder powertrain and, interestingly enough, achieves the same combined EPA rating – 28 mpg – as its erstwhile Two-Mode sibling would have.

By Colin Bird | June 4, 2009 | Comments (7)

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