Pros: V6 engine with 5 speed auto AWD. Rides like a car, very versatile vehicle.
Cons: Lumbar support knob should be moved to seat back, as in the L300.
Update 4/13/03: Have had this vehicle seven months now. Still enjoy it, but have had some repairs required, all covered under the warranty.
Fuel gauge was not reading properly, had the sending unit replaced, apparently a defect in the 02 and 03 models.
Was hearing a "rattling" noise inside the instrument cluster at freeway speeds or in high wind conditions. Saturn replaced a hood hinge unit which seems to have resolved it.
Took it on our first family vacation last week to Las Vegas, which is a five hour drive, one way, from our California home. Wore shorts and after returning home, noticed the left side of the black plastic cover on the console, the top coating layer worn. It is where my outer right thigh rested against it while driving. Saturn dealer has agreed to replace it under warranty but cannot guarantee the problem won't reoccur. Other than that, our VUE ran flawlessly. Averaged 22 MPG which was mostly freeway driving and some city and freeway traffic congestion included. No complaints.
Recently purchased a Saturn VUE, AWD, V6. So far really like it. Presently own an L300, for over a year, and it has been a very good car which we enjoy.
The VUE has many nice features, including leather heated seats, leather steering wheel and shift control knob, moon roof, power windows, door locks, 6 speaker stereo, CD, cassette and roof rack. The 3.0 V6 is mated to a 5 speed automatic, the first SUV in its class to offer this 5 speed transmission. Also have the front bra, splash guards and chromed wheels. It has the electronic controlled steering eliminating the power steering pump. Our VUE is white with gray leather interior.
Most SUV's, even the smaller ones, are based on a truck frame and thus drive and ride like a truck. The VUE rides and handles more like a car. It has a "softer" ride and the V6 engine is quieter than our L300. There is plenty of power with the 3.0 V6 and decent fuel mileage. Have not experienced the AWD system yet. It is computer controlled and only kicks in when needed. They also come with very good Bridgestone Dueler tires.
Like the versatile use of this vehicle for hauling people and/or hauling loads. Convenient pop up storage bin in the back for groceries or to keep items from rolling around in the back. Has a built in storage bin for a gallon of liquid as well.
As with most Saturn vehicles, the VUE offers many nice features for the price. I think the ding resistant polymer doors and fenders are a very good plus. The Saturn buying experience is next to none in this price range.