The Saturn Vue offers mostly cosmetic changes for 2005, although a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) used on four-cylinder front-wheel-drive models in 2004 has been replaced by a conventional automatic transmission. Other changes include chrome headlamp bezels, OnStar Gen 6 hardware with upgraded hands-free capability, driver-side sun visor extender, three new exterior colours, new seat fabrics, and depending on the model, new chrome door handles and mouldings, body-coloured mirrors and new wheels.

The Vue comes in three models. The base model uses a 2.2-litre inline four cylinder and is front-wheel-drive only; the V6 uses a 3.5-litre engine provided by Honda and is available in FWD or all-wheel-drive. The sporty Red Line comes in FWD or AWD, uses the V6, and features a performance-tuned stiffened suspension with a 26 mm lowered ride height, 18-inch aluminum wheels with P245/50R18 Bridgestone Turanza performance touring tires, sport-calibrated steering, and unique body accents.

The four-cylinder Vue includes 16-inch steel wheels, rear washer/wiper, air conditioning, rear cargo organizer, floor mats, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and temperature, power mirrors, cruise control, 70/30 split folding rear seat, fold-flat front passenger seat, height-adjustable driver’s seat, and CD player with six speakers.

The six-cylinder adds fog lamps, 16-inch alloy wheels, traction control, and automatic headlamps, while the AWD model adds 17-inch alloy wheels.

In both engine sizes, the Vue offers sufficient power and a good ride for the price, and the Honda-sourced V6 is very smooth and able. The box-on-box styling wasn’t chosen for its stunning good looks, but it makes the most of its interior space, with plenty of headroom. On the downside, the interior looks very cheap, and the electric-assist power steering feels numb and disconnected. The Red Line edition doesn’t get the power upgrade that it does on the Ion, but it’s still fun to toss it around, and you can take it to the grocery store with no fear of shopping carts.

The Vue is built in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

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