Comfort and Quality » 7
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QUALITY | 7 out of 10
Big improvements in key areas, including cabin quality
More impressive than interior space are the design and the materials used
Car and Driver
Seats were supportive and straddled the line between cushy and firm
The redesigned 2008 Saturn Vue is an order of magnitude removed from the outgoing model in many regards, but perhaps most noticeably when it comes to interior quality and comfort.
According to Edmunds, the 2008 Saturn Vue "is a five-passenger compact SUV," and many reviews read by TheCarConnection.com decry the lack of an available third-row seat. Regarding the seats in the Saturn Vue, a few complaints arise. Reviewers at Automobile are quick to point out that "the front seat bottoms are too low and too short," though the Detroit News mentions "plenty of leg room in the front (40.7 inches) and the second row (36.9 inches)." ConsumerGuide agrees that there is "good headroom and legroom" up front, but they again note that the "short seat bottoms lack long-distance thigh support." As for the rear seats, ConsumerGuide reports that they offer "excellent headroom" and a "reclining seatback," though once more with "short seat bottoms, and too-firm cushioning."
Although the 2008 Saturn Vue isn't a huge car, it offers average storage space and usability. Reviewers rave about the amount of useful space, and those at the Detroit News love all "the small storage containers, including a drawer under the passenger's front seat," which "give the space purpose instead of becoming a black hole for garage remotes." ConsumerGuide also reports that there is "good space behind the 2nd row," and it "becomes plentiful with the rear seatbacks folded." At Automobile, reviewers note that "the glove box is huge and there are some clever storage solutions in the rear cargo area." However, overall, ConsumerGuide marks down the Saturn Vue because its "in-cabin storage is meager." In terms of hard numbers, Car and Driver says that "luggage space comes in at 29 cubic feet behind the second row and 54 cubic feet with the second row folded, which is noticeably less than the 36 and 73 cubic feet in the RAV4."
Fortunately, the Vue redeems itself in the areas of build and materials quality. Kelley Blue Book offers particularly high praise, declaring "especially when outfitted with leather, the Saturn Vue offers the richest passenger cabin in the category." ConsumerGuide agrees, stating that the new interior is "a vast upgrade over the previous-generation Vue" and claiming "materials quality and assembly of models tested are arguably the best in the compact-SUV class." Cars.com reviewers add that the materials not only "best other domestics, like the Ford Escape, it's also superior to top imports like the Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda CR-V." Edmunds notes "brushed-aluminum accents on the steering wheel, door panels, parking brake and shift knob further the upscale treatment."
In addition to improved build and materials quality, the Saturn Vue does a wonderful job of suppressing external noise. ConsumerGuide remarks that "wind noise is low even in crosswinds," and Cars.com adds "there's almost no engine noise and very little wind or road noise on even the most abrasive highway lanes."
It’s vastly more refined, but the 2008 Saturn Vue has less interior and cargo room than others in its class.