2006 Saturn Vue

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starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Seating capacity

181.3” x 66.5”


Front-wheel drive



The good:

  • 250-hp engine performance
  • Handling and stability with 250-hp engine
  • Easy entry and exit
  • Interior layout
  • Government crash-test ratings

The bad:

  • Road noise
  • Four-cylinder engine noise
  • Stability on slippery pavement
  • Base model's resale value

1 trim

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2006 Saturn Vue trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best SUVs for 2024

Notable features

  • Available 250-hp, 3.5-liter V-6
  • Manual or automatic
  • FWD or AWD
  • Available XM Satellite Radio

2006 Saturn Vue review: Our expert's take

By G. Chambers Williams III

Saturn’s stylish and fun-to-drive compact sport utility, known as the Vue, returned for 2006 with some significant updates, including some new exterior styling cues and a revamped interior. The overall look remains the same, though, as this is just the fourth year of production, and the vehicle isn’t quite ready for a complete makeover.

Coming this summer, as an early 2007 model, is the new Vue Green Line model – the first gasoline-electric hybrid passenger vehicle to be offered by General Motors. That vehicle, with a 20 percent improvement in fuel economy over this year’s V-6 models, will start at just under $23,000. EPA ratings will be 27 miles per gallon in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, GM says.

The most interesting model for the 2006 model year, though, is the sporty Red Line version, which we tested for this report. It also gets some refinements that are unique to the Red Line model.

The engine used in the Red Line remains the Honda-built 3.5-liter V-6 used in other six-cylinder versions of the Vue. No higher-powered engine is offered with the Red Line package, but the 250 horsepower this engine provides still pushes the Vue along quite impressively. Until the arrival of the new 269-horsepower, V-6 powered 2006 Toyota RAV4 in December, this was the most-powerful engine in the compact SUV class. Honda doesn’t offer a six-cylinder version of the CR-V; it comes only with an inline four-cylinder.

For 2006, Vue models begin at $17,990 (including freight) for the base Vue with a four-cylinder engine, and range to $23,650 for the all-wheel-drive V-6 model, plus options.

For safety’s sake, Saturn now includes GM’s OnStar system as standard equipment on all Vue models, along with a year of basic service. GM says the addition of OnStar, which includes a system that automatically notifies an OnStar operator if the vehicle is involved in a collision, complements the Vue’s top five-star safety rating for the driver and front passenger in both front- and side-impact crash tests.

My significant other recently was involved in a crash of an OnStar-equipped vehicle, and within seconds, the OnStar operator’s voice came over the speaker in the vehicle’s cabin asking if everyone was OK (they were). The operator then called the appropriate emergency services to report the accident, and stayed on the line until police and EMS arrived.

It was quite an impressive test of the OnStar system, and underscored for me just how useful the system can be. An air bag deployment signals the system to notify the OnStar operator, and with the built-in GPS system, OnStar can pinpoint the vehicle’s location for the operator to give to emergency services – a great feature if the occupants of the car are incapacitated by the collision.

GM says the Vue’s interior has been redesigned to make it more refined and functional. Changes include the new center instrument stack, door trim, center console, and steering-wheel radio controls. Leather seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are available, and were included as part of the Red Line package ($2,495) on our test vehicle. New audio systems also are available, and they include an input jack for iPods and other portable music players. The new systems also can play MP3 compact discs.

Seat fabric has been upgraded on V-6 models, and what GM calls “clutter-fighting storage solutions” have been added or upgraded on the ’06 Vue. These include a rear cargo organizer that flips up to hold grocery bags, and side storage bins that can hold gallon jugs of milk or other items, Saturn says.

The Vue seats five people, yet still has 30.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat. And if you have lots of stuff to haul, and can do without the passenger seats, the middle seat can be folded flat to increase cargo space to 63.8 cubic feet, and the front passenger seat can be folded to accommodate items up to eight feet long – such as a ladder, snow skis, or bed rails.

Standard on all Vue models this year is a “power package” that brings cruise control; power windows/mirrors/door locks with remote; a security system; and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and outside-temperature display.

Outside, the Vue has new front and rear fascias, hood, grille, and headlights. Optional on V-6 models are projector-beam fog lights and roof rails, although the rails are not available on the Red Line.

Continuing as one of the best features of this and other Saturn models are the polymer body side panels that are resistant to dings and dents.

An optional DVD rear-seat entertainment system is new for 2006, although it was not among the options on our test vehicle. XM Satellite Radio also is offered, and was included on our vehicle as part of a “sun and sound” package ($995) that also brought an upgraded audio system with MP3 CD player and a power sunroof.

The V-6 engine is one of the Vue’s most-compelling features. It offers 242 foot-pounds of torque, and with the five-speed automatic transmission that is standard with the V-6 engine, it has EPA fuel-economy ratings of 20 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive.

The optional all-wheel-drive system, which was not included on our vehicle, drops the fuel-economy rating to 19 city/25 highway.

Saturn says the V-6 engine allows the vehicle to accelerate from zero to 60 mpg in 7.5 seconds. The engine allows the Vue to tow trailers weighing up to 3,500 pounds, although models that have the Red Line package are not suitable for towing of any trailers, Saturn says.

Vue’s base engine is one of GM’s Ecotec powerplants – a 2.2-liter four-cylinder rated at 143 horsepower and 152 foot-pounds of torque.

It comes with a five-speed manual gearbox, but a four-speed automatic is available. Saturn has discontinued the continuously variable automatic that was available in earlier years.

Another neat feature is the Vue’s electric power steering system, which is driven by the engine. It has been engineered to give precise steering at lower speeds, as well as a “confident feel on the highway,” Saturn says.

The Vue has a four-wheel independent suspension, and the Red Line model has an upgraded sport suspension that trades a bit of ride comfort for better handling. The suspension has been lowered an inch from that of the regular Vue models.

RV owners will appreciate that the Vue can be towed behind a motor home with all four wheels on the ground and the driveshaft still connected.

As for our Red Line model, it comes with a new grille that is similar to those found on the 2007 Saturn Sky roadster and the midsize ’07 Aura sedan (which goes on sale later this year).

Inside, the Red Line features with ebony leather seats that have suede fabric inserts; ebony carpet and safety belts; six-way power driver’s seat adjuster; a unique instrument panel; metallic foot pedals; embroidered floor mats; and foot-well lights that can be set to either blue or amber color. Outside, besides the unique grille, the Red Line unique front fascia moldings and a body-color liftgate handle. Special 18-inch aluminum wheels are part of the package, along with P245/50R18 Bridgestone Turanza performance touring tires.

Total sticker for our test vehicle, including the Red Line package, was $25,480, including freight.

G. Chambers Williams III is staff automotive columnist for the San Antonio Express-News and former transportation writer for the Star-Telegram. His automotive columns have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 1995. Contact him at (210) 250-3236; chambers@star-telegram.com.

2006 Saturn Vue
The package: Compact, five-passenger, four-door, front- or all-wheel-drive, four-cylinder or V-6 powered sport utility.
Highlights: Saturn’s first venture into SUVs debuted four years ago, and it has been extensively revamped, although not significantly restyled, for 2006. The Red Line performance edition continues as the most interesting model, and a Green Line gasoline-electric hybrid version is on its way to market for 2007.
Negatives: No engine upgrade offered with Red Line package.
Engine: 2.2-liter inline four-cylinder; 3.5-liter (Honda) V-6.
Transmission: 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic (4-cylinder models); 5-speed automatic (V-6 only).
Power/Torque: 143HP/152 foot-pounds (I-4); 250HP/242 foot-pounds (V-6).
Brakes, front/rear: Disc/drum, antilock optional on 4-cylinder, standard on V-6.
Length: 181.3 inches.
Curb weight: 3,207-3,630 pounds.
Cargo capacity: 30.8 cubic feet (behind rear seat).
EPA fuel economy: 23 miles per gallon city/28 highway (4-cylinder manual); 20/28 (V-6 automatic, front-wheel drive); 19/25 (V-6, all-wheel drive).
Fuel capacity/type: 16.3 gallons/regular unleaded.
Base price range: $24,055 plus $575 freight.
Price as tested: $25,480 (including freight and options).
Major competitors: Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Pontiac Torrent/Chevrolet Equinox, Kia Sportage.
On the Road rating: ***** (five stars out of five).
Prices shown are manufacturer’s suggested retail; actual selling price may vary, although Saturn prices normally are fixed and non-negotiable.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.3
  • Interior 4.3
  • Performance 4.4
  • Value 4.3
  • Exterior 4.4
  • Reliability 4.3
Write a review

Most recent consumer reviews


Great car for high schooler

Owning this car for 40,000 of it's 65,000 miles I can say that the avg 24MPG out of the 250hp HONDA 3.5L V6 is all you need for an SUV. It has plenty of interior room for cargo (even has a grocery bag holder built-in!) which only gets larger when you fold down the back seats. Moved to college and back 3 years with it and this drivetrain gave me ZERO issues. It's engine is from Honda, so that's what you expect :) The transmission shifted smoothly as well. I never got stuck in the snow with it, it has good ground clearance and being FWD just pulls you along in the snow no problem. It's not the quietest car on the road, but softer tires helped that. I made a couple of upgrades to bring it to 2020 standards such as a new Bluetooth touchscreen radio (with backup camera) as well as installed a Viper 2-way remote start system. This helped tremendously with the cold Minnesota winters it endured. Would definitely recommend this vehicle if you can purchase one that has been well taken care of!


Rusted out unsafe cradel mount mounts

My Saturn Vue runs really good with 200k miles on it . The Frame in the front end rusted out and is very unsafe to drive . Shame on GM for this design flaw which should have been recalled.


Long lasting

We brought this saturn vue redline in 2006 and when i traded it in it had minor issues with 292,000 as mileage used!!!! ( I like to think its longevity stems from the honda engine thats in it. LOL) I got all my moneys worth. Lol I probably would still own it if it wasnt a V6.

See all 78 consumer reviews


Based on the 2006 Saturn Vue base trim.
Frontal driver
Frontal passenger
Nhtsa rollover rating
Side driver
Side rear passenger


New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
72 months/36,000 miles
36 months/36,000 miles
Roadside assistance
36 months/36,000 miles

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