GM bumps Saturn Vue base price up by $3,295
The base price for the re-engineered, restyled Vue is $21,395 including shipping, a $3,295 bump over the 2007 model.
The base price of the crossover is close to that of such 2007 rivals as the Honda CR-V, at $21,195, and Toyota RAV4, at $21,595. But it is above the Ford Escape, which stickers for $19,985. All prices include shipping.
"Keep in mind that the previous model had a smaller four-cylinder engine with a manual transmission," says Robert Reuter, global vehicle chief engineer for General Motors' compact crossover vehicles. A four-speed automatic transmission and a bigger engine - a 169-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder - are standard on the 2008. A manual transmission is no longer offered.
Added standard equipment includes stability control, head curtain airbags, antilock brakes, collapsible pedals and 16-inch alloy wheels.
"They are trying to move Saturn upmarket. They really want to take it out of that kind of low end of the spectrum," says Erich Merkle, director of forecasting at IRN Inc., a consulting firm in Grand Rapids, Mich. "But the question remains: Is the market ready to make that leap with them?"
Merkle thinks that at some point after the new Vue goes on sale, Saturn could be forced to spur sales by reducing content from the base vehicle and lowering its price.
Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak would not predict Vue sales.
Last year 82,468 Vues were sold, ending the year as Saturn's No. 2 vehicle.
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