PHOENIX -- The 2007 Saturn Vue Green Line gasoline-electric SUV coming this summer likely won't impress gearheads looking for the next big leap in hybrid drivetrains.
But that's not the customer General Motors is going after.
The Vue Green Line is the first budget hybrid. It will carry a price premium of $1,500 to $2,000, putting a hybrid SUV within reach of buyers who have about $21,500 to spend. Price premiums on other hybrids range from $3,000 to $5,000.
Production is scheduled to begin July 1 at the Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn. Sales are expected to start in August, according to GM officials who let journalists drive the vehicle here last month.
GM engineers have developed a simple but effective hybrid powertrain for the Vue. It delivers a 20 percent gain in fuel economy compared with the standard four-cylinder engine with an automatic transmission.
GM took the wraps off the production version of the Vue Green Line on Sunday at the Detroit auto show.