New Or Used?: Vue To A Kill Edition

Sajeev Mehta and Steve Lang
by Sajeev Mehta and Steve Lang
new or used vue to a kill edition

Raymond writes:

I have been trying to find a site that finds the right car/truck./CUV based on a needs checklist. I have had no luck finding this. The option I am most looking for is flat folding front passenger seat in a wagon type vehicle. I sometimes deliver furniture and draperies in my interior design business but mostly it is my daily driver. My next car needs to hold a 6′ ladder, too.

My Vue has been a great car for work, recreation and as a daily driver, but it is getting old. I ordered my Vue with the CVT transmission after reading that the CVT was the next best thing. I have since heard and read the the discontinued GM CVT was very problematic. The CVT has recently started slipping and my 100K warranty has expired.

I really hate car shopping (which may be why I bought 3 Saturns over the last 15 years – easy shopping/ordering/buying). I stopped at a Kia dealer close to my home and was hounded from the minute I got out of my car. Kia is now off my list for that (and none of their vehicles offer flat fold front passenger seats).

Thank you!

Steve Answers:

More than welcome Raymond. Before you throw your money into a $20,000+ rathole, I’ll let you in on a secret.

The CVT on that Vue may not be nearly as expensive as you think. GM has fessed up to the fact that this part is defective and has at least offered some form of compensation. This is more than what I can say for those unfortunate souls that bought a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid CVT. Those poor folks get to see Insight owners enjoy 150k warranties for the same defective CVT’s while the Civic faithful get the proverbial shaft. Speaking of which..,

I would first contact GM and figure out my options. Be nice. Be aggressive. Be persistent. Be creative. But most of all be a pest. I would figure out the best deal that can be made before going forward with any decision.

If you decide to go near-new… I would opt for the discountus maximus! A minivan that is being discontinued and has a good reliability record. My number one would be a two year old Hyundai Entourage with 30k. But those aren’t the end all, cure all for a van. Not even close.

In fact, minivans are practically interchangeable when it comes to ride and comfort. They all do it well these days. I personally like the last year of the Chrysler minivans (2007), the unpopular last gen Fords (insanely cheap at the auctions), and even the Entourage’s twin sister Kia Sedona. The Sienna and Odyssey have unimpressive reliability so I would opt for a steeply discount competitor that can arguably offer better reliability.

Sajeev Answers:

Raymond, you’re a loyal Saturn buyer for all the right reasons. Your personification of brand loyalty is why TTAC (incessantly) points out the value of branding. That said, too bad about Saturn.

Then again, as a typical cunjoos Indian, Saturn’s lack of value from a product and pricing standpoint means you can do better. But you’re flying solo, and no one-stop shopping website helps you find a fold-flat front seat. covers granular details like rear seat armrests, but your needs are only important to you. That’s life. And even if Edmunds had you covered, odds are the check boxes will say “being researched” for the next 12 months.

It’s time to get the answers via dealership visits. And be a tough guy with the sales people: go ahead and say, “I’m gone if you don’t have a wagon/CUV with a fold flat front seat.”

The Truth hurts. That said, this is a moot point. I’m with Steve: your business demands a Minivan. Pick up a Saturn Relay for almost nothing and enjoy the last remnants of the brand that once treated you so well.

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2 of 69 comments
  • VanillaDude VanillaDude on Jul 14, 2010

    I went from a VUE to a Relay, and have been miserable ever since. The VUE was cool, the Relay isn't. The VUE was a real Saturn with non-dent exterior, the Relay is just a Chevy with a Volvo front end. The VUE was reliable, the Relay isn't. The VUE was fun to drive, the Relay isn't. Going from the VUE to the Relay even made my wife, who still kinda like the Relay, wish we still had the VUE. So even after a bunch of kids and the need for a minivan, both my wife and I would rather have kept the VUE and bought something else - NOT the Relay. Yeah - the Relays are inexpensive on used car lots right now, because they are so damn worthless. We're keeping the Relay until it falls apart, meaning we could trade it in anytime soon. I will never - ever - own another minivan. I'm a proud parent, but a minivan is auto death shaped like a purse.

  • Buzz Buzz on Jul 14, 2010

    Since your not used to much, anything you choose will be an improvement!