Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
4/16/15 11:52 p.m.

We all know the official Saturn Vue thread but after having mine for over a year, something funny happened. I actually started to like it!

Back-story: My co-worker has an 05 Vue with the 3.5 Honda/AWD setup and last February when the Mazda5 got totalled I test drove it and decided a 2.2/MT5 Vue might be a good replacement. A few weeks and some more test drives later, and a Storm Grey 2005 was mine for $3,800. I bought it from the original owner with exactly 100K miles, complete service records and documents back to the window sticker, etc.

I sunk some money into a complete refurbishment of the A/C, basic filter and fluid changes, and a good detail. For the first year I basically just daily drove it and Plasti-Dip'd the wheels red for grins. I thought it had potential, but the looks really turned me off. I took off the mud flaps and did some thinking. This is basically the starting point:

It sat way too high (GM used the same springs and struts for the V6/AWD and the 4-cyl/FWD models!) and had really ugly wheels. It also handled very odd. The rear-steer setup actually had great turn-in for a FWD/MacPherson strut, but the body leaned, it wallowed, and the rear was uncertain. I replaced all the worn-out factory plastic endlinks with metal ones from Mevotech and built all new front struts with KYB struts, isolators, mounts, and boots along with Megan Racing 1.75" lowering springs with matching KYB shocks and Megan springs in the rear. After that was all installed, I found a set of Motegi MR7 wheels in 18x7 with a set of 225/60-18 Falken Ziex 902's. The chrome is a little blingy, but it's growing on me.

So, this is where I'm at today:

It handles extremely well now, even better than the Mazda5 did. The ride is firm and sporty, but not harsh. I can still put 100 miles a day on it in total comfort, but now I can bang out a back road or cloverleaf ramp like a Miata. It needs a scosh more front camber and the tie rod ends are groaning, so that's the next step mod-wise. I do have some more visual enhancements in the works.

Stay tuned!

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
4/17/15 6:26 a.m.

They ummmm.... MAKE aftermarket parts for these?

2002maniac
2002maniac Dork
4/17/15 7:01 a.m.

Can you use any parts from a Cobalt ss turbo setup?

moparman76_69
moparman76_69 UltraDork
4/17/15 7:08 a.m.

That thing is begging for a SS supercharger and a tune. I know most will say go turbo (since most opinions seems to be the turbo cobalt SS was better), but for low boost on the factory long block I'd go supercharger.

ScreaminE
ScreaminE HalfDork
4/17/15 7:35 a.m.

I missed out a near mint one of these for $3k here in Pittsburgh. It was a GA car, so no rust at all. 2.2 5MT as well.

If for some reason I have to stop daily driving my work truck, this will be what I buy. We already have a Saturn Outlook.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
4/17/15 8:25 a.m.
Swank Force One wrote: They ummmm.... MAKE aftermarket parts for these?

Yes! Way more than the stuff that's "actually" for a Mazda5, unfortunately most of it is for the Redline 3.5 version.

And YES, everything that bolts to the L61 2.2 Ecotec, bolts to this, including the Cobalt SS Supercharger setup (the LSJ turbo unit will not). That's the ultimate end-game for this thing (waitng for my dad's Cobalt SS/SC to fall apart so I can buy it, it has 250K miles on it).

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