1. It's a hybrid SUV. There aren't all that many of them out there. I've always liked hybrids in theory more than in practice because of this fact. You see, I'm a fan of the SUV for several reasons. One, that's what our family fits in. Two, I was hit by a very drunk driver a few years ago, and if I hadn't been in an SUV, I'd be seriously dead now. So, right or wrong, I'm convinced they're safer around here. But I also like the idea of the good green hybrid juju cancelling out my SUV driving juju. So, my next car will definitely be a hybrid SUV. I've been thinking this for a while, and now I'm convinced. Here's a chart of the few hybrid SUVs on the market, and the Saturn Vue Green Line scores very well. It's also much less expensive than others, but we'll get to that in a minute.
2. You don't have to fill up your tank as often. As I might have mentioned, I live in Texas. In the most SUV-driving state in all the land. (Probably.) I also live in a city where there are a lot of people who drive a heck of a lot. And I mean a lot. I actually don’t happen to be one of those drive-a-lot people since I work approximately nine and half blocks from my house. But, I did manage to do a little more than normal this week without even trying. With work events, a birthday party across town, etc., I drove 101 miles in the Vue. And I didn’t even get to the half-tank mark. What does this mean? The information I have reports that the hybrid VUE gets 20% better gas mileage than the regular Vue…27 city and 32 highway. Also here’s what I can tell you, I drove much more than I normally do this week, and I didn’t have to fill up once…not even close. This is good for the environment and good for my extra spending. (That's right, that means more to Manzini.)
3. It's really quiet. I love this. And I love the fact that the engine shuts off when you stop at a stop sign, stop light, you know, wherever. It's the coolest thing. It helps with gas efficiency, and it magically starts up again when the brake pedal is released. You might feel like you're in a spaceship. In a good way.
4. It's affordable. In fact, it's so affordably priced (starting at $23K) that I can't even believe it. (Truth be told, when I went online and built the Vue of my dreams...leather, XM radio, you know...it was more like $26,500, but still WAY less with all the bells and whistles that the others' base.) And OnStar plus one year of OnStar service is standard, which I love. So, as they say, with the Saturn Vue, you can go green without going broke.
5. The car is cool. In fact, it's so cool that even planet-hating Texans were taking notice. In even more fact, while I was out and about in the VUE, I had a ton of conversations with people who are ready to buy a hybrid. And actually, driving a hybrid seems to be a great way to meet people. (Seriously, if you want to make new friends, just buy a hybrid. I'm telling you. It's better than one of those sororities or dating servies.) Pretty much everywhere I went…the grocery store, the Hurricane’s school, restaurants, stop lights (I’m not kidding), people asked me about the car I was driving. Also, you should know, I run with a fancy-car driving crowd. Especially this last week. I went to four big social events for work, and as I was in the valet line dropping off and picking up, I had people ask me about the hybrid everytime. I felt like Leonardo DiCaprio.
Also, after driving this for a week, I felt like, more than ever, there are a lot of us out here on the same page. We want to be green, to do our parts, to do more, to do better. All of it. And now we have more options to do so. I love that. I’m glad car companies are finally getting a variety of hybrids out there (The Vue Green Line is one of 12 that GM is launching). And I really like that we are starting to see some affordable options. And some larger vehicle options for those of us with larger families. And for those of us from Texas.
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not."
— Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax