GM says its new Saturn Vue hybrid, coming in 2007, won't include at least one feature that's standard in most of its competitors' vehicles: a premium price. Of course, having a mild-hybrid system, the Vue Green Line also won't get the same mileage gains as vehicles with full-hybrid systems, like the competing Ford Escape hybrid. At the heart of the matter is is GM's BAS gas-electric system — a mild hybrid in which the electric motor supports the Vue's existing drivetrain. It won't drive the wheels alone (and won't require a new drivetrain with a continuously variable transmission), like the full-hybrid systems in the Ford Escape and Toyota Prius do. That means, in addition to a cheaper price, Vue owners will only see mileage gains in the 10 percent range. Get ready for the GM marketing blitz touting the price, but remember what grandpa's accountant said about getting what you pay for.
GM's Three Little Hybrid Systems [internal]