Car Blog Showdown: Currently Available Hybrids

2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid V6

2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid V6

Here’s our latest Car Blog Showdown. This week, in celebration of Earth Day, tgriffith and jgoods were each invited to select their favorite currently available hybrid vehicle. Which is your favorite?

jgoods’ 5 reasons why the 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid V6 (sometimes called the VUE Green Line 2 Mode Hybrid) is his favorite currently available hybrid:

  • The VUE Hybrid V6 has a 500-plus-mile range and reports a 50 percent improvement in fuel economy over the standard V6 VUE (which translates to 28/31 mpg).
  • This crossover uses state-of-the-art technology to couple with a 3.6-liter V6 for high torque and horsepower. The VUE Hybrid V6 will get you to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds and can tow up to 3,500 pounds (not at the same time).
  • The Hybrid V6’s 2 Mode system uses regenerative braking, fuel shut-off during deceleration and idle, and two 55-kW electric motors integrated into the transmission. This provides all-electric, combustion engine power, or a combination as conditions demand.
  • It’s the sharpest looking crossover out there.
  • Despite Saturn’s projected demise, this car will likely continue as an Opel.

tgriffith’s 3 reasons to avoid a 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid V6:

  • Saturn’s probably going out of business. Do you really need two more reasons not to buy one? I’ll keep going anyway.
  • An all-wheel-drive system will not be offered with the VUE Hybrid V6.
  • The Hybrid V6’s 2 Mode technology was co-developed with BMW and Chrysler, so look for models from them and hope they stay in business!
2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

tgriffith’s 5 reasons why the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid is his favorite currently available hybrid:

  • It’s rated at 34 mpg in the city.
  • The 2009 model has a new 2.5-liter engine and new brake system, eliminating concerns from previous versions.
  • Available four-wheel-drive makes it a practical choice, even in areas that get a lot of snow.
  • A 15-gallon gas tank gives the Escape Hybrid a range of about 500 miles.
  • It’s a solid, efficient American vehicle from the strongest of the Big 3.

jgoods’ 3 reasons avoid a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid:

  • As CarGurus reported, you may have trouble getting one, and even at its high price, Ford is still in the red with this car.
  • You may well get better fuel economy with the VUE Hybrid V6 and enjoy its beefier engine.
  • Ask New York taxi drivers (and riders) how they like these cars.

What’s your favorite currently available hybrid? Why?


  1. The thing that would stop me from getting a Prius is the lack of AWD. I know, I’d only need it for maybe 1/4 of the year, but after the last few winters it’s pretty much a requirement for any future car I buy; at least for a daily commuter. 50-70 mpg can be a pretty convincing argument though!

  2. I’d go with a Prius, too. It’s a proven design that’s gotten pretty phenomenal ratings for everything other than speed off the line, and the new one is supposed to get 50+ mpg, with some reviewers saying they got 70+! I don’t have a wife & kids, so don’t need tons of room, but I think most owners have been surprised by how much they can fit in a Prius, too.

  3. I’d probably buy a Prius if I were going to buy a hybrid. I don’t really need anything bigger than that and the next-gen Prius is putting up HUGE fuel economy numbers.

    That said, if I were buying a car purely for the gas savings I’d probably buy a BlueMotion VW Golf.

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