GM’s Saturn Division has actually been gone given that the last 2010 Auras, Outlooks, Skies, and Vues slunk apologetically out of the showrooms, and I’m doing my finest to record the more fascinating designs from The General’s once-revolutionary brand name. Some of the later Saturns started life as Opel develops, however the Vue really was the very first vehicle to go on the brand new GM Theta platform; the Opel Antara was thus a Saturn copy, a fact that Saturn fans no doubt trot out when they get shamed by Opel zealots over the Astra. Today’s Junkyard Gem is a most unusual Vue, in the sense that its original buyer was great with both the base manual transmission and the leather-upholstery upgrade.

Sure, the least expensive method to buy a new Vue– which was sold here for the 2002-2007 design years– was to get it with the base transmission: a five-speed handbook. You can still purchase a new cars and truck with a five-on-the-floor manual today, however just in a handful of cheapmobiles; by the middle 2000s, a tiny-and-ever-shrinking subset of American car shoppers would even consider a three-pedal commuter vehicle.

Really, there were only two reasons an American new-car purchaser would have thought about a non-enthusiast lorry with a manual transmission in 2004: either an eccentric preference for the good ol’ stickshift or simply plain penny-pinching.

The most affordable possible ’04 Vue was the variation with four-cylinder 2.2-liter engine, front-wheel-drive, and five-speed handbook transmission, and it began at$ 17,025(about$26,080 in 2022 dollars). That’s what we’re looking at here. The optional CVT automated transmission cost an additional $2,095( $3,210 today), so it made good sense to get the handbook if you wanted to conserve lots of money on your Vue. Nevertheless, this automobile is loaded to the gunwales with great devices upgrades, to the tune of a minimum of the Leather

Appointments Plan( $755)and the Sports Plus II Package ($1,300)and most likely a lot more. So, a buyer who didn’t appreciate power(so no V6 engine), didn’t want all-wheel-drive, liked driving a manual transmission … but insisted on power everything and a full-zoot comfy leather interior … in an inexpensive small SUV offered by a fast-fading brand name. The conversations with the Saturn salespersons about this thing need to have been fascinating. Integrated in Tennessee, sold brand-new in Denver, will be squashed near Pikes Peak. Saturn’s huge appeal, back in the age of the S-Series, was always the no-hassle/no-haggle buying procedure, regardless of the belief among some GM fits that the plastic body panels were the biggest selling point.