top of page
  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

The GM That Was A Saturn That Was A Honda

Seen "In The Wild!" This is a Saturn VUE. You don't see many Saturn cars around these days.

Saturn was a General Motors company that made cars and this small SUV from 1990 to 2000 when they closed all their dealerships. All new production had been halted on October 7, 2009.

My dad had a 4 door Saturn SL sedan that was a really good car. It didn't have any problems that I recall and he drove it for many years.

An interesting thing about the VUE is the connection to Honda that started with the 2004 model year.

V6 models received Honda's J35S1 engine and Honda transmission. This 3.5 liter engine and 5 speed transmission boosted performance over the prior V-6. It was an important selling point at the time. This V-6 engine was used in the Saturn Vue 2004 to 2007 model years.

Power: 248 hp (185 kW) at 5800 rpm

Torque: 242 lb⋅ft (328 N⋅m) at 4500 rpm

The V6 J Series engines for Honda was really popular and used in a lot of their vehicles.

It can be found in the upscale Acura MDX and is basically the same as what was in the Honda Pilot LX, Odyssey, early Ridgeline and more. It was a V6 VTEC with good fuel mileage, torque avaliable at low rpm, and famous Honda reliability.

Suggested prices for a used VUE with the Honda engine and transmission at KBB range from $3,000 - $5,000. Some have pretty high mileage but that can actually be a good thing. These seem like a good used car value if you check everything out.

more info

The new Vue's 7.0-second scoot to 60 mph is a substantial 1.4-second trimming of the old time, and the quarter-mile shrivels from 16.6 seconds at 83 mph to 15.5 at 89. Flat-foot the pedal, and the Vue squats on its buns and lunges like a stink bug in heat. On the freeway it zooms by tractor-trailers as if they were rolling on square wheels.


GM quietly slips a Honda motor into a Saturn and promptly confuses everybody.

When GM and Honda announced this deal in December 1999, it was billed as a "powertrain cross-supply arrangement" that would see Honda getting diesel engines from GM's Isuzu affiliate for use in Europe in exchange for an unnamed V-6. The original agreement also called for GM to purchase about 90,000 V-6s. For now, though, the Vue will be the only GM product to use the motor.


all about the Honda engine used in these Saturn VUEs

Dust Runners Automotive Journal

These engines are a V6 and were designed to be transversely mounted. Not only do they have shorter bore spacing, but they also have shorter connecting rods. These engines also have a smaller crankshaft than the C-series.

The reason the crankshaft is smaller is to make the engine smaller altogether. Mounting a V6 transversely can be difficult so Honda took as many measures as they could to decrease the size.

All of these engines are SOHC 4-valves per cylinder and have VTEC variable valve timing.

J35: Tuning Potential

Thankfully, if you’re looking to make this engine faster you’re in luck because there are quite a few things you can do to do this.


"possibly the greatest V6 engine of all time"

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Everything To Know About David Bowie's Rare Volvo 262C

more at ...the Volvo 262 Coupe, which became Volvo’s first attempt at entering the luxury car sector. However, the car's unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in 1977 divided opinion. Indeed,


bottom of page