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Byline: Mark Phelan
I don't usually think of a German accent as appealing and inviting _ unless it's Marlene Dietrich throatily singing "Lili Marlene" or "Falling in Love Again," of course.
To an untutored ear everything in German can sound like a command.
Which made it surprising when the pretty gray SUV rolled into my driveway and murmured "Ich bin ein 2008 Saturn Vue."
The 2008 Vue is the latest sign that Saturn's symbiotic relationship with General Motors' German Opel brand is a very good thing. The basic platform _ Theta in GM-speak _ carries over from the original Vue, which went on sale in 2001.
The pieces you touch and see, however, are all new and virtually identical to the European Opel Antara SUV.
The outgoing 2007 Saturn Vue wasn't ugly, but its upright sides, with big gaps between its plastic body panels, were nothing like this svelte SUV with the lustrous dove-gray paint job.
The old Vue's owners generally liked it, but it won them with a low price and Saturn's huggable dealers more than any hint of curb appeal.
Die neue Vue's appeal rests on looks, comfort, power and handling. It's no longer the price leader among small SUVs, but it's competitively priced, and its looks and handling have a …