Last post on Jan 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM
You are in the Chevrolet Uplander
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Uplander, Pontiac Montana, Saturn Relay, Buick Terraza, Pontiac Montana SV6, Van
#1832 of 2925 Re: infiniaf1 [infinia1]
Feb 12, 2005 (9:20 am)
I'm not sure about this, but is the Sport Suspension package on the Uplander (for both LS and LT models, fwd) the same as what is on the Buick? The Buick did not seem much quieter to me than the Chevy, or maybe it is the Chevy is also pretty quiet.
I do think GM is well advised to put more engine in their vans. The 3.5 is ok, but it is not the equal of the 3 Japanese. the 3.9 would be a good substitue, or at least an option. Should be standard on the Buick CXL model. If they can put the 3.9 and a 5.3 in a Chevy Monte Carlo (2006) they can put it in these vans.
I disagree with your overall value though - these vans, even brand new, will sell close to invoice, and offer rebates of $1500 already. Real world prices are different than the MSRP. You will pay close to sticker for the Honda, and forget about rebates for both them and Toyota. And with all of the features that are standard on these vans, to get the same on the Toyota, Honda or Nissan, their prices will be significantly more.
If you lease/smart buy like I will, the prices are more competitive than the Japanese brands (I've been comparing). If you buy outright, and keep your vehicle for 3-5 years, the depreciation for the GM vans will be substantially more, and then the Japanese vans offer more value.
So not all situations are the same. A basic Sienna like the CE is a real good value if all you want is basic transportation. But when you add on some or a lot of the extras the other models offer, it isn't such a good value.
#1833 of 2925 Re: update
Feb 13, 2005 (7:43 am)
Well yesterday I drove the Sienna. I have to reply to the other poster #1829 who didn't like it, that the transmission hunted around, blown around by wind, etc. After reading your post, and then driving one myself, I almost think you must be a Buick salesman! Seriously, this van was much nicer than I expected. The engine/trans were superior to the GMs in every way. I felt like I was driving a nice car, not a van. The GM is nice, but you know you're driving a van.
I drove the LE Sienna, with package #6. The dealer's price was $27,6xx. Right around the Edmunds TMV. Plus Toyota is offering good lease deals now on the CE and LE. What I like most of the Sienna, is the LE 8 passenger. Both my wife and I see a lot of advantages to this version. FOr others, it isn't a big deal. I loved the rear fold away seat too, much better design than the GM.
The only downside is that this van has a few less features, only 1 power sliding door, no Onstar, but it does offer better safety features like side airbags (included in this package) and I bet the GM will not be able to match Toyota's overall safety record, let alone reliability and resale.
So I am in a conundrum, I liked the GM vans, but it is obvious to me now, that the Sienna is a better van period, and that with the 8th seat and nearly same selling price, this should be the van I choose. If I can figure out how to unload two vehicles, and buy two new ones in the next month or so, I will probably go for the Sienna. I will probably be even more confused if I drive the Odyssey! If the incentives on the GM vans get better, they will continue to offer good overall value, but with the price of these two vans pretty similar, the Toyota seems like the better value now.
One other thing, the gM does offer the dvd standard, but I can add a similar unit from BB for about $400, so that isn't the deal breaker. Both vans have features/options I like, but overall I am swayed towards the Toyota now.
#1834 of 2925 Not looking good on the Uplander
Feb 14, 2005 (10:03 am)
We checked out the Uplander this past weekend. I already drove it a while ago, but wanted my wife to check it out since she'd be the one driving it. I was surprised to be greeted with the same van I test drove a few months ago, only in a worse condition. The carpet was mudy, the sunglass holder on the roof rail already came loose on one side.
After driving it, my wife felt the van
--handled quite well but the engine was a bit underpowered;
--The seats were very comfortable, but she felt the horizontal spokes on the steering wheel were too thick and wide to hold on to for the size of her hands (Has any of you ladies or anyone else' wife had this issue?);
--Another sticking point was the lack of the deep storage well behind the 3rd row, and the 3rd row seat not folding into the floor. I sat on the 3rd row seat and felt the head room was really tight and the width was really only good enough for 2 people, but again you can probably say that about a lot of the vans out there.
In the end my wife kept coming back to saying she liked the Grand Caravan better, which we had the chance to drive for 2 weeks last year. The caravan is simply more functional, which is of utmost importance for our practical family. But I can still see us own a GM van IF the price is right. We're looking to buy in the summer. The current prices of the new GM vans are not going to cut it for us.
We checked out the Ford Freestar immediately afterwards, and appreciated even more the importance of the rear deep well. The head room of the 3rd row on the Ford was a lot better too due to its low seat height.
#1835 of 2925 finally drove the uplander...
Feb 14, 2005 (11:57 am)
i finally took the wife and 3 kids to drive the uplander on friday. it was an ls with trailer package, sport suspension, ls easy order package, convenience package, and xm radio. it lacked the storage and organizer package that we would want though. the sound system is much better than our venture. the wife and i were more impressed than i anticipated.
we didn't think that we wanted xm on our future van, but after driving this one, we both agreed we want it now. this van had the modular seats, which weren't too bad. we didn't see a problem with the split second row chairs either, like i thought we would. previously, i had thought we would prefer the setup of out venture seats, a 2 person bench type.
we also liked that you can see the hood while driving versus the venture. the wife said it didn't feel any faster or more powerful than out 02 venture. she thought it felt more like an suv, which i guess is what gm is hoping for. we both agreed the interior is a major improvement. the controls have a much better feel than those of our venture. we also both liked that it has a tachometer, since ventures didn't come with them for some odd reason. it felt tight and drove very well.
ok ok, now i'm "starting" to see "some" value in these vans. however, for the price, i still think they should have a 5 speed transmission, a 3900 v6, curtain airbags, and a "fold-flatter" rear seat. BUT, why is it that an uplander lt is priced within $500 of a terraza cx, both equipped similarly? i would still get the chevrolet, for only the reason that the buick dealer offers terrible service.
it's impossible to build the exact uplander we want. for example, we prefer an ls, but to get stabilitrak, we have to get an lt. an lt forces us to get second row captain's chairs, which lack the built-in child seat we want. it's very frustrating!
irg: the suspensions of the uplander differ from that of the terraza in that the terraza has a rear independent suspension and the uplander does not, in fwd form. in essence then, i believe, the buick comes standard with the sport (touring) suspension.
we will wait for bigger rebates/improvements. but as of now, we will stick with chevrolet despite the few short-commings.
#1836 of 2925 Re: finally drove the uplander... [infinia1]
Feb 14, 2005 (12:30 pm)
I thought the Uplander was overall good, but not great, when compared to the Sienna, which I just drove this past weekend. I originally thought I couldn't afford the Toyota; the reality is that it may actually be cheaper, for one reason is that I lease, and Toyota is still in the leasing business in NYS, whereas GM is not due to lawsuits. So I pay over $1k less in taxes alone. And even if I got the Chevy at invoice, it is very close in price to the Sienna I was looking at. Not exactly apples to apples, but close enough. The Chevy has onstar, the Sienna doesn't, but the SIenna has full side airbags, the GM doesn't. The GM has buil in dvd, which is not on the option list I am looking at for the Sienna. Big deal, I will add an aftermarket unit for a few hundred.
The difference though was the handling and overall perfomance of the Sienna was superior, hands down. Same thing that CR found. If you buy these vans, the Sienna will also be worth more later on.
I'm having problems locating the van I want, and 8 passeneger LE with package #6. Dealer can't locate one, so I may have to order it. They didn't seem to thrilled with that, but I want what I want, and am not settling this time. The Uplander is so hard to find, I am not sure when I would be able to get one.
I think I will also look at the Odyssey today, do my due diligence with all of the vans, except for Ford and Nissan which I have excluded because their back seats aren't a 60/40 design. Right now, the Sienna is offering really good lease specials, not sure if the Honda compete. I see more on my dealer lot than the Sienna though. Details forthcoming.
Feb 14, 2005 (1:02 pm)
"....and I bet the GM will not be able to match Toyota's overall safety record...."
In Insurance Instiute for Highway Safety (IIHS)-Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) "Injury. Collision & Theft Losses" annual reports, only once (going as far back as the 1995 models years) has a Toyota Van had a better injury rating then a GM van. The 1996-1998 model year study showed the Sienna with a 64 to the Venture's 66. In the last seven studies, ALL 3 of GM's FWD vans have been rated "substaintialy better then average" 71% of the time (100% for Oldsmobile and Pontiac), whereas Toyota has acheived the rating just 29% of the time.
#1838 of 2925 Re: [montanafan]
Feb 14, 2005 (2:24 pm)
I thought your comparison looked funny. So I checked out IIHS myself. Here is the link I used: http://www.hwysafety.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/summaries/vans_f- ront_c.htm
The Montana van got an overall POOR rating for almost every category. The Sienna? Best pick, and it scored the highest category - good - in every test.
I really don't care how these vans each scored 10 years ago, I care about the van I am going to be buy now. If safety were important (and it is to me) I would not be buying the Montana just based on the IIHS tests. Maybe the new van will do better - I don't think it has been tested yet. I hope it does.
But here is a quote on the Montana: "INJURY MEASURES: NECK, LEFT AND RIGHT LEGS POOR A very high neck extension moment occurred, indicating the likelihood of significant neck injury. Left and right lower tibia indices were high, indicating the likelihood of significant injury to both lower legs. The forces on the left lower leg were so high that the dummy's metal foot broke off from its leg at the ankle." Sounds like a real safe vehicle!
I'm not sure where your numbers come from, but mine are right from the link at the IIHS website. I'm comparing today's models, not a decade ago.
Feb 14, 2005 (2:25 pm)
dirkwork : The 3.5L is a heavily modified 3.4L. It's more refined and quieter, better in every way.
sfg : Our neighbor has a Nissan, it has design issues and lots of rattles. They do not like it.
irg : Chevy LT is almost as nice as the Buick, you are absolutely right.
Feb 14, 2005 (2:44 pm)
I stand confussed and corrected. You implied that GM vans had a poor safety record compared to Toyota. I pointed out infomation on the IIHS site that shows over the years GM's van injury loss scores are almost always better then Toyotas. Now you explain do not care about the safety record, you only care about a single crash test.
I am sorry the infomation I posted wasn't what you were refering to, I can not read minds. Now that I know you do no care about the record, my infomation is inappropriate.
#1841 of 2925 Re: [montanafan]
Feb 14, 2005 (3:16 pm)
I am not sure I understand you. I guess I cannot read minds either. Originally I said something that the Sienna - which I knew had the highest IIHS safety record, would be safer than the GM model. Since the Sienna scored as high as possible, the best GM could do would be to tie it.
Maybe over the years the GM had a better track record, although I think the methodology for testing vans has also changed. The old Toyota vans may not have done well, but that has certainly changed. What is odd, is that if the GM vans did do well, either when they last redesigned them, they were poorly redesigned, or the crash testing results got tougher. Either way, what is important as a new van buyer, is how does the new models fair?
And with that, the Sienna fairs well, and the GM doesn't. Hopefully this new Uplander/SV6 will address these safety concerns, and I would wager that they will score better than they had in the past. Whether they score as good as the Sierra remains to be seen.
I guess I do care about the safety record, but the single crash test is indicative to me of how safe the vehicle is. In the testing done by IIHS, the Sienna scored well in their testing. That to me, makes it seem safer, than a vehicle which scored poorly in all categories. In other words, I do equate safety record (of the current model year, not 10 years ago) with how it does in a crash testing. Hence my original feeling that the Sienna is safer then the GM van. Sorry if this sounds confusing and misguided.