Last post on Sep 24, 2013 at 6:16 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Uplander
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Uplander, Pontiac Montana, Saturn Relay, Buick Terraza, Pontiac Montana SV6, Van
#2043 of 2927 Re: irg [vanman1]
May 17, 2005 (5:55 pm)
Well if you've had good experienceswith GM, then I guess it makes sense to stick with them. I tried them for a while, but time to move on. Maybe my next vehicle will be one, but I doubt it. My local GM dealer is also the Toyota dealer, although the Chevy dealership is about 1/5 the size. I'm not sure what surveys you are referring to, but year in and year out when you look at publications like Consumer Reports, and check out their used car recommendations or new car recommendations, there are usually heavily biased towards Honda and Toyota as the best picks. A few domestics sprinkled in but not often. I also subscribe to Autoweek and Car & Driver (and read a few others at the stores) and rarely if ever, do I see GM beat Toyota or Honda (or almost anyone else) in a comparison shootout. I believe GM can and will do better, but they better hurry before it's too late.
Most horror stories I hear from friends and colleagues are almost always having to do with American made cars. But more importantly when I ask friends if they've been happy with their Honda or Toyota, I have seldom heard anything negative. A parents friend did have trouble with a Corolla they bought now that I think about it - and I guess that surprised me because I hear complaints so seldom. Folks I know, seem rabidly loyal to either Honda or Toyota - the kind of loyalty GM and Ford used to have, but not as much these days.
My Saturn wasn't really a bad vehicle. It had some trouble early on, that was fixed under warranty. What I didn't like, and that was my own fault, is that the closest dealer was 1 hour away (100 miles roundtrip). And then the tires wore out at 16k miles, and I rotated them too. The reason? They use a "high performance soft compound" that wears faster. Why the hell would GM put a soft compound on a family sedan? My guess is that they were just cheap tires. I've heard that complaint from Honda owners too about their tires. At least my Sienna came with Michelin tires - hopefully they will be better.
What features besides Onstar does GM offer on their vans that Toyota does not? Navigation system not found on GM, power rear hatch not found, side air bags, 5 speed auto, 3 zone automatic climate, fold flat into floor rear seats...
Your 2004 was considerably cheaper than the new 2005 model. The rebates then wereastounding - I remember seeing rebates like $4500 around here. Not now. I've heard people complaining that the new GM vans are just as expensive now as the imports. That was my finding, and even today I was over at the Chevy dealer turning in my Saturn (a little sad) and checked out the Uplander again, and yep, a 2wd Uplander for $29,6xx. Subtract the $1k incentive, get close to invoice, and you're still in the $26 ballpark with all of the options you want. I've yet to see a LS model, and no base models at all. The Odyssey LX is a base model, but has pretty good features, especially safety, and is about $22k, a Sienna CE is about the same, an LE model can range from $23 - 30 depending on which of the ten million option packages you choose from. Yes, neither the Sienna or the Odyssey will have short wheelbase models, but I would never consider one, and I don't think many others would either. More for delivery and such. I like the look of the new GM dashes, but the Sienna to me, is a real nice layout, and looks super cool at night. I like that everything is very intuitive, and I've only driven it a couple of times so far. The first comment my wife made when driving it was, "I feel like I'm driving a luxury car. Not a van." Kinda think that's what Toyota was hoping to hear.
May 17, 2005 (6:37 pm)
I was not talking about the vehicles (if you re-read what I said), I was talking about dealer satisfaction and Toyota and Honda are both behind GM divisions. Check JD Power.
Horror stories, yes I have heard some.. but they come from all brands, not just GM or "domestics" and yes even Hondas and Toyotas. Perhaps you are caught up in the myth that Japanese cars are trouble free, I am not.
Features not available on Sienna.. On Star, MP3, Phat Noise hard drive based entertainment system, factory installed remote start (after market sucks), 4-wheel discs on base model, standard 17" tires, regular (short) wheel base model option and over head rail system.
You can currently get 0% financing on the GM vans, it's about 3-4% on Sienna. No cash back right now up here except on the base Uplander value van where you get $4500. Like I said, the MSRPs are lower so you won't see the cash on the hood we go for our over priced Montana but I suspect you will see better deals at year end.
If you like your van great. I like mine. In the world that's what makes a market. I just preferred to keep the $5000 for other things. I know the Sienna was a little better but the GM van worked better for us.
#2045 of 2927 Buick Terraza
May 17, 2005 (6:56 pm)
Living in western NY, the winters give us a lot of lake effect snow. We considered the AWD Buick but found out that stability control(proven to reduce accidents by double digit percentage) is only available in fwd. In the end we couldn't justify the cost or mileage penalty.
GM may have troubles now but so are others. Consider that Toyota is today recalling 750,000 vehicles.
Currently dealers in this area are advertising $5500 discounts on GM minivans(same as 4 months ago). Comparing options on similarly priced Toyotas (MSRP minus $1200 no rebate at that time) and the GMs offer ONSTAR, handsfree incar cellphone, leather heated memory seats, second row captains chairs, load leveling air suspension, DVD, remote start, rear park assist and stabilitrak.
If you never had these options you may not miss them, but consider how important it is,that in the event of an accident, ONSTAR can call 911 when your airbag deploys and emergency personnel will be there much quicker or that rear park assist can tell you if your toddler is walking behind your van as your backing up. The second row captain's chairs are much more comfortable than the competition. We never had DVD before but with a 2 year old, at times its now a necessity.
Motor Trend May 05 has a comparo between the Sienna, Odyssey and Caravan in which the Honda finished 1st by a wide margin. They wrote:
"Yet at part throttle the Sienna feels like its stuck on flypaper, waking up only when provoked by stomping on the gas. Steering is Camry mushy. Stopping distance from 60 mph were only 2 ft shorter than the Caravan's dismal showing."
Also in the article, the Toyota Sienna XLE and Odyssey were $36304 and $35210 respectively. I would expect on this high MSRP, you might get $2000 to $3000 off sticker price due to supply and demand. That makes the highly optioned GM minivan $4000 to $5000 less. Add in my $3000 in GM points and there was no contest.
#2046 of 2927 Re: wiper? [vanman1]
May 17, 2005 (6:57 pm)
All of the SV6's I looked at did not have rear wipers. On one of these forums I read the list of added features for 2006 and a rear wiper was on it. I did not know that SUV's and vans didn't come with rear wipers. If you have seen one on a 2005 SV6 please let me know because I was not very happy with the thought of traveling on the highway in the rain with my rear window basically unusable.
#2048 of 2927 Re: Love it! [bigdaddycoats]
May 17, 2005 (7:24 pm)
First of all thank you for your advice.
I started my own business in 1999 when I was 23 before I started a family or even married. I have a three in one business it is a preschool in the mornings, Child care center in the afternoons and an after school program for children needing tutoring and a safe place to stay until parents get home. We house now nearly 75 children in a given day from open to close and it has become a huge success. I am a Christian based facility as well as preschool. In the mornings we have daily devotional and preschool classes then in the afternoon we keep children while their parents are at work and in the evening until 6:00 p. m. we mentor, tutor and provide activities for the older children of the community. This company started out with approximately 25 to 35 children enrolled and has grown this much! We have a five page waiting list of families hoping to get enrolled in the near future.
Just three years ago I had to become an LLC with help from a board and brought my sister in as president of the LLC when I started my family because it was just too much for me alone. I love the fact that my children can work with me everyday and that I have been able to incorporate work with motherhood! It has been a blessing!
#2049 of 2927 Re: Love it! [irg]
May 17, 2005 (7:48 pm)
Let me give you a little background on my car buying experiences,
I guess I am not really nervous about buying a foreign car but unsure because I grew up in a family that bought only American and that is all I have ever considered because I know nothing about foreign. My father owns his own business and travels six months out of the year and trades vehicles every year and he is very knowledgeable about cars and he has always traded American because it is important to him. Also, he always picked out my moms cars brought them home and got her approval and had a new one for her every two years (always american never any other consideration) so there was never any discussion or debates about models or makes just yes I like it or no won't do. When I turned 16 (1992) my dad took me to the lot and said pick one out. Of course there was no discussion just pick it out and drive it (picked a white 1993 probe first year for the new body style) next car (1999 Sebring) was the same. Then I married and my husband had a Lincoln Navigator traded it after two years and he picked a durango, drove it one year (hated it) got rid of it and I asked my dad for advice on the next car, he shows up at my business with a new loaded Envoy and that was it, bought it and love it (still have it.)
This time I said I want the new style vans that are coming out. My husband said pick one out and get it, you'll be driving it so it's all up to you. So, here I am lost about foreign cars and vans as well and trying to make the best decision for my two children's safety as well as for our family. If I ask my father for advice he'll say "Just buy American!" That is why I am a little unsure and lost right now and why I appreciate everyone's advice so much!
May 18, 2005 (4:56 am)
I have never seen a van without. Perhaps it's only an option on U.S. models because they all have rear wipers up here, even the C$19,999 (U$15,000) Uplander Value Van.
#2051 of 2927 Re: Buick Terraza [polo6sp]
May 18, 2005 (5:20 am)
Here we go! I also live in NY (Ithaca) and thought that AWD would be a good option, but I think with decent tires, and/or snow tires, fwd vans should be fine most of the time. I have a 4wd Explorer for those other times. Around here - our roads are plowed quickly and thoroughly. Rarely a snow day here.
What was the recall for Toyota? Every company has them, no surprise really. GM seems to have them practically every day. A recent spate of recalls on their full size trucks and SUVs. Surprising because these aren't new models at all. You'd think the bugs were worked out by now.
So dealers are offering $5500 discount now on these vans. I've found these "deals" to be misleading though - and believe me I've checked them out. Usually you get cash incentive or good financing but not both. For example, one dealer near here on the Dodge Grand Caravan SXT sells them for $21,000 - pretty good considering the invoice is about $24k and sticker is $28k or so. But to get that price, you have to finance through them at about 8%, so you lose the incetives (about $3500) and so on. The dealer even said the offer of 0% was better, and that you would be better to lose the incentives, and I tend to agree. Problem was, after I ran the numbers, this van had higher monthly payments than the Sienna. And the same was true for the Uplander. And Odyssey too. My point is that none of these dealers are really going to sell for much under invoice - they can't really. If you have other loyalty incentives (like I was hoping for) than that's different as it doesn't come out of the dealers pocket. All I know is that I got a Sienna XLE for $26k, and with payments of $359 a month with $0 down, I couldn't beat it. And these incentives that GM have been using to lure in customers are really hurting their bottom line. They have to get away from so much of this. Every auto analyst has been saying the same thing for a while now.
As for features, Onstar is one GM has that no one else has, true. And I stated that before. Sienna has DVD, (the Odyseey uses a 9 or 10" screen now) 8 way dual power seats with power lumbar (standard on XLE) sunroof option (GM doesn't offer this by the way), it DOES offer rear parking assist (options for both GM, Toyota, Honda, Nissan) using the dvd navigation screen for a better visual cue - GM doesn't offer this. The second row seats in Sienna come in two varieties - an 8 seat option on the LE (for those who need it) and the 7 seat option uses very nice seats as well. I didn't find anything great about the captains chairs in the GM van. And I won't be sitting there anyway. The Sienna XLE offers a moveable storage center that can be used in the front or move it to the middle seats (it clamps down in either spot). GM doesn't offer this because the van is too narrow. That was one of the first things I noticed is getting my kids in the third row seat (we'll have 3 soon) isn't the most convenient when an adult has to go back there and buckle them in. Piece of cake on Sienna and Odyseey. No power lifgate even offered on GM, again, standard on XLE.
Each van has some neat features, the Ody also has a pretty neat lazy susan storage under the floor in the second row, no one else offers this yet. And of coure Dodge has the stow n go seats. Pretty clever, I admit. Stabilitrak - I couldn't find a GM van with that option when they were coming out. If you have a big dealer they might have one, but personally I don't know if it really makes much difference or not. Only on the fwd vans too. I just couldn't find any areas that GM was cleary superior over the Sienna for my needs.
As for Motor Trend article, I dunno. I have never been able to take them seriously, but I guess some do. The best in the business is C&D though. And they gave the margin to Odyseey (an '04 at that). Consumer Reports had the two very close, with the Odyssey a slight winner. I do like the Odyssey best, the payments for me though, were $440/month vs $359/month for Sienna. As for MT saying the throttle was like fly paper, I can't comment as I wasn't driving their van. My takes off easily. And when I am going 70 or so, just a quick stab and I can fly by anyone. I really don't need more than that from a van, and my wife certainly doesn't either. What I noticed about the GM van was going up hills it was too sluggish for me. Admittedly Ithaca has some serious hills. The 3.9 should cure this though. Also, when in comes to articles, everything can be taken with a grain of salt. I think the CR report on the Saturn Relay seemed overly harsh. When I drove the Uplander and Terraza, I did not think they were filled with sqeaks and rattles as they mentioned. They were really harsh on the GM vans, but maybe they had a bad sample. All I know is that they are a good starting out point, and then I drive them to see how I think they fair.
As for price, I guess it all depends on where you live, and how good a dealer you have. In that article you quote, the XLE was $36k, but there are many versions of this van. There are like 10 option packages. The one I bought has a sticker of under $30k, and I got it for $26k. Big difference. Same with GM too. Their sticker price is not what you would normally really pay. A lot of people here have been saying the Odyssey sells for sticker, but when I went to my local dealer, they were more than happy to sell well below that - about $500 over invoice. Again, it depends on where you are. With $3k in GM points, you probably really had no other choice, especially with the $1k incentive right now, and getting it close to invoice (my Buick dealer sells for $100 over invoice), but most people looking for a van are not going to get your deal. Comparing apples to apples, the new GM vans at their selling price (example an LT) to a Sienna XLE the difference in price is not that much different right now. Show me a Uplander LT with the convenience package to equal the XLE for much under $26k without using your GM points.
#2052 of 2927 Re: str [vanman1]
May 18, 2005 (5:31 am)
I thought that was strange too. I thought it came standard, not even an option. Who ever heard about having a van or suv without a rear wiper? The Pontiac version do seem to have more options available to them than the Chevy or Buick for some strange reason. Maybe it is a base model? I thought in the US that only the Chevy came as a base, and maybe the Saturn too. Is GM offering the short wheel base in the US next year? I don't see many of the shorter Dodge caravans around here, seems like the vast majority of vans they sell are the long wheel base models. Same with the older GM vans. The difference in cost wasn't that much less to justify the loss of cargo are for most people.