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Chevy Uplander/Pontiac Montana SV6/Saturn Relay/Buick Terraza



  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    My family just purchased a '05 T&C Touring and so far am very happy with it. We traded in my wife's '02 Tahoe and I wanted to consider the new Uplander. But, I couldn't (wife too) get past the front end of this Van. It is just plain ugly. I sat in one and the interior was pretty good. But, when I stepped out and looked at the exterior I was put off. Also (IMHO), Chrysler/Dodge just know how to build a good van. Our Tahoe treated us well over the years, but we couldn't "stay in the family" because the styling just didn't sit well with us.

    The price we got on our new van was incredible. It was easily $15K less than a comparably equipped Sienna.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Quest is not recommended IMO as it's quality has been very spotty. Our neighbor has one and regrets buying it due to the rattles and bugs (his windshield wipers still don't work properly). Personally I don't like the styling and the interior is weird but that's subjective.

    The Chrysler vans are fine for the most part, my only beef is the lack of 4 wheel discs. I think they are a great buy right now also, lots of deals.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Well the front end styling does seem to be a bit polarizing. It has helped one thing though, and that is GM finally has a good rated crash test, to keep up with the other vans out there.

    As for yout T&C Country, what options did you get on it to make it $15k cheaper than the Sienna? I guess it depends where you live too, and/or what dealer you work with. I found the Grand Caravan that I was looking at slightly cheaper than the Sienna XLE I ended up with (both with the same options essentially) but the financing on the Toyota was better for my overall payments. However if the difference had been $15k, then yeah I would have gone for the T&C too. I think DC is offering a lot of incentives right now because their market share is being eroded away - it is such a tough market for manufactures at the moment. The Japanese vans now are a lot more competitive than they were just 5 years ago. I think the DC vans need an update in their intereriors and engine, but overall they are still very competitive, and offer attractive prices if you know how to get them.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Did you see this article? s+brand+strategy%2C+will+limit+portfolio+-+May+19%2C+2005&expire=-1&urlID=14285443&fb=Y&ur- nn_latest&partnerID=2000

    It is a bit hard to read, but interesting nonetheless. I will be surprised if Buick and/or Pontiac are still around by 2010. And I have never understood why GM Trucks are separate from Chevy trucks. Make a commercial line if need be, but why offer the same Sierra 1500 and the Silverado 1500. Same truck, slightly different styling, more cost to produce for GM. I would like to see GM make Chevy their main brand, with Cadillac as their luxury brand, and Saturn as their budget line ala Scion for Toyota. Not sure what you do with Buick, Pontiac and Saab.
  • carguy1234carguy1234 Posts: 233
    ...once the new Kia/Hyundai van arrives this fall. It will undercut the pricing of the Honda and Toyota vans, and all indications are that the quality and material level will be at least as good if not better than these vans. Powertrain will be on par with those, as will milage, safety, and standard features. Plus, add in a 10 year standard warranty, and this thing could be a big problem for both the domestic and the foreign vans.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    I agree 100%. It is going to be very interesting. And the new Hyundai Sonata looks very promising too. I've seen the recent adds on TV for their $1 billion investment in Alabama for building all of these new vehicles. I think they are going to be major players, and soon. I think Honda has to be worried more so than Toyota. Toyota is a lot bigger company with a lot more dealerships. But really, I see Hyundai taking market share a little bit from everyone.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    My wife loves the Grand Caravan after having it as a rental for 2 weeks. The dual power doors, hatch, stow-n-go are tough to beat! For these great conveniences, I'd be willing to overlook its antique interior, terrible 2nd row headroom (on the stow-n-go models) and rough craftsmanship. And the price still has to significantly undercut the imports.

    I was and am still trying to see if we can all those nice features in a caravan for under $21K. So far it's not happening :( In that case, we'll most likely go for the Quest now that its quality has drastically improved.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Well, we got ALL the following for $23,735 + tax, tag & title"

    Leather Package
    Rear DVD Entertainment
    3 rows of Side airbags
    adjustable pedals
    6 disc in-dash cd/dvd
    removable center storage
    3 rows auto climate control

    Also, I purchased an extended warranty which covers 7yr/85K miles.

    As far as the interiors of the T&C's......I see nothing wrong with them. Are they as well put together as the japanese makes, probably not. But for the value and options I got, the T&C was a perfect choice.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Which Chrysler Minivan lacks 4 wheel disc brakes? My Touring model comes with discs (ABS) all around and even the base Chrysler comes with discs with ABS. As a matter of fact, the "lowliest" Dodge comes with all disc brakes.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I guess everyone has their own opinion on these vans, but I think the interior of the T&C is actually pretty good. I was impressed by the fit and finish on this Chrysler product. It doesn't compare to my '04 Passat, but, I was pleasantly surprised the first time I set foot in one of thse vehicles!!!
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Thanks Fish8. I remember the dealer told you the price was a mistake but they honored it anyway, right? I was hoping to find such a mistake too ;) But so far no luck. I would have deleted (like that's possible) the leather and DVD and bought it for $21K.

    BTW, doesn't the Chrysler van come with 7 year/70K waranty already? Is yours on top of that? If yes, you're covered for life essentially; if not, I hope you didn't pay too much for those 15K extra miles of coverage.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Well, the 7/70 only covers the powertrain(Transmission, engine, etc) not bumper to bumper. The extended I got covers powertrain, as well as all non maintenance items: AC, Radio, seats, power doors/liftgate, brake system (not pads or rotors), electrical system, etc.....

    Yes, the finance guy said it was a mistake, but I am not sure if he was just trying to say I got a really good deal. So, I am not sure if he was lying or not. Either way, I got a tremendous deal.

    BTW: you can delete the leather and DVD..they are options that can be deleted!! It may be difficult to find one on a dealers lot, because it seems that most dealers have pretty optioned up vans in stock!!
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Well, that is a lot of van for the money! However, doubtful most others can find that kind of deal. I had a local dealer that was selling the Grand Caravan SXT (no options) for $21,000 which I thought was good. However, even he admitted that once you financed through Chrysler at almost 8%, you were better off eliminating the incentives (so add in another $2500) and finance for 0% for up to 60 months plus tax, etc. which is still a pretty good deal. This was at or below invoice although it had no other options like you described.

    However, I was also concerned with not only the bottom line, but how much I could afford/month, and in the end, the Sienna XLE was best for me, my goal was to not go much over $350 for a payment, and with nothin down, I pay $359/mo tax included in this deal. I think this Dodge would have been about $415 and a cloth Honda Odyssey was about $440. I liked all 3, but the combination of features and price made the Sienna the best choice for me, which is what this board is all about - finding the best deals to match one's preferences.
  • strstr Posts: 64
    Hey irg,

    I am looking for the Sienna XLE and want all of the same features (or close to) that my Envoy has (heated seats, memory mirrors and seats, steering wheel controls, my Envoy has an awesome Bose stereo system what does Sienna have?, remote engine start) I really want the onstar system we have used it to unlock the doors and when we were lost and it is wonderful, this is a big deal to me and I am having to think hard about it because it is a nice security device, lowers insurance too. I do not want to go much over $350.00 per month for a payment and don't want to pay anything down. Where did you find such a deal? Do you mind telling me the year of your van and which package you have? I was looking at a 2005 model and my friend who owns a large lot says he can get one with about $21,000.00 miles on it but the payments would be close to $400.00. Not going to pay that much for a car. Our Envoy is a 2002 we bought it with 16,000 miles in 2003 and we pay $380.00 per month I want to lower that when we buy a van.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 974
    It looks like a little of everything is being discussed here except the Chevy Uplander, Pontiac Montana SV6, Saturn Relay and Buic Terraza, and that makes things difficult and confusing for new members who want to talk about these vehicles. Please take a look at the discussions available in the Vans & Minivans Forum if you'd like to discuss other minivans and issues. Thanks.


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I have never seen a Chrysler van with rear discs though I'm not surprised the T&C has them. If they all have them now, must be new for 2005.
  • strstr Posts: 64

    Never mind I found the answer to this question in Toyota Sienna: Prices paid and buying experiences.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    I would email you, but I don't think your email address is public. Anyway, a few comments on the Uplander/SV6 vans and a comparison to the Sienna. I think with all of the features you want, it will be hard to get your payments at $350/month unless you lease, like I did. The Uplander and Sienna both have heated seats (if you get leather) like your Envoy, depending on the package with the Sienna. Same deal with Uplander too. The Sienna XLE has a great 10 speaker JBL sound system. I'm not sure what the Uplander offers, but it is decent. Both models have steering wheel controls, although I believe with the Uplander, you have to get the upper LT model. Onstar is not available on anything but GM. But the Sienna has a DVD navigation system that the GM vans don't offer. Of all the years I've owned cars, I have only once locked my keys in the car (and it was a GM vehicle) so for me, the Onstar thing wouldn't get much use. For safety it is nice for peace of mind. Don't forget though to budget in the $17 a month service fee after the first year, and that is the basic package. It does add to your bottom line.

    My XLE is a basic van, I don't have leather, or any other packages, although the XLE already comes pretty loaded to me. I get dual side power doors, and a power liftgate that is really handy, especially for my wife who is shorter than me. The XLE also comes with dual power seats that are some of the most comfortable seats I have been in. Fog lights, alloys wheels, there is even a little extra mirror that allows you to spy on all of the kids in the back. Very handy feature to have. You don't get remote start on the Sienna, but you can add it if you want later. No one has memory seats/mirrors yet, but I hear the Sienna will in '06. I know the GM vans don't offer this feature yet. I would think the Buick might, but not for '05.

    I got my van for $359/month with $0 down because the Sienna has a high residual, and the XLE models have a migher residual than the LE models too. If I got a loaded Sienna, payments would have been close to $400 probably. Same with the GM vans.

    You can go to any of the GM websites and use their payment calculator. Change the price to something close to invoice, and it will give you what it will cost to buy, lease (they don't do leases in NY anymore) and a smartbuy, which is similar to leasing, only you pay the whole amount in taxes like if you are buying, another reason why GM wasn't so attractive to me. You can also select how long you want to buy or lease, # of months that is, and miles. Toyota's calculator is similar, only it also asks you to select your credit worthiness (make sure you know this first). And then plug in the numbers. I noticed when I used my XLE price, which was $26,614, the lease price was very good - about $318 without taxes, and that is when I looked at the van in Fitzmall in Maryland, and realized I wasn't going to get a better deal elsewhere.

    But if you get special savings from GM, like customer loyalty $ (I was surprised I didn't get much incentive here, like $500 that was it), credit card rebates, etc. you might find you can't do better than the GM vans. If you lease, or smartbuy, you don't have to worry about depreciation as much, since you can just turn it back it. If you buy outright, you will want to keep it for 4-6 years or more to prevent losing so much from depreciation. Whereas with Honda or Toyota, you can turn around in 2-3 years and resell it for not much loss. I looked at used Toyota and Honda vans with around 16-24k miles on them, about 1-3 years old, and they were still selling used for around $21-26k. Seemed silly when I got mine for about that new, but people were buying them all the time used at these prices (a friend of mine did).

    You won't find a used Chevy Venture that is 1-2 years old with 16k miles on it for $23,000, more likely $12-15k used. The Dodge Grand Caravan with sto-n go used (2005 models) with about 16k miles on them sell for about $19k here, a little better for sure.

    If you are going to be buying and not leasing, it will be hard to find the van you want with all of the features new and keep your payments to around $350, doesn't matter what brand you go with. If you can find one slightly used (harder with the GM vans, but maybe a demo model) that would be the way to go for you.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Do you work for Toyota? Just wondering as you seem determined to sell one.

  • strstr Posts: 64
    Check your email for my address.

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