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



  • genmtrfangenmtrfan Posts: 78
    Technical 1. I couldn't agree more. While there have apparently been some issues with some of these '05 models, mainly regarding the lights, I have also become very frustrated with the negativity of the "professional" reviewers. We have an '05 Uplander that was built in December '04, so it was early in the production cycle. Even so, we've been extremely happy with the vehicle. As I've posted here before, the value that these vans provide is unparalleled. After incentives and GM Card redemption points, we only paid 23,700 for an LT with everything except for traction control and the towing package. I agree with you that fit and finish are very good.

    Has the van been perfect? No. We've had some common issues: side moldings, stiff horn pad, and some minimal sporadic light flicker. The moldings are being replaced this week, the horn springs were replaced under a GM TSB. The light flicker is still with us, even after changing the alternator. However, it is so minimal and so infrequent that it's barely worth mentioning and certainly not a safety issue for us. In my opinion these minor inconveniences have be outweighed by the SUV styling, 17" wheels, DVD player(3 kids), 22 mpg in the city, nice looking interior, great seats, and Onstar. All that equipment for around ten grand less than a comparably equipped "whatever" was enough to win us over. By the way, the 200 hp 3.5 liter engine, while not class-leading, does a good job. Yes, I would love to have the 3.9 but it certainly wasn't a deal breaker, neither were the "fold in-floor seats." The seats are a good compromise because the fold almost into the floor, but still provide full-size support. I doubt that most people would have many occasions to take them completely out. Even so, if GM is going to succeed, it needs to do what it takes to appease the professional reviewers by offering the same features as other vehicles and better than average reliability. While Uplander owners know that these vans are fully functional, prospective buyers are likely steered away by the media and savvy Honda/Toyota sales people.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    The new GM vans seem to be selling well, I see them everywhere. I have to admit, the big nose was not a big selling point at first but I really like them now, the vans looks bigger and more SUV like, they have a good presence!
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Posts: 588
    Definitely true. We stopped by the local McDonalds for breakfast one morning a few weeks ago. On the way out a gentleman stopped me and asked me if I liked our vehicle, because he drives a lot for his job and is looking for another vehicle. I told him yes, so he asked me what kind of mileage I was getting from it. I was honest, 22-24 mpg highway so far, not broken in yet though. He said that was good for an SUV. That was when I told him that it's a minivan. He was surprised, and said he thought it was an SUV. The reason he was asking all the questions is that he's looking for the replacement vehicle to be an SUV.

    Dunno if he checked out the CSVs or not, and didn't ask if that changed his intentions. But I definitely know that the redesign's intent of having a more SUVish appearance is definitely working.
  • skyhawkskyhawk Posts: 126
    I have been a loyal GM owner for over 40 years. I have been reading this forum for several months while I was "snow birding". After much research with various van owners where I was staying, I decided to buy a SV6. My local Pontiac dealer is top notch. I was dismayed when they told me that Pontiac recently closed ordering of the 06 model and they were directed not to take orders for 07's. A dealer search did not find what I am looking for. I have not decided what plan B will be. I am unimpressed with the local Buick and Chevy dealers.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Is your local Pontiac dealer a standalone dealer? Nowadays most dealerships are Pontiac-Buick-GMC.
  • skyhawkskyhawk Posts: 126
    He is only Pontiac. He does move a lot of cars and his service is outstanding.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Have you tried the Saturn dealer? I'm sure they would be more than happy to custom order a Relay for you...
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    Yes, and out of all of them, the Saturn is the closest to the Pontiac in the looks department.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Surprised they have cut off the 06's already. Very early. I would think you could go till the end of April at least.

    Can you not get the same price on an 07?
  • skyhawkskyhawk Posts: 126
    According to my Pontiac dealer, Pontiac is out of the van market. There will be no more SV6's. They recommended that I go to a Buick dealer.
  • I have had some problems with my lease. My side sliding doors will often electronically open by themselves. I do not know what the problem is and I am wondering if anyone has had the same. My van has been in the shop numerous times for this problem and they do not know what the problem is. Usually, my car has to be at a complete stop and in park in order for the doors to open automatically. None of the buttons in the car or on my key ring had been pressed. This problem even occurs when my children are not in the vehicle. Replies would be greatly appreciated. :mad: :confuse:
  • hammy233hammy233 Posts: 24
    Article quote:

    Uplander minivan is poor performer in side test:

    The Institute tested the Chevrolet Uplander with and without its optional side airbags (results apply to similar Buick, Pontiac, and Saturn models). In both tests there were problems with the seats in the middle row. With the optional side airbags, all four attachment points for the seat occupied by the rear passenger dummy completely dislodged. The seat broke free.

    In the second test without side airbags, one attachment point released and a second one broke, allowing partial separation of the seat from the floor.

    "This didn't worsen the injury measures recorded on the rear dummy, but a real person in a more complicated real-world crash might not fare as well.

    Seats should stay attached because they're part of the restraint system, and in real crashes vehicles may roll over or be hit again," Lund explains. If this hadn't happened, the Uplander with optional side airbags would earn a rating of acceptable for protection in side impacts. The seat problem downgrades the rating to marginal.

    Without the optional side airbags, the Uplander is poor regardless of the seat problem.

    General Motors engineers have identified a fix for the seats and shown the Institute promising data from a prototype test. When this change has been made in production models, the Institute will test the Uplander again and report the results. :lemon: :lemon:
  • iglooigloo Posts: 8
    On the 2005 Terrazas, the chrome pieces are on both sides of the front bumper. The moldings on the sides of the rear bumper are there as well. On the 2006s, you would not see those anymore. Not a big deal, but I thought the chrome pieces are nice touches. Other than that, I don't notice any other changes in the looks department.
  • One thing that really annoys me is the styling of the Saturn Relay. In my opinion the Saturn Relay is the best looking one of the 4, except for one thing. The lower black plastic molding that runs all the way up the back of the rear bumper. The molding on the front looks great, but then, on the back side, they choose to basically make the entire back bumper made out of the stuff. They should have done what Pontiac did and do half the back bumper with body color, and the other half out of the black molding.
  • rukmnsrukmns Posts: 2
    I have been following this forum for a few weeks and here is my list of problems with our '05 Uplander LS. It was purchased used with 22,000 miles in Sept 2005,it now has 40,000 miles.
    New alternator per TSB
    New sliding door moldings(originals were coming off)
    New sway bar link on driver side front
    Goodyear tires(rear)cupped(very loud highway noise)
    Rear 3rd brake light lens cracked(replaced by dealer)

    Dealer service has been excellent,but I wonder if this vehicle is going to last???
  • genmtrfangenmtrfan Posts: 78
    It sounds like you have the typical problems except for the brake light cover and the sway bar link on the front. We have replaced the moldings, alt, and I replaced our Goodyears at only 16K miles for the same reason. Those problems aside, I predict these vans will have solid long term reliability as we're not hearing of pre-mature engine or transmission failures. By the way, what were they symptoms of the sway bar problem?

    Regarding the tires, I replaced the GY's with Yokahoma AVID TRZ tires (rated highly on Tire Rack). These have made a huge improvement in wet traction and noise. I'm going to be sure to rotate these every 5k. I've heard enough people comment on the rear tires that I wonder if the rear wheels are causing pre-mature wear or if the GY Integrity's just could not handle the job. One morning we were late for the airport, the van was loaded-down and I was taking the corners really fast. By the time I was almost there, every time I took a hard left it sounded like a wheel bearing(really loud roaring/grinding sound). When we got to the airport I could actually smell smoke (although I didn't see any). I believe that the GY tires were wearing poorly and could not handle my spirited manuevering. Tires fault or van's? I don't know, but I'm only letting these new tires stay on the back for 5K at a time.
  • rukmnsrukmns Posts: 2
    Symptoms for the sway bar link were a light metal to metal rattling and not necessarily on rough pavement,took it to dealer and had a service tech ride with me and he heard the same thing. I love the gas mileage but the tires will diffently have to be replaced soon.
  • stobarstobar Posts: 110
    My new '05 Buick CXL has the Goodyear Integrity Tires. I read a few posts that people had experienced problems with them. I wanted to follow up to see if they are that bad? I know that my 2001 Olds Silhouette had Goodyear tires that I ended up replacing somewhere around 36,000 miles due to treadware, and bought Michelin Simmetry's which turned out to be a wise choice. If there are any other comments regarding the Goodyears and possible replacements, I would love to hear. I'm hoping not to replace these any time soon, and have always leaned towards Michelins as replacements. Thanks.
  • I had the same sway bar link replaced on my 05 SV6- it was like a knocking noise from the front drivers side at slower speeds. The dealership first thought it was a broken sway bar, then decided it was the link and fixed it. I thought it came back a couple months later, but it turned out to be something else- they put some kind of insulators in the wheel wells that time. I'm not sure if that fixed it, or just made it quieter!
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Posts: 588
    The tires on my 2005 CX are the same ones you have. They are quiet, good riding / handling tires, but seem to be wearing fairly fast. We have less than 10,000 miles on the van so far and from the appearance of the tread I don't expect to make it past 25,000. Maybe not even 20,000. I'll probably check out to see some reviews of other passenger tires when the time comes to replace these, as I like the quietness and ride, but would hate to keep replacing tires every 20k.
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