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

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Comments

  • strstr Posts: 64
    I guess I have never really looked at the older vans before but seeing the newer one the road from a distance it did look long and skinny. Now that I think about it the inside seats look a little close together but I'm going to look at some other vans tomorrow so I'll have something to compare it to. Thanks for the info tjhsmith!
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Good luck with the van. I really hope for you they don't have all the issues they did when they came out. Our neighbor has been in and out of the shop every month since he bought his Quest. Seems like the Quest has lots of deals right now, looks like it worked in your favor.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Actually Honda's sales have been down much of this years also, much to my surprise as they have much more exciting product that Toyota does. Toyota is as big here as anywhere, they have 2 plants down the road and employ 1000's of Canadians. Beats me why people buy other than quality reputation. I drove a Camry rental for 2 days and while it was nice it was about as exciting as a vanilla ice cream cone, maybe that's what people want these days.

    G6 isn't selling?? Really? 12000 units in May and the 4 cyl., coupe and 240 hp GTP aren't even out yet. Might want to check your story.

    Back to vans..
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    To answer your questions, we have had no issues with our Uplander yet, no rattles either, the vehicle is very tight. Mileage has been in the 21-22 MPG range for mixed driving. We got about 26-27 MPG on a long highway ride so it will get the posted numbers.

    Remote start is a must I think if you live in a hot or cold (or both) climate. Nothing like getting in a climate controlled environment! Can you tell we got remote start??

    My favourite feature of the Uplander is the MP3 player. Who needs an iPod!!!

    :P

    Good luck shopping.
  • strstr Posts: 64
    I am so glad that you are pleased with your Uplander. I think they look great inside and out.

    The remote start is important to me. We live in a climate where the weather fluctuates from one extreme to another. I do not tolerate the cold very well but at least I have heated seats, however, I hate sitting on a leather seat that has been sitting in 100+ heat. I have had my legs burned more than once because I forget to start my car ahead of time in the summer. The remote start would be great!

    It sounds like your van is doing well on the MPG and that is always important.

    Thanks for the information! ;)
  • genmtrfangenmtrfan Posts: 78
    I've been reading these forums for a few years but have never posted. After purchasing my new Uplander LT last night, I thought it was time to get in the mix. A few comments about the Uplander... At least initially, it's a huge improvement from the Venture (we have a '98 Venture). The interior and exterior is awesome. It just feels so much tighter, quieter, and more refined. Ours is Silverstone Metalic, which I think gives it a classy look. Other colors are nice too, but we wanted a change from the Sandrift Metailic of the Venture.

    The kids are so pumped about the DVD and my wife and I already love the XM radio. The only features not on ours are the six disc cd changer and the Sport Suspension/Stabilitrac. We also opted not to get the full leather seats. The base seats are trimmed in leather and really look and sit nicely as well.

    The buying experience was fair. I was in and out of two dealerships that I was unhappy with. Either they were pressuring you or lying to you to get you in. I ended up at a smaller dealer, outside of the big city and was very satisfied there. I paid about $500 over invoice. I realize that may not be the best deal going, but this dealer had a lower processing fee than most (by about $200) and honestly I had a hard time finding the one I wanted so I had less room to deal. Does anyone know why they are still pretty hard to find? They had to drive mine in from a town about 100 miles away. In addition, I wanted to buy by last night since the 2K cash back expired then. Good thing I did because I noticed that GM's new incentives, just released today, are less, down to $1,000 cash back on the Uplander, or some special finance rates.

    My van was produced in December 2004. Vanman, do you know what production period the alternator TSB covered? I did not notice any flickering lights last night and am wondering if it was corrected by then. The TSB number is 05-06-03-003 as previously reported on this site. I think it would be helpful if someone would post a link to this TSB or attach a PDF file. Also, does anyone know what month in 2004 that production began on the Uplanders?

    Finally, I think GM is on the path to success if they continue to produce vehicles that are as appealing as the new Uplander, Cobalt, and G6. Hopefully these vehicles and others will sway some of the negative public sentiment.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Could be they are putting the new alternators on all the vans sitting on the lots. Definitely get it fixed if you do see the flicker.
  • I got one of the 1st Uplanders- I got mine just before Thanksgiving 2004. It now has over 10,000 miles on it and I've been pleased. I am, by the way, female, and I have a fairly small frame (5'3") and I have no trouble with the steering wheel. My two biggest complaints are sort of petty. I have an LS with the easy-order option, sport suspension and trailering package. Complaint # 1- the cell phone holder is in the overhead rail system but the cord plugs in on the floor- and I mean right down on the floor. It's hard to reach. Complaint # 2- I ordered this van so I could tow stuff- the trailering package includes the HD cooling and the wiring harness, but not the trailer hitch. If you get the trailer hitch from Chevrolet you pay $325-350 including installation- and they were quick to tell me that the trailer hitch would come with the wiring harness. Now I ask you, why include the wiring with the trailering package but not the trailer hitch? Why charge again for the wiring harness if I paid for it with the trailering package? Anyone from GM listening out there? Other than that, I love it and drive it constantly.
  • tiger10tiger10 Posts: 46
    the malibu seems to be good for the success of gm along with the Uplanders(and other vans),G6,Cobalt,Equinox,Malibu,Malibu Maxx are all good for GM to get back on top.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    I was surprised too about Honda being down, although not that significant maybe. Now that they have the new Odyssey, a new Civic this summer/fall, and a new pickup (that just won C&D's midsize pickup shootout) I think they will bounce back.

    As for "Beats me why people buy other than quality reputation." that alone is reason enough. Over the last couple of decades, many consumers became fed up with the poor quality that was coming out from Ford, GM and Chrysler. And while that has somewhat dissappated, it still hasn't completely faded away. And certainly consumer sentiment has not faded. And Toyota/Honda aren't exactly sitting on their laurels and doing nothing. The hybrid technology is a good example of that. Quality too, means you can buy or lease a Toyota Tundra, and 3 years later have a residual of 71%.

    As for vans, the GM clones just aren't that competitive to what DC (still the leaders in sales), Honda and Toyota are offering. And sales reflect that.

    From the several articles I have read, the G6 so far, has not sold nearly as well as anticipated, and has sold less than the Pontiac Grand Am it replaced, surprising considering the G6 is a significantly better vehicle. I'm sure the Camry you rented was a vanilla car, many rentals are from my experience. I just rented a Lincoln last week (the largest version they make, the Continental I believe), and preferred my Sienna for driving experience and comfort by far. If you want an "exciting" Camry or Honda Accord, get the v-6 with a 6 speed (accord coupe).
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    "From the several articles I have read"

    I'm not sure where you get your "information" from but G6 sales have steadily climbed every month since introduction. Last month over 9000+ units (official sales data) sold and the 4 cyl base model, GTP, coupe and coconvertible aren't even out yet!

    Vans sold a combined 12500+ this May about the same a year ago. Sales are down over all so no big gains.

    Like I have said many times before your Sienna is wonderful (I know that's what you want to hear) but it costs more money and doesn't offer many things the GM vans do and has no short version either. Not everyone can afford a Sienna and not everyone wants one.

    In fact.. Funny story for u. Our friends have a Sienna and were over on the weekend. The wife was holding the door open when putting her daughter in. I asked if the door was broken and she said, no... not according to the dealership. They say it's suppose to not hold open when the window is down? How dumb is that? She is not impressed and told me she has told the dealer to fix it to stay. They told her they would get back to her.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    1. SUV look
    2. Remote start / MP3 (I love these 2)
    3. Well appointed interior
    4. Ride quality
    5. Price and value

    The Uplander has a lot to offer for the buck, more than meets the eye. It's easy to say buy a Toyota I suppose but Chevy has a very decent van and should not be over looked.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Personally, I don't think any van should necessarily be overlooked when one is comparison shopping. I have always advised people, friends, co-workers, etc. that at the very least consider 2-3 different brands and give them all a test drive. Certain things will definitely appeal to different people for different reasons. You like the SUV look, and the remote start option that are unique to GM. I didn't care about those things, but obviously some people will and do. If someone was exclusively looking at Toyota, I would still suggest they look at the Honda and probably the DC vans too, just for comparison sake. And every region/dealer seems to offer different incentives/deals that can easily make one van much more affordable than the other, and price for many of us does play an important role.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Well, here is some more cheery news from GM: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/newsfinder/pulseone.asp?siteid=mktw&guid=%7B84EA9EEA-1091-- 48ED-8BEA-EE8A5060EC0D%7D&

    I tried to find the articles I have read about the G6, not that it matters anymore. I usually find them in the business section at msnbc.com or cnn or drudgereport. That was back in March or April I believe. Yes, each month they have sold more, setting all time records for the G6, which is basically a laugh because it is a brand new vehicle. Not much to compare it to. I would hope it sets new records each month. But it hasn't outsold the grand am, which is weird, because the GA wasn't a great car, but it did sell well for GM, and G6 was supposed to supplant it in overall sales. Just hasn't happened yet, maybe it will, especially with more incentives slapped on. I would like to see a G6 wagon. The couple looks sporty, but is anyone buying coupes anymore? Ford never bothered with the Taurus or the 500, Accord and Camry coupes are niche vehicles too. The G6 needs more power in its v6 to compete. 200 hp just isn't very impressive. You think the 4 cyl model will bring in many more buyers? I wouldn't hold my breath. GM thought it was clever offering the sunroof that folds open all the way. I haven't seen one in person, (I seldom see any G6d) and it isn't a cheap option, and anyone shopping a "value" type car usually don't pack on the options like they would maybe a Mercedes. So the one thing that sets the G6 apart, no one is getting hardly. Guess this has nothing to do with Vans though.

    There was another good article I read yesterday - and I can't find it at the moment (I really need to start bookmarking these things for you) that featured an economist and professor at the U of Maryland, that was talking about GM's woes (legacy stuff, union contracts, etc.) which he claims if they don't get resolved in the near future, GM will be out of business in 3-4 years. For me that is hard to believe, but everything is pointing to a not so rosy future for GM. And Ford is close behind. DC on the other hand seems to be doing some good things lately. This is not all the fault of bad product, some of it is, but a lot of it has to do with GM management of the company, which IMO has never been very good. It always seems to be a band aid approach on how to fix things there.

    When GM tries, things like Cadillac result. New product, RWD cars that can compete with BMW, etc. and they have had their best sales quarter in over 12 years. But GM built their future on trucks and SUVs, and they aren't selling as well as they used to. Toyota has a lot of trucks and SUVs too, but they didn't build their foundation on it. The Uplander is a band aid approach. They took an 8 year old design, redesigned the front, updated the interior, but the added weight with an underpowered 3.5 has actually made this van slower. This is how GM should not do things. And sales prove this.

    I think the Sienna is a fine van, not that I need anyone's validation on it. It is still a van, and not a Porsche, and not that I get to drive it very often anyway. True, it has no short version (no short GM version in the US yet either) and I wouldn't want one anyway. It doesn't cost more, even though you might think it does (true, a loaded XLE will cost more than a base Uplander, but an Uplander LS or LT can cost very close to similar Toyota models - I spec'd them all out this year), and it offers most of the same features GM vans do, and a whole lot more to boot. If you want to compare feature to feature, let me know. No, not everyone can afford a Sienna, nor can everone afford the Uplander either, and I wouldn't believe for a second everyone wants one. What a boring world that would be (but a reliable one).
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    The Grand Am had a coupe, a 4 cyl base model which made up the bulk of sales (just as most Camry sales are base 4 cly models) and a Ram Air performance model. The line of G6s is not all out yet so your comparisons to the Grand Am sales are not valid. I think vanman pointed that out.

    The GM vans have a 240HP 3.9 engine option coming this summer. Personally I will take the lower horsepower for better mileage. I am not racing people with my van. All vans had around 200hp a few years ago and some how people lived through it.

    They are selling base RWB Uplanders for $20,000 CDN. Cheapest Sienna is about $30,000 CDN. My well equipped LS MSRP'd for under thirty. The Sienna is more money and they don't offer the lower rates GM does either. Sienna is more money no matter how you slice it.

    I doubt your Sienna will be any more reliable than my Uplander either.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Lets next time release only the next generation Camry as a V6, not release the coupe (Solara) and see if it it sells as well as the previous generation models. Hummm? Wonder if that will happen?
  • genmtrfangenmtrfan Posts: 78
    I think another point worth making relates to the GM credit card and some of the unbelievable cash you can earn. A week ago today, we bought an Uplander LT that listed for $30,500, we paid 23,700 plus tax, title, license, and processing fee. How, you ask? 30,500-2,000 dealer negotiation-2,000 bonus cash-2,800 GM credit card cash. I actually had only earned 1,800, but when I got to the dealer they told me I had an additional 1,000. I later found out that GM is currently adding an extra 1,000 for GM card holders purchasing Uplanders. I'm not sure that the Sienna or Odyssey could touch this deal, although I'll admit that I didn't research the Sienna or the Odyssey

    Our neighbors, who just bought a new Caravan, are very impressed (if not a little jealous of the SUV look). Some other friends with a Windstar say that their next van will be an Uplander after seeing ours.
    I realize that GM didn't build this vehicle new from the ground up and I'll admit that it bothers me a little that the rear hatch and a few other parts are re-cladded venture parts. However, once you sit inside the van it feels, drives, and sounds different from the Venture. After one week of service, I still haven't heard a rattle or squeak. How refreshing. I hope the 3.5 will be an improvement over the 3.4 in terms of reliability. The last thing I want to see on this forum is the intake issue re surfacing.
  • nojetsnojets Posts: 31
    Not that I'm in the market for an Uplander, but after seeing one or two of them on the road, I felt compelled to come over to this forum to remark on their unspeakable ugliness. I guess they didn't fire the guy that penned the Aztec. What where they thinking at GM? Why didn't someone at GM take one look at the clay mockup and say "Over my dead body?"
    It looks like some kind of frankenvehicle...
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Even our 04 Montana has an incredibly smooth ride, I can only imagine it being better with the Uplander. We got an additional $2000 with our GM card also. No such thing as a Toyota card. The Beauty of the GM cars is, it doesn't cost a dime to use and allows you to save substantial amount for a new car/truck.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    I genuenely hope GM (and Ford) will do well and one day rule the world. But GM's vans are just not very compelling at this moment. We looked at the Uplander first, we even started using the GM card a long time before that to accumulate credit. But when I sat down and seriously priced the vans, the Uplander was simply too expensive. Actually, I just did it again for the sake of argument. A LS Uplander with the easy order package (one power door) sells for $23,807 on carsdirect.com. The Quest we just purchased cost $21,700 (with one power door,side curtain bags and rear parking sonar). An SXT Grand Caravan costs $22-23K (stow-n-go, two power doors, no side airbags). We simply couldn't see ourselves spend that much more on an Uplander when it's smaller, less versatile, and has no side airbags.

    Of course, people appreciate different things in their vans and we all should buy according to our needs. Personally speaking, the Uplander unfortunately doesn't have one single attribute that's attractive to us. :(
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Different strokes for different strokes. Mechanically the Quest my be fine but aesthetically to me, it's very unattractive and it's dash is a mess. Typical Nissan these days because they used to have some nice looking cars. I love the old Maximas.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Definitely, everyone has got his own cup of tea :) I didn't mean to trash the Uplander. Let's all enjoy our vans.
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    Nissan uses the VQ motor in the van, do they not? I have one in my 2000 maxima SE, and its revving motor with not much low torque. Smooth and good HP, but not much torque below 3000. Nissan makes a good reliable vehicle for the most part (remember the vans that burned up?), so enjoy. It probably runs circles around the 3.4-3.5 on the highway, even if it lags off the stoplight.

    I'm amazed at the deals available now, it must killing used prices. I saw a Vue advertised for about $15,000, and as reported here you can get a $30k + GM van for low 20's if you go through the hoops.

    If I wasn't so cheap, I might actually buy a new van with these deals!

    S
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    A used one might actually cost more than a new one, as in my case. The dealer had a base used 05 Quest with below 20 K miles, and he wanted more for that van than the new one he had :confuse: I thought I should be able to find a "new" used one for considerable less mone, but the dealers wouldn't budge on those.
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    Yea, the Honda folks are also proud of their used vans, even private owners want nearly what a new one costs. Depending on your point of view, it could be good/bad deal. Personally, if I can spend a little more and get one brand new with a full warrenty, its a no brainer. I am currently driving a '98 Olds that I got for $11k loaded with all options, the domestic steep depreciation curve worked well for me.

    The new vans - competition is stiff - but I would consider the ones with the new motor if it drives doesn't suck a lot of gas. I can barely get going with Houston traffic, so really the motor shouldn't be an issue with me, the 3.4 can go 90 all day long on the highway (well, not in mountains), faster than the law allows...so it fills the bill.

    Let us know how the Nissan holds up vs the GM vans.

    DD
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Are you from Houston? We were in Texas for 5 years...well you can probably tell by my screen name :) Is the speed limit still 55 mph? They lowed it a few years ago to fight smog ( :confuse: ), and many folks didn't like it. As I remember Houston's traffic is not that bad, well compared to here in Seattle anyway. Yeah, I'll definitely give periodic updates on our Quest.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 976
    Folks, this discussion is all over the map. Please stick to discussing the vehicles in the title here -- the Uplander, Montana SV6, Relay, and Terrazza. If you'd like to discuss the fate of Ford & GM, try the News & Views Forum. If you'd like to talk about another vehicle, post in the Forum dedicated to that vehicle.

    ClaireS, Host
    Coupes & Convertibles | Vans & Minivans

    MODERATOR
    Need help getting around? claires@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    I really like those new GM vans. Yep, the GM Vans would be my choice of van. I cannot decide between the UPLANDER, the SV6, RELAY or TERRAZZA. I am not even going to bother comparing them to any other van, the GM van is the best. Lets not even name the competition, who cares about them?

    Lets hear more stories of those who got a good deal recently on their GM vans.
    GM vans forever!

    Dirk
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    If I was buying today I would go Uplander. I like the Chevy look the best, it's interior is not substantially different to the Terrazza in LS form and it will save you $$. Buick needs to do more to give people a reason to pay the extra $$. I know it has a better suspension and a few extras, but a premium engine still needs to be added in my opinion.
  • genmtrfangenmtrfan Posts: 78
    Having just bought a new Uplander, of course I agree. The next best looking is the Saturn, although I don't like the plastic body cladding around the bottom. Otherwise, I would have considered one. In my view the Buick is next in line, followed by the Pontiac. Definitely, the Chevy front looks the toughest.

    Our first week around town the Uplander got 20 mpg. About what we expected. Should do 24 on a trip. We love it. I have an appointment scheduled Monday to get the generator replaced. I'm still not sure it needs it, but I want to be covered just in case. I'm planning to ask the service mgr. for a copy of the TSB to see the production periods involved.

    Vanman, I've seen your postings in other GM forums, do you drive an Uplander?
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