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

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Comments

  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    What you are driving now is a good vehicle, and similar to the vans as you noted. The new vans have somewhat improved ride and features but are similar to the older models. Your Buick Rendvs has a better rear suspension design for a smoother rear ride than you are likely to get with the van. But there is a ton of room, and with the new motor, they are not a bad choice. Some people think the sun rises and sets with Toyota and Honda, but they have issues too. Personally I think the Toyota is too mushy riding and pedestrian for my taste (sort of like a big camery, tells people you really don't care your vehicle has the personality of a rock), my Olds seems bolted to the road (rims & tires make a big difference though) and can handle turns beyond what the passengers wish to experience! The GM vans are typically somewhat less costly (watch the options) but have a steep depreciation curve. If you do buy new, hope you keep it a long time. Otherwise, perhaps lease or buy a used one - as the recent deals on new vehicles have hurt used resale to the point you could score big.
  • Are you sure the Rendevous's rear suspension is better than the Terraza's? I know all Terraza's have the fully independent rear suspension. The other GM minivans only get this if they are AWD.
  • Well, I loved my Rendezvous but with three kids, on long trips there just wasn't enough room. This new 3.9L engine is fantastic - nice smooth acceleration and yet very powerful. I drive on the highway every day and I do not notice the constant up/downshifting that others seemed to notice with the older engine. The ride is quite similar to the Rendezvous - perhaps a bit softer, easier on the bumps etc. Handling is great, the sight line for driving is excellent, there is much more room for cargo, and passengers yet the handling is good and parking isn't much more difficult, which my wife likes. The CXL Terraza has all the creature comforts of the Rendezvous except for the HUD. As one final note, I made sure they took off those Goodyear Integrity tires that came standard, they were horrible on our camry - the new Continental tires seem fine. Dave
  • Just noted the comment from Dirk about depreciation - we leased this Terraza and they do depreciate it heavily over a 3 year period, so if you buy, be sure to get every possible discount going at the time. We had trouble getting a Terraza up here in Canada, but I suspect it would be easier in other cities, esp in the US. I cant share the price as we are GM Family Plan members - my Dad worked at GM for 35 years so we get a slightly higher discount than most could likely negotiate (just my impression - go ahead and negotiate heavily! - GM is still not doing very well these days). Some 06s still come with the 3.5 engine, so be sure you know what you are buying. Good luck. Dave
  • cla1cla1 Posts: 27
    I have read and mostly appreciated CU for years, but have learned to take their subjective assessments as that. We have an 05 Terraza and while I certainly agree that the second seats are heavy and clumsy to remove (my God, who designed these things anyway?)and difficult to adjust fore and aft--I certainly don't find the engine coarse, the trim insubstantial, and the interior noisy. They tend to generalize findings from one "sibling" to all. Plus, after living with this thing a year, we like the "snout" and overall are very pleased with it.
  • nymomnymom Posts: 17
    Hello,
    I test drove an 06 terraza yesterday and overall really liked it. I just have one question? I currently have two children in car seats and have an 04 jeep grand cherokee which i use the tether(spelling?)straps that hook into the roof. Is there a place in the terraza to use this same system or will i have to use the latch system? Any advice would be great.
    Thank you
  • I would confirm with the sales staff but I am using a back seat tether for my little one's car seat (third seat - right behind the seat). There is only one tether location at the back though, but each middle seat has its own location at the bottom of the seat, according to the owners manual. Dave
  • NHTSA Probes Windshield Wiper and Headlight Problem in Some GM Models

    December 5, 2005
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a preliminary safety investigation of the Chevrolet Uplander, Pontiac Montana SV, Saturn Relay and Buick Terraza because of a flaw that could cause the headlights to go out.

    All of the vehicles in the investigation are from the 2005 model year.

    NHTSA has received information that the actuating bar of the windshield wipers might cause damage or even cut a wiring harness that results in loss of the headlights.

    In a related problem, General Motors issued a bulletin to dealers on February 21, 2005 warning that the wiper motor crank arm could contact an under-the-hood electrical center and "Some customers may report a stall and the no start condition after the wipers are used." :lemon: :lemon:
  • I noticed that GM decided to add second row seat mounted side airbags on it's Vans's for the 2006 model year, but one thing I saw on Saturn's website was that if you got the side airbags for the second row, you could not remove the second row of seats. This made me wonder, is it really worth it? (put aside the fact that is is a necessary feature for minivans)
  • nymomnymom Posts: 17
    Thanks for responding, i was able to find the one in the third row section. I also found what i believe is the ones on the back of the second row captians chairs but i could not get the tether hook in the hole. The hole seemed too small. has anyone else had this problem? thanks
  • You are correct about the rear suspension, I have not seen much of the Buick so I was thinking of the older models.

    Dirk
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    If you can't remove the second row, then you probably can't get maximum cargo capacity.

    Why not just have side curtain airbags?
  • Why not just have side curtain airbags?

    That is exactly what I said. I realized though, that these vans are not entirely and are only dramatically changed, so if we want curtain airbags we will have to wait for a COMPLETE redesign.

    I still wonder why GM allowed so many class standards (i.e. curtain airbags, power liftgate, and sunroof) to be left off these vans. :confuse:
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    Wrong. A perfect example is when the last gen ('99-04) Jeep Grand Cherokee was mid-cycle, I think '02. Nothing really changed except a few trim pieces and some colors, but they ALSO incorporated side curtain airbags as a new option, without having to change or redesign much, if anything, at all.

    The only reason GM did the bags in the seat thing for the back is purely the cost factor, as it is much easier to take the same mechanisms you already have designed and tested for the front side bags and just put those same seats in the middle--bingo, no extra R&D work, and you get some kind of bags in the rear area. Not a strong solution, but still a solution. Wouldn't have required a lot to get curtain airbags, but these vans still share so much with the old, it just wouldn't be monetarily worth it to a company with such tight purse strings at the moment--but wouldn't be that hard from an engineering aspect.
  • kcoreykcorey Posts: 130
    The way that I have been able to attach the tether hook is to put it in side-ways and keep the spring portion down (in other words, up-side down). Maybe it's not right, but it works for me. :blush:
  • momofmomof Posts: 1
    WELL I SEE I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE GOING CRAZY OVER MY VEHICLE AND ITS PROBLEMS!! I PURCHASED A SATURN RELAY, THE SAME AS THE UPLANDER, IN JULY AND HAVE HAD NOTHING BUT PROBLEM AFTER PROBLEM. RUNNING TO THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT WITH MY 4 CHILDREN EVERY TIME. TOTALLY FRUSTRATING. I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO FIND SOMEONE WITH THE FLICKERING HEADLIGHTS PROBLEM, ACTUALLY ALL THE LIGHTS OF THE VEHICLE FLICKERS. THEY REPLACED, SO THEY SAID, THE ALTERNATOR AND ITS AS THOUGH NOTHING WAS EVER REPLACED. IT DOES THE SAME THING. I DO NOT DRIVE DURING THE EVENING/NIGHT ANYMORE BECAUSE PEOPLE THINK I'M FLASHING MY LIGHTS AT THEM!!! I REFUSE TO BE KILLED DUE TO ROADRAGE FOR SOMETHING THAT THE MECHANICS ARE OVERLOOKING OR ARE JUST IGNORING. PLEASE INFORM ME OF WHAT PROCEDURE WAS DONE ON YOUR VEHICLE TO REMEDY THE FLICKERING LIGHTS PROBLEM. ALSO I HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCING A WHISTLE SOUND WHILE ACCELERATING. TOTALLY ANNOYING!!! MY DRIVERS SEAT HAS STARTED TO BUCKLE UP ON THE SIDE, ALONG WITH SEVERAL OTHER PROBLEMS THAT THE MECHANICS SEEM TO NOT BE ABLE TO DUPLICATE. I'M AT A POINT WHERE I FEEL THEY ARE JUST IGNORING ME AND DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE SAFETY OF ME AND MY FAMILY. :cry:
  • Ladies and Gents,

    Went perusing three days ago for a minivan replacement for our 99 Windstar (which has been very bulletproof BTW). On our van we wanted heated leather, DVD, Good stereo, power sliders, 4 wheel discs with ABS and Stability control at a minimum. Started at the Honda dealer;

    Honda-

    Pompous dealers - acted like I was doing them a favor for checking out their van and asking for a testdrive. The powertrain of the van was excellent with some nice interior details and tricks. Really liked the fold down split 3rd seat. We took out an EXL and I liked driving it. It seemed to handle well. I asked about DVD and was told its available as a 1700.00 option. Total price would be around @ least 33K and they sell close to retail, hhhhmmmmmmmmm.

    Toyota-

    Dealer experience similar to Honda - whats with these guys? The Toyota we drove was an XLE to get all the options we wanted. Around 34K. Powertrain was nice, not as snappy as the Honda. Van rode very smooth and quiet, but handling was very soft and soggy - didn't feel as buttoned down as the Honda. Tight turning circle, nice seats, and good stereo system. Still no DVD at this price?

    Saturn-

    Dealer treated me like a guest. He couldn't do enough for me! I Asked for a test drive and he gave me the van for the day........WOW. I took out a loaded Relay 3. Every option on the list except all wheel drive. Including Onstar, DVD, Heated leather, 17 inch wheels, Power sliders, Awesome stereo, 4 wheel disc, ABS and stability, cool reverse sensing system, rail storage system, trailer package Driver info center, beautiful gauge package and more. Van drove great, more firm than the Toyota and less than the Honda. Driving position was excellent. Seats in all positions were large and comfy (as were all 3 vans). Powertrain was competent and smooth, although with noticibly less oomph than the other 2. It was far from lacking in power though. Kids loved the DVD! Only "downside " is the rear seats - they dont fold back and flat as the others, but can form a flat load floor none the less. Went back to the dealer and he said the MSRP was 30,700.

    I wasn't sure if the difference in price was worth it. He then said BTW they now have 8k off the price. WOW!! Loaded for 22K - Youre kidding me!? Wife signed the papers and it's in the garage now. We're very happy!

    All the vans were nice, but value wise between the 3 - no contest - and I found I prefer the SUV look vs. the Rocket boy styling of the other 2. Great experience - I'll keep you updated. Thoughts?
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    Great mini-review! Thanks. Sounds like you got a GREAT deal. Was the 8k off due to the "Red Tag Sale"? Compare this ... my Buick dealer offered to sell me a loaded 2006 Terraza AWD for $20K if I traded in my vehicle (worth $13K). Sounds like the Relay is a much better value and looks like I'll be going to a Saturn dealer for a test drive of the Relay!

    Did you get the 2nd row side airbags in the Relay? What kind of stereo? I'm interested in the 6 disk changer and/or the Phatnoise system. Thanks for the info.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    If I were to get a Relay I'd get one with Navigation because even if you add back the $2,000 to the $22K it is still a SCREAMING value.
  • The saturn dealers are giving the 8k off to clear out the 05 inventory. We are very happy with the deal! It's got the 6 disc cd xm radio pakage. Whats really cool is 3 different people can listen to three different stations at the same time. 2 with the wireless headphones and one on the main speakers. This van really is very quiet and solid. I can't believe how biased the magazines are against it! Go get'em while this deal lasts!
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    So your's is a 2005? I really want Navigation though, so I guess I'll wait until the 2006 closeout.
  • BTW - got a 500.00 Target gift card with the deal - nice christmas bonus!
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    A 2005? Does that mean that there are no side airbags for the 2nd row?
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    probably not. The second row side airbags didn't become an option until 2006.

    Same with the factory Navigation...
  • It has front side airbags, but not the 2nd row side airbags. Nav system is an 06'option also I believe.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    yep. the Navigation system was added as an option on the Relay and Terraza for 2006.
  • After 7 months with our very active family, I continue to be very satisfied with this vehicle. The van now has 11,500 trouble-free miles on it. In my opinion the professional reiewers are missing the value of this van. It really has a lot to offer for a reasonable price. Our van is an LT with many options and we only paid 23,500. The van has not been in the shop for any repairs and with 3 kids we've really appreciated the power sliding doors and DVD. Additionally, the remote start has come in handy on 15 degree mornings this winter. The computer is showing an ave. of 21.5 mph in mainly city driving, outstanding for a vehicle this big. I like the cool front and awesome wheels. We couldn't be happier. IMO the GM vans offer the most for the money. Hopefully the long term reliability will be solid. Perhaps this will be enough for the "professionals" to take note.
  • The real injustice is that the press worships imports, so people never even take these vans on a test drive!

    "Must drive Odyssey....Must drive Sienna....Press says they are best...must get one....." :surprise: :confuse:

    They suck into the "it's just a venture with a nose job....." and write them off the list - Wow, it's so much better than that! It really feels like a completely different vehicle - I've driven both and there is no comparison between the two. The interiors and mechanics are top notch and the value can't be touched!
    Congrats on the Uplander success story - I think your story with the Uplander is MUCH more common than the people on these boards and the press think.........I will add my Relay story this time next year...! ;)
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,078
    Hello all, I just want to find out what the general concensus thinks of the '06 SV6 (they did drop the Montana name for '06 MY). I'm in the process of trading my '01 Escape XLT V6 (loaded with extra's) for either a '06 SV^ w/ 3.9ltr, '06 Quest SL SE, or '06 Freestyle SEL. All tree vehicle will be fully loaded to the gills and will all have AWD. I'm just trying to find out how everyone likes their SV6

    Odie
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    The Quest & Montana are both minivans, while the Freestyle is the wagon version of the Ford 500, so the Freestyle's interior is more car-like, as well as it's driving characterictics.
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