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



  • I kinda doubt that was the conclusion from any of GM's marketing focus groups. We'd like our car to be dull!!! Besides they already have that "niche" covered by Buick.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,023
    Let's focus on the specific vehicles in the discussion title here, folks. If you want to talk about GM styling in general, or compare various minivans, hit The Return of GM's Might II or the Vans board. Thanks!


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  • wsag26wsag26 Posts: 124
    I mean, I saw some of the Dodge's pictures, and I saw that it barely even made sense. It is basically a fold flat system, except with the extra compartments. The pictures show a bunch of toys inside the compartments, but what kind of kid is going to stow that many toys number 1, and number 2, don't kids just throw stuff all around the place? The 2005 Dodge Caravan also has something similar to the Overhead Rail System. Personally, the system leaves you without space for a sunroof (like the Buick & Saturn do), but I'm sure that it will not make a difference in sales. We all know that the Dodge Caravan will remain the best selling Minivan until someone comes up with a catchy model full of sales, and I personally think that GM has HIT THE NAIL with this brand new type of minivan. I'm sure GM will update the vehicle with something of the sort soon, and then all of the minivans will be back up to sync. Plus, I'm sure that both the Buick Terraza, Saturn Relay, and 2005 Caravan pictures released were top of the line models. I bet Dodge hasn't changed anything about the basic models, maybe not even the STOW N' GO SYSTEM. I'll have to find out....
  • wsag26wsag26 Posts: 124
    Just looked at the Town & Country pictures. Chrysler kind of changed the design (Hint: It is beginning to look as ugly as the Voyager did) and it has a navigation system. Do you think this proves real competition between the two? You know what, if Buick adds a navigation system, it isn't like it is really going to make a difference. Once again, the Town and Country showed a top-of-the-line model, and the interior's wood looks so fake.
    I'll keep updating you when more information comes OUT!
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I actually think the NAV system is there to compete with the Japanese. The Odyssey came out with one first, then Sienna, then Quest, then Town And Country, and who will be next? Terraza or Freestar?
  • theo2709theo2709 Posts: 476
    Terraza has it.
  • hehe, i haven't read the page in awhile, so I'm kind of behind. Yes, people minivan shoppers do not care about 0-60 times. But they do care about power in terms of torque. When going on vacation, the person driving the van will want enough torque to pull into 60+ MPH with ease, not taxing the insufficient engine. Not saying this engine is horrible!!! Just insufficient for a large van. An improvement would be muchly appreciated. Also, my main point was about torque. Everyone needs torque for a minivan as it carries a lot, right?? So a nicer DOHC engine (Sienna, Oddyssey, Quest, etc.) would help in terms of torque, while still keeping the engine the same size of about 3500cc. One suggestion that wouldn't cost GM any money would be the engine in the Colorado, the Vortec 3500. Makes more power and torque than the pushrod 3500 and is also in the GM family. If not that, at least give the 3.5L pushrod engine VVT. Sorry if anyone got the wrong initial impression of my earlier message.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Actually OHV engines are typically more torquey and the 3500 is as smooth as the Camry's DOHC V6 from what I have read so really the 3900 would be fine as an option if it runs as smooth.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    If the US can ever get back to a balanced budget -and bring the dollar back closer to the Euro - maybe GM could figure a way to make the Opel Zafria work in NA.

    It is a bit pricey in Europe already. I do not think many US buyers would pay with the added premium a E1.22 to the dollar will bring.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    Could it be that these radical crossover sportvans from GM are inducing yawns already? (Maybe everyone's checking out the Chrysler site and being wowed by their 2 rows of disappearing seats!)

    BTW, logic1....the Zafira would be perfect for our small family, so anytime GM wants to bring it over would be fine by me. They'd have to split the difference in price between the Vibe (around 20K $CDN, give or take) and the maxivan entry price (which seems to be around 30K $CDN, give or take, for me to be interested, though.
  • no, the Malibu's V6, while fairly smooth, cannot compare to the smoothness of Camry's V6. read the reviews...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I drove them back-to-back (3.0l V6 on the Camry), actually it's pretty close. The 'bu actually feels torqueier, especially down low. It only strains at really high revs, which aren't very necessary in the light Malibu.

    Question is, can that same engine pull this van without straining? Dunno, but I'm not holding my breath.

  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I have seen several reviews that put the 3.5L on par or better than the Camry V6 but not quite where the Honda V6 is which is best in class by the way, not Toyota. Plus with the Chevy 3.5L you have the added plus of better mileage and not having to have your $400 timing belt service.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I can see the Malibu 'feeling' torquier, given its 220lb. ft peak 800 RPM lower than the Camry's 220 peak... but didnt you say yourself that it was hard to tell which one was actually quicker because of the high level of smoothness and quiet in the Camry?

    All that can be said for the 3.5L in GMs 'sportcrossovers'-
    Car and Driver ran the 8Pass Sienna to 60 in 7.8 seconds, and the Malibu LT to 60 in 7.9 seconds..... now, we all know the 'Bu is what? a good 500 lbs lighter than the quadruplets? Probably not the most able powertrain, and even if the Malibu averages 24-26MPG in mixed driving, that is going to suffer.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Camry chirped the tires in 1st gear, slightly. Malibu chirped the tires in 1st and 2nd gear.

    That may be gearing, or poor tires (and they are poor), but torque was impressive. Fuel efficiency is too, CR said the V6 got better mileage than their 4 cylinder Camry and Accord, and you can't ignore that key advantage. a heavier mininvan you may be giving up both acceleration and efficiency.

    Also, the bar is constantly moving. Chevy had the 3.0l V6 Camry along for comparison, not the new 3.3l V6 (which is also the engine in the Sienna).

    We'll see. I'll have to try it out. Malibu impressed me. Will the vans? Dunno. I'm sure not as much.

  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    you put an engine from a smaller car into a larger car without making any changes, of course you will give up a little in passing power and efficiency. What works for a smaller car like the Malibu may not be as great in an Uplander.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    or the first lander--- Highlander
  • "Kids throw their toys all around"

    Not if they have good parenting!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Saw an ad in the paper today for well equipped short base Caravans for C$20500 (U$15000). Amazingly cheap and decent vans. Yeesh, why pay $32K for a Honda?
  • the 3.5L probably isn't the best choice for GM to make in their new vans. Toyota realized that their 3.0L wouldn't be able to pull a van so they increased it to 3.3L. Hopefully, GM will put their "NEW" 3.9L V6 as an option soon. The Car Connection said that these are "bandaid" vans just to fill in the gap before their actual breakthrough vans come out in probably 2007-2008.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166


    2007-2008......those who want all new will have to wait 3-4 more years.....
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Vans are 1100-1300 lbs heavier than Malibu.
    So.......I am guessing 10+ second 0-60 time.
  • Dindak

    Compare apples to apples which would be the Grand Caravan. You'll find equally equipped, little or no cost advantage to the Odyssey or any of the other minivans. The short wheelbase model is not very popular, in fact only GM and Chrysler still bother to make one. If you buy one, you should be sure to get a great deal, because the resale is very poor.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    But even a grand Caravan can be had for less than C$25K cash vs $32K for a Honda/Toyota van. Given the 7/115km power train warranty, I can't see why one would not go Dodge.

    I'm no big Chrysler fan but the Caravan is pretty much top notch in terms of features, style and design.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Not go with the Dodge? How bout safety? Or interior materials quality? Or ride? Or resale value? Or any of the areas in which the Ody and Sienna trounce the DCX vehicles....

  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Caravan does well in crash tests? Materials were very good on the Grand Caravan I had as was fit and finish. Resale will suck, but you also pay MUCH less so you should expect less when you sell. DCX vans are still top 3 in every comparison I ever see so it's more small stuff than major things. For 7K less.. it's clearly the winner from my view.

    That said, I'm still trying my best to avoid vans all together.

  • There are bound to be slight changes to the engine as used in the new vans compared to what's in the Malibu, but probably nothing that will greatly change the output. So I still think the vans are going to feel a bit anemic, at least if you also cross-shop against the Toy and the Honda. That doesn't say people won't buy them, because the extra utility for the $$, combined with a less-vannish look will still move a few people, so long as the engine at least allows the van to move.

    I don't trust DC reliability one bit, but their vans are almost unbeatable steals otherwise. Styling, check. Decent performance, check. Features, check. Space, check. Up until the new Sienna hit the market, if I were looking to buy a minivan, I'd have been in the Dodge/Chrysler showrooms..
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