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



  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Crossbars are available from the GM accessories catalog. Some vehicles have them included as an option, some do not.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    The crossbars came with our van as an option. They were on it (locked of course) when we bought it. I like them because they sit up higher than built on ones and when they come off the wind noise is very minimal. We use them for skis mostly in the winter. They aren't very expensive and if you buy a van I'm sure they can be added on the financing or lease.
  • I think your post was right on. Sometimes I think people just run out and buy an Odyssey or Sienna soley on "hype". Hey, I agree they are nice vehicles, but I thought I was the customer here.....I don't want to feel like I'm required to lower my needs and wants to meet the needs of the manufacturer or dealer as far as pricing and availability.

    My Uplander is loaded to the gills...I think I have every option available, including the trailering package, heheheh. But like I said, there were only 3 to choose from on my dealer's lot and although it probably has more than we need, it was closer to what I wanted than the other 2. And after our rebates, we got it for around $27,400 so the extra options were even sweeter. There were some features on the T&C I really liked but I knew I wouldn't be able to get it at near the price of what I could get my Uplander for. I wasn't too crazy about the exterior look either. And I like the free year of Onstar and 3 months of XM radio in the Uplander.

    Oh, and thanks for the posts on the crossbars....good information to know :)
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Actually the reviewer did meniton other shortcomings such as engine, safety (lack of side air bags), interior flexibility (Terraza). So price and refinement were not the only thing she based her review on.


    Al;so Sienna and Odyssey far exceed the GM vans on interior space which for some people is much much more important then a masculine nose esp. in a minivan.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    The amount of space in the Uplander far exceeds what most people need. I doubt there are many people who buy something else because of that.
  • guodguod Posts: 10
    Does anyone know for sure if the "base" dvd unit has the IR emitter for wireless headphones. I would be suprised if they had two different DVD units. If so anyone know where to get some cheap compatible headphones.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    About 5 years ago I would have agreed with you vanman1 but with two kids and the need to bring half the house with you when you travel has changed my mind forever. IF you are an empty nester, i think you are absolutely correct. Then I would go with the Terraza. That smell of leather is addictive.


    Please don't get me wrong, my main complaint about the GM van is not the quality (except the base seats in the Relay) of materials, engine performance, or even styling (to each his own). It's the fact that most people buy minivans for the interior space, flexible seating (ask Chrysler why they spent so much money on the Stow n Go...lost sales to Honda and Toyota) and safety (lack of side air bags). Minivans are the most efficient use of space on four wheels. And they are more fuel efficient than a comparable SUV. IF you don't like minvans and many peope don't like the styling of minivans, then get a SUV. There are dozens on them on the market in all sizes and shapes. But if you are going to compete against GC, Freestar, Kia, etc. you have to match them in the key areas and interior space is one of them esp. considering there is no price break by going with the Uplander or Relay. I think GM has them beat as far as features but the space issue will keep popping up. I could be wrong. But I also don't see them flying off the lots and they already have rebates on them and I have yet to see a commercial for this van.


    Enjoy your van! They do ride nice and have tons of nice features in them. You should enjoy them for long time.
  • The newly styled carry-over GM vans obviously don't stack up to the compeition in features, room or refinement. That's why you can buy a brand new one at invoice and get a whopping rebate as well. But they are still very adequate vehicles for most people. So there is nothing wrong with saving a lot of $$ if you don't mind their shortcomings. The only down side will be resale value and again only if you plan to trade within 3-4 years. The only loser I see in this is the GM stockholders - as GM introduces yet another uncompetitive, heavily incentivised product. Hard to see how this will improve the bottom line at GM.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    We have 2 kids and have no space issues in our Montana, even when we go camping or to our cottage with tons of stuff. Maybe you do, but I know lots of people with smaller GM, DCX and Mazda vans that do just fine. Sure there are people who need the maximum amount they can get but for most that extra few cubic feet of space isn't a big issue.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    No doubt these vans are not top of the heap but I don't think GM spent a lot of money on development either. They are largely the same as the old vans with a good interior, a 3.5L V6 upgrade and a few mechanical mods. I have an 04 Montana and we love the thing, it has a very refined ride. I think sales will jump a little but as to what level of incentives are needed is anyone's guess. So far there are very few.
  • cla1cla1 Posts: 27
    There seems to be some negativity about the GM vans that I don't think is deserved. The review mentioned above was openly negative even before getting in the vehicle just by looking at the spec's. Versatility depends, I guess, on if you have a family with young kids, how often you really need 8 seating vs. 7. We never need 8 as we're either three couples, or with our grandchildren. Third row seat room is important and the GM is good there. All of our vans since 98 have been 4 captain chairs and the GM is as good as any. Yes, the T&C, the Ody and Sienna have slightly more room behind the third seat because of the seat well. But we take the divider out, and find that we have very good room in the GM with 3-4 adults and 2-3 grandkids. The auto load leveling in GM is nice, On-Star is very nice, and up until a year ago or so, the GM drive train was quite a bit superior to all the others. So we're happy with the GM but recognize that "ratings" will put the Ody, Sienna, and T & C ahead of it mainly because of curtain bags, stow in the floor seating, etc. But I don't want to pay 5-6k more for that in the Japanese ones, and 3-4k more in Chrysler. It's interesting to me that GM had side airbags standard in 98, and no one made much fuss about it when others didn't even offer it as an option. I wish they had put them in for 05, but the Stabilitrak is there along with some other nice stuff, so we're happy. Besides most Toyota and Honda dealers act like they're doing you a favor by accepting list price, and I don't think their products are that much better. JMHO
  • dannodanno Posts: 114
    Just had a local glass shop install 3M film on the headlights and turn signal lights. I do a lot of highway driving and it should keep the sand blasting away from the headlights. The film will pit but is replacable. About $60 complete. Love the light throw of the new headlight design. I get flashed by other cars when on low beam. Lightyears ahead of my old Venture. I used to be able to drive around with highbeams on and not get flashed - with Silverstars.
  • My wife and I are interested in the new Uplander and we are headed into town to look at one tomorrow, but I have to say that my main obstacle to owning a GM is my very real fear of American-vehicle mechanical problems. We currently own a used Lexus and a used Mazda, neither of which has been perfect mechanically, but it seems to be well-documented that GM's consistently rank poorly in mechanical follow-ups. My mother's Trailblazer has been in the shop 3 times in 6 months for mechanical repairs already. I like the styling, and from what I read, I'll probably like the bigger, stronger ride style of the Uplander, but I'm very nervous. Any comments about this?
  • cla1cla1 Posts: 27
    I don't worry much about it as I think they're all quite reliable. GM has had the infamous intake manifold gasket leak on their 3.1 & 3.4 v-6's. I think that's been taken care of but... Honda has had its transmission issue, I think fixed, and Chrysler has had a long history of transmission prob's but I think that's behind them. Our first Venture(98) had some electrical door problems (just needed to be reset occasionally). Two of our sons have Honda vans and have had sliding door problems (hard to open) but generally all have been trouble free.
  • Don't worry Rowedog. I owned a Subaru from 1987-2004 when I purchased a Chevy Impala. Now we just bought an Uplander. Prior to that I swore I would never by American again after having had bad experiences in the past. The Impala has been great! No complaints at all. We love our Uplander. Definitely not a "van feel". It's got a really heavy feel to it, more like and SUV and power galore. Enjoy your test drive!
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Not all Japanese cars are trouble free. I needed a new transmission in my 02 Odyssey back in November. I'm happy that Honda paid for the brand new transmission; I just paid for the labor. (about $600)They gave me a rental car too.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Trailblazers did have some issues but the GM vans and most other models have been very good mechanically. GM actually ranks better than you thing (check, Issues with our Montana have been a cracked wiper fluid tank lid and a rattle in the door. Everything else has been perfect.
  • Thanks everyone, I appreciate all the input. My wife and I drove to town only to find that the large Chevy dealer only had ONE Uplander on the lot and that was someone else's waiting to be delivered, so I couldn't drive We did get a good view though, and I like it mostly. Here are my concerns though: When I sat in the driver seat, I couldn't straighten out completely (I'm 6'3"). Does anyone else have an issue with this something I'll find on a lot of vans? Also, the vehicle we viewed had two captain seats in the second row which seemed quite small, but the dealer explained we could actually get a bench-type seat with three independently controlled seats. Does anyone have this style, and is it better? Thanks.
  • The term "American Made" is a misnomer. What you are referring to is "Domestically Designed". The Odyssey is built in Alabama, the Quest in Mississippi and the Sienna in Indiana. On the other had the "American" Ford Freestar is built in Canada as are many of the Chrysler and GM vehicles.


    In the past what has separated the manufacturers on quality is not inital assembly quality, but longer term reliability of components.


    "Domestically Designed" vehicles have lagged significantly in quality to the Japanese over the years, but have closed the gap somewhat. However, that gap will never close completely until the Big 3 learn to treat their parts suppliers as partners instead of whipping boys.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    You shouldn't have paid for labor either. You'd think the factory warranty should cover both parts&labor.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I had 63,000 miles on the van, therefore it was out of warranty. I was lucky to even get a free transmission.
  • klmaklma Posts: 9
    In November I finally talked my husband into buying our first minivan and first foreign car, the 05 Odyssey, because I too believed that they were more reliable, etc.... I've changed my mind now! In two months the back seat latch broke and both electric sliders have stopped working. Also, we think there might be something wrong with it because it is such a bumpy ride. We are working with Honda to see what they will do about our problems. Most likely we will be selling our 05 Odyssey and looking for something else. Bummer! I really like the safety features (3 rows of airbags) as we've had several friends killed/injured in accidents. It also handles great in the snow.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    ...Bummer! I really like the safety features (3 rows of airbags) as we've had several friends killed/injured in accidents. It also handles great in the snow...


    Hey, if these are the only 2 points you're in love with the Odyssey, than there is good news. All other large minivans (except for the GM's) do offer side curtain airbags for all 3 rows (and let me tell you a "secret": you will be equally protected whether the airbags are "standard" or "optional" equipped...), and all other vans will handle as great in snow, although the DC vans do not offer stability control. GM and Toyota will even give you AWD plus stability.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Sorry to hear that. I hope they'll do an exchange for you or something. As for the bumpy ride, I read on the Ody board that the culprit might be overinflated tires. Good luck, and let us know what happened.
  • I own a Montana SV6. It was as basic as I could find (26,645 MSRP including Delivery). Therefore I was researching the same question. I came across this bulletin at


    Here is what it says


    System 3 -- DVD RSE

    The following two kits (p/n 15136091 and 15136092) are released for the 2005-07:

    - Buick Terraza

    - Chevrolet Uplander

    - Pontiac Montana SV6

    - Saturn Relay


    TIP: The remote control will work only in these GM vehicles. Channel 2 of the wireless headphones will work only in these vehicles (Channel allows you to listen to DVD and Channel 2 allows you to listen to RSA).


    There are two DVD systems available:

    - A base system U56 comes with a remote control kit only (no headphones available).

    - An uplevel system U42 comes with a remote control kit and a headphone kit (fig. 3).


    TIP: Headphone kit TX3 can be added to either system.


    TIP: Batteries are not included.


    15136091 (Hosiden) Headphones Only Package (DVD RSE)

    part number quantity item

    15185391 2 Headphone Assembly

    (Dual Channel Wireless)


    15136092 (Hosiden) Headphones Only Package (DVD RSE)

    part number quantity item

    15190411 1 Control Assembly - Video Player Remote


    TIP: If a kit is misplaced or was not shipped with the vehicle, follow established procedures for misplaced/missing components. The service part numbers for the kits are the same as the OEM part numbers.


    Hope this helps. Bill.
  • Anytime you buy a completly redesigned vehicle in its first model year, you can expect these types of problems. If they are corrected under warranty you should be OK. I bought the original 99 Honday Odyssey and it had a few bugs as well. The vehicle was virtually trouble free from then on and now has 320,000 miles and still runs great. The new Quest and Sienna also have had their problems. In fact all of the Siennas were recalled originally for faulty gas tanks. In general it's always good to wait a year on a new vehicle. The bugs are usually worked out and often the popularity is gone as well which leads to a lower purchase price. Based on GM's track record it would be surprising if their new vans don't have a few bugs as well.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    The new GM vans aren't all that new. It's all fairly common or proven stuff. Doubt there will be much in the way of problems.
  • wdn1wdn1 Posts: 1
    I have researched the pricing structure with Edmunds. The dealerships have told me that the invoice pricing quoted by edmunds is not correct. The $28K invoice for a CXL should be $31k. This makes it hard to negotiate pricing when you are being told by the dealerships that you have incorrect pricing. How do you know who is giving you the correct information? I would like some ones advice since I am looking at the Buick Terraza.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Ask the dealer to show you their invoice and compare it to ours and Kelley's and everyone else's. Except for regional ad fees, they all should be within a hundred bucks of each other, if not identical.


    Or just skip the back and forth and tell them what your bottom line is and negotiate to get that number, and avoid getting bogged down in the details of the line items, invoice/MSRP numbers, ad fees, ADM, etc. ad nauseum.


    Steve, Host
  • It would appear that someone is mixing up their Terrezas. The Front Wheel Drive CXL would be $28++, and the All Wheel Drive would be $31ish.
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