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



  • GM has left out a few key features with their new vans. Features such as 3row side curtain airbags! Excuse me if I am wrong, but aren't minivans supposed to lead in safety? I am wondering if GM will eventually make this an option. I am sure that the new vans will have better safety ratings than their predecessors , but the side curtain mite make a BIG difference in side crash test.
  • drwilscdrwilsc Posts: 140
    Car and Driver made the point that because of extra weight compared with the previous model the new 3.5 liter Terraza is actually SLOWER than the previous generation 3.4 liter vans (10.6 sec 0-60 vs. 10.2 sec). So because your van has, in your experience, adequate acceleration does not necessarily mean the new ones will.

    Adequate power is in the eye of the beholder. Some people can live with this level of performance, others want more. Why should GM settle for less when Honda and Toyota (and even Ford and Chrysler) offer more?
  • The "new" GM vans have added so many pounds that they, despite the addition of a larger, more powerful engine, now accelerate on par with the Aveo. Not good. The Ford twins on the other hand scoot to 60 in under 9 seconds, or about the same as a Duratec Taurus.


    I understand that vans aren't supposed to win the pole at Daytona, but they shouldn't be rolling road slugs either.
  • dannodanno Posts: 114
    How often do you use the 10.0 second 0 - 60 that is available to you?


    Maybe 0.00001 percent of the time?
  • My point about acceleration times for the vans was to highlight the dramatic difference between the new GM vans and those offered by Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Honda. The competition can achieve GM's maximum performance without working up a sweat. In short, the competition has better matched its drivetrains with its vehicles.


    My experience with the 4.2 Ford in the Freestar was satisfactory. A mountain of torque at low rpm makes for a relaxed highway ride - even on hilly terrain. I wonder how much gear hunting goes on with the 3.5V6/four speed automatic in the 4500 pound GM vans?


    Please don't think of me as a GM basher. My last two cars have been GM products (Chevrolet and Oldsmobile). I love the Malibu and Cobalt. I think they are top notch cars that offer tremendous value. Cadillac is producing some wonderful machines. The Canyon is pretty nice little truck. But these new vans are not very good - period.


    By the way, my local Lincoln-Mercury dealer is offer 2005 Montys with the mid-level package (nicely equipped) for $22,000. That is a good value.
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    I hear the HP argument all the time, and in some terrain it might be a big factor, but here in Houston, my Oldsmobile van has enough power AND gets the best MPG of any minivan I've seen.


    For me, max horsepower is of little use. We go pick up my daughter from day care, commute to work in rush hour traffice that crawls, go to the sprawl-mart shopping, etc. Even on road trips the 3.4 has good torque and excellent gearing that lets it loaf at 80 mph while getting 26-27 mpg. I don't know the top end speed but it easily goes 90, which given the intended use of the vehicle, is plenty fast. Heck, even in rush hour traffic with AC on we get 22-23 mpg.


    Can I rule the stop light drags? No, but I'm not in high school anymore and I'm usually listening to the radio and comfortable in my leather bucket seat, so the van is different attitude - at least for us.


    The H and T vans are nice, no doubt, but also expensive.


  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I could care less about 0-60 times. Because the 3.5L is an OHV, off the line is quite fast. Further, it's rated at 220 ft. lbs of torque which is how power really should be rated. I have never found my self worried about power, even with our Montana all loaded up for summer vacation.


    Still, I really hope GM offers the new 3.9L as an option next year. Add in DOD and some air curtains and this van will be a much stronger contender.


    I think the GM vans will sell well (seem to be already). The SUV look is a nice niche for anti-van people.
  • cla1cla1 Posts: 27
    We've had our Terraza CXL about two weeks, and so far we love it. Yes, I'm aware the Honda is at the head of the pack bec of its engine, cylinder disabling for mileage, and very nice navigation system. But I don't like putting up with the typical dealer's attitude, and didn't want to pay another 5k. The van we almost bought was DC, but again it cost more and I don't like the electric tailgate, which you can't delete with the Limited. When hauling boxes over the weekend (helping our dau and son-in-law move, the DC seat stowing would have been nice. But those seats in the second and third row do not match the GM or Honda. I agree GM should have gotten a little more creative with the rear seat and why not put curtain airbags in for the 2nd and 3rd row? But it's still a very nice van, very quiet and smooth, very sophisticated electronics, auto leveling rear suspension, nice audio and DVD system..hardly the worst of the pack. Most people like the looks. BTW, I found out where some of the weight is in this thing, take out the second seats, they weigh a ton. Nice to sit in though. Plus, we like the 25 gal tank. I don't give a rip about the power; it's fine, but it's not a great engineering accomplishment to go from the best mileage van to a mediocre one and lose a tick on performance to boot.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    January 04


    SV6 1638, Montana 461 / Uplander 3519, Venture 1070


    Jan 03


    Montana 1200 / Venture 2808


  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I'm not surprised, the vans are well priced and equipped and have a unique look. Even the base models have big wheels and have a nice SUV look to them. It's a good niche, expect others to copy this idea.


    I see Saturn sold another 1283 and Buick 801. Add it all up and these vans sold 7241 units in January.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    I just went into my Chevy dealer again, and now the incentive is up to $1500 on the Uplander (and I guess all of the GM vans). My dealer can't get any more delivered to their dealership yet. The saleslady I spoke with (more knowledgeable than any of the guys I've met) said that the first batch of vans weren't deemed to be of high enough quality, and were given to reps only. The cause she said, was something to do with the floor carpeting which wasn't laid down as smooth as it should have been. Not a big deal in her words. But it does show I guess, that rather than sell a product that isn't 100%, fix it right, and then sell it to the customer. Maybe GM is finally learning.


    I am also interested in buying a small truck (or midsize, as most of the small trucks have grown in size) and I very much like the Colorado for it size, pretty good power (for my needs) and decent gas mileage - which for me is more important than how fast it can go at a stoplight. $2k incentive for that right now.


    Now if I can get my customer loyalty cash back, I might buy both.


    Anyone know with the Smart Buy option, how you can get around paying the entire amount of taxes, like with a lease (where you pay only the tax on the actual number of lease payments, and not the cost of the entire vehicle)? That is one of my biggest issues at the moment. Two new vehicles generate a lot of tax in NYS at 8.25%. I could roll it into the payment, but then the payment is bigger, which I don't like either.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    We bought our car from a female sales rep and she was great. I think women try harder as they are competing in a predominantly male business. I prefer the female reps. if I can find them.


    I heard some of the new vans got called back but there seems to be lots of supply around here anyway. I'm sure GM is cranking them out fast so supply will be coming soon. Did she say when more might come?


    Nice review in the local Globe and Mail paper this morning. They tested the short wheel base Uplander and loved it.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    I didn't know there was going to be a short wheel base Uplander. For my needs, I can't see the point. But for others or for delivery needs, I can understand.


    The sales lady did not indicate when more vans were coming. I live in a fairly small community in upstate NY, and so far, I have seen not one on road. I have test driven the only two vans here, the Uplander AWD and a Buick CXL. I am going to test drive the Grand Caravan SXT this weekend. If the cost and/or monthly payments are similar, it will be hard to pick the GM over the DC. The DC just has more thoughful features on it, but driving it will also be a determining factor.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Short wheel base is only available here in Canada.


    My biggest complaint with the Chrysler vans is the transmission which shifts too much, especially when going up and down hills with the cruise on. It literally drove me crazy. Otherwise it's a solid choice. Good luck.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    Here's the review link: 050203/WHUPLANDER03/TPEntertainment/?query=uplander

    Decent review, although with a few errors.

    (Short wheelbase version is Canada-only, BTW)
  • cnew21cnew21 Posts: 13
    My husband and I saw this in the mall earlier this week. Looked decent enough and $4K less than Honda.


    Do the 2nd row windows roll down like in the new Odyssey or just vent out?


  • irgirg Posts: 197
    I don't think the 2nd row does either. The third row windows are power vented out, that's it. I think this is a mixed bag. While it would be nice to have the 2nd row roll down, with little kids like I have, I kinda like that they don't. Anyway, it seems like in the summer you keep windows up and turn on the AC, and in winter, you rarely want to roll down the windows either. A sunroof would have been a nice option, one the GM doesn't offer on any of its models.


    The Honda, Toyota and Mazda vans have 2nd row opening windows like a car. For me, this feature isn't much of tie breaker in any way.
  • cnew21cnew21 Posts: 13
    Thanks for the reply. I didn't think they did but I wanted to check. That's kind of a bummer. My kids are 6 and 2 and I like the idea of them being able to see out of the window.


    I too wish this had a sunroof. It seems like they take up a lot of space with the DVD player and the rails. I would much rather have the sunroof.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I don't understand why people want roll down back windows. With little kids, I can't imagine. Even in our car, it's rare that the back windows are ever open. The rear power vent windows are much preferable.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Ha, all my kids (3 and 5 and one due in July) care about is the dvd player! I don't know about you, but I am somewhat leery about driving with the windows open. One or both of my kids is apt to throw something out when driving lol. And with the sunroof, although it would be nice, seems like one more thing to go wrong, and they add extra weight/cost. The feature I wish the Uplander had most was the rear seat folding into the floor, not just folding over. At least it is a split design, unlike Ford or Nissan. And the Uplander is also being discounted $1500 right now. You should be able to get a fairly loaded LT model with the discount for around $26,200 plus tax. Pretty hard to find the Honda or Toyota with the same features for the $.


    Biggest problem I have had is finding the new GM vans. Very few in my area yet. I guess the longer I wait, the more the discounts will be. I like that!
  • Have had my Terraza CXL for 3 weeks with about 3000km, and have noticed the following things:

    1. Upon driving through a tunnel the headlights and instrument lights never turned on automatically, even though we noticed other vehicles with the same technology having their lights come on. Probably some adjustment.

    2. If you manually turn on the headlights, the dash lights come on, but the dial indicators(pointers) will not unless the ambient light is low enough for automatic lighting.

    3. The voltage indications in the DIC have shown between 12.1 and 15.1 volts when driving even at over 100km/hr.

    4. When driving the headlights and dash lights constantly go up and down in brightness. Not enough to cause problems with truckers but enough to become irritating.

    5. The CXL came with the trailer pack, and we ordered a Class II hitch from the parts department. But when we went to have it installed it does not fit due to the placement of the exhaust pipe and muffler. We purchased a Class III 'REESE' 44099 which fits perfectly.

    6. If you want to have an electronic brake controller installed, no one seems to have the wiring diagram for accessing the brake switch cold side. When I discover, I will let you all know
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Other than the apparent lighting issues, how do you like the van?
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    I would have #4 addressed by the dealer. Sounds like the alternator/battery current is not stable. In any event with a new van like this, I would want it to be flawless.
  • No. 4, I believe that this has been mentioned before here. There is a TSB out and GM is working on a fix for this problem. Check back a couple of pages and I believe you will find other people who purchased these new vans are having the same problem.
  • cnew21cnew21 Posts: 13
    My husband totally agrees. He was asking me for examples of when I have the back windows down in our car!!
  • cnew21cnew21 Posts: 13
    I'm guessing that my kids would only care about the DVD player as well. It's me (mom) who wants the sunroof. I'm only 27 and have owned two cars. I have my wants too!! lol


    We are going to check out the Uplander tomorrow. I received an internet quote of $28,199.70 for an LT w/ Conv. & Security Packages and includes destination. The discount through my husband's job is for $27,761.63.


    We'll see. I agree with you about finding those features in the Honda or Toyota for the $. I'm definitely heading in this direction. Of course I'm still pondering an Explorer so who knows...
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    I know, the SUV vs. the minivan image. I have an Explorer now, and it is not an image thing for me. Albeit it is older, but I can hardly wait to get rid of it. The 4x4 is nice though when we have large amounts of snow here. But the van is so much more practical for families. I drove a new Explorer for work recently, and it was fairly decent, but the "utility" part of it pales in comparison to a van. The one feature I like of the vans, is the power opening doors, which will be very convenient for my wife, especially when we have the 3rd kid.


    I'm trying to decide now, on my car, and a small truck would be handy, like the Ford Explorer Sport Track or the Chevy Colorado 4 door. Not sure whether I can swing 2 new vehicles or not.


    But the van's also cost less to insure, something else to consider, and they get better gas mileage. Probably safer too. Get the leather seats if you want to splurge on yourself.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Insurance is real cheap on Montana vans. Compared to a Trailblazer, it was about 35-40% less for us.
  • infinia1infinia1 Posts: 174
    can anyone tell me the difference between the 2 middle seat options of the uplander? the chevrolet website has one listed as "modular" seats and the other as "captain" chairs. they look the same to me in the pictures. what i'm looking for is if there are seats available like the ones in my 02 venture; they are 2 seats side-by-side with the one on the passenger side having a built-in child seat, with walk-thru space to the rear on the passenger side.


    are the DRLs (in) the actual headlights or the parking/signal lights like on my 02 venture? thanks.
  • The captains chairs have arm rests and are a little larger than the modular seats. One of the two second row modular chairs includes a built-in child seat. The are three slots available for configuring the two modular chairs. They can both be on the outsides with a pass-through in the middle (or the middle can hold an optional removable "toy bin" storage cube). Or the chairs can be side-by-side -- one in the middle position and one on the outside near either rear door. The modular seats also fold flatter than the captains chairs. If you get the captains chairs, you can't get the storage cube, but get a fold-down tray like the one between the two front seats. I have the modular seats with the storage cube option.
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