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

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  • I hate to say this, but I would have to vote the Pacifica as the better looking mini/sport/van/wagon/crossover whatever you want to call it.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsPosts: 11,114
    Did any of you attend last night's GM chat event? I'm curious about what they had to say regarding this vehicle.

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  • vcjumpervcjumper Posts: 1,110
    Looks better, just get rid of the plood.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    joey : Pacifica is 50% more $$ too. I agree though.

    b4z : 200 is fine. I have driven a Montana recently and it was fine. People look for features in these things, not 0-60.

    reg : Wheel could be better, but it's 100% better than the ION.

    Anyone know when the Pontiac and Chevy versions will be shown?
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    Dindak...just photoshop a Montana grill onto the Relay or a Venture grill onto the Terraza and you'll have a pretty good idea what they'll look like. Don't know why GM didn't bother to show them all, 'cause they're all identical except for the grills and some minor trim differences. Do they really need 4 versions of these things? This is badge engineering at its worst. At least, as someone already pointed out, the VUE and the Equinox look nothing like each other.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Front view is the best angle, but Volvo may sue for copyright infringement.

    The interior does nothing for me. The Buick looks most like the Kia Sedona, the Saturn plasticky.

    The V6 feels peppy in the 'bu, but it'll strain under a full payload in the vans.

    -juice
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Kirstie, I tried to get to the GM chat event but nothing happened, even after I disabled my firewall and popup stoppers.

    Anyone make it in?

    Steve, Host
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Ya, VUE and NOX are well done. they look almost nothing alike.

    I guess vans are vans and there isn't as much you can do to make them different. I don't think there is a lot of money in vans anyway and it's a shrinking market so GM figures it wasn't worth spending another billion going all out on these. I think the updates (which is what they are) are good and should make the vans competitive. I read somewhere the Chevy version will look more like a traditional van.

    Maybe I will take a look at a 04 Montana in August, I'm sure GM will be giving them away then. I have always thought the Montana was one of the better looking vans on the market.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Look at demand for the Sienna, most sell for MSRP. You don't think GM dealers would kill for a product with that kind of demand and profit margins?

    I think they missed an opportunity to be a lot more innovative. Hide the door tracks, let the rear side windows roll down, get the seats to fold truly flat, etc.

    Compare them to the Malibu Maxx - that 5 door is far more innovative, IMO.

    -juice
  • In comfort and looks.

    4-spoke steering wheels are for old geezers, too senile to know any better.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    agreed. 3 spoke rocks.

    "200 is fine. I have driven a Montana recently and it was fine. People look for features in these things, not 0-60."

    not sure why you can have only one and not the other. you should have BOTH hp and features.

    "I don't think there is a lot of money in vans anyway and it's a shrinking market"

    no one has been able to prove this as true.

    "Look at demand for the Sienna, most sell for MSRP. You don't think GM dealers would kill for a product with that kind of demand and profit margins?"

    you'd think......LOL......
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I prefer 3 spokes generally, but the steering wheel design is very unimaginative. Look at Mazda's newer designs, they got it right.

    The Sienna is a certified hit. It and the Prius and #1 and #2 in terms of demand (lowest inventory in the industry), because both designs are very innovative.

    Sienna apparently has it all, too. Seating for 7 or 8 offset at the shoulder, windows go down, split-fold magic 3rd row, AWD, good power/torque, 5/60 warranty, etc.

    Amazingly, some of them price out above $40k and people are lining up to buy them on wait lists.

    GM chose to continue competing based on price I guess, so expect rebates right about at launch. Malibu already has incentives and honestly it seems like a better effort than these vans.

    -juice
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    1. Who cares how many spokes a steering wheel has? I simply need a design that is pleasing to look at, and comfortable to hold.

    2. 200hp and 220lb. ft will be taxed in this van. Ok... these 4 vans. Does anyone have the final word- which models will be available larger engines, and what will those engines definitely be? (No speculation, if possible).

    3. The interiors of the Terazza and Relay seem nice enough, and as I've said, to me look way better than the 80s inspired Freakstar/Monterey.

    4. GM did miss an opportunity in not providing any of the recently pioneered and heralded features like fold flat seats, hidden tracks, or roll down rear windows. But, as is obvious, these vans arent going to be selling like Siennas, nor will they command sticker like Siennas. I assume GM knows this, and was concerned that the minis would need discounts anyway, even if they were equipped with these features. So they had a choice:
    A. Take a big risk and incremental cost increase by engineering the best features into these vans without knowing for sure that sales would be higher and discounts minimal.
    OR
    B. Play it safe, expect discounting, and therefore, do not SPEND $$$ to improve the vans significantly.

    GM played it safe, IMO. Perhaps this is not the wisest move, but it saved money.

    4. Dindak- Youd be willing to purchase the current Montana, KNOWING that its offset-crash scores are among the WORST the IIHS has ever tested? I'd rather take a risk and buy a not-yet-tested Terazza/Relay/Uplander/SV6 than for sure purchase the outgoing model.

    ~alpha
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Agreed, they played it safe by spending little. But these vans will play 2nd fiddle (maybe 3rd) for that reason.

    Hidden tracks aren't new, the very old Previa van had them way back when. The Odyssey does still have them, however.

    Roll down windows appeared in the MPV when it came out, early enough that GM product planners knew it could be done, I'm sure.

    -juice
  • IIHS has consistantly rated the Montana(and TransSport) as "substantially better then average" for injury rates in accidents. In fact it has been the number one or two rated FWD for all 4 years it has been rated. In the two years it was #2, its was the Oldsmobile at number one. And it is possible that the Montana would be purchased for a family vehicle. I know that in the nine years I have been a parent, my daughters have never riden in the car under my left foot, so the infrequent happening 40% left offset collision TV drama would be of little concern to me if I were to be able to buy a new van.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    Yeah, Odyssey and even the new Quest haven't figured out how to hide them yet. Remember the old Eagle Summit mini-mini van....It had a sliding door (one side only) with the track on the inside of the door....no track at all on the outside of the vehicle(hidden or not).
    Playing it safe....
    Without being really into pickups, it's apparent that Ford has done a pretty amazing job on their new F-150. Makes one wonder that if any of the domestics put just 1/10 of that kind of an effort into their cars and vans, they'd probably be a lot more innovative and competitive.
  • "4. GM did miss an opportunity in not providing any of the recently pioneered and heralded features like fold flat seats, hidden tracks, or roll down rear windows. But, as is obvious, these vans arent going to be selling like Siennas, nor will they command sticker like Siennas. I assume GM knows this, and was concerned that the minis would need discounts anyway, even if they were equipped with these features. So they had a choice:
    A. Take a big risk and incremental cost increase by engineering the best features into these vans without knowing for sure that sales would be higher and discounts minimal.
    OR
    B. Play it safe, expect discounting, and therefore, do not SPEND $$$ to improve the vans significantly.

    GM played it safe, IMO. Perhaps this is not the wisest move, but it saved money."

    GM has new vans coming out in a few years. This is a mid-cycle update. It cost them very little money to design Terraza/Relay, so there's little to lose.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    ateixeira : Sienna sells because it's good and at MSRP because it's set very low. I don't think Toyota makes much dough on those vans but it keeps it's customers in the fold.

    reg : As a family guy on a budget, in a van I would take better mileage over 1 second of 0-60 anyday. I would think you would also.

    alpha01 : Like montanafan says, Montana has pretty decent crash tests as far as I know. Not the best, but all right.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Montanafan correctly stated the injury claim rate for the Montana. However, injury claim rates are not an indication of crash worthiness, rather, how vehicles are driven. Minivans as a whole tend to do very well. Minivans as a whole, do NOT, tend to do well in crash testing, and the current GM triplets, especially, have fewer available safety features and much poorer crash test scores. Ceteris paribus, if two minivans cost $24,000 and you can buy one with higher crash test scores, why would you not? The injury claim rate statistic seems to often be a defense when vehicles perform poorly in crash tests.

    And Montanafan, for what its worth, I completely respect your liking of the vehicle, and your purchase of it. Different people have different tastes and preferences, and I am thankful to have the privelige to discuss those on forums like this. However, GM can do a better job of making its vehicles crashworthy. I hope we see improvement for the new models. That said, the 40% offset crash is statistically more likely than the NHTSA full frontal, and if you recall, the first real world crash ever in which two vehicles with airbags collided (two Chrysler LeBarons) was an offset collision on a two lane road. Crashes like that one are the reason the IIHS chose the offset.

    ~alpha
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    One think I really like about the Montana is the short wheelbase. If you deck one out with alloy rims, a roof rack and a couple of other things they actually look pretty sporty. The bonus is it will also probably fit in our small sized garage. Most vans come in one larger size that will not likely fit..
  • bretaabretaa Posts: 130
    AAAHH!! After getting excited about these vehicles from months of "crossover" hype, about how they would reflect their brands, and about how the Saturn showvan looked, what do we get? Badge engineered restyles with redone interiors and front clips. They unfortunately retain the worst aspects of their ancient ancestors: bland taillights and awful rear quarter detailing(window, panel, door slider).

    *So what* the interior now is acceptable and not just awful. This, in my opinion, is just a disaster in the face of an upcoming Chrysler van with TWO fold down row of seats. The Sienna is near Lexus quality. A new Odyssey is on the way.

    Does GM (or Ford with its new Freestar) really think these models are going to stand up until, like, 2010??? Because that's how long it is going to take until they redesign these "acceptable is good enough" models. I see a lot of GM vans and Freestars gracing rental car and fleet lots in the future.

    I'm a patriotic American who wants to see our carmakers turn out the best iron, but it's starting to get embarassing. Tepid Malibu's based on platforms that turn out sharp European models, a Ford line STILL devoid of any modern sedans or a competitive domestic luxury lineup. What's wrong with the domestic automakers??? (I say banging my fists on the table...)

    Bret
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I got today's Consumer Reports. The Malibu beat out the Optima, Impala, Taurus and Grand Prix. Guess Chevy is now only behind the Camry, Accord, Altima and Mazda 6. So GM is getting there. But more work needs to be done to switch Honda buyers over to the Chevrolet dealer.
  • I don't think the Malibu is "tepid" at all, and it isn't supposed ot be a luxury car. But these vans are quite silly looking.

    I heard from www.freep.com that the Mopar vans will debut at the Detroit Auto Show next month. Hope they are not as lame as the 2001 "updates" were. (One of the causes of their loss of sales, they ignored the demand for fold flat seats)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 'bu is a good effort, I'm not surprised.

    Some Sienna hit $42k, and they're selling. Most break $30k.

    -juice
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Whether the GM mini-vans are the best vehicle ever made or the second coming of the Gremlin, GM's bottom line will still be made or broke elsewhere. Minivans are not franchise saviors.
  • The old mini-vans should have been left alone for another year and the Buick Centieme should have been pushed up in development if they wanted a real crossover design. I would taken the Equinox, which looks like a mini-van from the back half and stretched the floor plan and widened the track. Sort of like a TrailBlazer LT.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    "reg : As a family guy on a budget, in a van I would take better mileage over 1 second of 0-60 anyday."

    "I would think you would also."

    HAHAHAHAHA

    WRONGO. lets say the GM gets 2.5 mpg better a year on 15,000 miles. (20 vs. 22.5 mpg)

    15,000 / 20 = 750 gallons @ 1.50 gallon = $1125
    15,000 / 22.5 = 667 gallons @ 1.50 = $1000

    net savings $125 bucks a month / 12 months =

    10 bucks a month. 33 cents a day.

    I will leave one or two useless options (power sliding doors!?!?!?, is my arm NOT USABLE? how lazy are people these days) off the price of the vehicle in return for the highly enjoyable less second of 0-60 time. The more responsive motor will make driving enjoyable as opposed to being a chore, or being plain incidental. Driving is a sport. I want fun.

    I can still haul crap in a big bloated vehicle and still have fun, can't I?

    I'm one of those guys that actually buys premium gas for my vehicle if the mfr. requires it. Unlike all those tight wads out there who pay 500 bucks a month for a new car payment and then whine about spending 8 bucks a month more on gas. PUHLEASE.

    Now if we are talking like 7-10 mpg difference, yeah let me look at it.

    The underpowered motor in these minivans will not have the same efficiency as it does in the malibu.

    You know I still don't get the law that must be out there that you can't have a van or sedan that isn't fun. Why people close their minds to that stuff........
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Didnt someone post pics of the Relay and Terazza on this thread? Which post number was it? I cant seem them to find them?

    ~alpha
  • theo2709theo2709 Posts: 476
    Hey where did those pics go? They were official pictures, straight from Wieck.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    alpha : They were probably infringing on copyrights somewhere and got ziltched.

    reg : I have kid # 2 on the way and gas is more like $2/gal up here so I'll take any savings I can get and do the fun driving in my Intrigue. Vans (even the Ody) and trucks are no fun anyway, why bother. My wife will be off for a year, it will be a lean one.

    jchan : Bu is a great car but take what you read in CR with a grain of salt. They aren't car people they are lab dweebs.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    The current Montana minivan is much lighter than the new vans coming out.
    The new vans need more power.

    For those of you concerned about mileage you should buy something different or much lighter.

    Wish we could convince GM to start making station wagons again.
    Hwy mileage is almost identical to the sedans they are based on.
    An Impala wagon would be perfect.
    30 mpg on the hwy.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    b4z : What is the weight difference? Saturn LW300 with a V6 is a great wagon. My wife won't get one though.

    tbcreative : Mazda seems smaller and doesn't it have a Ford transmission? I personally think the steering wheel is ok in the Relay.
  • "Does GM (or Ford with its new Freestar) really think these models are going to stand up until, like, 2010??? Because that's how long it is going to take until they redesign these "acceptable is good enough" models."

    I do not know about GM, but Ford is not planning on keeping the refreshed Windstar (AKA: Freestar) until 2010. The Freestar was never intended to be a class leader and Ford knows this. They simply refreshed the Windstar because, well, they desperately needed to. I think in 2007, after Fords introduction of a new much more powerful and modern 3.5 liter V6, will they make their Van, at least, a viable alternative to the Japanese entries.

    "... a Ford line STILL devoid of any modern sedans or a competitive domestic luxury lineup. What's wrong with the domestic auto makers??? (I say banging my fists on the table...)"

    You used the word "still" in that statement but you have to remember that it really was not that long ago since they gave the Taurus a large and modern update; 2000 to be exact. In 2005 they are introducing many new models and Ford has said that that year will be the year of the Car, at least for Ford. These new models are crucial for Fords revival and i would be very surprised if they skimped on the quality and refinement of these vehicles. From everything i have heard on these boards and on others, these vehicles are suppose to be everything but a traditional and [non-permissible content removed] American sedan

    As for Ford luxury division i am likewise pretty dissapointed, I would love to see another American competitor to the Euro and Japanese brands. However, since Cadallac went into the European luxury market i would highly doubt that Ford will follow. This is because there are still many people who love their huge granny-mobiles, and all the people who have shopped Cadallac for years will now probably go to Lincoln for a traditional and conservative car like the Town Car. This is just an assumption i could be totally wrong about Fords intent of Lincoln, but it just makes sense for them to stay in the conservative >60 market.

    Bob Lutz has done a fabulous job at GM thus far, but it is clear what GM spends their money on at any given time. Mid and late 90's GM spent their money on the truck and SUV market, and now in 2003, it is clear they are spending most of their money on Cadallac. Thanks to this money Cadallac has become, and is still becoming, a great and innovative division once again. However, the fact that the Malibu is not a class leading car like it should have become shows that GM can not concentrate on more than one division at a time. The Malibu will get most of its sales off of versatility and its low price, not exactly the best thing to flaunt in the automobile market. In other words, i would much rather flaunt the fact that my car has a killer interior or a big fast engine then the fact that my car as a lot of cubby space or fold down rear seats or a cheap price...
  • I agree with some of you that there is something wrong with all of our nation's carmakers. But, what's wrong won't stay wrong for long! Chrysler has been trying with their past attempts (300M, T&C) and quite succeeded. This was due to their nicely designed interiors, even though quality still wan't up compared to the imports. Chrysler is still trying with their upcoming 300C, which boasts one of the nicest domestic interiors that I have ever seen! Also, Ford has done a great job lately in improving their interiors for all their products. Many reviews like the new Freestar, Expedition, and F150 interiors. Why? Because Ford increased their budget spending on interior design and quality. Bravo for them! But then comes GM, the world's biggest carmaker. They have been trying lately, with the Malibu, Colorado, Canyon, and upcoming Equinox, but the interior quality still isn't even par with Chrysler or Ford!!! To me, that was a big disappointment. How could a carmaker that makes billions of dollars not even increase their budget? Sure the new interiors are nicer than before, but they lack "pizazz". All that you see is gray. Thank goodness GM made the new "sport-vans" nicer interior-wise. BUT!!! I thought they were going to redefine the segment, not copy others and slap on lots of different badges!!! Looks like these new vans won't sell as much as the new Sienna (in DFW, a lot of people have to be on waiting lists for a new one). Honestly, where's the "sport" in their new "crossovers"? They're not even crossovers GM!, they're just minivans with a rear window in the shape of an SUV. Try harder next time GM!
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    the Malibu is better than the Taurus.
  • SV6 3.9 V6
    Uplander 3.5 V6
    Relay 3.5 V6
    Terraza 3.6 V6

    If the RDV can have the 3.6 as an option so should the Terraza. Giving them all the same 3.5 seems like a big mistake. Interiors look pretty good but as usual GM can't get it right in the engine dept. I know most people in this segment do not care about 0-60 times but the 3.5 does not stack up that well against the leaders. The Terraza is the premium crossover, so give it the premium 3.6 V6. Just my opinion.
  • Unless the engine beats the competition, it won't really matter much. These vans are too similar to the previsions models and lack alot of the things that make the other vans desirable.

    What's the deal with the 3rd folding seat? Looks like to achieve this you loose floor to ceiling room. The overhead rail system might give you the impression of being squeezed from above.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    The 300C interests me very much.
    But did you notice that the climate control is rotary dials, not digital.
    Wonder who at Chrysler signed off on that little bit of cost savings?
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    How about 3.5L base and 3.9L optional?
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Second row should have a bench seat available.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    first of all, the engines should be like this:
    Chevrolet Uplander: 3.5
    Saturn Relay: 3.5
    Pontiac Montana SV6: 3.5 with the 3.9 as a $750 option
    Buick Terraza: 3.5 on the CX, and the 3.6 on the CXL.
    There should be a second row bench seat available on the Uplander and Relay, with the Montana SV6 and the Terraza with sport bucket second row seats. And add a second row fold flat seat too. Combine the second row from the Quest and the third row from the Sienna, add the improvements from above, throw a price that is competitive, and these should sell decent, if not well.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    3.9 or 3.6L upgrade on the Buick would be a very good idea. The Chevy and Saturn 3.5L is fine but people who can buy a Buick RDV with a 3.6 should at least have the option of a 3.6 or 3.9 in the Terraza.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    I wonder if ther would be any performance improvement between a 3.6L and a 3.9L
    The 3.9L is a pushrod so it will have excellent performance off the line.
    Where most people want it.
    I have driven the 3.6L in the CTS and it is strong.
    Very good off the line performance for a DOHC motor due to the VVT.
    The 3.6L will be more refined and quieter.
    Which is very important.
    Especially when you are competing against the likes of Honda and Toyota.

    Oh yeah, GM will probably put 3.05-3.29 gears in these vans.
    Pacifica has a 4.28 and it is still a dog in the power department!
  • vcjumpervcjumper Posts: 1,110
    The 3.9 won't be ready till some time in 2005, so maybe thats why its not available.
    The 3.6 goes in the Rendezvous so I'm not sure why they wouldn't offer it in the Terraza.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    offer a turbo-charged 3.5 in the SV6 and the 3.6 in the Terrazza CXL.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Maybe the 3.9L will be added later when ready. I think Bob is pushing cars out faster than the engines can be ready for.
  • theo2709theo2709 Posts: 476
    They did the same thing with the CTS, and sales were very good in its first year. With the new motor(s), they will probably be better.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    having the 3.9 come out later would be logical. Guess GM is busy rushing the cars out so much that the cars have to get by with smaller engines for now until the 3.9 is ready. What ever happened to the CTS' 3.2 from the old Catera? Did they ditch the engine? Who's using it? Couldn't that have been another interim engine for these vans?
  • b4z: lol, i too noticed that the 300C had rotary dials. but if you look closely, they do have an automatic mode. the higher-level models might eventually have digital, or maybe its an option. we are yet to find out

    also, I agree with everyone that a premium van should have a premium engine!! heck, the 3.3L in the Sienna makes 230HP when the 3.5L in the GM vans makes only 200HP. i bet many new families at GM dealers, who don't know much about engines, will be a little bit puzzled!! if GM actually listens to the public for a change, they hopefully with put the 3.6L in the new vans a year later, even if it is an option..
  • Bretaa - Thought I was reading my own post, glad someone else is as disappointed as me. If all the apologists were required to own Ford and GM stock as part of their retirement plan, you'd see them change their tune in a hurry. If Ford and GM can make class leading Pick-ups and SUV's there is no excuse for the rest of the product lineup - minivans included. If you're not going to make a competitive one, why bother. These heavily rebated and discounted products hurt the bottom line as Ford and GM readily admit, why make them at all?
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