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



  • genmtrfangenmtrfan Posts: 78
    My take on the A/C is that it has been unbelievably hot in most parts of the country (95-100) lately and that any car is going to require maximum cool to get the cabin temperature down. On the way back from Florida, we were driving in temperatures approaching 100 degrees. After we had been on the road for a while, my kids would always ask me to turn down the a/c. But, it does take longer to cool a super hot cabin on a super hot day. I will concede that max cool seems to be required a bit more than on most vehicles, but it isn't a big deal.

    As for the driving experience, it is great. I've never driven a vehicle that was so controlled and predictable at high speeds (except for my 88 IROC). I attribute a lot of that to the 17" wheels but also think Chevy did a great job with the suspension.

    Does anyone know what is electronically controlled about the steering? I can tell that it has a power steering pump, so it is not completely electric like the steering on the new G6. I'm referencing a comment above about the "electronic steering." Whatever it is I think it works well. With 3,500 miles on the vehicle since May 31st, we are loving our Uplander.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I have to think that anyone with an A/C problem has a unit that needs fixing. I think the A/C unit is a carry over from the previous generation and out 2004 Montana is ice cold even in the scorching hot weather we have had.

    I have heard this complaint with other cars and trucks. I wonder why some units don't cool that well?
  • I had a bug deflector on my SUV which I traded in for the Relay. I never heard any noise at all from it. If I were new to deflectors then I'd have thought whistling was the norm.
  • If any of the GM minivan owners here are worried about power, with competition from toyota, honda, and nissan, you can relax now, as GM is putting the 3.9L 240hp v6 into its minivans!

    Click here for more info
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    That info had already come out a few months ago. The 3.9L is an option though, should be interesting to see how much they charge for it.
  • These vans are actually quite good I find. Up here in Canada the MSRP's are close to the Odyssey comparably equipped, but the GM vans come with alot of rebates, reducing the price alot. Also, from a leasing perspective, it costs about $300 more per month to lease an Odyssey or Sienna vs any of the GM vans. I don't really know why though. The GM van's interiors are nice. :) The materials aren't top quality, but then again, it is a family van. The engine has enough hp for me, I don't need 255 hp from a minivan. Also, I find when the 3'rd seats fold into the floor they make them less comfortable. A prime example of this is the Freestar, which has horrid rear seats. :sick: Mind you, the Odyssey's aren't bad. I don't need 2'nd row fold in the floor seats. The Grand Caravan's might, but my 5'7 son finds them to close to the floor for comfort. The ride on the Relay in particular is nice and smooth and quiet. The Odyssey is slightly quieter, but has a more harsh ride. The Sienna beats them on both accounts. Overall, for the price, the GM minivans do it for me and the SUV styling looks nice (from the front at least) :) Just my 3 cents :D
  • GM will up the deal by putting nav systems in the vans, at least on 2007 versions...
  • cla1cla1 Posts: 27
    The above reminded me that GM was advertising a nav system as a "late" option for 05, and the Terraza book even had a picture of it and a column describing it. What happened to it? I haven't heard anything about it. The nav system in our son's Ody is very nice I must admit, and I love the tv camera in the rear that shows what's behind you when backing up. That is really nice. He paid about 6 grand more than we did for the fully optioned terraza but I do like their nav system and tv camera.
  • GM has to invest in the technology that honda and toyota have, but with those UAW healthcare and pension payments its impossible... If GM gets the new deal they want you could see all these options on GM vans sooner than you think.

    The unions will kill our auto industry just like they killed everything else, unless we stop them. They need to realize today is a different world than it was 80 years ago when they were really needed.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I don't think "everyone" does but they had some deficiencies which seem to be addressed this year with the 3.9L and the new front and rear SABs.

    I think they are great vans for the money and the interiors are great. If they had flop and fold seats they would be even better but I don't care that much.
  • overtovert Posts: 4
    I've had my 2005 uplander LT EXT for about 2 mths and am very pleased with the van. We got the DVD package as the kids play baseball and we're always on the road. Great option !! put the movie in and never hear a word until we arrive.

    The van is very smooth on the highway with lots of power for what we need. Although i admit the new 3.9 will definitely make a difference. The new front end is really growing on me and i've had lots of interest from other parents on the ball team who drive the competition, in fact one couple has already ordered a new uplander after going for a ride in ours.

    The seats are very comfortable for long distance travel for both, front and back occupants. The view is great upfront with the only complaint coming from my wife with regards to backing up, and the bucketseat headrests being too high .

    All in all , its so far so good. :) I will update as required.
  • kcoreykcorey Posts: 130
    It can be turned off on the Terraza.
  • kcoreykcorey Posts: 130
    We just hit 7,000 miles, after an 1,100 mile trip. At 60 to 70 mph we averaged 26 mpg. The ride was sooo smooth and quiet. My dealer replaced the alternator before we left, and that was because of the forum notes...Thanks! We've never had any problems with the radio, brakes, etc. Yes, the horn is hard to honk...use the ends, not the center. We found that the A/C is too cold in the rear if the fan is above 2, and the front is great on 1 or 2...this in 90 to 100 degree weather.
    I still think it should have a power lift rear gate (I'm almost 67). And because I live in Brooklyn, I park on the streets, and the side mirrors should fold flat.
    Hey, nothing's perfect, and we still love our car.
  • maddmadd Posts: 10
    Well I took wifie's van in for the recall on the harmonic balancer and the dealer (service writer) said it's the first he had heard of this and looked it up and said " there's no recall for the balance" even though I had my letter from GM, so I also complained about the A/C and the brakes (again) when they finished the service writer said that I was right about the Harmonic Balancer as the mechanic knew more than he did.
    Also for the A/C and Brakes he said that they couldn't find anything wrong with either one and they “ were with in GM specs”.
  • easye2easye2 Posts: 26
    Hi everyone...I am a long time reader and have used these forums for my own research many times and have never had the opportunity to contribute. Well, I just went to my local saturn dealer in the Minneapolis Metro to check on the latest Relay deals...and here they are:

    $4500 off MSRP on FWD 3
    0.0% for 5 years

    This turns out to be about ~$2300 below Employee Pricing and you get 0.0% APR for 5 years. Anyway, if anyone is interested in these vans, this looks like an opportunity to at least go take a look. No, I did not purchase wife is holding us out for one more year before we get a mini-van...;-) :)
  • ericzoomericzoom Posts: 213
    I got a great deal on a GMAC lease for my loaded Terraza CXL. I pay 398.99 total (includes tax) for 35 months,12k mi year, 0 money down. GM paid the 1st month for me. A true sign and drive. :)
  • kcoreykcorey Posts: 130
    I noticed that many people seem to want the fold-down seats. When I was looking at the Terraza, I was notably impressed by the comfort and roominess in the 2nd and 3rd row seating. Chrysler and Mercury were very uncomfortable in the back... the seats were very small and hard... no good for adults or a long ride. The 3rd row seat folds flat, and that is more than enough room for me to do any hauling.
    More important to me would have been a power lift (I'm 66), but hey, you can't have everything!
    I think a lot of problems that people are having is either they're not reading the Owners' Manual and listening to the CD in the glove compartment, and they're driving the vehicle like it's a sports car. I'm not having brake problems or alignment problems (and streets just aren't much rougher than pot-holes New York).
    Maybe the dealer they're going to just isn't doing a good job. Some dealers are great for sales, but lousy on service. If at first you don't succeed...
    Yes, the A/C seems a little weak... in the front. Passengers in my Terraza complain that the back is too cold. I found that if I run the A/C on max, then after about 10 minutes it gets cooler in the front by switching it to another position... floor and straight vent seems best... and the fan on 2 or 3 for the front, and 1 for the rear.
  • cla1cla1 Posts: 27
    I think it can be turned off and adjusted to three levels on any GM radio with the feature. What I'm puzzled about is why you want to turn it off anyway. It's one of the best ideas GM came up with. Why is it bothersome?
  • ericzoomericzoom Posts: 213
    I went to the dealer because my Terreza's A/C wasn't working good and it turns out it needs a new compressor which had to be ordered from Detroit. That takes care of the crappy A/C.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Just back from a 2 week trip to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine with our Uplander. No issues at all, the van performed well. We averaged around 26 MPG on the highway drives which is decent for a vehicle this size. Gas prices were rising the whole vacation and were over $1 a liter when we left on Tuesday. Ouch. Really glad we bought an Uplander instead of a Yukon or Trailblazer. Don't really want to loose 5 MPG at these levels.

    Still nothing much to report on the Uplander. Everything works well, great vans, recommended all around. :)
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    That adds up to about $14K for 3 years and 36K miles. Assuming the van has a purchase price of $24K (TTL included), the residual value is $10K. That seems a bit low? I'd think a loaded Buick van would be worth more than $10K, no?
  • ericzoomericzoom Posts: 213
    The purchase price of the van was about $29k,and the residual is about 14,400. The Terraza CXL's comes fully loaded except for some small options like chome whls. and remote starter. I'm also a repeat GMAC lease customer. :shades:
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    That's not a bad deal. I never gave leasing much of a thought. For the $14K paid for the entire term of the lease, one could get a stripper Ford Freestar, Caravan, GM van, or drive a top of the line Buick van. Buick is nice, but you turn it in at the end of the lease, whereas you will have owned your Ford after paying the same amount of money. It comes down to personal choice I guess. Congrats on your new van! Personally I'll stick to "buying", I hate the strings attached to leasing and the uncertainty that comes with it.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    We paid close to $24K (OTD) for our 05 Quest. Let's say if we were to sell it for $10K after 3 years and 36K miles, you and I would've come out even--both paid $14K out of pocket. Intersting way to look at it, aint it? In reality, we could probably sell our Quest for $14-15K at that time, which would put us ahead, not to be cynical just having some fun with the numbers, but then again your $29K Buick is probably a lot nicer than our $24K Quest ;) Anyway, I think you did get a decent deal. Enjoy the van! :)
  • ericzoomericzoom Posts: 213
    Thanks guys. The only reason i lease the Buick is to get a new vehicle every 3 yrs. I already own an 04 Mazda6 so i own 1,lease1. GM has been very good to me in that they have the pull ahead lease so i can turn the van in early without being charged fees,as long as i lease another veh. from them. They also are very forgiving on wear and tear.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    GM is pretty good about lease returns. I had a big scratch on my last return and they only charged me $100. It would have cost a lot more to have it done myself not to mention time and trouble.
  • He bought it only a few months ago - was driving cross country to Calif. - and it just died. Is in negotiations right now with GM to get a whole new van - they have offered of course to replace the engine!

  • ericzoomericzoom Posts: 213
    I just got that recall in the mail. Something to do with retorquing the harmonic balancer. Bringing it in tomorrow.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    All 2005 3.5L engines need this adjustment.
  • We've had our Terraza for almost a month now and are satisfied so far. One thing that I have been unable to find are crossbars for the rooftop rails. If I were to load the van up with people, I'd probably need to have a rooftop carrier for luggage needs. Has anyone seen an aftermarket set of crossbars for this vehicle or are the rooftop rails just for looks?
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