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

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Comments

  • mark_poissonmark_poisson Member Posts: 1
    The Odyssey's rear seat flips back tailgate-style. I know because we do it on occasion.
    The fact that Ford is promoting this as an exclusive feature really irks me. They obviously never tried it out in the Odyssey.

    I guess Honda didn't think it was that big a deal. I don't even think it is mentioned in the owner's manual (which would lead one to conclude that is wasn't designed that way - when we bought the van, the salesman showed us. regardless of it it was intentional, it works well).

    As for the storage wells, anyone with van that has the foldable seat will tell you that it is a pain to have to clear those out whenever you want to stow the seat. You end up keeping the seat either up most the time or down. Going back and forth isn't really an option unless you are religious about keeping them empty - sort of defeats the purpose of extra storage room, eh?
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    *to quote ex-Maple Leaf great Tiger Williams.
    With Chrysler's "Stow 'n Go" 2nd & third row seats and just about everybody else's stowable 3rd row seats (+ the latest rumour out of the Honda camp that the 2005 Odyssey will also have stowable 2nd and 3rd row seats), GM's short-sightedness is even more apparent. What I don't understand is that, in the Opel Zafira (their European "mini"minvan), GM has had a pretty innovative seating sytem called Flex-7, whereby 2nd & third row seats all fold flat, for years. And the upcoming 2nd generation Zafira will have an improved version of this system. Could not GM have reworked Flex-7 for their NA Minivans? (oh, I almost forgot, they're not minivans now but pseudo-SUV crossover sport vans!) I guess they'd really better hammer away at those fuel-economy #'s, 'cause that's about the only advantage they're going to have.
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    Yup. CR hates domestics. Thats why the Focus is the highest rated 'Small Sedan', and the SVT Focus is the highest rated 'Sporty Car'. wait.. who makes the Focus...OH WAIT, FORD....

    Why make stupid assertions that arent based in reality? There are plenty of other domestic models that CR rates well.

    ~alpha
  • spartanmannspartanmann Member Posts: 197
    I guess you haven't had the misfortune of buying a GM mini-van. Not everyone gets the highest rebate and 0% financing. Each year the rebates go higher as the models become even older and less competitive. This drives down resale for the new owner which is OK because he's getting the big rebate. The ones who get killed are those with 2-5 year old vans. They didn't get the big rebates but the lower new prices depress their resale. Throw in quality problems and you have a real problem. Forget blue book prices. Look at advertised sale prices (private party) for 2000 to 2002 Odysseys versus domestic competition. The gap is tremendous.

    As for Malibu reviews being great, that would be a bit generous. Every review I've seen has been favorable, but most everyone says its a solid single instead of the home run GM needs if they are ever going to take on Camry and Accord.

    Is there a rule at GM that a Chevy sedan has to have dull styling? When people drive their new car home they kind of want the neighbors to notice. Why couldn't the Malibu have good looks to go with good engineering?
  • dindakdindak Member Posts: 6,632
    bretaa : I always liked the fact that the GM vans were a snick skinnier. Means they will fit better in our small garage.

    alpha : Really? They recommend some domestic brands, more than ever true. But when I read reviews of new cars it's quite clear what they prefer. It's not stupid it is reality but perhaps hate was too strong a word.
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    A Honda owner calls GM sedans dull looking? Pot, meet the kettle!

    Seems to me, I notice the CTS a lot quicker than anything from Acura.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    MPV had tail gate seating years ago also. They may have been first. Didn't Odyssey add that a year or two after intro?

    -juice
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    the DCX vans are going to blow away the GM vans, for sure. More features, better seat folding method, and the GM rail system too. No rebates on this one.
  • spartanmannspartanmann Member Posts: 197
    Your're right. Most Hondas and Toyotas are dull. All the more reason to make the Malibu attractive and give it an edge. The CTS has very distinctive styling which it needs for its price tag. Doesn't a potential Malibu buyer deserve something slightly interesting to look at, even if he's only spending a measly 20K?

    GM and their apologists just don't get it. You need to do better, not just be "competitive". It's the only way to regain market share and profitability.
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    The thought is that most in this segment do not want loud. They want dour and reliable.

    It will be the G6's job to compete with those who prefer the pretty face of the Passat - with luck the G6 will stay out of the garage more than the Passat.
  • spartanmannspartanmann Member Posts: 197
    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 Administrator Posts: 11,140
    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 Member Posts: 124
  • wsag26wsag26 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 476
    Terraza has it.
  • rctennis3811rctennis3811 Member Posts: 1,031
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • rctennis3811rctennis3811 Member Posts: 1,031
    no, the Malibu's V6, while fairly smooth, cannot compare to the smoothness of Camry's V6. read the reviews...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member 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.

    -juice
  • dindakdindak Member 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 Member 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.

    ~alpha
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member 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.

    But...but...in 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.

    -juice
  • jchan2jchan2 Member 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 Member Posts: 2,166
    outlander?

    freelander?
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    or the first lander--- Highlander
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Member Posts: 854
    "Kids throw their toys all around"

    Not if they have good parenting!
  • dindakdindak Member 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?
  • rctennis3811rctennis3811 Member Posts: 1,031
    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 Member Posts: 2,166
    "NEW"

    "BREAKTHROUGH"

    2007-2008......those who want all new will have to wait 3-4 more years.....
  • b4zb4z Member Posts: 3,372
    Vans are 1100-1300 lbs heavier than Malibu.
    So.......I am guessing 10+ second 0-60 time.
  • spartanmannspartanmann Member Posts: 197
    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 Member 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 Member 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....

    ~alpha
  • dindakdindak Member 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.

    ;-)
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Member Posts: 588
    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..
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    Cheapest Grand Caravan on Chrysler's (CDN) website is $30,190, (except for the cargo version...27&change, but I guess you don't get any seats or windows with that!),which is about 2 grand cheaper than the Odyssey and a tad more than the Sienna........you have to check equipment levels to see how they really compare, though. When all is said and done (except for the gigantic rebates DCX needs to sell their vehicles), I imagine there's not much difference at all.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I saw a 2003 Grand Caravan SXT for $20k new. I imagine it's missing all the features people really want, like power sliding doors and stuff, plus the new 2004 has the desirable folding seats, but still that's a great value.

    This dealer is no-haggle, that price even includes freight. It's a Grand with a 3.8l V6, too, not the weaker engines.

    -juice
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    when I shopped vans, the Odyssey LX was the least expensive, at $24,000. Upgrade to the EX in 2002, and it was still a measly $27,190. Plus I got $500 off.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Now you can get them for less, close to invoice. Sienna forced Ody sales down 24%, IIRC.

    -juice
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    invoice brings it down to around $22-$23K, a good bargain, don't you think?
  • rctennis3811rctennis3811 Member Posts: 1,031
    Chrysler, as we all already now know, updated their minivans for the 2005 model year. Available navigation system, optional XM (or was it Sirius??) radio, fold-flat seats, overhead rail system. Isn't it funny how during the webcast presentation of the Relay and Terraza how GM said that their overhead rail system was a feature that you won't find in any other minivan?? LOL It looks like DC watched that webcast and immediately added it. The Chrysler vans seem like a pretty good value (as they are very popular) and they also have more power and torque than the 3.5L in the Malibu.

    One thing I noticed that I really disliked about the new GM vans: their version of the fold-flat seats doesn't create a "canyon" in the back to store it in. Instead, the fold forward causing the cargo floor to be raised up by about 3 inches. The Odyssey, Freestar, Monterey, MPV, Quest, Sienna, and the 2005 DC Vans have their rear seat fold backwards in a tumbling motion to save more room. GM must've forgot about that...
  • theo2709theo2709 Member Posts: 476
    Except GM's system lets you have AWD.
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    Well, Toyota offers AWD in the Sienna, and you can still fold the third row seats into the floor. Not an excuse, IMO.

    ~alpha
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    I'll bet that DCX will keep the AWD Town & Country and the Grand Caravan models.
  • dindakdindak Member Posts: 6,632
    When I say under 25K I mean with DC's insane rebates of course. List price means nothing @ DC. I remember my boss buying a Windstar in the fall and getting around C$8000 in Ford incentives alone. Basically it was given to him. DC seems to be doing the same now though I'm not sure why.

    As an aside I drove by the Freestar plant here in town yesterday and noticed the shipping yard had thousands of Freestars sitting. Lot was 3/4 full, not good.
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