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



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Honda doesn't offer a moonroof, I thought that was a strange omission.

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Id like to point out that even though jchan may have been wrong about the EPA figures for the 2005 GC, that doesnt change the fact that they arent class leading. Additionally, the fact that the 3.8L in the GC produces slightly more torque than the Sienna/Ody does NOT mean that it will necessarily accelerate, either from a stop or in passing manuvers, more quickly than either.

    "BTW, why doesn't Toyota offer separate temperature control for driver and front passenger on the Sienna CE and LE?" Because they want you to spend 30K + on an XLE, because they are leading this segement right now, and none of the domestic vans, save perhaps possibly the new DCX twins, are anything NEAR threatening to Toyota's current PPSS (Profit Per Sienna Sold).

  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Toyota does make the most profit per minivan sold. Toyota also has the most different, expensive option packages than any other brand.
         However, the facts are that DC has developed more of the nice features of a minivan than any other maker. Honda was the first to offer the modern, convenient "fold-into-the-floor" 3rd row seating. Mazda was first with roll down windows in the sliding doors. Toyota was first with the split fold into the floor 3rd row seating.
         Chrysler has developed too many nice features to be able to list here.
         Nippon Advertising Monthly will never forget the poor reliability of the Chrysler 4 speed automatic altho they rarely mention the Toyota engine sludge problem that happened far more recently.
         However, this forum is about GM products. GM Astro and Safari have been very successful, reliable vans with almost no changes since introduction almost 20 years ago. The original GM FWD minivans had styling that was too futuristic for most of us. GM has made many mistakes but even CR admits that the new GM 3.5L V6 delivers alot of power and excellent fuel economy in the new Malibu.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sienna has a couple of other unique features, like seating for 8 and AWD. Oddly competitors are dropping these.

  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    How do people forget about the 8 passenger GM Astro AWD and Safari AWD? The Chevy Venture also had seating for 8 as an option for many years.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They're actually dropping the 8 seat Venture, by that I mean the Chevy Uplander will only seat 7.

    The Astro/Safari are on truck platforms and hardly leading edge designs.

  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    The original 1984 Dodge Caravan/Plymouth Voyager also had optional seating for 8. Few people bought it as it eliminated the pass through from the front seat to the back. The seating for eight was 3 front , 2 middle, 3 rear.

    The truth is very few people really need seating for 8 and the seating for 8 is pretty marginal anyway in vehicles this size.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    because they have changed very little in almost 20 years.
         When you have a very successful design, why change it?
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I wonder if Honda will add the moonroof back to the Odyssey for 2005.
  • One thing is that when the Pilot came out people got mad that there was no sunroof option. Interestingly enough, they're adding it for the 05 model year. I'm betting that Honda will put a sunroof in the upcoming Odyssey.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The only thing that the Safastros have done "successfully" since their inception is out-tow the competitors, due to the body on frame construction. Since introduction, the twins have had horrid repair records, inefficient use of space, poor ergonmics, crash scores, fuel consumption, the list goes on and on. These vehicles were rated FAR below the Chrysler minis and Ford Aerostar even in the mid-late 80s when they were new.

    I am guessing that by "successful" you mean that GM has been "successfully" duping people into these crude machines for about 20 years now. That doesnt make the vehicles themselves successful, or good for that matter.

    And not for anything, they Chrysler Ultradrive issue was widespread. The sludge issue has affected this percentage of Toyotas: .001% (Thats one thousandth of one percentage point)

  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The regular length Astro had more interior space than the Caravan, Aerostar or any Japanese minivan.
        The Astro engines will last forever. Some have reported 700,000 miles on the vortec 4.3L V6 in an Astro.
        Many Astro owners loved the 27 gallon fuel tank and the 23 to 24 MPG highway mileage.
        Concerning sludge in Toyota engines, your quoted percentage is as far off the truth as to say 50% of Toyota 3.0L V6 had sludge problems.
        I have had excellent experience with Toyota so don't think I am trashing Toyota. Just want to keep people honest when discussing GM.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    youd know that Im NOTHING if not honest. Prove my number wrong. At the time of the "Special Policy Adjustment" announcement, Toyota had 3000 documented cases of engine failure due to sludge. The SPA covers greater than 3.3million vehicles.

    Theres a lot more to a vehicles reliability than an engine, in the case of the antiquated Safastros, and they didnt always offer the Vortec 4.3L. Im not making this up, check CR.

    Youre right about the space- I should have looked the numbers up first, my apologies.

  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Long time subscriber but take auto reliability data and CR recommendations with a grain of salt.
        I read CR to look for ideas on features that are available on vehicles, refrigerators, washing machines, camcorders, DVD players, etc. (Never did pay attention to their ratings of condoms).
        CR is as biased and opinionated as any owner of any vehicle.
        I am also biased: I think Toyota vehicles are the most reliable across the entire line. GM reliability can be spotty and more questionable with the linkup with Daewoo, Isuzu, Suzuki, etc.
  • 3,000/3,300,000=.001 or .1% Complaints to vehicles covered.
    3,300,000/7,200,000=.458 or 45.8% covered to vehicles sold 96-02 (Approx 1.2m per year)

    GM's last big recall: 80/1,800,000=0.00004 or .004% complaints to vehicles covered.

    Also the IIHS/HLDI rate the AWD Safari as "substaintialy better then average" and the lowest injury rate for minivans in their latest rankings. Even scored better then the Montana, pushing it to third, its worse ranking ever.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    CR short for Consumers Reports, whose product rating magazine I subscribe to and read closely, and take with a grain of salt as I notice that they tend to many times have a subtle bias in their auto reviews. I am also skeptical of their reliability ratings due to the inherent bias that exists in their subscriber base as opposed to the general population, but this is another subject that has been hashed out in many other Edmunds discussions.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    If GM can't get these right after 20 yrs of cranking out the same old tired design, then they've REALLY got a problem.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Any how, my point was the Sienna will be unique in offering seating for 8, since Chevy is dropping it on the Uplander, and the Astro doesn't really compete directly with the modern car-based minivans.

  • Astro is probably one of the worst "minivans" you can buy for your money. Outdated, ugly inside with cheap materials, and a VERY VERY VERY POOR crash test record. I'd honestly rather buy a newer van for the money.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Thank you for correcting my decimal error!
    My apologies!

    That said, it wasnt a recall, did not involve NHTSA.

    "Also the IIHS/HLDI rate the AWD Safari as "substaintialy better then average" and the lowest injury rate for minivans in their latest rankings"

    Injury claim rates lay heavily in the hands of the behaviors of drivers, as compared to the crashworthiness/safety of vehicles. Crash tests on all GMs current minivans show that they are among the least crashworthy of vehicles today. Ditto most of GMs older designs- think Cavalier, Blazer, Grand Am/Alero...

  • "Injury claim rates lay heavily in the hands of the behaviors of drivers, as compared to the crashworthiness/safety of vehicles."

    So, if I understand, then the other vans are driven by easy to injure, quick to complain drivers, and GM's vans are driven by a heartier stock? I always thought that you could only get injured if the vehicle crashed. So injury has to be releated to crashworthiness. ;-)
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I have to agree that it IS outdated, but I think it serves a niche no car based Japanese minivan can do. The person that wants to tow something yet does not want a brand new SUV.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Consumer Reports stated Caravan was very car like, Astro truck like, and Aerostar was in between.
         Since he had owned a couple of trucks, that comment by CR was the highest praise they could give to him.
         Additionally, in 1991 the Astro had MUCH more power, larger fuel tank, and in real world driving the mileage was as good as the anemic engines in the Caravan and Aerostar.
         I, too like trucks and own the Ford F-150 4WD and my Chevy Blazer LT. My wife also prefers either truck over the Toyota Corolla wagon for trips over 10 miles long.
  • Actually, the Toyota Alphard and Nissan Elgrand are almost exactly like the Astro, except updated and car based. Interestingly, they can tow a lot, have no true fold-in seats, and (like the Astro) have available 4WD..not AWD. Sadly, they're not sold here. :)
  • The Astro?Safari was never a critical or sales success. It also had horrible repair/reliability issues, even by GM standards. It came out right after the Caravan and was dusted in sales from day 1 despite having many more dealers. It was outdated when introduced and continues to be sold in very low volumes primarily for people with towing needs. "Successes" like the Astro/Safari are why GM's market share is now down to 28%. Sadly it appears GM is making the same mistake again with the new vans. Although improved, they will take major incentives to sell, the same lesson Ford is learning with the Freestar.
  • homerkchomerkc Posts: 113
    My wife insists on child booster seats in the next van - does anyone know if they will be offered on the Uplander, etc?? I'm guessing they will be gone in the Chryslers, due to the fold away middle seats.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Would be interesting to find the total number of Astro/Safari sold since introduction. Same with the 2 completely different versions of the Odyssey, Sienna, and Quest.
         GM has been laughing all the way to the bank with the profits from the Astro/Safari that have had NO significant changes in almost 20 years.
         GM found a niche market that no other company has ever challenged.
         Do I think Astro/Safari are superior? NO.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Jchan, I know people who swear by the Astro vans for towing and utility. They still sell so someone must want em. If there wasn't a business case for them GM would have ceased production ages ago. Like "hansienna" says, GM has no competition here and the plant equipment has all been paid for 5 years ago. They cost nothing to make.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    and every Astro/Safari they sell, they make cash, even with incentives. The plant is paid off, the design costs were paid off, and there's no competition.
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