By KBB.com Editors
As Chevrolet's only minivan, one would expect the Uplander to be a standout. It isn't. Newer vans from Honda, Chrysler and Kia provide more interior room, more powerful engines and more safety features. The Uplander is not without its own merits, however, and does offer some admirable features. The interior is one of the nicest you'll find in any minivan, and includes a long list of standard features belying the vehicle's starting price near $20,000. Later in the model year, fleet customers can opt for a Flex Fuel V6, which runs on E85 ethanol. Chevrolet also offers a number of mobility options, including the Sit-N-Lift second-row mobility seat that rotates and extends outward to make it easier for those with mobility difficulties to get into and out of the vehicle, a very thoughtful feature.
In the world of minivans, the Chevrolet Uplander slots squarely into the entry-level family hauling segment. Priced competitively and loaded with standard features, the Uplander is well-suited to the needs of small families.
Though it can seat seven, the Uplander's narrow design makes it a bit tight in the areas of hip and shoulder room. Like its cousins from Pontiac, Saturn and Buick, the Chevrolet Uplander does not offer flush-folding seats or side-curtain airbags for the rear-most passengers.
The 3.9-liter V6 is now standard on all trims, as are new 17-inch wheels. StabiliTrak becomes standard on the extended-length models.
Driving Impressions The Chevrolet Uplander's 240-horsepower 3.9-liter V6 is a vast improvement over the previous 3.5-liter engine. It offers excellent low-end torque and passing power as well as smooth and vibration-free operation....The front-wheel-drive layout works well for this type of vehicle, providing good traction in rain and snow. The new V6 increases the Uplander's tow rating to 3,500 pounds. Steering and braking have been greatly improved over GM's last generation of minivans, on which the Uplander is based. The smaller size and narrow footprint might make the Uplander a little easier to maneuver than the larger offerings from Nissan, Chrysler and Honda.
DVD Entertainment System
The optional DVD entertainment system is attached to a set of overhead-mounted rails, allowing you to add movable modules for extra storage.
Optional remote start lets you start the vehicle from as far away as 500 feet.
GM says it is dedicated to improving the interior quality of its cars, and the Chevrolet Uplander proves it. French-stitched seams on the door panels and seats, a gorgeous dash and instrument cluster design and a hefty dose of sound deadening insulation make life with the Uplander a thoroughly pleasant experience. Although the narrow interior feels a bit cramped with three abreast, those who can get by with second-row captain's chair seating should find the Uplander quite livable. A host of nice features such as DVD entertainment and the PhatNoise 40-gigabyte media storage system go a long way toward keeping the kids occupied.Exterior
The Chevrolet Uplander's long hood and added C-pillar are intended to make it look more like an SUV than a minivan. Although the sliding side doors betray the Uplander's minivan origins, the overall look is quite appealing. The Uplander offers some distinct advantages over the traditional SUV, such as its low step-in height and easily accessible roof rack. Chevrolet has added larger 17-inch wheels to give the Uplander a sportier appearance, another nice touch not found on the average minivan.
The Uplander comes standard with a 3.9-liter V6, four-speed automatic transmission, front air conditioning, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), OnStar, overhead console storage, power locks, power windows, rear defroster, dual sliding side doors, automatic headlamp control, dual power mirrors, AM/FM stereo with MP3-compatible CD player, tilt wheel and full wheel covers.
Options include an extended-length model, sport suspension, dual heated power mirrors, PhatNoise entertainment system, power sliding side doors, flip-down DVD player with rear audio controls, second-row captain's chair seating, first and second-row side-impact airbags, cruise control, StabiliTrak (standard on extended length models), remote start, heated leather seats and a tow package.
The Chevrolet Uplander's 3.9-liter engine is well suited for work in the minivan environment. Equipped with variable valve timing and GM's active intake technology, the 3.9-liter V6 is capable of delivering nearly 90-percent of its power between 1800 and 5800 rpm. Available later in the model year on fleet vehicles only, the Flex Fuel technology allows the Uplander to run on a gasoline/ethanol mix. Ethanol is a domestically produced, renewable energy source made from corn, and because it burns cleaner than gasoline, the lower emissions can help reduce the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
3.9-liter V6 Flex Fuel
240 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
240 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19 (E85), 18/25 (Gasoline)
By mskeatonsmom on Sunday, September 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price"
Cons: "interior and exterior not ascetically pleasing"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"The outside may not look pretty, but it is a pretty good car. 7 passenger seating, safe for families, low mileage."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By mnms39 on Monday, September 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 198,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Decent gas mileage for a van around 23 mpg"
Cons: "Electrical short, arm rests"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I've had this van for a few years and now it's up to almost 200k. Few flaws such as Abs light was always on. Never had a problem with it though. Lights would flicker sometimes when you touch the brakes, but nothing major happened.17" tires made it a smooth ride. Compressor in the back went out, so we just had it disconnected. Horn didn't work well. Transmission starting to slip, but not bad. We have driven this van many long miles and it never broke down. So I would say it was pretty reliable. Didn't like the arm rests they were too small seem to make my arm sore. Never had any major work done to it still drives good. Don't have to worry about buying another one. They don't make them anymore."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Matt on Wednesday, July 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 138,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Always started, lots of cargo space."
Cons: "Lousy MPG."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Lots of little electronic problems; key-less entry failures, mysterious messages from the anti-theft system that nobody at the dealer could diagnose, tire-pressure warning system that gets it left and right sides confused, causing you to air up tires that are already over-inflated."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By mom3dogs on Thursday, June 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 104,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this van a lot. I have 3 huge dogs, and with this van, each dog has it's own seat that I can seatbelt them into and we have no problems. Also, I love the gas mileage as I have to travel some ways to go grocery shopping or to the vet and it does great on highway and in town. I REALLY LOVE THIS VAN!!!. And so do my dogs."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Al on Tuesday, May 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Roomy, reliable"
Cons: "Riding not as comfortable as I would like, but goo"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This car has been very good for us. We travel from Minnesota to Arizona and back every year. We have had very little problems--mostly of ordinary wear and tear. I wish we could get a new van with these kind of characteristics. (Some catagories in this review were unable to be completed.)"
9 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Cody Ruth on Saturday, March 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 127,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great car for families with kids or dogs or both"
Cons: "Really miss a center console"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"It's a van. That's what it is; that's what it was designed to be; that's how you have to look at it. It's a good van, with lots of space, decent power, and pretty good looks. It may even have been a forerunner to the cross-overs you see everywhere today. It gets good gas mileage - 20 in town, 25 on the highway, it's dependable, and it's comfortable. I wish it had a center console; it has armrests instead. I wish it had a few more fancy dashboard indicators - like outside temp - it doesn't. But it does tell you what time it is, how far you have gone and what your average gas mileage is, and how much tire pressure is in each tire. It has Traction Control and whenever I start off too quickly on gravel, it tells me that the Traction Control is active. I like it. I'm going to miss it."
8 people out of 8 found this review helpful