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 junkyard dog on Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 171,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "wonderful vehicle"
Cons: "no 'stow n go' seats"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"sorry to trade it off because we like it a lot. But higher mileage tells us to do so. have had only minor mech. issues. (normal wear & tear)"
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Ray on Monday, December 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 148,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Ample space for passengers, comfortable."
Cons: "Poor transmission !"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"In the first place,we bought this vehicle used, which is something I do not like doing, as there are some pretty dishonest Used Car dealers. The test drive had no indications of any transmission problems, and the light steering and pulling to the right, was something I could live with, or get repaired later. Unfortunately, less than 800 miles later the transmission showed it's true colors and would not shift properly ! It turns out the repairs were expensive, and at the first chance got rid of it. My losses were my lessons learned !"
By Roscom on Saturday, November 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great van"
Cons: "Can't think of any"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"All around gas mileage is 20 & highway is 26 to 28. quiet & rides smooth. Great factory sound system. Seats are comfy. Nice 240 HP 3.9 v6 very peppy."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Peawee on Saturday, November 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "affordable, low gas mileage, roomy, good "grunt""
Cons: "minor electrical panel issues, no center console"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Great gas mileage, I drive a lot all over town for the kids appointments and work and it costs me average $120-180/month in gas depending on the season. Has a very large gas tank I only need to fill about every 10-14 days. Has had some minor electrical problems (ABS & traction control lights always on no matter what), and front & rear indicator & brake lights go out CONSTANTLY but have never had an mechanical problems or major repairs, a very sturdy vehicle we have taken up mountains, on long haul car trips. Very spacious interior we have even put an inflatable double bed in there and slept in it camping. Have had a few issues with the sliding doors rubber strips falling off but it was an easy fix & the kids are kind of rough on it. Our model has a DVD player which still works after almost 10 years of abuse, great sound system in the car (we didnt get any kind of upgraded package). It has been a highly reliable, quality made vehicle, wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Very affordable to maintain & run. Has really good pickup/ good "grunt" when you need to accelerate up a hill with a heavy load inside or sped up to merge onto the freeway etc it doesn't disappoint and has a good strong engine. Inside interior could be a bit more stylish but we were buying a family car not a pretty car. We have been very impressed with the Chevy Uplander and I will definitely keep buying Chevrolet vehicles because of our positive experience with our Uplander."
4 people out of 10 found this review helpful
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."
5 people out of 12 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."
5 people out of 10 found this review helpful