KBB Editors' Overview
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.
You'll Like This Car If...
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.
You May Not Like This Car If...
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.
What's Significant About This Car?
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.
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.
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.
Notable Standard Equipment
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.
Notable Optional Equipment
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.
Under the Hood
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)
The Uplander LS with regular wheelbase has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $20,695, while the LT with extended wheelbase is $27,890. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows that consumers are paying around $1,000 over invoice for their Uplanders. Before you set out to begin negotiations, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price which shows the typical transaction prices consumers are paying in your area. Kelley Blue Book expects the Uplander to retain a below-average residual value, better than the Ford Freestar, slightly below the Dodge Grand Caravan and Hyundai Entourage and well below the Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna.