KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
As Chevrolet's only minivan, one would expect the 2008 Uplander to stand apart from the crowd. It doesn'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 equipment belying the vehicle's starting price near $22,000. 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 2008 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. The Uplander does not offer side-curtain airbags for the rear-most passengers.
What's New for 2008
StabiliTrak electronic stability control, a tire pressure monitoring system and XM Satellite Radio are made standard on all trim levels.
The 2008 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 3.9-liter 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 narrower 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, including DVD entertainment, go a long way toward keeping the kids occupied.
The 2008 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, power locks, power windows, 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 are dependent upon trim level, and include an extended-length model, sport suspension, dual heated power mirrors, power sliding side door, flip-down DVD player with rear audio controls (standard on LT), second-row captain's chair seating (standard on LT), first and second-row side-impact airbags, cruise control, remote start, leather seats and a tow package.
Under the Hood
The Chevrolet Uplander's 3.9-liter engine suits the minivan environment well. 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 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: 12/17 (E85), 16/23 (Gasoline)
The standard wheelbase Uplander LS has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $22,000, while the LT with extended wheelbase starts around $30,000. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows what consumers are paying for their Uplanders, so before you set out to begin negotiations, be sure to check them. Kelley Blue Book expects the Uplander to retain a below-average residual value, slightly above the Dodge Grand Caravan and slightly below the Hyundai Entourage, but well below the Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna.