The 2005 Chevrolet Uplander and its closely related siblings from Buick, Pontiac and Saturn are easily GM's best minivans yet. Uplander holds its own amongst stiff competition in passenger comfort and flexibility, not to mention the gizmos buyers increasingly expect in their minivans. Its styling doesn't do much for us, but it might from some buyers and it's innocuous at worst. Fit, finish and build quality rank with the best in class. Uplander falls short a bit when it comes to power, ride and handling. Just about any of the major players outpower this Chevy. Most feel more nimble and some simply more pleasant to drive. Few, if any, deliver as much room or equipment for the money. With fairly consistent, attractive dealer incentives, some value conscious buyers will find the Uplander tough to beat.
J.P. Vettraino filed this New Car Test Drive report from Detroit.
Model Line Overview
Chevrolet Uplander ($24,350); Uplander LS ($26, 995); Uplander LS AWD ($28,995); Uplander LT ($29,385); Uplander LT AWD ($31,385)
200-hp 3.5-liter V6
Safety equipment (standard):
daylight running lamps, front passenger front-impact airbags, ABS, OnStar tele-aid system
Safety equipment (optional):
StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, front passenger side-impact air bags
3 years/50,000 miles
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Chevrolet Uplander LT AWD ($31, 385)
front and rear air conditioning with separate controls, power windows, power rear vent windows, power locks, remote keyless entry, leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel, cruise control, AM/FM/CD/MP3 system, power driver's seat, second-row captain's seats with utility table, overhead rail system, DVD entertainment system with two infrared headphone sets, OnStar tele-aid system with one-year subscription, antilock brakes, power sliding passenger-side rear door, rear window defroster and wiper, brushed aluminum roof rails, carpeted floor mats
Options as tested (MSRP):
Premium Seating Package ($1,350) includes leather surfaces for first and second row, power front passenger seat and front seat heaters; six-CD changer with XM satellite radio hardware($620); Convenience Package with power sliding rear door on driver's and rear parking assist ($545); Cargo Convenience Center rear storage bins ($285) StabiliTrak ($450); dual front air bags ($350); XM Satellite Radio ($325); traction control ($195); remote starter ($175); 115-volt power outlet ($175); CD/DVD storage and first aid kit ($100); entertainment package and headphones ($75); roof rails ($50); 3500-lb towing package ($170)
Gas guzzler tax:
Price as tested (MSRP):
3.5-liter ohv 12-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
200 @ 5200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
220 @ 4400
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
Head/hip/leg room, f:
Head/hip/leg room, m:
Head/hip/leg room, r:
136.5 cu. ft.
independent, MacPherson strut
independent with cast aluminum short- and long-arm control arms, coil springs
Continental all-season P225/60R17
disc/disc with four-wheel ABS
Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of March 15, 2005.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges.
N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: