Good question. I'm not sure why you are asking. Interested in one? Trying to start a fight with some one? Researching for a friend???
I have worked in the auto industry (not for any of the Big 3 OEMs) and have followed the industry for years now. Also my father has 1 of the current style GM minivans of which I was involved in the purchase.
First I'll say I'm employed as an engineer (other industry now). I work with facts and definitions. Secondly, I have done some individual research on Consumer Reports. My research and life observations have made me conclude that CR is only partially reliable. I give little credence to their comments. They do state some facts, but give a whole lot of opinions. They also do not define many of their statements. What is the definition of "large gaps", "poor mileage" or "cheap material". Nobody knows! I'd have to conclude it is 1 thing for OEM #1 and other thing for OEM #2. They favor the OEM of their choice.
Also they only poll their own members for comments. This leads to one obvious thing: in-breeding. Here's an example: If you ask anyone what is the best college, likely the person will state their own alma mater. As CR is in the business of making $$$, they have to appeal to their audience. CR says "this is true" and the members believe, so "that" is bought or used. The others are rejected by the members and the circle continues. CR has, to some extent, created their own micro market by pushing some brands forward and "pushing" the others backward.
My advice to you regarding CR is check with at least 2 or 3 other sources before believing what they say.
OK let's talk about the GM minivan. That's what you asked about. Car OEMs (any OEM really) will not stay in business if they don't achieve what the market supports. Remember that every company is in it for the cash. That said, any OEM will not launch a new item without believing it is reliable and up to market conditions. These vans are in that boat.
What happened? The van cousins have in fact not met the general market conditions. The good is they made standard the DVD player in a minivan (yet to be met by others) and they are uniquely styled. But these 2 large +'s haven't covered up the issues with general reliability & (I think) the lack of MANY safety features as standard fair. Are all these vans going to be bad vans? Heck no! But you will likely encounter more problems than others vans, particularly if you are not diligent to maintain the van.
Finally, a true story. A survey of mechanics was made to the question, "What is the most reliable car?". (CR would have stated something less than the best answer.) The best answer came from a wise, level-headed mechanic. His answer, "The one you want the most." Why? He knows (& I agree) nearly ALL cars are good cars these days. Few are reliable lemons. Thus the car you love most will be the car best maintained and thus will end up being the most reliable (in nearly all case, there is ALWAYS an exception.)
Sorry for being so long winded, I just hate bull-headed responses to cars from ALL sides of the oceans. All the Audi, Honda, Ford and X OEM fanatics show their real ignorance when they state an OPINION as a FACT.
Yes... every car will last as long as you want it to- provided you care for it (oil changes, tune ups, parts replacements, etc.).
Consumer R should be shut down immediately. They always favor import junk and have nothing nice to say about anything American. I followed their advice on my last Honda, and never again, it was a piece of junk.
Never follow CR, buy what you like!
I agree, Consumer Reports has been grossly biased towards Japanese cars since the 1970's. They even go as far as recommending a new Toyota before they can compile reliability data on it. I have to admit it is a little fun to read some of their reviews, It seems they are always writing that the Buick is outdated while the Toyota is state of the art, while in fact there is really not that much difference anymore.
Consumer Reports is terrible, unreliable and totally wrong.
Listened to them also regarding a Honda, and it was awful, never again an import.
Our Terraza has been the best road car we have ever owned. Any criticism of this Buick is not founded in fact. We have 114K on the clock now, and have no plans to replace it.
Only disadvantage we see is the rear seats don't fold down flat like our Mazda MPV did.
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