2009 Chevrolet Uplander LS 3.9 V6 from North America
It gets the job done - but only that
It's still only a couple years old, so only a few things to report:
- Traction control, stability control and ABS constantly decide to stop working (sometimes momentarily, sometimes the warnings last for a few days).
- One rear brake caliper seized when parked.
- Power steering pump noise and malfunction at 40,000km.
- Fuel gauge is finicky.
- "Wood trim" is falling off.
I bought the car for $15000 CDN brand new (with remote start and tinted windows), entirely for the purpose of being my daily driver and hauling things around for building the house. I commute for work, so I tend to put a lot of mileage on my cars - this one was no different.
It's really no surprise that it's been discontinued. It's basically the same pushrod garbage that my old Chevy Venture was. It's mediocre in just about every sense; there is no one area wherein this is a good minivan.
The drivetrain is, well... mediocre. Same old 4 speed auto that GM has been using since the beginning of time. The 3.9V6 is actually pretty torquey and gets the job done, but it is by no means smooth or refined. The engine really needs a nice tall 5th gear for the freeway, and passing is always ugly because the transmission only has 4 gears to play with. Trans itself is hesitant and doesn't wake up until you beat it. Brakes have two settings: on or off. I didn't expect brake feel like my BMW, but it's just disappointing.
The interior of the LS is comfortable, but only for the 2 passengers up front (usually I had the rear seats taken out). However, the middle row seats are too narrow and don't have armrests, and the rear bench is very uncomfortable. The worst attempt at fake wood trim that I have ever seen. Plastics are cheap, rattles are plenty.
Stability control is intrusive. If you go over a speedbump at an awkward angle or even enter a sloped driveway, it cuts in and makes a lot of noise.
Mileage in the city is terrible (about 300 kms/tank) and road noise on the freeway is also pretty bad.
I bought this van to basically beat on, and it's done the job. Gets me where I need to go, and can't argue with the price. But if you want an actual minivan for a family with comfort and refinement, this is definitely not it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 26th March, 2011