Chevrolet's Uplander minivan receives some significant equipment revisions for 2007. The Uplander's previously optional 240-horsepower, 3.9-liter V-6 is now standard — a much-needed provision, considering most competitors outgunned the Uplander's previous 200-hp V-6. An electronic stability system is now also standard, but the Uplander's previous all-wheel-drive option has been discontinued.
Like other General Motors vans that debuted in 2005, Chevrolet bills the Uplander as a crossover sport van. Though it has sport utility vehicle styling cues — with a seven-passenger seating capacity, a low step-in height and sliding side doors — the Uplander isn't far removed from the minivans that GM has offered for years, but the company hopes to avoid the minivan's tame image.
The Uplander is related to the Buick Terraza, Pontiac Montana SV6 and Saturn Relay. A cargo van is also offered.
Chevrolet offers an optional backseat entertainment system. Known as Mobile Digital Media Powered by PhatNoise, the system can store hours of music or movies on a wallet-size 40-gigabyte hard-drive cartridge.
Dealers can install a Sit-N-Lift power seat that rotates and extends outward, operating via a hand-held remote control.
The Uplander's squared-off front fascia features a large grille with a horizontal band. Chrome accents are used on the grille. Chevrolet says special exterior moldings enhance the Uplander's "SUV-like character."
Wide, prominent C-pillars are exposed, which is considered another SUV styling cue. The wheels measure 17 inches in diameter, and the optional roof rack has satin-finished side rails. Automatic rear load-leveling shock absorbers are installed. Riding a 121.1-inch wheelbase, the Uplander is 204 inches long overall and 72 inches tall.
Seven occupants fit inside the Uplander, which features three rows of seats. The second- and third-row seats can be folded and removed. Bucket seats are standard in the second row, while larger captain's chairs with integrated armrests are optional. A second-row bench seat is not available. Uplevel models feature leather upholstery, and heated cushions are optional.
The Uplander also features a flexible rear cargo system that has three dividers. When the third-row bench seat is folded, the seat and storage system line up to create a level load floor. Total cargo volume is 136.5 cubic feet with the second- and third-row seats folded and 26.9 cubic feet with all the seats up. The rear bench is split 50/50 and covered in soft vinyl.
Foldable convenience trays sit between the first- and second-row seats. An overhead rail system contains integrated audio and climate controls, lighting and the backseat entertainment system. Entertainment options include a DVD system and XM Satellite Radio.
Under the Hood
A 3.9-liter V-6 generates 240 hp and 240 pounds-feet of torque. It teams with a four-speed automatic transmission. Later on in the year, E85-compatible versions of the engine will be available.
All-disc antilock brakes and daytime running lamps are standard, as is an electronic stability system. Optional side-impact airbags are installed in the first- and second-row chairs, but three-row side curtain airbags are not available.