Chevrolet's Uplander minivan receives some minor equipment revisions for 2008, including the addition of standard XM Satellite Radio and an auxiliary input jack for MP3 players. The Uplander is in the same market segment as the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Chrysler Town & Country.
Chevrolet bills the Uplander as a crossover sport van. Though it has sport utility vehicle styling cues, its seven-passenger seating capacity, low step-in height and sliding side doors mean it isn't far removed from the minivans that GM has offered for years. The company hopes to avoid the minivan's tame image, though. The Uplander is available in regular- and extended-wheelbase models, as well as a cargo van.
The Uplander's DVD entertainment system with a flip-down screen for rear passengers has a larger screen for 2008, now measuring 8 inches. The rear entertainment package is standard on LT models and optional on LS models.
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 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 on a standard 113-inch wheelbase, the Uplander is 191 inches long overall. Extended-length models have a 121.1-inch wheelbase and are 204 inches long overall.
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 on extended-length models is 136.5 cubic feet with the second- and third-row seats folded and 26.9 cubic feet with all the seats up. Regular models have 120.1 cubic feet of total cargo volume; it's 17.7 with the seats up. The rear bench is split 50/50 and covered in soft vinyl.
Optional foldable convenience trays sit between the first- and second-row seats. An overhead rail system contains audio and climate controls, as well as lighting and backseat entertainment system controls. Entertainment options include a DVD system. All 2008 Uplanders come standard with 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. E85-compatible versions of the engine are also 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.
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