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2007 Chevrolet Uplander Review

The strength of the 2007 Chevy Uplander lies in its value. Similarly equipped, the Uplander sells for thousands less than class standards such as the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. Uplander comfortably seats seven, with a choice of individual captain's chairs or a two-place bench seat in the second row. StabiliTrak electronic stability control is now standard on all extended-length passenger models. With the optional towing package, Uplander is rated to pull up to 3,500 pounds. The Uplander is the best minivan Chevrolet has ever offered.

Trims for 2007

The Chevrolet Uplander LS comes with fabric upholstery, air conditioning front and rear, power windows and locks, tilt steering column, a rear-window defroster and wiper, dark-tinted rear glass, power rear vent windows, OnStar, and a CD player with MP3 capability. Its second-row seat is a two-place bench, and its third-row seat splits 50/50 to increase passenger/cargo flexibility. The LS comes standard with StabiliTrak.

Uplander LT comes with a power driver's seat, second-row captain's chairs, a power sliding door on the passenger side, and a single-screen DVD entertainment system with two infrared headphone sets. LT comes in three trim levels: 1LT, 2LT and 3LT.

Driving the Uplander

Chevy Uplander comes standard with a big 3.9-liter V6 with variable valve timing that delivers 240 horsepower. This places it between the 244-hp Honda Odyssey and the class-leading 266-hp Toyota Sienna. In short, the Uplander should keep up with the quickest in the class.

Uplander's 3.9-liter V6 is the first cam-in-block engine with fully variable valve timing. This technology delivers a nice, broad power curve, with a lot of acceleration-producing torque at all engine speeds.

The 3.9-liter engine gets an EPA-estimated City/Highway 17/25 mpg rating, comparable to the Honda and Toyota, which both rate 19/26 mpg. Uplander's 25-gallon fuel tank translates to an impressive 625 miles between fill-ups, while the other two have smaller 20-gallon tanks. The engine is aided by first-rate performance from the automatic transmission.

Uplander's handling is reminiscent of old-school GM. This is no doubt by design, because GM is perfectly capable of building vehicles with a more contemporary ride-handling balance. In other words, Chevy thinks Uplander buyers want a soft ride, and to get it they will tolerate side-to-side sway in any corner taken faster than parking-lot speed. StabiliTrak, GM's electronic stability control, helps prevent skidding in corners in wet or slippery conditions. Uplander's anti-lock braking system works great.

Uplander Cabin

Inside, the Chevy Uplander stacks up well against its competition. Uplander's instrument panel doesn't try to get cute. Its clean, straightforward design is efficient and easy to get comfortable with.

The instrument binnacle prominently features a large tach and speedometer. The dials are sharp, legible, and trimmed with a thin chrome ring that adds a classy touch. There are redundant audio controls on the steering wheel hub.

The center stack is particularly well done. There is a pair of pull-out cup holders and a swing-out storage bin at the bottom. There is also a folding utility table between the front seats with more cupholders and indents to keep phones or glasses handy without allowing them to slide off. The third-row bench will be no problem for kids through ages 15 or 16, even on long drives. PhatNoise adds a second video screen to the single-DVD entertainment system and a wallet-sized 40-gig hard drive that slips into the overhead rail system. Moreover, the PhatNoise hard drive is easily removed and attached to a PC, to be loaded with whatever an Uplander owner chooses.

2007 Uplander Exterior

Chevrolet claims the Uplander's innovative styling combines the best attributes of vans with the bold look of a sport-utility vehicle. This is accomplished with a long hood and a large, chromed-ringed grille sporting a big Chevy bow tie. In profile, wide roof pillars and bold, flat-spoked 17-inch wheels are supposed to reinforce the SUV look.

In virtually every respect the Uplander is a minivan, with the many advantages minivans offer, including a low step-in and load lift heights compared to the typical SUV. It was among the best we've seen from Chevrolet and as good as any other minivan currently offered, including those known for their build quality.

With the recent demise of the Pontiac Montana, Uplander is one of three minivans offered by GM's various brands. The 2007 Chevrolet Uplander is sold on the basis of its value. Fit, finish and build quality rank with the best in the class. Uplander is easily Chevrolet's best minivan yet.


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