Minivan; Built in USA
  • 4-door van
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $5,000 – $11,500*


2005 Chevrolet Uplander


2005 Chevrolet Uplander


2005 Chevrolet Uplander

Pros:
  • All-wheel drive
  • Passenger and cargo room
Cons:
  • Fuel economy
  • Quietness

Uplander has significant competitive disadvantages, namely the lack of curtain side airbags and 3rd-row seats that don’t fold flat into the cargo floor. On the plus side, it rides well, has standard DVD entertainment, and keen pricing. While they are worth considering for those on a tight budget, in the long run, a better designed minivan like the Dodge Caravan or Honda Odyssey makes more sense.

Overview

Chevrolet’s minivan was what GM called a “crossover sport van.” Uplander used the extended-length body from Chevy’s 1997-2004 Venture minivan, but received an SUV-flavored nose and grew slightly in length, wheelbase, and height. It retained a 4-speed automatic transmission, but replaced Venture’s 185-hp 3.4-liter V6 with a 200-hp 3.5 V6.

Uplander offered front-wheel drive in base, LS, and uplevel LT trims. All-wheel drive was available only on LT models. GM’s Stabilitrak traction/antiskid control was optional on front-drive LT models. All models have antilock 4-wheel disc brakes. Front side airbags with head and torso protection were available, but full-length curtain side airbags were not. Every Uplander came with OnStar assistance, air conditioning, power windows and locks, and rear DVD entertainment.

Also standard were 2nd-row bucket seats, 17-inch wheels, sliding rear side doors, and 3-row seating for seven. Power sliding doors were available. The 3rd-row seat was a 50/50 split bench that folded flat above the cargo floor. All 2nd- and 3rd-row seats could be removed. A standard roof-rail system offered optional snap-on storage modules. A remote starting system that operates from the keyfob was also available. Uplander shared its basic design with the Buick Terraza, Pontiac SV6, and Saturn Relay.

Yearly Updates

2006 Uplander
A shorter-length model and available side airbags for 2nd-row passengers marked 2006 for Chevrolet’s minivan. Uplander also was slated to receive a 235-hp 3.9-liter V6 as an option during the model year. Chevy has said, however, this engine would debut in 2007 models.
2007 Uplander
Chevrolet gave its minivans more power but took away all-wheel-drive models for 2007. A 240-hp 3.9-liter V6 replaced the 2006 Uplander’s 201-hp 3.5-liter V6.
2008 Uplander
The 2008 Chevrolet Uplander got no major changes during its final year.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

Only one powertrain was available in Uplanders: a 3.5-liter V6 engine, mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. This engine produced 200 horsepower and 216 lb-ft of torque in front-wheel drive models, with all-wheel drive versions having 196 horsepower and 213 lb-ft of torque. For 2007, a 240-hp 3.9-liter V6 replaces the 2006 Uplander’s 201-hp 3.5-liter V6.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/213
Engine HP 196-200
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 213-216
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

18/24

18

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.9/237
Engine HP 240
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 240
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

18/25

Road Test

Front-wheel drive models feel livelier than GM’s quoted 0-60 mph time of 10.5 sec. All-wheel drive models are heavier, and therefore lazier, on takeoff. But all have adequate highway passing power. Fuel economy is mediocre at best, averaging 16.4-19.8 mpg depending on driving conditions. While no minivan is sporty, Uplander is average for the class in handling response. Body lean is prevalent, but the availability of AWD is a plus for wet or snowy conditions. Another plus is the ride. It comfortably absorbs bumps, with the load-leveling suspension (standard on AWD, optional on FWD) doing an admirable job of smoothing out the ride on the highway. Uplanders are reasonably quiet on all fronts, though more road noise intrudes in the rear of the vehicle than in the front.

The interior is a mixed bag. Gauges are clear, and switchgear has an upscale feel that’s vastly improved over previous GM minivans. Standard DVD entertainment is a big plus for families. Trays and drawers, though, are lined with budget-grade plastic. Aside from a lack of curtain side airbags, perhaps the biggest deficit these vans face is the setup and configuration of the cargo area. The 2nd- and 3rd-row seats do fold, but only flat atop the cargo floor. The only way to create a level loading deck is to remove the seats entirely.

With the seats in place, passengers can travel in adult-size comfort in the 2nd row. The 3rd row is best left to kids. Visibility is good all the way around, aided by large exterior mirrors.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Chevrolet Uplander LT FWD

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 3
30%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 5
50%
Quietness - 6
60%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 10
100%

Other

Value - 5
50%

Total: 57

Specifications

4-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
121.1 204.0 72.0 72.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
136.7 25.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.8 38.9 39.9 38.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Chevrolet Uplander 4-door van

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Coolant leak
Description: Coolant may leak from the area of the cylinder heads due to bad head gaskets or from the coolant crossover pipe gasket at the right (rear) cylinder head. (2006-08)
Crankshaft
Description: Squealing or vibration from the engine at startup likely due to a slipping vibration damper on the front of the crankshaft. (2007-08)
Engine misfire
Description: The engine may not start, may start then quit, and/or assorted warning lights may glow because the wiring connector under the driver seat may get wet and the contacts corrode. (2005-06)
Engine noise
Description: A whistling noise from the 3.5L engine during acceleration is corrected by replacing the PCV tube. (2005)
Fuel gauge
Description: The engine may not start or may stall because the tank is empty yet the gauge shows fuel remaining, or the fuel gauge will not show full after refilling due to sulfur corrosion of the fuel level sender and if after treating with Fuel System Cleaner PLUS the problem remains, the sender may need to be replaced. (2005-06)
Horn
Description: The horn may require extra pressure on some spots of the steering wheel pad and softer springs are available to retrofit. (2005-06)
Horn
Description: The horn may not work or may work intermittently due to corrosion buildup on the contacts in the steering wheel. (2005-07)
Seatbelts/safety
Description: The seatbelt warning light may come on or flicker due to the insulation wearing off a wire for the chime which then shorts to the seatbelt bracket. (2005-07)
Electrical problem
Description: If the OnStar system quits or won’t come on (no power), but comes back to life if the fuse is removed for five minutes, the vehicle communications interface module must be replaced or else the problem will recur. (2005-06)
Electrical problem
Description: The PCM was being replaced for a defective chip under a voluntary emissions recall because it affected the fuel pump and EGR system. (2005)
Electrical problem
Description: The engine may not start or be hard to start, the fuel gauge may quit or fluctuate and various warning lights may illuminate if an electrical connector under the driver’s seat gets wet or because some of its contacts may be bent. (2005-07)
Electrical problem
Description: When using a portable music player (e.g. iPod) there may be noise in the car’s speakers whenever the vehicle’s power adapter is used and a ground loop isolator (from Radio Shack) is required between the device and the power outlet to prevent the noise. (2005-07)
Check-engine light
Description: The check engine light may come on due to failure of the EGR valve. The Delphi valve is to be replaced with a Seimens valve kit and have the PCM flashed. (2005-06)

Recall History

2005 Uplander
Description: In a side impact crash, the rear latches on 2nd-row bucket seats may disengage. Dealer will replace the rear seat latch release lever.
2005 Uplander
Description: The emergency brake may not fully disengage when released, causing unintended braking while accelerating, decelerating, or coasting. Dealer will inspect the parking brake lever and replace the rear brake calipers as necessary.
2006 Uplander
Description: Some vehicles may have a misprinted tire and loading label that lists inaccurate capacity weights. Others may not have the label at all. Dealer will replace or add the label.
2006 Uplander
Description: These cargo vans were shipped without a tire and loading information label. Owners will be provided with new tire and loading information labels and certification labels. At the customer’s option, a dealer can perform the installation for them.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.