Review: Chevrolet Uplander

It all started back with the introduction of the Dodge Durango. An SUV with snappy styling, 4 wheel drive and it sat up to 7 passengers. Ever since then, the lines between the SUV and the minivan have blurred. While vans are known for being roomy with great access via the large side doors, the SUVs are a lot cooler and more rugged. Enter the Chevrolet Uplander which blends the functional features of the traditional minivan (seating for 7 with easy access) with the rugged versatily and beautiful styling of an SUV. Chevrolet calls this new combination a “cross-over sports van”.

The Chevrolet Uplander comes with a 200 horsepower 2.5 Liter V6 engine. The Uplander also offers seating for 7 passengers, has large dual side doors for ease of entrance, seating for 7 passengers, remote keyless entry, frontal dual stage driver and passenger air bags and 4-wheel disc anti-lock brakes. The minivan also offers a clever third-row split stowable seat to allow for more room when needed. The Extended Wheelbase models also have available all-wheel drive. All of these features can be had at the reasonable base MSRP of $25,405.

Various consumer reviews and test drives have pointed to the cars, quiet ride, quick and neutral handling, bold styling and excellent music system as pros. They have brought up the lack of armrests on the second row of captain’s chairs, not enough rear storage space and inadequate acceleration as cons.

All in all, this minivan offers a lot of bang for your buck. The performance of the standard package seems to compare favorably to the traditional minivan, particularly the handling. The styling is very innovative and attractive. For those of you who need to seat 6 or 7 passengers but do not want to look like a “soccer mom” while on vacation, this is the rental car for you! Currently available through Avis Rent A Car.