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Chevrolet may be stepping into a new market segment with the Uplander crossover sport van, but it stayed close to the mid-van's roots as far as safety is concerned.

"Our new crossover sport vans have more flexibility and versatility than their predecessors, but they still are relied on to transport families and children," said Robert C. Lange, General Motors' executive director of structure and safety integration. "Regardless of how our customers use the new CSVs, we know that their most precious cargo always will be the people riding inside."

The biggest changes involve structural enhancements to the frame. The frame is designed to achieve effective crush, helping preserve occupant space while absorbing energy. A longer front-end compartment provides more crush space, while the longer, stronger, more heavily reinforced motor compartment side frame rails increase energy absorption during frontal impacts.

While the front end was designed to achieve effective crush, the occupant compartment was designed to be stiffer, to help protect occupants. The A-pillar and roof rail were reinforced for improved performance in frontal offset impact. The front doors also were strengthened and stiffened with an additional inner reinforcement at the belt line for further improvements in offset frontal impact performance. A new sixth cross member was added to the frame to provide more support for mounting the first-row seats.

"When we engineered the 'crossover' into our new Uplander CSV, it gave us an opportunity to create a vehicle with even higher levels of safety," said Janet Eckhoff, Uplander marketing director. "We took advantage of that opportunity."

The Uplander's strong construction is augmented with advanced occupant protection features including dual-stage frontal air bags, three-point safety belts for all seating positions, standard safety belt pretensioners for front-seat occupants, optional seat-mounted side-impact air bags and - for the first time on General Motors mid-vans - an available Vehicle Stability Enhancement System (VSES) called StabiliTrak.

The Uplander is designed to perform well in the federal government's New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) in both frontal and side impact. Frontal NCAP assesses occupant injury performance in a 35-mph front rigid barrier impact, and side NCAP assesses occupant injury performance for the driver and left rear passenger when the vehicle is impacted from the side at a 27-degree angle at 38 mph.

The Uplander also is designed to score highly in frontal crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This test is conducted using an offset deformable barrier crash test at 40 mph.

Crash avoidance
Avoiding crashes in the first place is key to automotive safety. Crash-avoidance features on the Uplander include:

- Nimble, responsive handling from a MacPherson strut front suspension and twist beam rear suspension with an integral roll bar for front-wheel-drive models, or an independent short and long arm rear suspension on all-wheel-drive models.
- Daytime running lamps (DRLs), shown to reduce daytime vehicle-to-vehicle crashes by as much as 12.5 percent and certain daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian crashes by up to 15 percent.
- Variable ratio power rack and pinion steering.
- Power-assisted, 16-inch vented disc brakes on all four wheels.
- Standard anti-lock braking system with faster response time and superior wheel slip control on most road surfaces.
- A standard enhanced traction control system.
- Available Versatrak on-demand all-wheel drive.

Available for the first time on GM mid-vans, StabiliTrak helps improve stability and control. Its precise, all-weather control is particularly beneficial on slick road surfaces or during emergency maneuvers.

StabiliTrak uses sensors to detect the direction the driver is steering by "reading" the steering wheel position and the vehicle's response to steering wheel input.

When the system determines that the vehicle is not responding adequately to steering commands, it then works to help bring it on course by automatically reducing engine torque and applying precise amounts of pressure to front right or left brakes. These brake and engine interventions, which require no driver activation, help realign the vehicle's actual path with that being steered by the driver.

Occupant protection
Safety belts remain the primary and most effective form of occupant protection. Comfortable three-point lap and shoulder belts are provided for all seven seating positions in the 2005 Uplander.

Front-seat positions have adjustable upper anchors to accommodate a wide range of physiques. The inboard rear belts are mounted to the seats.

The Uplander also has safety belt pretensioners at the front seating positions that deploy at the same time as the air bags to help take up slack in the safety belt webbing.

Retractors for all seating positions have built-in load limiters, which act as energy-absorbing elements to help control the deceleration forces that occupants experience during a crash.

The Uplander has dual-stage frontal air bags for supplemental protection for the driver and front-seat passenger. When the system's central control unit detects an impact, it determines whether the crash is severe enough to trigger a deployment, and whether the primary amount of inflation is sufficient. The primary stage alone will deploy in most frontal impacts requiring the supplemental protection of an air bag, while a secondary stage is designed to deploy in more severe frontal collisions.

In addition, the Uplander has GM's Passenger Sensing System (PSS). PSS uses the latest sensing technology to detect front passenger weight and pressure on the safety belt. If the sensor system detects an unoccupied front passenger seat or the presence of a smaller occupant or child seat, the front passenger air bag is deigned to automatically turn off so it would not deploy in the event of a frontal collision. A status indicator on the instrument panel alerts occupants that the passenger air bag is on or off. Even with this system, GM strongly recommends whenever possible to restrain child passengers in a child seat placed in the second or third row of the vehicle.

Optional seat-mounted side-impact air bags now also provide head and torso protection for both the front passenger and the driver.

Because the rear seat remains the safest place for transporting children, the Uplander is equipped with a LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child safety seat restraint system in all second-row seats. This system uses two rigid lower anchors and a top tether to safely secure a child seat to the vehicle seat structure. These anchorages are designed to make it easier to properly install compatible child safety seats.

The safety belts for the outboard rear seats also have a locking belt retractor that permits cinching child safety seats that are not equipped with LATCH features. The center position of the third-row seat also provides a top tether bracket for child-seat attachment.

An integral child safety seat is available as well for children at least one year of age, who are between 22 and 40 pounds in weight, and 33.5 and 40 inches in height and capable of sitting upright alone. It helps take the guesswork out of proper child safety seat installation.

Security features

In addition to its many safety features, the Uplander has a number of features that enhance the protection and security of occupants and the vehicle and its contents. These features include:

- Available OnStar safety and security system. OnStar offers a range of safety, security and convenience features including automatic crash notification (when a air bag deploys), remote door unlock, stolen vehicle tracking, route guidance and concierge-type services using Global Positioning System satellite technology.
- PASS Key III anti-theft controller that prevents the vehicle from starting if the proper key is not used.
- Child security locks on rear doors.
- Power door locks are automatic and programmable. As soon as vehicle velocity exceeds a few miles per hour, all four doors lock automatically. A simple procedure allows the driver to tailor the unlock function. The system also can be disabled.
- The fob of the remote keyless entry system has three buttons - lock, unlock and panic. The liftgate locks and unlocks with the vehicle's doors. Pressing the panic button repeatedly honks the horn and flashes the interior lamps to draw attention to the vehicle.
- Interior lamps illuminate as soon as the power door locks are activated by the remote keyless entry system. After occupants enter the vehicle and close the doors, the lamps remain on for a short period to facilitate latching safety belts and inserting the key into the ignition switch.
- After 15 minutes, a battery storage guard shuts down certain lights if they are left on. The driver also can initiate storage-mode protection if the car will be unused for a long period.

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4,598 Posts
Whoa, look out competition - GM put side-impact airbags for the front two passengers!! Wow, talk about ingenious! They don't even need side-curtains for all three-rows!!!

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1,037 Posts
Originally posted by LGRpup@Feb 7 2004, 03:09 PM
Hopefully GM will fulfill its promise to make these vans more crash worthy, especially in the IIHS tests, because the previous versions were unacceptable in my eyes.  IIHS GM minivans

INJURY MEASURES: NECK, LEFT AND RIGHT LEGS POOR A very high neck extension moment occurred, indicating the likelihood of significant neck injury. Left and right lower tibia indices were high, indicating the likelihood of significant injury to both lower legs. The forces on the left lower leg were so high that the dummy's metal foot broke off from its leg at the ankle.

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12,770 Posts
Originally posted by RCtennis3811@Feb 1 2004, 04:04 PM
Whoa, look out competition - GM put side-impact airbags for the front two passengers!! Wow, talk about ingenious! They don't even need side-curtains for all three-rows!!!
We all know that moms want to protect themselves first -- the baby in the car seat in the second row can fend for itself.... :rolleyes:
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