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2005 CHEVROLET UPLANDER: EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR DESIGN

With the styling cues of a sport-utility vehicle and the versatility of a mid-van, the Chevrolet Uplander opens the market to a new kind of crossover vehicle. The Uplander taps into customers' emotional appeal for contemporary SUVs while delivering the clean, bold look of a Chevrolet in a mid-van package that morphs to fit active lifestyles.

"Uplander will appeal to a lot of people who need the practicality, convenience and safety of a mid-van, but would rather be seen driving an SUV," said Janet Eckhoff, Uplander marketing director.

Contemporary SUV styling traits are apparent in the longer, horizontal hood, squared-off front fascia and the wide, body-color C-pillars. The bold pillars communicate truck-style solidity and are a prominent design feature of the Uplander.

Large, 17-inch wheels and tires also transmit the confidence of an SUV, as does the optional roof rack. Designed with a sporty-looking tubular shape, with satin-finish side rails, the rack provides a rugged accent to the vehicle.

Uplander's design makes a powerful statement up front, with a prominent Chevrolet horizontal mid-grille band and a large grille opening for high efficiency air intake. A chrome ring around the grille accentuates the bold look. Headlamps are mounted high and wrap over the hood, adding to the SUV-like appearance.

The headlamps also provide excellent visibility, with four halogen-bulb lamps housed in bezels that create a high-tech, mechanical appearance. The lamps also provide twice the intensity of the predecessor vehicle's.

Balancing the sporty styling are the traits that make mid-vans so convenient, including available dual sliding power rear side doors and a low step-in height that makes entry easy.

Gray molding covers the rocker panels and extends to lower front and rear fascias, creating an SUV-like skid-plate appearance. In front, the "skid plate" features small air holes. In the rear, a vertical groove treatment reinforces Uplander's SUV-like character.

Door and liftgate handles on the Uplander are black on the base and LS models, body-colored on the LT. The taillamps have a translucent, crystal-like cover exposing the lens.

Exterior gaps and tolerances have been reduced considerably to improve overall quality and elevate the Uplander's fit and finish to among the segment's best. The closer gaps give the Uplander an integrated, smoother flow from one body panel to the next. The headlamp housing gap, for example, is 50 percent narrower than the previous van, and the front fascia is mounted flush against the front fenders to create a seamless, one-piece appearance.

User-friendly interior
Elegantly simple and logically laid out, Uplander's seven-passenger interior sets new segment benchmarks for user friendliness. Drivers and passengers alike will appreciate the comfort and convenience of Uplander's interior and its high levels of fit and finish and attention to detail. Plus, up to 136.5 cubic feet of reconfigurable cargo space is available.

The Uplander has a refined interior appearance, with the jeweled look of bright accents on the instrument cluster. It also has well-placed control knobs and a new driver information center, which displays travel calculations, time and temperature, warning messages and personalized information.

The second and third row seats are both foldable and removable. The standard second-row bucket seats fold and tumble up against the front seats for increased storage and easy third-row access when the optional second-row console is installed. The available captain's chairs, wider than the bucket seats and equipped with armrests, fold flat to permit carrying long objects without having to remove the seats.

The 50/50 split-stowable third-row, fold-flat bench seat provides the flexibility busy people need for their active lifestyles. The unique fold-down design permits access to the vans' cargo system and convenience features.

Base or uplevel cloth seating in all three rows (including second row buckets and captain's chairs) is standard, depending on the model.

Uplevel models feature soft Nuance leather seats in the first row and on the second row captain's chairs also are available. The third-row seat is covered in protein vinyl, a new material with a very soft, supple look and feel. Heated cushions are available for driver and front passenger leather seats.

Heating and air conditioning dynamics provide much quicker heat up and cooling, with side-window defogging improved 2.5 times over the outgoing mid-van. Climate control to the rear seats is adjustable and dashboard vents have positive airflow shut-off.

A new 110-volt/150-watt AC household style power outlet is optional.

Storage to spare
The Uplander also offers a spacious and flexible rear convenience center/cargo system. With its doors closed, the box-like cargo system's height lines up with that of the folded third-row seat, providing a level load floor, with more depth for carrying items behind the second row.

The cargo system's doors are split down the middle to line up with the 50/50 split/folding third-row seat. This allows folding or stowing one side of the seat and one side of the cargo system and creating a flat load floor for carrying long objects on one side while permitting passengers to sit on the other side.

The cargo system has three dividers, running from front to rear, which create four storage compartments, thoughtfully sized to hold such items as milk and orange juice containers, 12-packs of soda, and grocery bags. The forward edge of the dividers is cut out to create a long, left-to-right compartment, capable of storing long items such as golf umbrellas.

Other storage details include an overhead rail system, which integrates HVAC, audio controls, lighting and the rear-seat entertainment/DVD system in a single unit. Snap-in storage and accessory modules provide more flexible storage options for the system. Each of the three storage modules is about 12 inches wide and 9-10 inches deep, with doors that flip open. These allow customers to snap in any of a variety of specially designed inserts, for items such as CDs, DVDs, sunglasses, cell phones, PDAs, or a first aid kit. Convenience trays with pop-up beverage holders between the first and second-row seats fold easily out of the way for pass-through.

Multiple entertainment possibilities

The Uplander interiors also offer GM's leading-edge rear-seat entertainment system, which includes an optional DVD player with flip-down screen and integrated controls. Passengers can listen to audio through the speaker system or via headphones.

The DVD unit also provides auxiliary video and audio inputs for video games and camcorders. A parent could record a child's soccer match, for example, and immediately play it back from the camcorder on the DVD system's screen for the ride home.

In addition, the vehicle's seat back storage system offers a logical place to store headphones, a remote control, personal CD players, video games or magazines.

The Uplander also is the first vehicle in its segment to offer the Mobile Digital Media Powered by PhatNoise system (available interim 2005) - ushering in the next generation of in-vehicle entertainment choices. With the PhatNoise system, a wallet-size 40-gig hard drive is mounted in the overhead rail system, providing a staggering amount of versatility. The systems capabilities include:

- Storing and playing back up to 10,000 songs in MP3, WMA or WAV formats.
- Storing and playing up to 40 movies in MPEG format (standard format for movies).
- Storing and playing a combination of songs and movies.
- The ability to provide the software for playing a video game.
- The ability to provide a voice-browsing interface - if the driver wants to listen to music, the system tells him or her over the radio speakers the song's name, allowing the driver to run through a list of stored music using steering wheel buttons.
- Listening to books, magazine or newspaper articles recorded on a PC.
- Allowing simultaneous listening to two entertainment sources.
- Transferring digital camera pictures through a USB port in the PhatNoise cartridge and playing them back on the DVD screen.

The PhatNoise system's hard drive is easily removable, so it can be connected to a home PC or laptop to download computer files for playback in the Uplander, giving passengers an unprecedented level of entertainment customization.
 

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No offense but it looks weird <_<
 

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The distinction between the Saturn, Buick, Chevy, and Pontiac sportvans is remarkably small. I still think that such a shallow rebadging is a bad idea, whether it's done on performance coupes or minivans. Alot of people buy minivans, so brands need to make a statement in that segment, too.

Now that we see the Chevy, the real question oughta be why Saturn even needs one? Is it because they don't have a minivan to offer customers? Well, is a rebadged Chevy actually more damaging than not having a van at all? I think so. This is the first GM rebadge for Saturn, folks. This "different kind of car" is suddenly, for the world to see, just like every other GM product. Now that the secret is out, kill the brand, because it's no different than Chevy.

Analysts who thought Saturn was a bad idea from the start, and that GM should have put the money into fixing Chevy, were 100% right. That's now clear. Because if GM nixed Saturn now, in order to retain market share they'd have to convince Saturn buyers to go to Chevy or Pontiac. Big bucks. Roger B. Smith is a dimwit. He wrecked GM, and yet GM made him so rich he's on easy street today. How does that make you feel?
 

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Lutz had said that a distiction between the 4 wasn't needed. Which is a dumb dumb move,but think about it did the Voyager/Caravan/T&C have a great difference between them??....Don't put all the blame on GM's 4 this 1,give some 2 (alot) 2 Lutz 4 this boondagle.
 

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Originally posted by desmo9@Feb 10 2004, 06:32 PM
The distinction between the Saturn, Buick, Chevy, and Pontiac sportvans is remarkably small. I still think that such a shallow rebadging is a bad idea, whether it's done on performance coupes or minivans. 
I agree, didn't GM get into sales trouble with this stategy in the late 80's? Possibly why Olds is now gone.
 

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It's unfortunate, but the reason I believe GM rebadges so many models is because many customers who go to on brands dealerships would not set foot in another. Keep in mind that most who come to this website are well-above-average educated and aware of the happenings in the automotive industry. Most Americans are very ignorant of these thngs. I find people all the time that GMS trucks are made by a different company than a Chevy and will argue their point to their grave.

The problem with so many GM brands is that GM would potentially loose too much volume if they got rid of any one of them. How many former Olds customers are shopping another GM brand now or have turned to another?

No, I don't like so much rebading, but I have to realize that most Americans are somewhat ignorant to the whole thing.
 

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I see a lot of the Chevy Cheyenne in the Uplander. I didn't like the looks of the Cheyenne but I thought it was practical ( I like the side access panels). At first I didn't like the Uplander, I thought it was the worst of the four. But, when I saw it it person it really grew on me. I guess I react to that a lot to cars (GM more than anything because it's what I care about). I think I'm just not used to the change.

GM has always been proud of what they look like (I think). The Uplander might not be the prettiest in the bunch (I like the Montana SV6), but one thing I've said over and over is the CSV look. It may be different from everyone else, but that's what makes it look better.

I think making them look like the full-size SUVs is a smart move. They are just doing what they do best, it's what the minivan market needs. Good work, GM.
 

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Originally posted by monkeylizard@Apr 20 2004, 06:18 PM
It's unfortunate, but the reason I believe GM rebadges so many models is because many customers who go to on brands dealerships would not set foot in another.  Keep in mind that most who come to this website are well-above-average educated and aware of the happenings in the automotive industry.  Most Americans are very ignorant of these thngs.  I find people all the time that GMS trucks are made by a different company than a Chevy and will argue their point to their grave. 

The problem with so many GM brands is that GM would potentially loose too much volume if they got rid of any one of them.  How many former Olds customers are shopping another GM brand now or have turned to another? 

No, I don't like so much rebading, but I have to realize that most Americans are somewhat ignorant to the whole thing.
Don't get me wrong, with what I was saying earlier, there is nothing wrong with rebadging if it's done right. Look at that new Caddy (is it the XLR?) -- it's based on the Corvette, but because they created a compelling design there would be very few people who would be able to tell that they are the same car underneath the surface.

:eatarrow:
 

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I personally don't call the XLR and C6 rebadges of any kind. I call them platform-mates. I think of rebadges as vehicles like the CSV's
 

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Originally posted by nsap@Apr 28 2004, 08:42 PM
I personally don't call the XLR and C6 rebadges of any kind. I call them platform-mates. I think of rebadges as vehicles like the CSV's
Because of the difference in looks? I think most of the cost of making these cars in in the trannys, engines, platforms. So I don't get why GM won't spend a few extra bucks on the sheetmetal to differentiate more.
 
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