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GMTruckGuy74

Yes, another used vehicle thread...

35 posts in this topic

So Saturday night after taking my family out to dinner at a Japanese Hibachi restaurant for the little guy's birthday (he's 4 years old now!), we ride through a couple of GM dealership lots so I can see what vehicles they have (I was looking for G8s, but also anything else that caught my eye). My wife on the other hand feels we should be going used for now to get "more car for less buck", which does make sense. While I was looking at the 2 remaining G8s on the BPG lot, she was looking at a used 2006 Buick Terraza CXL FWD. Afterwards, at the Chevy dealer across the street, while me and the little guy were looking at 'Bumblebe' (his name for the all-new Camaro), she was checking out a 2007 Saturn Relay FWD. She really wants us to have a minivan, she's always liked them and wanted one, and knows I won't buy anything other than GM.

So, what can someone tell me about the 2006 and 2007 Saturn Relay, Buick Terraza, and Pontiac Montana SV6? The ones we found Saturday night have between 30-35k on the odo and are in the range of $16-$18k in price. Should we stay away from these vans, and if yes, why? Remember, I need to tell the wife the reasons why.

As for me, I'm looking into another, older used car in the meantime. However, I still haven't given up on going new and with GM offering leases again for certain 2010 models (so far the Acadia & Equinox would be on my list, but if I wait until the Terrain comes out that too might be offered for leasing), I'm keeping that option open too.

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If you're going to bu a Minivan, you should buy a Chrysler van. They're the only ones with folding second and third row seats. The whole point of a minivan is practicality, to maximize people and stuff hauling ability. No other vans do that better. The only other van worth considering is the Odyssey because it's more "fun" to drive and has a nicer interior.

As for the GM vans, after the extensive update at least they were no longer unsafe in a head on collision, but side impact results were still pretty poor.

My :twocents:

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the only vans i would consider are the routan, quest. odyssey is tinny and loud. chrysler vans are ok but the routan looks nicer. but if you view the uplander terraza etc. as an alternative to a 3 row SUV, then its not a bad idea. 3 rows of seats and more room than say, a cx-9.

plus those vans can be had with AWD.

i'd suggest an extended warranty but honestly any issues with the manifold gaskets were corrected in 04 i think. and the only other thing to obsess about would be the 4wd system and tranny which would be covered by the std 5/100 gm warranty.

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The electric sliding door system is a total piece of crap IMO. Other than that they were OK, not really outstanding though.

A few other smaller things I saw working at Saturn:

The Front wheel bearing/ABS sensor did need replacement on a few, was a bigger deal when American Axle went on strike for a few months.

Had to replace the radio and/or DVD unit on a few as well. And the front rotors seemed to warp easily.

If you decide to get one, the '07 came with the 3.9L standard instead of the 3.5L. The Buick w/ leather is the nicest looking inside, followed by the Saturn IMO.

Edited by fightingbee
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We had four U-Body vans. 1 3.8L Trans Sport Dustbuster and 3 Venture LS LWBs. They were all great to us, reliable and well made. We were originally looking at an Uplander LT but we bought a W-Body instead.

With these final gen vans the quality is NOT THERE AT ALL. RUN DON`T WALK. We drove one and there is an obvious quality fall from Venture to Uplander. I`ve heard nothing but horror stories on these vans, from electrical gremlins to build quality related issues these things are possessed.

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With these final gen vans the quality is NOT THERE AT ALL. RUN DON`T WALK. We drove one and there is an obvious quality fall from Venture to Uplander. I`ve heard nothing but horror stories on these vans, from electrical gremlins to build quality related issues these things are possessed.

I was never impressed with the quality of the '97-04 models, but they generally had nice driving dynamics and lots of people clearly liked them. If not for the infamous 3.4L intake gasket issues, they were quite strong on the lack of big problems front, just typical late 90's plasticky GM "stuff". Some loose parts, lots of rattles and creaks, and shiny stuff galore inside.

Otherwise, the '05-08 models certainly had a more solid structure and higher quality/better interior design, but it seems like they had more than their share of trim, electrical, and other issues. Anything from alternator redesigns to try and quell headlight dimming/radio-DVD hissing issues, radios crapping out, a few clunks and such from the front and back end suspension, and--despite the more solid build--weird quality issues like side moldings that refused to stay attached and such. AND, earlier or later versions, the same problematic power sliding door system. Funny, GM was the first to do it, and in the end without ever updating the design much, it became the worst and most trouble prone.

Some have been very good, others have not. If shopping the GM vans, I'd be most inclined to stick to an '07-08 and most likely a Terrazza with the standard independent rear, extra quieting, and slightly better interior trimmings.

If van considering, GM blinders on aside, I would definitely make sure to drive a few other similarly used brand's models and see what you think. None are perfect and most are quite different from one another, especially in the build-refinement-reliability categories, none acing them all, but a few getting a lot closer than others.

By the way...I oddly LOVE minivans. Something to do with the '97 Grand Voyager we had, my grandfather's '97 Aerostar, and a few others. Just love 'em.

Edited by caddycruiser
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I was never impressed with the quality of the '97-04 models, but they generally had nice driving dynamics and lots of people clearly liked them.

Lots? I want to se the sales numbers then. I've seen less than 10 of these vans that weren't fleet since the came out.

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I haven't seen one in years. When talking minivans, I'd put just about everything (except the crap Ford was peddling) above the U-vans.

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Lots? I want to se the sales numbers then. I've seen less than 10 of these vans that weren't fleet since the came out.

And just for funsies:

2005 total-132,465

2006 total-90,918

2007 total-78,287

2008 total-41,230

I'm pretty sure that if you Google "Pathetic+Sales" you get a picture of the Montana SV6.

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I was never impressed with the quality of the '97-04 models, but they generally had nice driving dynamics and lots of people clearly liked them. If not for the infamous 3.4L intake gasket issues, they were quite strong on the lack of big problems front, just typical late 90's plasticky GM "stuff". Some loose parts, lots of rattles and creaks, and shiny stuff galore inside.

earlier or later versions, the same problematic power sliding door system.

All 3 Ventures we had had the Power Sliding Door and we hadn't one problem with it- no troubles with the engine either. All three had bad seals around the windscreen that caused some staining on the headliner. The 2005 had a squeaky rear suspension that we could never sort out. Otherwise things worked out quite well.

12518745203.265567623.IM1.03.565x421_A.5

12075942395.264199203.IM1.MAIN.565x421_A

12140784639.263958771.IM1.MAIN.565x421_A

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And just for funsies:

2005 total-132,465

2006 total-90,918

2007 total-78,287

2008 total-41,230

I'm pretty sure that if you Google "Pathetic+Sales" you get a picture of the Montana SV6.

He was talking about the 97-04 Venture.

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He was talking about the 97-04 Venture.

Our sales tickers dont go back that far and I dont feel like perusing GM's media site.

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All 3 Ventures we had had the Power Sliding Door and we hadn't one problem with it- no troubles with the engine either. All three had bad seals around the windscreen that caused some staining on the headliner. The 2005 had a squeaky rear suspension that we could never sort out. Otherwise things worked out quite well.

12518745203.265567623.IM1.03.565x421_A.5

12075942395.264199203.IM1.MAIN.565x421_A

12140784639.263958771.IM1.MAIN.565x421_A

I'm liking that last Venture...

My dad has an 2003 base extended van, and that Venture is as tough as nails....

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They've got a long wheelbase Venture like that last one running around in the junkyard...has a really bad knock but they use it to haul their tools and crap around. I was there the day it was brought in.

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I don't know. I was in a rental Terreza. It rattled and had trim falling off of it. I would prefer a lambda if you had the money.

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Yes, if you can, buy a used Acadia rather than one of the U-Vans.

I'm surprised that no one mentioned how narrow these vans are.

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The manifold gaskets were with the 3.4, not the 3.5 or 3.9. For a used van, the U vans are a swingin' deal.

the 3.5 gets good FE i hear, but i have seen user reports in various cars with the 3.9 that suggests its a gas hog.

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reg, you know the VW van is a Chrysler van right?

a better looking one, yes. better dash, and slightly different suspension tune. the 4.0 routan i drove was good. to me, you buy the VW for the looks alone.

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Thanks for all the feedback, insight, and information about this generation of U-body vans. Like I said, this query was initiated by my wife, and I wanted to make sure that I removed emotion from this purchase decision. In addition to the positive and negative remarks here, I did some internet research and it seems for every 1 happy Terraza owner, there's 2 unhappy owners. And seeing as how a 5 year loan would be needed, I'm not sure that this is the best choice for a reliable and dependable vehicle. Not knocking those that own this generation of minivan, but I need to make sure I get a quality vehicle if I go used.

Like I also said, now that GM is getting back into leasing for 2010, I may again go that route (hey, I've been doing it for ten years now, why stop!?!?). And I still want to see what a 2009 POntiac G8 V6 Sedan deal would be... I need to start looking into that ASAP (per the comment made by PCS in the Pontiac thread - TIC TOCK, times running out!).

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I don't know if GM is leasing anything else besides Cadillacs right now. I would that that Pontiacs would not be leased because of the resale value hit they are going to take.

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