NEW FOR 2008:

– Electronic stability and traction control standard on all models
– Standard tire pressure monitoring system
– Stereo auxiliary jack standard on all radios except w/navigation
– Exterior colour: Ink Slate Metallic

While it was widely rumoured that Chevrolet would discontinue its Uplander minivan, it has returned for 2008, and with new standard features including StabiliTrak electronic stability control.

The Uplander is available in regular or extended-length wheelbase models, seating up to seven passengers. All models are powered by a 3.9-litre V6 engine mated to a four-speed automatic transmission; for customers with access to E85, a FlexFuel capable version of the 3.9-litre is available as an option.

The Uplander comes in three trim lines, all of them available in the two wheelbase lengths.

Features on the LS include 17-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, power locks with keyless entry, automatic headlights, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, heated mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, fixed intermittent rear wiper, tilt wheel, power windows and OnStar. The long-wheelbase LS adds deep-tinted rear glass, a removable rear cargo organizer, and overhead rail storage system.

The LT1 adds deep-tinted rear glass, black roof rack side rails, overhead rail storage system, cruise control, and floor mats.

The LT2 adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, front-row seat side airbags, six-way power driver’s seat, first- and second-row food management tray, remote starter, driver’s information centre, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, XM Satellite Radio, and power swing-out rear quarter windows. The long-wheelbase LT2 adds a brushed aluminum roof rack side rails, manual dual-zone air conditioning, and rear a/c.

Available options, depending on the trim line, include second-row seat side airbags, sport suspension with automatic rear level control, trailer towing package, power sliding doors, and DVD entertainment system.

With the redesign of Chrysler’s minivans, the Uplander and the Pontiac Montana SV6 become the only short-wheelbase minivan offerings in the marketplace (the Buick Terraza and Saturn Relay versions have been discontinued). This should make it popular with buyers who want the convenience of a minivan but don’t require the extra length. A special extended-wheelbase cargo van version is also available, starting at $23,935.

In either wheelbase, the 3.9-litre is smooth and powerful enough to haul the Uplander even when it’s loaded. The removable four-compartment cargo organizer, standard on the long-wheelbase models, is extremely handy and includes a water-resistant area for wet gear. Overall, this is good value in a family hauler.

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