NEW FOR 2009:

– Available front- and second-row side-impact airbags
– Tire pressure monitoring system

For 2009, the Chevrolet Uplander is unchanged, save for a new tire pressure monitoring system and optional side airbags for the second-row seats.

Available in regular or extended-length wheelbase, seating up to seven passengers, the Uplander uses a 3.9-litre V6 engine with four-speed automatic. Trim levels are the LS, LT1 and LT2 in both wheelbase lengths.

Features on the LS include 17-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, heated mirrors, dual sliding doors, variable intermittent wipers, fixed intermittent rear wiper, tilt wheel, power windows with driver’s express-down, cloth seats, CD/MP3 stereo, power locks with keyless entry, automatic headlamps, and OnStar. The extended-wheelbase includes a removable, four-compartment cargo organizer and an overhead rail storage bin system.

The LT1 adds black roof rack side rails, cruise control, floor mats, and custom cloth seats.

The LT2 adds 17-inch alloy wheels, manual dual-zone climate control, rear air conditioning, brushed aluminum side rails, driver information centre, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, illuminated vanity mirrors, power swing-out rear quarter windows, second-row captain’s chairs, power six-way driver’s seat, front- and second-row food management trays, XM satellite radio, remote starter, and front seat side impact airbags.

Depending on the trim level, available options include power sliding doors, leather seats, rear-seat DVD system, trailer tow package, and anti-theft alarm.

Along with its sister Pontiac Montana SV6, the Uplander is the only short-wheelbase minivan offered on the market. This should make it popular with buyers who want the convenience of a minivan without the extra length.

Also available as a cargo van, the Uplander has a smooth engine that’s powerful enough even when it’s loaded; it’s a comfortable van, but its lack of curtain airbags in a segment where safety is paramount may turn some buyers away. Prices are unchanged from the 2008 levels.

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