KBB Logo Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.

You'll Like The 2008 Chevrolet Uplander If...

In the world of minivans, the 2008 Chevrolet Uplander slots squarely into the entry-level family hauling segment. Priced competitively and loaded with standard features, the Uplander is well-suited to the needs of small families.

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Though it can seat seven, the Uplander’s narrow design makes it a bit tight in the areas of hip and shoulder room. The Uplander does not offer side-curtain airbags for the rear-most passengers.

What's New

StabiliTrak electronic stability control, a tire pressure monitoring system and XM Satellite Radio are made standard on all trim levels.

Interior Features

GM says it is dedicated to improving the interior quality of its cars, and the Chevrolet Uplander proves it. French-stitched seams on the door panels and seats, a gorgeous dash and instrument cluster design and a hefty dose of sound deadening insulation make life with the Uplander a thoroughly pleasant experience. Although the narrow interior feels a bit cramped with three abreast, those who can get by with second-row captain’s chair seating should find the Uplander quite livable. A host of nice features, including DVD entertainment, go a long way toward keeping the kids occupied.

Exterior Features

The 2008 Chevrolet Uplander’s long hood and added C-pillar are intended to make it look more like an SUV than a minivan. Although the sliding side doors betray the Uplander’s minivan origins, the overall look is quite appealing. The Uplander offers some distinct advantages over the traditional SUV, such as its low step-in height and easily accessible roof rack. Chevrolet has added larger 17-inch wheels to give the Uplander a sportier appearance, another nice touch not found on the average minivan.

Driving Impressions

The 2008 Chevrolet Uplander’s 240-horsepower 3.9-liter V6 is a vast improvement over the previous 3.5-liter engine. It offers excellent low-end torque and passing power as well as smooth and vibration-free operation. The front-wheel-drive layout works well for this type of vehicle, providing good traction in rain and snow. The 3.9-liter V6 increases the Uplander’s tow rating to 3,500 pounds. Steering and braking have been greatly improved over GM’s last generation of minivans, on which the Uplander is based. The smaller size and narrower footprint might make the Uplander a little easier to maneuver than the larger offerings from Nissan, Chrysler and Honda.

Pricing Notes

The standard wheelbase Uplander LS has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $22,000, while the LT with extended wheelbase starts around $30,000. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows what consumers are paying for their Uplanders, so before you set out to begin negotiations, be sure to check them. Kelley Blue Book expects the Uplander to retain a below-average residual value, slightly above the Dodge Grand Caravan and slightly below the Hyundai Entourage, but well below the Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna.

Notable Equipment

The Uplander comes standard with a 3.9-liter V6, four-speed automatic transmission, front air conditioning, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), OnStar, power locks, power windows, dual sliding side doors, automatic headlamp control, dual power mirrors, AM/FM stereo with MP3-compatible CD player, tilt wheel and full wheel covers.

Notable Options

Options are dependent upon trim level, and include an extended-length model, sport suspension, dual heated power mirrors, power sliding side door, flip-down DVD player with rear audio controls (standard on LT), second-row captain’s chair seating (standard on LT), first and second-row side-impact airbags, cruise control, remote start, leather seats and a tow package.

Favorite Features

DVD Entertainment SystemThe optional DVD entertainment system is attached to a set of overhead-mounted rails, allowing you to add movable modules for extra storage.Remote StartOptional remote start lets you start the vehicle from as far away as 500 feet.

Under the Hood

The Chevrolet Uplander’s 3.9-liter engine suits the minivan environment well. Equipped with variable valve timing and GM’s active intake technology, the 3.9-liter V6 is capable of delivering nearly 90 percent of its power between 1800 and 5800 rpm. Available on fleet vehicles only, the Flex Fuel technology allows the Uplander to run on a gasoline/ethanol mix. Ethanol is a domestically produced, renewable energy source made from corn, and because it burns cleaner than gasoline, the lower emissions can help reduce the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.3.9-liter V6 Flex Fuel240 horsepower @ 6000 rpm240 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17 (E85), 16/23 (Gasoline)

Editors' Notes

As Chevrolet’s only minivan, one would expect the 2008 Uplander to stand apart from the crowd. It doesn’t. Newer vans from Honda, Chrysler and Kia provide more interior room, more powerful engines and more safety features. The Uplander is not without its own merits, however, and does offer some admirable features. The interior is one of the nicest you’ll find in any minivan, and includes a long list of standard equipment belying the vehicle’s starting price near $22,000. Chevrolet also offers a number of mobility options, including the Sit-N-Lift second-row mobility seat that rotates and extends outward to make it easier for those with mobility difficulties to get into and out of the vehicle, a very thoughtful feature.

Road Test Video Reviews

2008 Chevrolet Uplander Owner Reviews

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Good for families, long lasting and helpful!

2008 Chevrolet Uplander LS w/1LS

This has been a good vehicle for our family. It has a little extra room the rear, more than the comparable vans from Toyota or Honda. This has been great for our busy lives. It has been reliable and average in repair needs and costs. The only problem we had was with the sensor in the side doors. It has sliding doors on both sides, which is great for when we have to park in the city and you can have kids get out on whichever side is safer. However we did have trouble with the sensors in the sliding doors not recognizing when the doors were shut and singing as we drove down the road. We attempted to have this fixed several times but the error came back. We eventually deactivated the sensors and we open and shut them manually now. The seats have been easy to move and the roominess has kept up with our kids growth. This model still has a CD player and a DVD player, both of which still work. The back up sensor has been super helpful. I also enjoy the height of the vehicle in traffic, it makes it easy to see and confident to drive with my kids on board. We will be passing this vehicle on to our 16 year old son as he learns to drive. We feel it is still a safe and reliable vehicle for him to start is his driving lessons on. Gas mileage has been consistent also.

- Lisa G

Chevy Uplander - Great Longevity

2008 Chevrolet Uplander Base

My Chevy Uplander is an extremely comfortable and versatile van. It seats 6 passengers, 1 driver. The 2 Captain's chairs in the middle and the bench seat in the back fold down to make a very spacious cargo area. I use my vehicle for driving to work, animal rescue transportation, and Lyft driving. I bought it used with over 100,000 miles on it and was concerned about how well it would hold up. It now has 161,000 miles on it and is still reliable for all my needs. For an older vehicle - with 1 previous private owner and a previous life as an Enterprise rental vehicle - it has needed surprisingly little repair work. In addition to normal maintenance and tire/lamp/brake replacement, I have only needed to replace an engine mount and the heater core. My only complaint would be that there seems to be an issue with the onboard computer alerts to the dashboard; however, this is not affecting driving performance.

- Peggy T

Great van/utility van. For work of family or both.

2008 Chevrolet Uplander LS

I love this car I got it for very cheap do the body damage. But I was more interested in the engine and transmission. With 180,000 miles I was wondering what kind of problems I would have. But so far nothing has gone wrong. The drive is smooth and it is great on gas. 20 mpg and nothing less. I have always wanted something I could jump into and go across the country without worry of being stranded on the side of the road. As long as you keep the oil clean and keep the rust in check I feel like this car will last me years. The room in the is very nice. I have the seats out and a ladder holder on top. It looks like a utility van. Honestly I can do everything a truck can do. And if I ever need to I can just pop the seats in less than 20 minutes back to a family minivan. I highly recommend this car to anyone looking for something they can depend on.

- Joseph L

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