GM joins Ford in jettisoning the minivan market

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wrote:


Pearson International (Toronto's airport) is the nearest to me, but is still around an hour away, so we don't see many airport cab's. I do recall seeing a PT cruiser used a couple of times though. Like I said above, as for taxi's, the Impala's are the thing here. There are even a few local companies who use Lumina's.

Good stuff. I prefer large cars myself. Bonneville's are the way to go, IMHO.
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In BC, Canada a variety of vehicles are used as police cars, even some 4WD vehicles where snow conditions are difficult. It seems that large Ford car is most common and it even keeps it's hub caps which that obsolete GM car didn't do. <:)
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I own a '98 olds van, and it has been decent, for the purposes its designed for. Yes, its slow, but it gets about 23mpg mix of city and hwy driving, and has a ton of features (I got a GLS). Trip computer, auto lights, passenger 8 way power seat, air compressor & leveling system - all of these the Honda makes you spend huge bucks for on the "touring edition" if available, but some like the seat and compressor, are not even available. Yes, the seats don't fold away but on the other hand, they are very comfortable even in the 3rd row, while fold away seats are only good for kids or short trips. On the horrible evac from Houston during the Hurricane scare we had 5 of us in the thing for over 24 hours and were no worse for wear, and the good fuel milage and large 25 gal tank let us pass thousands who were stuck w/o fuel in lesser vehicles. Oh, and the transmission works super good, doesn't hunt for gears and the van can cruise at 90 if need be, w/o strain (on flat).
Bad points? Wipers, coolant leaks from intake typically - and not just on the U van, 3.4 is known for this, but GM never treated customers right. Those who had to pay for repairs, many before 70k, were not too happy with GM. Also have some rust near the hatch.
I guess its a business decision where to employ the capital where they can sell and make money. Others have raised the bar pretty high so maybe it makes sense, but bad for a big compan to let their product get so outdated.

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scott wrote:

It is pretty strange that the largest automobile company in the world has been outclassed in this segment by Hyundai of all companies, not to mention Toyota, Honda and Chrysler. For some reason GM never cracked the code of building a top-notch minivan. From the Astro through the dustbusters and on to the last two generations the GM vans were always also-rans.
John
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Another thing I missed in my nomadic wanderings.. What kind of van did Oldslowmobile make?
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Chevy Lumina with a different sticker
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Olds made the Silhouette, which was basically an upgraded Montana/Venture, if memory serves.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.nix wrote:

The Silhouette. It was essentially a trim option of the Chevy Venture, Pontiac Montana line up.
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At least on my Olds Silo it has a much higher level of equipment than most chev/pontiac, like 4 captain chairs, rear radio/HVAC, auto leveling, roof rack, trac control, etc.
I have not driven all variations of the U van, but the one Pontiac I drove that had cheap tires handled horribly, it was unsafe at 35 even around a small road. My olds was marketed as a Sport Van (a bit of a stretch, granted) but it does handle very good for a big van, and I guess the stabilizer in front and bushings might be different. I replaced the shocks. Good tires like my michelins makes a huge difference as well.
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The is a difference between vehicles 'used' by police and 'police' vehicles. Naturally a police department car use whatever they choose for bicycles to Hummers, and the do. but that does not mean they are certified for patrol/pursuit work. There are one three vehicle sold in the US that are 'certified police vehicles.' The Ford Interceptor is by for the number one choice, by around 80%. Followed by Impala and the newly certified Dodge vehicle. There are a whole group of vehicles, mostly 4X4 that are sold for 'security' service, some of which have been mentioned. The explorer and the Jeep are the most often used. Of the departments we serviced, in six eastern states, many that bought FWD certified police cars, because they were a few thousand dollars less expensive and more fuel efficient, eventually when back to the Interceptor. Some like the Pa State Police, ban the use of FWD cars for pursuit work.
mike

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Mike Hunter wrote:

I can certainly understand that. I am certain that the police Impalas have uprated suspension, etc. but the basic dynamics of the chassis is not so good for high speed handling. I've been told it's basically a stretched Lumina and it shows. Now my comments are based on the '05 and earlier, I have not driven the '06 yet.
If I were expecting to be involved in pursuit driving, I would certainly want a purpose-built vehicle, not an uprated economy sedan.
nate
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They actually do quite extensive upgrades to the Impala before using it as a Police cruiser, at least down here. For starters, the 3800 is standard (no 3400's). The brakes, suspension, tires, and charging system's are all beefed up as well. We still have the old style Impala's here, but there are a couple of the new '06 models being used.

I was actually talking with an Officer in a near-by town who had Dodge Charger interceptor's. I asked him what him and his officers preferred, the Charger, the Crown Vic, or the Impala. He said the Impala is the most popular, followed by the Crown Vic, and then the Charger. I guess it is a matter of preference.
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The Charger is by far the coolest looking. Not that that matters as much to the cops in the cars.
I saw a couple in NYC. Way cool. The NYPD was testing them. They had V6 for city patrols and a V8 got highway patrols.
Jeff
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I think the Charger in-of-itself is a nice looking car, but I don't think that body style deserved the name Charger. No offence intended to you though. Just my humble opinion.

True.
I am not sure which engine the two CHargers I saw in a near by town had. I was too suprised at seeing them to think about that question.
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80 Knight wrote:

Regardless of any badging: dual exhausts indicates a Hemi v8, single exhaust indicates a 3.5L v6. The 2.7L v6 is not available in a Charger police package car (actually I don't think its available in the Charger AT ALL.)
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Thanks for the info. I will take a look next time I am out there.
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The 2.7 litre engine is standard in the Charger SE.
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A 2.7L Charger must be a real slug. Even the 3.5L is not particulalrly impressive. The 3.5L Chrysler 300 is slower than the 3.0L Ford Five Hundred which everyone except me says is "too slow." I can't imagine the 3.5L Charger is any faster than the 3.5L Chrsyler 300.
I wonder how many 2.7L V-6 Chargers Chryler actually sells? Hard to imagine anyone wanting a slow car that is also uncomfortable, rides poorly, has mediocre fuel economy (21/28), rattles, and is unreliable. I can see the atttraction of the Hemi version, at least until I get my first speeding ticket.
Ed
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The 3.5L Chrysler 300 has 250HP and according to Car and Driver the 0-60 time is 7.3 seconds and that's with the lousy 4 speed. The 07 3.5L has the 5 speed which should improve it to 7.0 sec. No way is the Five Hundred faster than the Charger/300 with 3.5L. Sure the Five Hundred is lighter by a couple of hundred pounds but it is giving up 50HP/45 FT-LBS.
I have rented the 300 and it handles well and is really comfortable. No rattles and light years ahead of GM products. The bad areas are front/rear visibility.

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