The GM U-vans came in three generations: Dustbuster, Dustbuster II, and “Crossover Sport Vans”. Yeah…that was GM’s own term for the revised third generation that were intended to look less a Dustbuster and more like a fat crossover. Either way, there was no denying that the third-gen U-van was really a swollen brick that used a lot of W-body architecture to get along in life. I’ve driven one ever, a rental Chevrolet Uplander that I couldn’t get out of quick enough on a business trip. It felt exactly like the 2006 Monte Carlo SS I owned as far as driving feel was concerned, but it wasn’t going to touch the Monte’s fun-to-drive factor. Glass transaxle or not, the 5.3-powered Impala SS, Monte Carlo SS…anything with an LS4 is a decent daily.
Now, I did think about how you could swap the LS4 into the Uplander, but this was 2008 when I drove the van…there weren’t any LS4s in the junkyards that weren’t balled up into near-unrecognizable parts or scorched shells. A decade later, and you can get the powertrain units fairly easily, and if you’re so inclined, you can get going on your own swap. Take this one, for instance…this is a 2005 Pontiac Montana SV6 that recently was for sale on Kijiji (Canada’s answer to Craigslist) that has been converted to LS4 power.
God as my witness, I never thought I would want a GM U-van. Now, I’m not so sure.