: 2 GM vehicles fare worst in minivan safety tests
03-19-05, 10:03 AM
Two General Motors vehicles, the Chevrolet Astro and the GMC Safari, fared the worst in government crash tests of minivans, according to results released today. (http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/3091781)
Five models earned the top rating of five stars in both frontal and side-impact tests: Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Kia Sedona, Mazda MPV and Nissan Quest. Five stars mean there is a 10 percent chance or less of serious injury.
03-19-05, 10:20 AM
Yea but in fairness those are some 20 years old already. They were still from the time when your knees and feet were deep in the footwell right up against the engine and front of the van, aka Microbus style (the Aerostar was the same). And they were basically just a truck with a big back end on it. It doesnt surprise me those did the worst, but I dont know why GM doesnt just drop them like a bad habit, they seem pretty craptacular to me with all the modern and more comfortable and spacious vans out there today.
03-19-05, 10:35 AM
Yea but in fairness those are some 20 years old already.
I agree. But that points out one reason for todays GM's financial problems.
I think you'd need to travel to India or Russia, to find another manufacturer with a 20 year old model in their line-up.
Well, maybe the Crown Vic can be traced back that far.
But I think that's the issue, when the going get's tough, they decide to get weaker and not stronger.
03-19-05, 01:31 PM
No I agree with you. 20 years is too long, even the Crown Vic and Marquis have been substantially updated every couple of years to cope with federal regulations and to increase safety and comfort levels. Apparently according to Edmunds the redeeming factor of those vans actually has nothing to do with whats inside them, more than the fact they offer AWD and have the highest towing capacity rating of any vehicle in their class. So for those who need to tow a boat or RV, they are popular, and GM capitalizes on the fact that they are the only game in town by not doing a thing to them.
03-19-05, 02:09 PM
So for those who need to tow a boat or RV, they are popular, and GM capitalizes on the fact that they are the only game in town by not doing a thing to them.
Which is stupid. They let large cars die, because they didn't invest in them. They almost let their large vans die, by not investing in them.
Now they admittedly have a market niche cornered, but they don't invest in it.
And how hard would that be? When it comes time to update the S-10 you just remind the engineers that you need to make a mid-sized van on the same platform.
GM has been short sighted for way too long. If it weren't for rental fleets, their passenger cars would have all but disappeared from the market.
And that's a shame. :annoyed:
03-19-05, 02:56 PM
GM is stopping production and closing the Astro/Safari factory shortly.
Its run is over.
03-19-05, 03:54 PM
Well the Uplander and its kin are coming out. They're 5" narrower, 3" shorter, 15" longer, and they lose 1900 pounds of towing capacity as well. Not a great replacement IMO.
I've always hated the Astro and Safari. Great in the snow, though.
Those Astro/Safari vans are great. Why? because they are simple and cheap. Cheap being the big seller. They can be made easy and they sell fast to business owners who need something that gets the job done and is affordable. Last time I was in one was when our Subaru dealer screwed up our rental care and gave us one off their lot to borrow. We drove it to the Oregon coast and it did great!
I see them as an American VW bug. Just last year did VW stop making them.
03-20-05, 11:38 PM
They're mostly used by plumbers, shipping companies, and the like. Those vans serve a big purpose as commercial vehicles.