CHICAGO, IL - After nearly two decades of middling attempts to market a viable minivan - Chevrolet Astro in 1985, Chevrolet Lumina APV in 1990, Chevrolet Venture in 1997 - Chevrolet is moving to exploit a new niche that it calls the Crossover Sport Van (CSV).
What is a CSV? As evidenced by the 2005 Chevrolet Uplander (and the Mazda MPV All-Sport in the 1990s), a CSV is a minivan with a big nose, available all-wheel-drive, a rugged outdoorsy nameplate, and reduced passenger and cargo capacities. In other words, the Uplander lands somewhere in the thin gray area between a Chrysler Pacifica and a Chrysler Town & Country.
Chevrolet's new Uplander is the old Venture minivan equipped with new SUV styling cues that are expected to erase the mommy-mobile stigma that most minivans suffer. But don't let us lead you to believe that this so-called CSV amounts to little more than a nose job. Chevrolet has substantially upgraded its eight-year-old minivan platform in an attempt to give it a new lease on life until a completely redesigned people-hauler arrives near the end of this decade.