Right in line with body armor are more Jeep mods to make sure that the underside is protected. All it takes is one hard drop at the wrong time to snap off an essential part of your vehicle. Skid plates run from simple front and rear protection up to complete chassis coverings. The gas tank and oil pan, as well as the differential and transfer case, are all rather vulnerable spots on the underside. They may be able to take a little abuse but how much are you willing to risk?
In reality, the roomy interior is full of odd shaped materials and cheap plastics that can easily turn anyone off. Oddly, as you move up the trim lines the Sienna loses ride and handling quality. The Sienna’s second row of seating does move quite a distance on its slide mechanisms, but the seats are quite difficult to remove if you want them out of the way for added cargo space.
Speaking of tires, they do absolutely no good if side to side movement with low pressure causes them to slip off the rim. Being in the middle of nowhere with rubber out of place and no way to change it is an awful situation. However, there are already bead lock rims on the market to prevent this exact problem.
Even if you can overlook the drab exterior, the cheap plastic interior of this used minivan can almost turn your stomach. Once inside, you will find average passenger space and less-than-stellar cargo space. These things could be overlooked if the Grand Caravan offered a smooth and quiet ride, but it doesn’t offer either.
Yes, you can buy a GM crate engine directly from the factory, one capable of 1200 horsepower, and put it in anything you want. Providing you have enough spare change in your pocket to buy a used Tesla Model S. Oh, and GM is smart enough to not offer a warranty on this one. Sorry Doug Demuro.
The Routan was designed to offer a firmer suspension for a more fun driving experience. Another fail. When compared to Kia and Honda used minivans, the firmer suspension makes for a clumsier experience all around. These shortcomings put a lot of pressure on the powertrain to offer a glimmer of hope for this used minivan. Nope, nope, nope.
Put it all together and you have the monstrous mill that propelled the 2009 ZR1 to 60mph in 3.2 seconds, 100 in 7 seconds, and covered the quarter mile in 11.3 at 131 mph. Keep in mind this isn’t the spec list for a 2013 Gallardo, this was a 2009 Chevrolet Corvette. An all-aluminum supercharged V8 in a 200-mph American car that was faster than a GT-R, in 2009.
This has been but a taste of the vast GM Performance Catalog. GM crate engines run the gamut from affordable and economical four-cylinder mills to gallon-per-mile big blocks that sound like the devil gargling Listerine. And the future is bright: Chevrolet is bringing back the COPO Camaro and the newly-launched 2019 ZR1 packs 755 horsepower and a 210-mph top speed.