GM had a good thing going with this Silhouette platform/engine/drivetrain package. I hope our Uplander replacement proves as reliable. The reason we bought the Silhouette over the "default van" (Crysler Caravan) was transmission reliability. We were not disappointed. Over 200,000 miles and not one lick of tranny trouble from our GM. The biggest expence was for head gaskets at 140K. No probs since. In its prime we always got 22/26 mpg. I still get 19- 20mpg "around town". We live in the "rust belt" with salted winter time roads. I think this car would get to 225k or 250k miles if only the body would hold out as rust has popped through on both sides of the car in front of the rear tires.
Traction control & antilock brakes were a plus in the winter. Brake jobs were a cinch.
More durable upper strut bearings. This weakness lead to "memory steer".