As you can see we've gotten a bit of snow the last few days. This is a snow covered 2005 Saturn Realy minivan. Don't let the GM PR machine fool you these vehicles (including the Chevrolet Uplander and Pontiac Montana) are nicely designed minivans. There is no SUV DNA here.

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I?m putting in this stock image from Saturn of the front end since our test vehicle is currently covered in snow. I might have put down the looks of these vehicles before but at least the Saturn in person is quite handsome on the outside. The front end?s block shape is reminiscent of the current Volvo look. Only from a strict profile does the Relay look a little like the nose suffers from Pinocchio syndrome.

I?ve driven the Relay around town for two days but haven?t gotten extensive drive time because of the bad weather. On one bad side street the front tires spun a few times before the traction control kicked in. That meant when we ventured out Saturday in between eight-inch snowfalls we took the family Jeep Cherokee and its four-wheel drive. There is an AWD option for the Relay and I highly recommend it for winter climates.

Relay DVDOf course these snowfall aren?t normal and I?m sure the Relay is as safe as any other minivan out there. The ride sans snow was solid, very quiet and exceptionally smooth thanks to a ?soft ride suspension.?

So far I?m pretty impressed with the Relay as a minivan. There are all kinds of goodies in this mid-level tester including a DVD player, XM satellite and leather trim that is exceptionally well-done. Unfortunately the wood trim is very cheap to the touch and there is one fit and finish flub on the passenger door where the plastic is rising up off the leather trim. Ugh.

Relay door trim
Tomorrow we?ll look at all the convenience of owning a minivan and how the Relay stacks up.

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