The Chevrolet Venture was manufactured by General Motors from 1997 to 2005 and is a minivan that replaced its predecessor the Chevrolet Lumina APV. This minivan was produced with the assistance of the Opel Company in Doraville, Georgia. Back then, the Chevrolet Venture was one of the few minivans available to buyers that had an eight passenger configuration.
This Chevrolet minivan was available on the market in three models: base, LS and LT. Each model had different components and interior design. The base model of the Chevrolet Venture was equipped with steel wheels, a short wheelbase, two row bench seats and cloth upholstery. At the LS model the wheelbase was available in both versions (short and long) and the wheels were manufactured from aluminum. Other features were the adjustable head restraints, the power windows, the remote keyless system and the side airbags. The last model of the Venture was exclusively available as a long wheelbase model and had a variety of upgraded features including optional leather seats, a driver side sliding door and a roof rack.
The Chevrolet Venture was powered by a 3.4 liters LA1 V6 with a four speed automatic transmission offering 185 horsepower. The engine was redesigned after 1999 in order to produce an extra 5 hp. Other features were also redesigned including the door jar, the traction control, the alarm system for seatbelts and the low fuel system. All the Chevrolet minivans were equipped with anti-lock brakes from 1997 to 2002 (the standard models), but at the later models these brakes became optional.
When it comes to safety measures, this Chevrolet minivan received in 1997 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a rating of four stars (out of five) in a head-on collision and full stars in case of a side impact collision. On the other hand, the Pontiac Trans Sport (a version of the Chevrolet minivan) received a “poor” rating in the safety tests conducted by the IIHS. That was a real disaster for the Chevrolet Venture’s and Silhouette’s safety prestige. In addition to this, the European Chevrolet Minivan (Opel Sintra) received the same bad results in the EuroNCAP crash test (obtained only two stars out of five).
The exterior look of the Chevrolet Venture was redesigned in 2001 by adding some new features, such as: the back-up alarm (which indicated any obstacles located behind the minivan), the all wheel drive system and the new steering wheel. The designers chose the 2-2-3 and 2-3-3 seating configurations and redesigned the narrow cabin. Moreover, the minivan comes equipped with a third row bench seat that can be folded flat.
The Chevrolet minivan’s interior was cozy and the instrumentation was placed handy. The Venture was equipped with the OnStar communication system and a six CD player. The minivan included a universal garage door opener that was available for all the Chevrolet minivan models. Apart from the front seats, the other ones could be removed and provided you with a 126.6 cubic feet cargo volume.
In 2000, the GM manufactured a Warner Bros. edition that had leather seats, a DVD system (novelty for that time) with VHS and DVD compilations of Looney Tunes, can holders, a keychain and a beach blanket. This Venture model is a rare version of the Chevrolet minivan, produced from 2000-2003.
The Venture was replaced by the Chevrolet Uplander with a new front design that improved the crush distance. But, the Chevrolet Venture remains a great minivan that offers its buyers the opportunity to enjoy great family trips and to resolve all their daily needs at decent prices ranging between $3,000 and $6,125.
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