2001 Chevrolet Venture Preview

2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

I’m a child of the TV age, raised on reruns of everything from The Jeffersons to Love, American Style. So when Chevy said they were bringing by their Venture minivan with the Warner Bros. Package, I was half-expecting it to show up in my driveway with a talking rooster, a giant hammer complete with retracting fist, and a ton of Acme dynamite. Thufferin’ thuccotasth!

Alas, nothing so wily or speech-impaired appeared. No bright colors or rowdy theme music either, just a sedately handsome minivan with small WB logos on its flanks and some entertaining features inside. And that’s a victory. The pronounced lack of “look at me” decoration is a testament to how far GM’s come in the race for tastefulness – and for minivan excellence.

Renovation successful

Hark back with us if you will to 1990, when GM introduced its first true minivans - the Pontiac TranSport, Chevrolet Lumina, and Oldsmobile Silhouette – to a resounding “Huh?” Not only had GM missed the mark set by Chrysler’s class leaders, they brought forth plastic-bodied creations that could have used another round at Tom’s Rhinoplasty. Strange styling and a lackluster powertrain hamstrung them in showrooms while the Chryslers kept their hawklike grip on more than 60 percent of minivan sales.

Mercifully, the minivans were redone in 1997. GM had learned a lesson well: they switched to sheetmetal at the Doraville, Ga., assembly plant, uprated the powerplant, and toned down the spacey look. Handsome and well equipped, the new vans have made a bigger impact with buyers.

Though the Chryslers, the Ford Windstar and now the Honda Odyssey are getting all the buzz now, the Venture’s a solid choice, mainly because it offers all sorts of choices in seats, doors and safety. As far as seating arrangements go, you can order everything from eight-passenger benches to captain’s chairs for four; Chevy offers a third-row stowable seat (which we weren’t able to sample), and make the seats flip, fold, and hold more cups than your kids’ bladders can. The seven-passenger model we tried was comfortable for adults in the front five positions; the back two seats aren’t shaped too badly, but long legs will suffer. The seats tend to feel flat after an hour or so, and in the Warner Bros. Edition, they’re leather covered, which means sliding around those commuting curves.

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June 14, 2015
2001 Chevrolet Venture 4-Door Ext WB LS 1SC Pkg

A lot of goodness with one bad thing!

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It's been a good car, but at this time it has like 7 things to fix plus transmission. I've had it for 14 years, but mechanics tell me this is a very problematic automobile, to get rid of it as soon as... + More »
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July 23, 2016
2003 Chevrolet Venture Ext WB w/LS 1SC Pkg

A very user friendly vehicle that can handle all most anything.

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This Van has hauled almost any thing I have needed it to haul. The removable seats converts it into a huge use able cargo area.Gas consumption is exceptional. This is one the few vehicles my wife, who has a... + More »
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March 5, 2016
1999 Chevrolet Venture 3-Door Reg WB

I first bought it for a business, however it ended up as my own little personal traveler, and I drove it until the motor just couldn't go anymore ( over 2 hundred thousand miles.

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Not one regret, buying my chevy van. But now I'm going to try my luck in a Chevy Traverse. Hopefully it will serve me just as well as my little van did. The grief I have had over my van brake down has been... + More »
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