Overview & Reviews
At its introduction, the Chevrolet Venture and its corporate siblings were top-notch examples of the hot minivan class. We went so far as to describe it as "outstanding," impressed with its communicative chassis, sharp steering and nimble handling. Well, in a "the 320-pound left tackle was surprisingly nimble" sort of way.
At the time, the Venture matched Chrysler's innovative new minivans by offering a driver-side sliding door and two wheelbases, then added a few tricks of its own to entice families. We weren't so impressed with its toothy chrome grille and uncomfortable modular seating, but in general, we considered the Chevrolet Venture a good buy.
Time and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) was not kind, however, as newer minivans and a poor offset crash rating conspired to sink the Venture's favorable opinion marks. The downturn of all minivan sales also torpedoed Chevy's entry, forcing General Motors to throw together a replacement van using the Venture's body, a long aardvark-inspired nose and raised ride height to create the supposed SUV-like Uplander. Nobody bought the idea of a crossover minivan and for that matter, nobody bought the vehicle either, signaling the eventual end of Chevy's participation in this mom-mobile segment.
Most Recent Chevrolet Venture
The Chevrolet Venture was sold from 1997-2005. Buyers could choose from standard and extended wheelbases, and three- and four-door bodies. The three-door body disappeared in 2000, while only the long-wheelbase model was available in 2005. Seven-passenger "modular" seating with individually removable chairs was standard, while eight-passenger capacity and middle-row captain's chairs were optional.
Standard features included antilock brakes, front side airbags (starting in 1998), a tilt steering wheel and an acceptable quota of cupholders and storage bins. Traction control, a power-sliding door, rear seat audio and climate controls, and a load-leveling suspension were options. As its life progressed, features like leather seating, rear parking assist, OnStar and satellite radio became available. A Warner Bros. special edition featuring special badges and a VHS entertainment system (later DVD) was offered from 2000-'03. Although initially satisfied with Venture's fit and finish, we eventually saw it as increasingly cheap and as just one area where Chevy's minivan was being outclassed by a new generation of competition.
The Venture's safety was also put into question by the IIHS' frontal offset crash test, which slapped a poor rating on the minivan's Pontiac Trans Sport clone. Although it did just fine in the NHTSA's full-frontal crash test, other minivans at the time did better at handling the added structural stresses of an offset collision. However, the Venture was the first minivan to offer front side airbags as standard equipment, while standard antilock brakes and optional all-wheel-drive improved traction.
During its first few years on sale in the late-1990s, the Venture was our top pick in the minivan segment. But once the next millennium dawned, so did other, more attractive family haulers particularly those from foreign manufacturers. Although a well-equipped Venture could present a good bargain, it would be a wise idea to shop newer minivan designs that have better safety ratings.
Past Chevrolet Ventures
There was only one generation of the Chevrolet Venture. It replaced the Lumina minivan.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 485.00
LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! - 2004 Chevrolet Venture
By LoveMyVenture - August 19 - 1:29 pm
This car is FANTASTIC! Bought in 06 with 45000 miles on it. Its now 2015, and we have 152,000. She runs smooth, and cruises effortlessly. Nothing major has gone wrong with the car. Just a few sensors. The 15 inch alloy rims look great too. We easily pull 22-25 mpg. Treat her right, and youll be rewarded.
Great Van - 2001 Chevrolet Venture
By paulie69 - July 19 - 8:26 am
I have now owned my no frills van for 5yrs and have 160K miles on it. It has been very reliable and I have had to do no major work to it, just new tires and tie rod ends last year. It still runs like a new car although I now need to replace the ball joints and the ac stopped working this summer. It isnt fancy and has very few power options but it is the most dependable vehicle Ive had and I have always driven imports before. I wish Chevy still made this vehicle.
Reliable Van, Some Mechanical Probelms - 2003 Chevrolet Venture
By akk050708 - February 5 - 6:55 am
I bought my van in 2010 with 100,000 miles on it already. Here it is Feb.2014 and I have put almost 71,000 miles on it. When I bought it, it had a transmission slipping problem. I drive it daily with this problem & as long as you dont gun it at a dead stop, & give it time to shift from reverse to drive it doesnt slip. But does have tranny issues. I have also had my ABS go out at about 140,000 miles. I still can drive it daily & has never failed me even with those issues. I have had some break repairs done, but other than that its been regular routine maintenance. I would buy this van again if they had newer models. Its been extremely reliable, never stranded me & my family.
MONEY PIT - 2003 Chevrolet Venture
By moneypit10 - January 13 - 8:12 pm
Since I bought this van at 22,000 miles its needed a $1200 engine seal, new windshield wiper motor, new headlights because they leak water into them. Now its at 50,000 miles and it needs a tune up. I wonder what else will go wrong with it. It just keeps costing me money. This has not been a good vehicle to own. The only good thing about this van is that its 11 years old with only 50,000 miles on it and the interior and exterior look like new. Too bad whats under the hood cant be more reliable. I give this 10 thumbs down and 20 raspberries. I will never buy another chevy.
Tail lights and headlights - 2003 Chevrolet Venture
By sherrington - December 15 - 1:47 pm
I see numerous complaints about tail lights and headlights for the Venture here. Ive had and cured both issues. The brake lights burn out becuase of water collecting in the tail light assembly. The seals are unable to keep it out at highways speeds. Drill a 1/4 inch hole in the bottom of the tail light assembly to drain water out. Be sure and drill through the bottom bulb chamber as well. Headlights come filled with nitrogen. Dont as why. If the nitrogen leaks out they will fog up. You can change the bulbs without draining the nitrogen, but a new head light assmebly is available online for about the cost of a new bulb. That said, my Venture is reliable, comfortable and roomy.
2002 Chevy Venture Mini-Van - 2002 Chevrolet Venture
By banjowyatt - September 19 - 2:11 pm
Yes, this van has some "minor issues" like no interior light when the door opens, windshield wipers sticking in the upright position and some rear tail-turn signal-brake light problems, but this is a damned good reliable vehicle. It has almost 190,000 miles on it and she is still running smooth.
Good "mom" car - 2004 Chevrolet Venture
By mrpetrankov - July 26 - 3:38 pm
Im 16 and i got my mothers 2004 venture about 5 months ago, when she had it she liked it very much. Overall its been a good car for me but it has bad car computer problems. We had to replace the whole computer system about 3 years ago. ($750) which wasnt worth it because about a year ago the gas gauge just stopped working which would be $500 to fix which is not worth it to us because we dont want the car anymore. But then again it has been a good car not including the computer problems.
NOT IMPRESSED - 2004 Chevrolet Venture
By mike742 - February 20 - 9:20 pm
I had a Dodge Caravan that I drove for 4 1/2 years and loved it. I finally put it to rest with260,00 miles on it. Wish i bought another 1, but no, I bought a 2004 Chevy Venture. At first I thought it was a good purchase, but I found out I was wrong when I started having serious electrical problems, windows stopped working, abs light and engine light came on fuel guage fell to E and this annoying chime started sounding off continuously while driving, poer locks no longer work and then it left me stranded on the side of the road.All these problems are caused by a water leak somewhere and rotting all the wiring under the carpet. This is the worst vehicle I have ever owned. No longer a chevy fan
BAD VAN! - 2000 Chevrolet Venture
By evehowell - February 5 - 11:52 am
LS my butt!!! I bought mine used 4 or 5 yrs ago, for $3,600. I have sunk more money into it then it is worth!! The automatic sliding door wont work right, the heat sucks real bad, the a/c stopped working a month after I bought it, I have had issues with the struts, brakes, ball barrings, anti-freeze leaks, anti-lock brakes, hard time starting this year after it has been driving, window not working now, my serpentine beat just fell off and a Head Gasket is leaking!!!!! Not putting any more money into it!!! only had 145,000miles!!! I drove two Plymouth Voyagers well past 200,000mi before losing them! Never again will I buy Chevy.
Love my 04 Venture Van - 2004 Chevrolet Venture
By sakb3947 - November 12 - 10:17 pm
I have over 180,000 on my van with little troubles. I like the way it drives. I can haul things in it, pull trailers with it and I can haul all my grandchildren in it. Have had very little troubles with it. When it was new a rear wheel bearing went out but was covered under warrenty. I had to repair some window controls but that was easy.