"I've had this minivan since I purchased brand new in 1998. It has been through everything with us. Two kids, all the sport and team hauling you can imagine, a commuter of 60+ miles a day for mom and that's after carpooling kids to school 10 miles in the oppisite direction. Plenty of room for them to jump in and throw their backbacks, sports bags, etc. The comfort in the third row is great for adults and more than sufficent cargo space. I love this van. It has been a dependable work horse for us. One transmission around 160K miles and that's it. Brakes and tires for the most part. It's dated now and I know it's time to give it up......I'm taking a kid in the carpool who used to ride with me in kindergarten...now he's in 10th grade and we're still using it....Love this van"
"I picked up my 03' Chevy Warner Bros. Edition Venture from an auto auction. Originally I searched for a Mazda MPV because I was reluctant to drive a minivan and wanted something that was more stylish. Never the less I found a vehicle that can hold my large family (6 kids) comfortably, that did not break the budget. This van despite the few repairs I had to make because of its previous owner, has been very reliable for our busy needs. It lacks the 'sto n go' option but the third row folds flush with the trunk compartment and the middle row folds forward or maybe totally removed (all six rear seats can be taken out the van) to have complete access to the cargo space. Both rear doors are power assist remote controlled as well, freeing your hands to carry items into the vehicle. A power assisted rear liftgate would have been a great addition to this van, but all the other options make up for what it is lacking otherwise. I will say the daytime running lights have been a menace with removing or installing. The light sockets are fragile and may need replacing all together. however, my overall experience is satisfactory and confident in this van. It can be heavy on gas mileage (in my case all 8 seats are utilized) with the full-time weight demands. Yet the Venture still moves well under the pressure."
"The problems started at 8K miles with a check engine light - fouled fuel injectors.
Then I had moisture in the headlights. Dealer drilled a hole in the housing (brilliant). Headlamps eventually had to be relaced because of the typical clouding of the lens. - $200.
Then at 39K miles another check engine light - O2 sensors AND the dealer just HAPPENED to notice the intake manifold gasket was leaking coolant way in the back of the engine. What they didn't tell me was this is a COMMON problem with these 3.4L engines (happens on almost all of them) and I was out of warranty by 3K miles. And my induction system needed cleaning (at 39K miles!) - $1,500.
Then, another common GM problem that you'd think they would've fixed by now - the rear brake cylinders leaked and had to be replaced and the drums resufaced - $300.
Next, no AC. Leaking condenser - $550.
Next, after a progressively louder noise got so bad I could take it, guess what? Bad wheel bearing. But you can't just replace the bearing on this car like it is on most normal cars. You have to replace the entire hub ($135). The halfshaft also had to be replaced along with a tie rod, alignment, etc. - $652.
Did I mention about the brake lights? Both sides kept blowing lamps left and right. The lamp got so hot it melted the plastic socket. After cleaning out the melted plastic about 6 different times I finally fixed it for good with a piece of aluminum foil to act as an extra heatsink - no charge but it would've been several hundred to replace the taillight assemblies.
Then my wife is left stranded with a van that won't start. After a tow, bad starter relay - $110.
Then the final straw! My wife is left stranded again with an overheated van. The shop says the cause of the overheat is unknown but the head gasket blew and now I'm looking at $1,700 in repairs. I arranged a trade with a dealer for a used Honda Odyssey and all I'm getting for the Chevy is enough to cover the repair and what I owe on it. GOOD RIDDANCE!"
Pros: "It handled, plenty power, great gas mileage."
Cons: "The seats could be hard to remove and install."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"My 1999 Venture had 217,000 miles on it when it meant it's demise as a result of an accident and the insurance company totaled it. It was one of the most reliable vehicles that I have ever owned. If General Motors still made them I'd buy another one in a heartbeat."