What's New for 1997
Daytime running lights debut along with an optional HomeLink three-channel transmitter. Transmission refinements mean smoother shifts, and electronic variable steering eases effort at low speeds.
Models that have been around for a while can still deliver impressive value. That's true of the long-lived Astro van, a staple in Chevy's lineup since 1985.
Out on the road, rolling hour after hour, is where the Astro demonstrates its true worth. Taller than its few rivals, Astros are admittedly more trucklike in temperament, but deliver a pleasant highway ride with competent handling for long journeys. The seats are a little short, but comfortable enough for work duty. Unfortunately, overly small front footwells crowd long legs especially after long stints behind the wheel.
A 190-horsepower, 4.3-liter V6 is standard, putting power through a four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission that has been recalibrated for better overall performance. All-wheel drive is available for those who need the added traction during harsh weather, but keep in mind that they use slightly more gas on average as well. Regardless of which version you choose, rest assured that you're getting a tough, truck-based vehicle that can handle heavy loads better than any other comparable vehicle on the market.
Solid and substantial, the Astro cargo van remains a tempting choice if you demand a smaller van with big van capacity and versatility.