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1997 Chevrolet Astro LT 3dr Minivan
Of course, there are those who think every vehicle should be custom built to do everything they personally want. They want 50 mpg and capacity to haul the biggest load imaginable. Very good van - built on a truck chassis and the engine has plenty of power to tow a good sized trailer (5,500 lbs). Lots of driver and passenger comforts-armrests, etc. Easy to drive even when towing a big load. It's not a Ford F-350 so don't expect that! Great van, bigger than a mini-van and a lot better.
Towing capacity. Driver comfort. Turns in a short radius.
Front passenger may feel a bit cramped if they are tall. Not much solution since you have a sliding door on that side.
1997 Chevrolet Astro LS 3dr Minivan AWD
Love these vans, my third one. The 88 went 360,000, 94 AWD still strong at 455,000. I have been told mileage would drop of on these Vortecs, but I just pulled 21mpg on recent trip (8 hrs). Lots of power (190hp?), great reliablity, rides great. I don't know of a better buy for your money. Rides like a car ,hauls like a truck. Wife is confident with AWD. The EXT AWD hugs the road in windy conditions, much better that the 2WD.
The ride and convenience of rear doors. Excellent vision, smooth shifting, stylish body molding.
Idler arms,a way to drain front differential, and more accurate fuel gauge.
1997 Chevrolet Astro LS 3dr Minivan AWD
Had 2 transmission repairs under warranty at 75 and 80,000. I don't think the dealership fixed it properly, because had to be assertive, and now it has lasted another 225,000 without problems. Had trouble with dealer trying to get out of warranty for transmission and throttle body, saying it is because we didn't have oil changes at GM and used our own serviceman (had regular oil changes every 2500 elsewhere). Dealer said transmissions must be overhauled every 15,000 or would void warranty and said that brakes needed doing at 7500 then didn't put enough brake fluid in and they failed after the repair. After warranty over have been very satisfied with van. Love van except front leg room.
Power and cargo space. nterior cleans easily, although is a bit cheap looking, carpet edges show, etc. Love the AWD in the snow. 300,000 and doesn't use oil. First van I have had that doesn't rust. Paint quality is amazing as well.
Front room, would like them to have kept making this van with stow away seats. Hate the extra seat in our basement all the time. Its relatively noisy inside on the highway. Power windows fixed 3X. A shame to spend money on these when no engine work needed ever.
1997 Chevrolet Astro 3dr Minivan AWD
We have put more trips and miles into this van than any other we've ever owned. Being a travel hockey family whose player is a goalie, this van has held all four of us and on more than one occaision three additional players, all our gear and clothes. Fantastic room. It has performed equally well in summer travel as well as traveling the snow storms and rain in the upper midwest. We never felt that we had to pull over and sit a night somewhere due to a winter storm. If you are looking for a quality used vehicle - this it!
Leather seats, back seat radio controls, AWD a must.
For the year and price, nothing that would make a difference.
1997 Chevrolet Astro LS 3dr Minivan
We purchased this Astro as a conversion in 1990 with 18K. It just died last week when the tranny died at 246K. The Astro was a good van, though after 150K miles it started to suck up money. We had prblems with a fuel pump, one window motor, the paint coming off after 200K miles, and the A/C system and hood latch. It also ran through a lot of tires in its time, but it went over a lot of rough roads too. We got our money out of the thing, the Starcraft conversion was excellent, and the gas mileage was decent for most of its career at 20 mpg. The biggest pain was the well documented vacuum hose problem. The bad rap the Astro got for crash tests and bad production values was not true in out case!
4.3 engine had lots of power, and low maintenance costs. Very comfortable to drive and ride in.
At this point, not a real significant question, but I would sure like to see another manufacturer develop a van like the Astro insterad of basing its vans on cars.