Long Term Test Drive of 9 yrs, 102k mi
By dave8697 on
1998 Chevrolet Astro 3dr Minivan
I got lucky compared to some on here. I haven't yet spent $600 on repairs in 9 yrs. Bought new and has been less reliable than my previous Astro in some ways. Transmission needed a $170 repair and rear A/C line is not properly supported, wore a leak and needed $350 repair. Water pump going at 80k not impressive. Battery was defective and died from terminal rot out disease that was designed into it to save a few cents. The trans trouble was from an alum part in place of cast iron that was tried and failed. Interior and paint have held up great. No rattles, fade, or things getting loose. Engine like new. Van was well built and gets 23 mpg on trips. Road handling is a weak spot.
Quietness through the years. Rock solid engine gets 23 mpg on trips without premium gas or expensive tires. No little things constantly going bad like on older model. CD and cassette. Reclining captains chairs. Roominess on a vacation. Dutch doors. Sliding rear bench. Lack of deterioration thru yrs.
They don't make them anymore. Don't cut corners on the transmission metal, the battery terminals, and design the rear a/c line supports properly. Don't stock the lots with roof rack (wind noise) equipped vans. I've only used it once in 9 years. Easier to remove middle seats. More Passenger leg room.