2001 Chevrolet Astro Rwd 3dr Minivan (4.3L 6cyl 4A)
The Astroís greatest merit is its interior space. It has room for 8 large passengers plus considerable cargo. It is also the only newer minivan that can tow 4500 pounds. Otherwise, itís a humdrum vehicle that delivers dependable, no-frills transportation. AWD, a common option, is valuable for driving in snow, but unfortunately doesn't work in reverse. It also reduces mileage by 2 mpg. Expect 13-17 mpg for an AWD model. The powertrain performance is adequate but doesnít feel strong, and itís noisy when pushed hard. The seats are only moderately comfortable, but they were improved in 2002. The Astro offers usefulness and value to owners willing to sacrifice modern design and performance.
Passenger and cargo space. 4500 lb. towing ability. AWD performance, good reliability record, convenience of "Dutch Doors" (innovative three-part rear door design with a top hatch and bottom swinging doors); overhead console with trip computer; easy-to-use (though cheap) controls on dash
Unresponsive handling, no sliding door on driverís side, electronic latch on rear hatch sometimes sticks, high step-in height, wheel wells intrude into legroom of front seats, window defrost doesnít keep up in cold weather