What's New for 2000
Chevy adds two new models on either end of the price spectrum for 2000. On the low end, a new Value Van includes basic equipment for a low price, while on the high end, a Warner Bros. Edition provides leather and a video entertainment system. New radios include radio data system (RDS) on uplevel versions. Three-door models die this year, while remaining models get new interior fabric patterns and a redesigned gauge cluster with a scratch-resistant lens. Smokey Carmel is a new paint color.
It should be no surprise that Venture has surpassed previous Chevrolet minivan sales records, given the limited appeal of its mini-vac shaped, plastic-bodied predecessor, the Lumina Minivan. Developed in concert with GM's European Opel division, Venture enters its fourth model year wearing conservative, yet modern, sheetmetal capped by a toothy chrome grille. Looks aside, this minivan's appeal is measured by a number of functional family features, including a standard driver's-side sliding door, optional passenger's-side power sliding door, available modular seating, optional integrated child seats, standard four-wheel antilock brakes, optional traction control, standard side airbags, and the ability to pull a 3,500-pound trailer.
Value Van, Base, LS, LT or Warner Bros. Edition versions are available. New-for-2000, the Value Van includes seven-passenger bench seating, air conditioning, rear-seat heat ducts, a tilt steering wheel, and an AM/FM stereo. Base models add split-bench seating, map pockets, overhead consolette, particle and odor filter, cargo net, and rear window defogger. LS provides items like upgraded cloth upholstery, remote keyless entry, power windows, tinted glass, driver information center, cruise control, alloy wheels and cassette stereo. Pop for LT trim and you'll get a power driver's seat, second-row captain's chairs, rear audio controls and air conditioning, and a combination CD/cassette deck. Warner Bros. Edition vans (not available in Minn.) are loaded with leather, an integrated child safety seat, modular bucket seating, and a three-mode audio and visual entertainment system that includes a VCP and overhead flip-down LCD screen.
Choose a short or long wheelbase van with four doors. All Ventures come equipped with a 3.4-liter V6 that makes 185 horsepower and 210 foot-pounds of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive transmits power to the front wheels. Standard P215/70R-15 tires provide a big footprint for better roadholding. Designed to satisfy consumers on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, the Venture treats drivers with a communicative chassis, sharp steering, and almost nimble handling, all while providing room inside for up to eight passengers and a good amount of their belongings.
Updates for 2000 include new radios with revised controls and graphics, as well as RDS technology on higher-level systems. Revised interior fabrics and a new gauge cluster help spruce up the cabin. One new exterior color, Smokey Carmel, is added to the color palette. Some carryover features worth noting are the optional dual-mode audio unit, which allows rear passengers to listen to a CD via headphones while front passengers catch traffic reports on the radio, and a load-leveling suspension complete with an auxiliary air hose.
Yes, we like the Venture, and whether you prefer the Chevy flavor or the Pontiac (Montana) and Oldsmobile (Silhouette) versions of the same van, we think any of the three have the credentials to go toe-to-toe with Chrysler, Ford and Honda minivans.