What's New for 2001
A new grille and front fascia give the 2001 Venture an updated look, while a rear parking aid system helps keep extended wheelbase drivers from inadvertently updating the tail. OnStar is now standard on all models except the Value Van; a six-disc CD changer and fold-flat captain's chairs are available options on passenger models.
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 fifth model year wearing conservative, yet modern, sheetmetal capped by a revised front fascia. Looks aside, this minivan's appeal is measured by a number of standard, family-friendly features like a driver's side sliding door, four-wheel antilock brakes, side airbags, OnStar system (except ValueVan), and the ability to pull a 3,500-pound trailer. Additional available features include power sliding doors, modular seating, integrated child safety seats, and traction control.
Value Van, base, LS, LT or Warner Bros. Edition versions are available. 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 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 have 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 2001 include a new climate control system for improved interior comfort, an instrument panel cupholder, and an optional in-dash CD changer/player. A rear parking aid is available on extended length vans that audibly warns drivers when they are in close proximity to an object or person. 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.