What's New for 2002
The Venture becomes the first minivan to offer a factory-installed DVD video player; it comes standard on the popular Warner Bros. Edition. The WB and LT models get an all-new AWD option package. Two new colors and LATCH child safety-seat anchors sum up the changes for 2002.
Remember the mini-vac-shaped, plastic-bodied Lumina minivan? Today's Chevrolet Venture, which replaced that abomination in 1997, is a far cry from that first attempt at creating a viable minivan, particularly when it comes to design. After a minor facelift last year, the appealing Venture maintains its conservative, yet modern look for 2002.
Styling aside, this minivan's appeal is measured by a number of standard features like front and side airbags for both the driver and passenger, four-wheel antilock brakes, the OnStar communications system (except for the Value Van) 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.
The Venture comes in six different trim levels: Value Van, Base, Value Van Plus, LS, LT or the Warner Bros. Edition. 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 power windows and mirrors, a cassette player, cruise control and a chrome grill, while the Value Van Plus further improves the equipment list by adding the OnStar system, remote keyless entry and tinted windows.. The LS provides items like an upgraded audio system with a CD player, aluminum wheels and a longer list of options. Pop for LT trim, and you'll get a power driver seat, power passenger-side door, second-row captain's chairs, rear audio controls and air conditioning, traction control and a reverse parking aid system. 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 the first factory-installed DVD player and a flip-down 7-inch video screen.
New for this year is an AWD option package available on both LT and Warner Bros. Edition models. This package includes GM's Versatrak all-wheel drive system, 16-inch aluminum wheels, a fully independent touring suspension and four-wheel disc brakes.
You can choose from 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 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive transmits power to the front wheels. Standard P215/70R15 tires have a big footprint for better roadholding. 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.
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.