Got my van in Dec. 2009.
I travel 12 miles on mostly a hilly expressway and get between 25 -26.5 per trip.
Problems I've had are the horn stops working because of a fuse. I replace it and then 2 months later it blows again.
Also I wanted to get bucket seats for the middle row but Chevy changed the seat design on the 2005.
As a result you can only interchange these seats with another 2005 and they are IMPOSSIBLE to find.
I've been trying for over a year.
I have a side and middle seat and they are not comfortable on long trip.
But I am happy with the van, rights nice, rattles a little but no major problems after 143,000 miles.
I would buy another Venture only with bucket seats.
Easy on gas for a van -- 26+ on the highway and 23+ combo on city/highway.
Radio with the CD is decent.
I got the basic model -- no power doors.
Would have been better not to change the seat design on the last year they were buiding the Venture.
Seat belts connect to the seat in the 2005, earlier models they connect to the floor.
AC does not blow out that well.
It does the job, but on hot days it doesn't seem that cool.
Well, after 188,000 the van started to overheat and no heat. I replaced the coolant sensor and thermostat ($700) with no end in sight. I've taken it to two serious mechanics and they can't find the problem. I've read it had a problem with the head gasket blowing but both shops have done test and they don't think it's an issue. And still it overheats and doesn't blow out heat a day after I take it home. The problem is worse in the cold -- anything over 50 degrees and the van runs normally most of the time. I did a search online and found other owners with a similar problem. In most cases it was a head gasket. At this point in time I don't know what to do. I hate to keep throwing money at a problem that no one seems to know how to fix.
Finally they figured out that the head gasket did blow. Cost is going to be about $2,500. With 189k miles not really worth it but options on other vans aren't that great. Most of what I can afford are 2000 - 2005. Then you have a car payment, full coverage costs, and if the new van breaks down more debt.
The more I read they more I am finding out this is a defect in the engine which affects more than just chevy vans but any one that uses this engine. Why would they continue to produce an engine they know is going to be a problem when it could have been fixed? It used to be that the engine was the one thing you could rely on. I'm beginning to lose my faith in American vehicles.