This is my second Astro and it is so capable of doing everything. It has a truck frame which allows towing large campers, gets 19 mpg on highway when which is awesome for a AWD van/truck this size. Walks through snow and ice with ease. Strong winds push it around a little on interstate. Finally had to replace something at 119,000 miles, a starter which was very easy to replace myself. Plugs aren't too bad if you pull the front wheel off. Overall we love this (boxy) design, because you sit up so high you can see what's going on in front of you. This van is better than any other minivan we have owned, Mazda, Plymouth, better than our Toyota 4x4 pickup. Great Van, bring it back.
I purchased it used with 50,000 km and have added 60,000 km in last two years. It replaced a 1988 with 325,000 km. Great highway vehicle; comfortable, quiet, great visibility, reasonably economical at highway speeds. Great capacity. Easily accommodates up to 8 passengers with full load or a very comfortable vehicle for 6, with all gear + 2 canoes on top. Great clearance in deep snow. With 4 winter tires, this van will navigate 8 inches or more of snow, and is my preferred vehicle for winter driving compared to my car. It's also great in summer for comfortable drives and trips. Downside - the intrusive wheel wells in the passenger compartment. Otherwise, conservative styling, simple clean lines. It looks great.
Just bought my van, it is a cargo van used for hauling just about anything. GM just quit making these in 2005, for another SUV-like vehicle[ like there aren't enought of them]..a mistake in my view. My 1st Astro was an '86, ran forever, and I needed a van that could take more cargo capacity than a front drive mini. I plan on driving the wheels off, and it should hold up I think
Bought this van with 30000 miles on it. Had a few minor issues that first year or so -- power lock failure, etc. No problems since then. With 4 kids, a dog, and a camper, we make full use of the incredible amount of space inside this van. It's one of the few vehicles that can comfortably seat our family, plus two others AND tow. Holds way more stuff than a regular minivan. We've used it to tow our camper (22-ft, 4000 lbs) half way across the country with absolutely no issues - at 100k miles. People are always surprised to see us tow with it. Added a transmission cooler and complete tow pkg. There's nothing fancy about this van, but it's great for a larger, active family.
This is my second Astro - put 175000 on the first. Whether it is towing my 5500lb boat, hauling varius team members of my 4 kid's sports, driving 3000 mile vacation, or buzzing around town, this van is the only thing around that can do it all. SUV's are too long outside for less room inside, mini vans are like recycled Pepsi cans when compared to the stoutness and versatility the Astro offers. Consumer magazines rank it poorly, but you have to wonder whether they live in the real world! One last thing - a set of KYB monomax shocks transforms the ride to modern standards.