bought the astro w 130,000 mi. 3yrs ago. 160know. Replaced a jeep cherokee with it and so happy with our choice. More cargo and smoother ride.
Mine is not a soccer mom mobil. It's the Toy Box. And I have a long playlist. Take one seat out. still seat 5 comfortably. and put 5 bikes in the back. Or skis or snowboards... climbing gear... windsurf/kitesurf rigs... or a mixture of them all. In the winter move the seat to the back row and you have a nice space to put ski boots on or have lunch between snowkite sessions or sleep in it..rear heat works great. No need for a rocket box. but it has factory racks so easy to do if needed. Hook up a trailer and pull 4 dirt bikes or two snowmobiles no worries.
Right now its winter and this van loves it. So stable on ice and snow. Good tires of course do help a lot. We ski little cottonwood cny and chase wind for snowkiting so often driving in blizzards. Its weight is well proportioned to its size and make it a smooth reliable snow mobile. The gears work awesome. Just put it in 1st or 2nd on steep snowy downhills and you barley need to use the brakes. I work on the great salt lake, if it's not stormy, and have to commute across a 15 mile dirt road which gets icy, horribly washboarded, and rutted this time of year. Set the cruz control at 45 and let the S-10 chassy do the work.
although i have had to replace fuel pump and catalytic converter, normal stuff for its age, affordable parts and minimal labor made it no big deal. I recommend this van to all fun hogs... especially snow lovers.
Purchased vehicle as a rental return. I need AWD because I sell property in the mountains and occasionally go off road. Clients are always comfortable. Currently has 180K miles, mostly reliable, minimal repairs have been needed. Gas mileage in the mountains averages 13-14 MPG. 18-20 MPG on the road.
I have owned four of the Astro series and one Safari van since '96. I've had only good experiences with them. Maybe I apprciate its comfort level, driveability and road feel because I don't expect this truck to drive like a luxury sedan. My Astros gave me better mileage than any pickups I've driven from time to time (including the big new Toyotas), yet with much bigger enclosed hauling space for my tools, lumber, etc., with the seats out. Then, when you need it, unlike a pickup, it's a great people mover too. And, as far as the styling goes, a nicely detailed 2002 Astro looks better than anything else out there. I'm keeping this one!
Unless you have a large family and you intend to tow more than the typical mini-van will allow, don't buy one. With just 35,000 mi. I'm already having mechanical problems. We've replaced the ignition, "U" joint and the water pump. There is something else that is making noise under the hood that I haven't tracked down yet and the front end will need work in the very near future. It gets poor fuel economy when compared to other mini-vans and really is not a comfortable vehicle to drive.
Our 4th Astro, obviously we like them. A-B'b the Caravan, Aerostar & Astro when we were in the market for a small van in 1985. Thought the Astro was the best choice then, still do now. Sorry they're no longer made