My wife and I purchased a used Chevy Astro after researching other vehicles. For the money, it cannot be beat. It is incredibly reliable and has ample room for our five children. We looked at a Toyota Sequoia, Honda Pilot, and car-based minivans such as the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. We kept coming to the same conclusion that the Astro with its reliable engine and transmission, room for 8 and low ownership cost was tough to beat. With essentially the same drivetrain since '85, Chevy worked out all the kinks. We picked ours up for $7,200 with 74,900 miles. I analyzed the cost per mile and the Astro was far cheaper than any comparable vehicle. We intend to keep the vehicle until it dies.
Pack it up; pile the dogs in and away we go all across the USA --- most of the time I'm travelling alone and rely heavily on the reliability and durability, good performance of this van! The roomy interior is just right for all the paraphrenalia that needs to accompany us on our adventures. This is my 2nd Astro ..... my trade-in Astro had 260,000 miles on it and was still going strong! I am looking forward to putting 260,000 on this one too!
I bought this van to use on boat ramps to put my boat into and out of water. I have used it in Knoxville and around Douglas Lake. The van has been no farther than 50 miles from Knoxville. It was a program vehicle with 4000 miles when I bought it. I traded a 1994 Astro van I bought at West when I bought this one. It still runs like new as one would expect with such low mileage. West has serviced the vehicle twice per year since I've owned it.
I had an astro before this one drove it for 10 years no problems except the sliding door locked and couldn't open inside or out. It made 24 MPG. Bought a new one because we liked the old one for the room (took out the seats and we could haul 4x8 sheets of plywood. They have good clearance and AWD grip the road when lots of snow and ice ( better than our 1/2 ton 4WD pickup) Also has 5000# tow capacity. But we were very disappointed with the gas mileage on the 2003. We lost 8 to 10 MPG can't understand what happened? It has the same engine as the old one and we drive it the same way.