Used 1997 Chevrolet Venture Minivan

1997 Chevrolet Venture
List price range
1997 Chevrolet Venture


  • Fun to drive, optional power sliding door, optional traction control, standard ABS, powerful standard engine


  • Toothy chrome grille, uncomfortable modular seating

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

If you didn't know Chevrolet produced a minivan other than the Astro, you will soon. The hideous Lumina Minivan has gone to that plastic recycling center in car heaven, replaced by a conservative, steel-bodied family hauler that was developed in concert with GM's European Opel division. The new Venture, as the van is so aptly monikered, is an outstanding entry in the minivan market, featuring an available driver's side sliding door, optional traction control, optional integrated child seats, standard antilock brakes, and enough power to make it fun to drive.

Two versions are available on two different wheelbases: base or LS trim on a 112-inch or 120-inch wheelbase. Choose between three- or four-door body styles, and all Ventures come equipped with a 180-horsepower 3.4-liter V6 engine. Designed to satisfy consumers on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, the Venture surprises with a communicative chassis, sharp steering, and nimble handling while providing room inside for up to seven passengers and a good amount of their belongings.

Like to drink and drive (soda, water, or juice, that is)? The Venture accommodates with cup and drink box holders galore. Don't worry too much about Junior spilling Hawaiian Punch either, because Chevrolet Scotchgards all fabrics at the factory. Several seating configurations are available, with the most user-friendly but least comfortable setup being the multi-configurable modular buckets. Weighing just 38 pounds each, they're easy to install, remove, and re-arrange, but they're mighty uncomfortable for adults. Front buckets are much more soothing for elder backsides.

Cool stuff includes optional rear seat audio controls that allow rear passengers to listen to a CD via headphones while front passengers catch NPR on the radio. Also available are rear seat heat and air conditioning controls, a load-leveling suspension complete with auxiliary air hose, and daytime running lamps that illuminate parking lights instead of headlights. Uncool is the toothy chrome eggcrate grille up front that screams "MOMMOBILE." At least there's no fake wood siding, no body cladding, and no gold package.

Our main reservation about the Venture concerns crashworthiness. Recently, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted 40 mph offset crash tests of the Pontiac Trans Sport, which is essentially a clone of the Venture. The Trans Sport did not fare well in the test. True, there are no federal regulations in place regarding offset crashworthiness, but the Ford Windstar has performed wonderfully in both offset and head-on crash testing. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration crashed a Venture head-on into a fixed barrier later in the year, and the van performed well. Contradictory results mean consumers will have to weigh this van more carefully against the competition.

We like the Venture, in case you hadn't already guessed. Pontiac and Oldsmobile serve up versions of the same van (Oldsmobile's is called Silhouette), and any of the three would make a dandy alternative to Chrysler and import minivans. In the case of the Chevy, though, we'll wait for stylists to offer an LTZ model with body-color grille (yeah, like that's gonna happen).

1997 Highlights

Complete redesign of Chevy's minivan results in a new name, a left-side sliding door, optional traction control, a powerful standard engine and a fun-to-drive demeanor.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Chevrolet Venture.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Do not get this car! At 95,000 miles it needed a new engine. About 10,000 miles later, it needed a $300-$400 repair every month or so. I have now decided to just buy another car. Take my advice, DO NOT GET THIS CAR!
1997 Venture
Numerous electrical problems. Power door faild constantly. Rear window wiper stopped working one month after purchase and the dealer never could find the cause. Many squeaks and rattles.
Love it!
I bought this van used in 2001 and I must say it's the most reliable car I ever owned. I just hit 100000 miles and the only issue I've had was having to replace the ac which cost $900. The gas mileage is great for a van.
Have had no problems with this vehicle. Now have over 80K miles and it handles as well now as it did when purchased. For a large car the gas mileage is excellant and the ride is smooth and comfortable.
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Features & Specs

16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
180 hp @ 5200 rpm
16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
180 hp @ 5200 rpm
16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
180 hp @ 5200 rpm
16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
180 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 1997 Chevrolet Venture Minivan features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1997 Chevrolet Venture
Used 1997 Chevrolet Venture Minivan Overview

The Used 1997 Chevrolet Venture Minivan is offered in the following styles: LS 3dr Minivan, 3dr Minivan, 3dr Ext Minivan, and LS 3dr Ext Minivan.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Chevrolet Venture Minivan?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1997 Chevrolet Venture Minivans are available in my area?

Used 1997 Chevrolet Venture Minivan Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Chevrolet Venture Minivan.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Chevrolet Venture Minivan for sale near you.

Can't find a used 1997 Chevrolet Venture Venture Minivan you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Venture for sale - 12 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $9,346.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 9 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $21,160.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Venture for sale - 7 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $11,040.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 10 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $20,605.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Chevrolet Venture?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Chevrolet lease specials
Check out Chevrolet Venture lease specials