1998 Chevrolet Venture Review

Pros & Cons

  • Standard ABS. Standard side airbags. Optional traction control. Optional child safety seats. Optional power sliding right side door. Powerful V6 engine.
  • Rear seats are uncomfortably close to the floor. Toothy chrome grille.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$748 - $1,302

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

If you think Chevrolet's minivan resembles a popular household mini-vac, think again. 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 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. Last year, 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.

One new feature added to the Venture for 1998 might sway favor in Chevy's direction. This stylish minivan is the first of its ilk to receive standard side-impact airbags for both front passengers. Other changes include the addition of a cargo van model, and expanded availability of dual door and power sliding door versions. Rear vent windows are now power operated, and second-row captain's chairs are newly available with seven-passenger seating.

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).

1998 Highlights

Venture is the first minivan to get side-impact airbags. Other changes include the availability of a cargo van edition, a wider variety of dual door models, and an optional power sliding door on regular wheelbase vans. Power rear window vents are also added for 1998. Front airbags deploy with less force thanks to second-generation technology.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1998 Chevrolet Venture.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Chevy venture van
LS 3dr Minivan
this van i have had has been somewhat reliable but from now on i would not buy anything but honda or toyota unless they really made american cars more reliable.
This has been my best car ever!
LS 3dr Ext Minivan
Bought this car used with 11,000 miles and it now has 198,000. Never used the AC after reading reviews about engine problems. The only repairs I have made are new brake shoes and pads (several times). Replaced the serpentine belt when a mechanic noticed it was starting to fray. Hit a deer two years ago and the police and mechanic said the van saved our life with its steel construction. Head light covers became foggy I found new ones on Amazon for $25! The window motors have gone out on both sides but they are like $50 at the auto parts store. Raised three kids in it and about to pass it off to the teenager getting her license. Wish they still made them! Average 20 MPG with mostly city driving. I am a merchandise vendor and have consistently carried hundreds and hundreds of pounds in the back of this van. Can't believe how lucky I've been with my Venture.
Excellent Vehicle!!
LS 3dr Minivan
Absolutely Excellent vehicle! Bought it with about 50,000 miles on and it now has 198,000 and drives just well as it did when I first bought it. I have beat the crud out of this van with three kids in hockey and multiple other activities. My job requires heavy loads to be transported here and there. Kids, now teenagers, have given it a beating, and it just keeps on going and going! Basic maintenance, other than the window motors going out on a couple of occasions. It runs out so smooth, can't even hear or feel when it's on. We're pushing for another 100k??!!!
Great Van!
3dr Minivan
We have three little kids (including a set of twins) and this van works great for us. We have four doors which is wonderful for getting them all in and out easily. We bought it used and with high miles, but we haven't had any problems with it. It's definitely Chevy quality!


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • 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 1998 Chevrolet Venture

Used 1998 Chevrolet Venture Overview

The Used 1998 Chevrolet Venture is offered in the following submodels: Venture Minivan. Available styles include 3dr Minivan, 3dr Ext Minivan, LS 3dr Ext Minivan, LS 3dr Minivan, and 3dr Ext Cargo Minivan. Pre-owned Chevrolet Venture models are available with a 3.4 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 180 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1998 Chevrolet Venture comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 Chevrolet Venture?

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Which used 1998 Chevrolet Ventures are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1998 Chevrolet Venture for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1998 Chevrolet Venture.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 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.

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