|Production||August 6, 1996–June 2005|
|Assembly||Doraville, Georgia, United States|
|Predecessor||Chevrolet Lumina APV|
|Body style(s)||3/4-door minivan|
|Layout||Front-engine, front-wheel drive / Four-wheel drive|
|Engine(s)||3.4 L LA1 V6|
|Transmission(s)||4-speed 4T65-E automatic|
112.0 in (2845 mm) |
120.0 in (3048 mm)
186.9 in (4747 mm) (SWB) |
200.9 in (5103 mm) (LWB)
|Width||72.0 in (1829 mm)|
67.4 in (1712 mm) (SWB) |
68.1 in (1730 mm) (LWB)
20 US gallons (75.7 L/16.7 imp gal)|
25 US gallons (94.6 L/20.8 imp gal)
The Chevrolet Venture is a minivan produced by General Motors from the 1997 to 2005 model years. It replaced the Chevrolet Lumina APV. Visually identical minivans were also sold in Europe as the Opel Sintra, and in the UK, they were badged as a Vauxhall. Opel assisted in the development of the minivan as well. Up until 2005, Chevrolet Europe sold a few models, mostly United States domestic market (USDM) models modified to suit European regulations. Among them were the Chevrolet Trans Sport (which was a Chevrolet Venture with the front end of the Pontiac Trans Sport). During the 2005 model year, the Venture (along with the Astro) was replaced by the similar "new" 2005 Chevrolet Uplander. The Venture (along with other GM minivans) was built in Doraville, Georgia.
The Venture was introduced to the market in 1996 for the 1997 model year as a replacement for the radically styled Lumina APV. In the United States, it was also sold as the Oldsmobile Silhouette and the Pontiac Trans Sport, which was later renamed as the Pontiac Montana for 1999 (2000 in Canada). In Canada, the Chevrolet Venture began sales in 1998. The Venture came in three trim levels, the base, LS, and LT. The base models of the Venture were short wheelbase models which came equipped with cloth upholstery, front bucket seats with fixed head restraints, a 2nd-row 2-passenger bench seat, and steel wheels. The LS came in both short and long wheelbases, and offered aluminum wheels, a varied seating configuration, adjustable head restraints, side airbags, power windows (optional on the base models), and a remote keyless entry system. The LT model was an upscale of the LS and was exclusively a long wheelbase model and offered a power driver seat (optional on the base and LS models), optional leather seats, a roof rack (optional on the base and LS models), and a driver side sliding door (optional on the base and LS models from 1997–1999). The anti-lock brakes were standard on all Ventures from 1997–2002, but became optional on the base models later on. The Venture and its siblings were powered by GM's 3.4 L LA1 V6, rated at 180 hp (134 kW). After 1999, the engine was slightly redesigned to produce an extra 5 hp (4 kW), for a total of 185 hp (138 kW), and the alarm system for seatbelts, door ajar, low fuel, etc. have been changed. All Ventures used a four-speed automatic transmission. The Venture was one of the few minivans to have an 8-passenger seating configuration as an option when most minivans seated up to 7 passengers. In 2000, the driver side sliding door became standard on all trim levels, when the passenger side only sliding door models of minivans have rapidly fallen out of favor since the 1996 models of Chrysler minivans. A Warner Bros. edition, introduced in 2000, included leather seats, Warner Bros. badging with Bugs Bunny leaning against the Warner Bros. logo, and a DVD entertainment system, a novelty at the time (however, some editions included a VHS player instead). The Warner Bros. edition was a very rare model that was only produced for the 2000-2003 model years and the only model to come with a monochromatic exterior (like its Silhouette twin) as opposed to black accents that the other Ventures offered and this model only came in three colors: red, silver, and black. These models included VHS and DVD compilations of Looney Tunes, boys pajamas, a cooler with can holders, a special keychain, and a beach blanket, as an amenity kit.The exterior was refreshed in 2001, a back-up alarm was added to indicate possible obstacles behind the vehicle, and all-wheel drive was introduced in 2002. Also for 2002 was a new steering wheel equivalent to the 2000-2005 Chevrolet Impala, replacing the steering wheel equivalent to the 1995-2001 Chevrolet Lumina. The optional 2-3-2 seating configuration was dropped in favor of the more conventional 2-2-3 and 2-3-3 seating configurations. Reviews and sales were generally lukewarm, especially about the relatively narrow cabin due to being designed for European roads. The vans came in both short and long wheelbases, and all-wheel drive versions like the Chrysler minivans. The third row bench seat was designed to fold flat (introduced for 2001 and available on LS and Warner Bros. models), but forming a higher floor unlike the Honda, Mazda and Nissan minivans that folded into a well behind the third row.
The Venture was replaced after 2005 by the Chevrolet Uplander, which was essentially a facelift with one long wheelbase configuration, and a longer nose which served chiefly to improve crush distance and styling more like an SUV. Only the long-wheelbase Venture was sold for 2005 in the US but the short-wheel base was still offered in Canada. Production of the Venture ended in mid-2005.
The last one rolled off the assembly line on June 20, 2005
base: 1997–2004 (U.S.); 1998–2005 (Canada)
Warner Bros: 2000–2003
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 1997 Chevy Venture a rating of four stars out of five in a head-on collision, and five stars in the side-impact collision. Tests on subsequent model years yielded results of four stars in most categories, and three or five stars in others. The NHTSA does not conduct offset frontal crash tests.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested the Pontiac Trans Sport (a twin of the Venture) in late 1996, and it got a "Poor" rating in the offset frontal crash test for poor structural performance (including bumper covers around the vehicle breaking off), the head snapping backward after the steering wheel hits the chin right above it, and the left foot snapping off, and was ranked as the "Worst Performing Vehicle" of all the vehicles tested, indicating that the driver would have a fatality in this severity. The minivan had been tested twice by the IIHS: In the first test, the speed readings were too high, indicating that it must be tested once again; in the second test, the speed readings were more accurate, but the damage was even more severe than the first test. This result affected the Venture's and Silhouette's safety reputations, and this slowed down sales. However General Motors ran 72 crash tests on their minivans in various crash situations, including an offset test at 35 mph, and stated that the minivans performed very well, and criticized the IIHS for evaluating a single test involving a type of accident they believed was extremely rare in real-world situations. Its European twin, the Opel Sintra, did badly in the EuroNCAP's crash tests as well, with only two stars (out of five).
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