2003 Chevrolet Astro 4.3 V6
An excellent value for a family
One water pump in 150,000 miles
Interior fan controller went on the fritz - replaced relay.
Just 2 days ago, our trusty Astro was rear-ended, and we don't know for sure yet, but we believe it's totalled.
This has been an excellent vehicle, and I can't say enough good things about it.
We bought it with 28,000 miles, and it just turned 175,000 miles, and in that time, not a single time did it ever leave us stranded. In that time, I've replaced the water pump and had to install a new interior fan relay. We use the thing each day of the week to go back and forth to school, and it has held up extremely well.
The driver's seat (which is a real vulnerable spot in most cars with high miles) still looked like new... no wear spots or deformed foam.
The paint wore extremely well (we keep it in the garage, too).
The transmission shifted like brand new, even with 175,000 miles on it. I added a trans cooler when I bought the van, and put AMSOIL synthetic transmission fluid in it. Never once did it miss a beat!
I admit the 4.3 V6 is not very powerful, or even very nice... it feels like a prehistoric agricultural implement thrashing away under the hood, but boy was it dependable! It also towed our tent trailer over the Cascade Mountains for many summers, and without complaint. It is not very fuel efficient (I believe we averaged approx. 17 MPG combined), but you can buy an awful lot of gas for what you might otherwise pay on monthly car payments or on expensive car repairs!
I replaced the rotors once (front and rear), and the pads twice in the almost 150,000 miles we had this van. The thing I really liked is that the vehicle is straightforward and easy to work on (I do all my own work), and that parts are super cheap, and available almost anywhere. I was (and still am) totally impressed by the practicality of the Astro Van. Its mechanical simplicity and overall comfort make it one of the best options for a young family.
No one will every say how cool you look in your Astro, but that's OK... you can laugh all the way to the bank.
If you're considering one, I would highly recommend the Chevy Astro or GMC Safari.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th June, 2014