1992 Pontiac Trans Sport SE 3.8
Powerful spacious semi reliable van, and a great utility vehicle!
Plastic water neck to water pump became brittle and cracked, causing an overheat, which blew head the gasket (90k).
Hatch struts replaced at 90k.
Wipers work intermittently (loose wiring somewhere)
Fuel dummy light always illuminated.
Front and rear heat cores had to be replaced (90k).
Passenger windows rolls down but does not roll up fast (100K).
Front dash material coming up.
Headliner sagging (100k).
Drivers side window switch semi broken (114k).
Passenger side outside door handle replaced (113k).
Door locks beginning to stick (100k).
The interior is a good size compared to other mini vans like the Toyota Previa. When all seats are removed, it can really haul a lot of stuff. Have used it to move and haul stuff many times.
Front seats are very nice and comfortable, and the arm rest is really nice to have, and is quite robust; hasn't broken yet.
Rear bucket seats are nice as well, but are a real pain to pull out. Each seat must weigh like 50 lbs each, and sometimes it's difficult to maneuver into place. This van uses an odd seating arrangement compared to most other vans. It's a (from the rear) 2, 3, 2 config. If you were to use every seat for a passenger, you need to fold the seat closest to the sliding door forward, so passengers can access the rear seats. Or just not have that seat in the first place if you don't need the seats.
Brakes are adequate when fully loaded or trailering; it takes a bit more braking distance. Has rear drums, so it suffers from a lot of brake dive. The ABS works very well too.
The engine is very nice and powerful. A nice beefy V6 3.8 liter engine give lots of power and torque. Only has a single serpentine auto tensioned belt, and it has a distributor-less ignition system. The fuel filter is also ridiculously easy to replace. Just get under the van and unclamp it, and replace the filter and put the fittings back on. THE EASIEST FUEL FILTER CHANGE I HAVE EVER DONE, bravo GM for that one. Very low maintenance engine. It has no problem hauling around small trailers fully loaded, even going up hills.
The transmission is very nice as well, it's a 4 speed with an overdrive. Has never given us a problem; even the guy at the transmission place said it is a very good transmission when we were having it serviced.
Gas mileage is what you would expect from a minivan (pretty bad by my standards) with a large engine like this one. I have seen it go as low as 15mpg, usually its 16mpg average if you drive heavily in the city. Freeway is pretty awesome; the highest I have gotten on a long trip was 25MPG, heavy freeway is usually 22-23. Combined the average is usually around 18mpg.
The van suffers from some poor engineering and poor parts quality. The water neck that goes to the water pump became brittle and broke around 100k, and caused the headgasket to blow. When I went to the dealer to get a replacement, I brought them the broken part and the parts guy immediately knew what it was without me having to say anything, and returned with a new fitting that was a better metal one. I wish I had known about this fitting earlier would have saved a lot of money in repairs.
The heater cores have been a big problem also around 100k; both the front and rear heater cores began leaking, I've never had a car that has had this much problems with heater cores, they're really hard to get too also. The wipers have also been working intermittently, it's very annoying if it starts raining. Still haven't found the cause.
The exterior is very nice and made to last, I wish they made all cars like this. The body is made out of composite materials so they never rust, and they resist dents and chips very well. Van still looks great after more than a decade.
The van drives well, it does roll a bit when cornering. The steering is adequate, but has a pretty weak turning circle, usually have to 3point it. The side mirrors are great, they're very large, just have be careful of the huge blinds spots to your sides.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 29th January, 2010