1985 Chevrolet Astro 4.3L w/ carborator from North America
It was a good mini van
Replaced water pump and thermostat, 150,000 miles, about $80, my labor.
Replaced alternator, 175,000 miles, about $50, my labor.
Replaced transmission, 210,000 miles, $400, my labor. (I removed it, had it rebuilt, I replaced it.)
Back door sticks. Refused to open at the time I sold it.
Was still running OK when I sold it, although the power was deminished. This is expected, first, because it had a carburetor, and second, couple that with the high miles (= carbon build up).
FYI - I also wrote a review on a 1995 Safari Van (called "Very reliable, long suffering vehicle"). I gave the van a good review. However, I paid $14,500 for it in 1995. If you take that amount of money per the miles I traveled in it, it was still a more expensive vehicle to drive than this one, which I paid $3000 for, (adding in a major repair of $400).
Safari: $14,500 / 181,000 miles = $0.08 (8 cents per mile)
Astro: $3,400 / 124,000 miles = $0.03 (3 cents per mile)
The above is withstanding minor repairs, regular maintenance, regular ware/replacements, such as tires, etc.
Words to the wise when purchasing, are: 1.) never buy new.. very high depreciation, 2.) purchase with trying to estimate the miles you might get out of the vehicle, 3.) do number 2 above with much research.. like using web sites like this, (thanks, whoever you are) 4.) do regular maintenance on the vehicle. 5.) if you can handle it, do your own repairs.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th February, 2005