I really like the Astro and the Safari- they are, in two words, the Man's Minivan. In function and purpose minivans, but in looks, sounds, and feel, a cargo van or truck. Far more macho than the Windstar, Odyssey, or Sienna. For a man who has a family and must consider buying a minivan, these two vans merit a look, if only because of the fact that you won't feel hideously embarrassed driving one.
As much as I like them, they don't sound very fuel efficient, I've heard they got poor crash test results, and some of the other reviews on this site and Consumer Reports are unsettling.
But it is reassuring in a way that, like the Cavalier, these vans hung around for about 20 years. How could any van or car be but so bad if it lasts that long?
I own an Astro van, which I bought new in January 2002 and now has 65,000 Km on the odometer. I have had a few problems.
(1) Driver's side window motor burnt out under warranty.
(2) Passenger side window is now acting up and needs attention.
(3) Replaced serpentine belt two years ago... it requires replacement again.
(4) Engine warning light came on at approx 60,000 Km and is still on (problem could not be found.. van runs fine).
(5) ABS warning light on at approx. 60,000 Km (right front sensor shot). Did not repair.. brakes work well.
This van pulls my 18' RV trailer like a dream. I have removed the rear seats for occasional short camping trips and left my RV at home.
All in all, I'm very happy with this vehicle, and hope to keep it for many more years.
I cannot understand why this van was discontinued by GM, as it was a very popular unit with tradesmen and business.
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