1996 Chevrolet Lumina APV 3.4 V6 from North America
Ole reliable dustbuster
Window regulator driver's side.
Window guides both sides.
Evap canister line clogged.
Rear shocks went out.
Had twins in 2002 and needed something with a bit more seating for a 2nd vehicle. Picked up this 1996 Lumina minivan for 1500 from a used car lot; was not expecting much, but the low mileage sold me on it. This van had comfortable seating and pretty decent pickup when you punch the gas. Fuel mileage was about as expected for a V6 (about 20 in town and mid 20s on freeway). The viewing angle out of the enormous windshield took some getting used to, but you grow accustomed to it.
Living in the Midwest, most every other van I looked at was rusted to bits, but the plastic spaceframe design of the Lumina had none, and it was nice not to have to see rust for such a low price. The sliding door was decent, but being on one side only made for loading car seats being kind of a pain overall. This van never failed to start, even in the -30 degree weather we get up here in Wisconsin.
When I bought it, the front brakes pulsated, but that was fixed on the cheap with new rotors and pads. The only thing that was definitely of poor design that I could find was the front door window guides (plastic clips that held glass to the track) wore down and allowed the glass to fall out. I replaced these with slightly thicker ones and the issue was fixed after that.
Overall this vehicle served us well and never had any major problems in the 200,000 miles it gave us. The AC leaked out around 150k and I rarely used it so never bothered getting it fixed. I replaced the rear shocks at around 200k (wore out and the rear end bounced over bumps). The headliner started sagging, but I just sprayed some 3M adhesive spray and pushed it back up. I would still be driving this beast today had my wife not slid into a curb with it this past winter and done considerable damage to the front suspension. RIP GM's dustbuster 8.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th January, 2016