I have to say overall, I have been very pleased with this van. Besides the expensive manifold repair, $1,200, which I found out is common with GM vehicles, nothing else has gone wrong with this van.
I had my mechanic check it over before taking an 1,100 mile trip, and he said all it needs is a tune up, and it will be good to go. I have done a lot of in-town driving with this van, braking often, and I just had the brakes inspected, and they still have 75% of the pad left, after me driving it for 30,000 miles. And I do not know when the previous owner had the brake pads changed, or if they ever did.
It gets great gas mileage to be such a large vehicle. Compared to my previous van. The Big Lemon AKA 1996 Chrysler Town and Country, that would get 16 mpg if you were going downhill. This Venture gets over 20 mpg in town driving, and even better on the highway, and yet it still has a lot of power for its size. No van will perform like a race car, but I feel confident merging onto highways, knowing I can accelerate fast when I need to. Although the engine noise is loud when in passing gear.
I will have to say though that the interior finishes of the van is where GM really dropped the ball. For the WB Edition to be the top of the line model, the plastic parts on this van are extremely cheap. Pulling the cup holder out one day, the front plate of it broke off in my hand, and for some reason, if you put a large drink in the cup holder, it wants to fall down slightly.. Which usually ends up spilling part of the drink on the carpet, and the back row seat belt cover keeps coming unsnapped, and various other plastic parts have started to come apart.
The radio is also another feature of the van I think they could have improved on. There is not enough adjustment on the volume control. It's either not loud enough, or too loud.. there isn't any adjustment in between. I'm thinking of replacing the stock one with one that fits my needs better.
Far as the ride goes, it's fairly comfortable. The seats are wide and somewhat plush, but for me they could use more lumbar support, but you do have great leg room in the front.
Handling is a little too soft for my tastes. I'm used to driving vans, have driven them for years now, but the body roll, and turning radius of this van is a lot more than the Chrysler van I owned previously. Getting in and out of small parking spaces can be a challenge sometimes, but if you have driven a van or other large vehicle before, you shouldn't have many issues.
Even with the cons, I still enjoy driving this van, and would definitely consider buying another. For the reasonable price I paid for it used, I can't really complain too much about the cheap interior. Knowing that's it's a reliable vehicle, and when I need to go somewhere that it's going to get me there and back, is worth a lot more to me then a great cup holder.
I say if you're going to buy one of these vans, have the intake manifold inspected, and see if that has already been replaced, or needs to be.
I plan to keep this van for many years to come, and hope to continue to have the same reliability that I have had so far.