2002 Chevrolet Venture Base 3.4 V6 from North America
Very reliable if you use stop-leak instead of paying $1500!
Rear wiper doesn't work (seized motor), and fan blower resistor only works at speeds 4+. Both are extremely common with Ventures, and are actually not all that hard to replace; I will be replacing them shortly.
These vans also have the typical problem with the intake manifold gaskets, just like all other GM V6s of the early 2000s. Which can sometimes actually be a good thing: I bought my Venture with 116,000 miles for $450 because it had that problem (pouring antifreeze from the rear-passenger side of the engine), and instead of paying $1500 to have it fixed, I just drained the Dex-cool (orange) coolant, replaced it with regular antifreeze, and put Bars Leaks Liquid Copper stop leak straight in the radiator. After about five minutes the engine started to build pressure, the overheating stopped, and I haven't had a single problem with it in the 3,000 miles I've driven it since then.
If you follow those steps, you'll never have to worry about it again!
I found my Venture on Craigslist for $450, and after doing the aforementioned procedure, it's been one of the best vehicles I've ever owned (and the best deal by far).
I've never owned a minivan before, so I wasn't really sure what to expect, and wasn't even sure that I would like it, but after delivering pizzas and driving a total of 3,000 miles in just one month of ownership of this van, I think I'm going to keep it for a LONG time.
Overall build quality is pretty solid, but if you've seen the crash tests on these vans, you'll know not to trust it TOO much. Interior quality is very good; much better than the Malibus of the era; the seats hold their form very well and are extremely comfortable on longer journeys. This van is the roomiest vehicle I have ever driven!
Ride and handling are both great; the Venture handles just like a car, while also having that fun rocky-rolly ride of a van. With its solid rear axle, it also has the familiar solid *thud* when hitting potholes that pickups usually have. Parking can be a chore at times, but it's just as easy as parking a car once you get used to swinging-wide when turning.
Power, for the most part is kept in reserve, but with its 3.4L V6, it's definitely there. Acceleration is pretty docile until about 1/4-3/4 throttle, then it'll launch you back in your seat. Was not expecting that! Power gets 5/5 stars from me! Has the extremely touchy Chevy brakes, so heads-up before you hit your head on the windshield! No one warned me while parking it for the first time!
I couldn't ask for a better vehicle for delivering pizzas. The gas mileage is surprisingly good for such a large vehicle, I can fit a TON of food on the 6 available passenger seats, and the sliding rear doors really help when I have to retrieve food from the back seat while parked on the side of a busy street.
Overall, it's a great van with a few small, easily fixable problems, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another in a second. I highly recommend this van to anyone.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th November, 2015