This van was purchased on the merits of its advertising appeal, the sleek look of the vehicle, its turning radius and load capacity. I bought the 5spd for the quicker performance as well as for its practicality in winter driving and deep snow. My model was the LE, window, cargo van with no rear seats.
What I discovered about this vehicle was the wonderful way it slipped down the highway and the height advantage that it generously provided its driver. I just loved it! I should have bought two as it was, in my opinion, irreplaceable.
The effect from wind shear could be lethal at times and demanded a firm grip on the wheel when crossing high bridges or following in the wake of an 18 wheeler, where gusts live. The vehicle had a narrow stance and short wheelbase. Because the seats were positioned above the front wheels, it offered a sometimes punishing and bouncy ride. Fully laden on a factory heavy-duty suspension, its ride improved substantially. It was after all a cargo van.
Braking also had to be taken with the greatest of care. With little or no sheet metal up front to protect the legs in the event of a frond end impact, I avoided tailgating at all times which is a safe practice nonetheless.
Rust was normal to good for a vehicle this age.
Aside from the enjoyment of cruising down the highway comfortably and quickly, it was good on gas and carried a very full load equally as economical as while running empty, a surprise even to me. I think it was due to its aerodynamic design.
This '85 LE Van, despite its occasional breakdowns in late life was remarkably reliable. It had travelled from Canada to Florida 10 times, been driven throughout the Eastern states extensively and had taken this driver coast to coast twice, the second time being around the States trip in 1999 that involved 15,500km (10,000mi) in the short period of five weeks. Repair cost while en-route: $35.00 to repair an exhaust leak. When I returned, it actually had MORE pep.
Dollar for dollar, it's the best $10,500.00 that I have ever spent and it owes me nothing. And with all that it still delivers and may achieve 400,000km.