Chevrolet Venture Parts and Accessories: Automotive: Amazon.com

13 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Chevrolet Venture Parts and Accessories: Automotive: Amazon.com

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GM#39;s minivans have never met with critical or commercial success, despite the company#39;s continual efforts to redefine the segment. The original minivan trio were the so-called U-bodies: The 1990 Chevrolet Lumina APV (mechanically unrelated to the sedan of the same name), Pontiac Trans Sport and Oldsmobile Silhouette. The Lumina APV was to be the value-oriented model, the Trans.

GM#39;s minivans have never met with critical or commercial success, despite the company#39;s continual efforts to redefine the segment. The original minivan trio were the so-called U-bodies: The 1990 Chevrolet Lumina APV (mechanically unrelated to the sedan of the same name), Pontiac Trans Sport and Oldsmobile Silhouette. The Lumina APV was to be the value-oriented model, the Trans Sport would appeal to more sport-oriented buyers, while the Silhouette was the first luxury minivan (referred to as the Cadillac of minivans in the 1995 film Get Shorty).

While styling between the three varied slightly, all were defined by an extremely long nose, which prompted some in the media to dub them the dustbuster minivans. The resulting driving position put the driver behind three feet of dashboard, which took quite a while to get used to, and put off many buyers. The front-wheel drive vans were mechanically on par with the competition, sporting first a 120-hp 3.1-lier V-6 engine, replaced in 1992 by a 3.8-liter 170-hp V-6.

Handling was widely regarded as good for a van, and the seating arrangement was very flexible. However, the styling was too much for most people, and even a mid-cycle refresh that shortened the nose and gave the Lumina APV and Trans Sport a slightly less radical profile didn#39;t improve sales.

The 1997 Oldsmobile Silhouette, Pontiac Trans Sport and Chevrolet Venture were much more conventional vans, modeled heavily after the much more successful Chrysler formula. Two wheelbases were offered, along with flexible seating and some European influence in the suspension tuning since the van was also sold in Europe as an Opel Sintra.

All of the second-generation vans were powered by a 3.4-liter V-6 with 180 horsepower; an extra 5 horses were found in 1999. The van was initially available in front wheel drive, and all-wheel drive became an option in 2001. One or two sliding doors were available.

While on paper the vans were competitive, and critics at the time agreed that they all drove well, problems with the designs surfaced early. While the NHTSA gave the vans moderate crash test scores of four stars for the driver, three for the front passenger, and five in side impacts.

However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) labeled the 1997 Pontiac Trans Sport poor in its offset frontal barrier test, a definite turn off for safety-conscious families. Another flaw was a third row that didn#39;t fold down into the floor, by then a staple feature among minivans. The resulting poor cargo space management was easily bested by offerings from Chrysler, Toyota and Honda.

The rear seats were also regarded as uncomfortable.

GM compensated by loading on gadgets. The 2000 Chevy Venture boasted a Warner Bros. package, which included a DVD player for the rear seat passengers and Bugs Bunny badges on the exterior. Pontiac dropped the Trans Sport pun and renamed its van the Montana in 1999.

The Oldsmobile Silhouette was killed off in 2004 when GM shut down the division.

In 2005 all of the vans were revised extensively, but few of the underlying problems were resolved. The Chevy Venture became the Uplander, the Pontiac Montana gained an SV6 badge, and the Oldsmobile version was supplanted by the Buick Terraza. The Saturn division also got a minivan at this time called the Relay.

The vans had been restyled to look more like crossover SUVs, but sales remained dismal, and all had been cancelled by the 2008 model year when GM pulled out of the minivan market altogether.

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