Minivan; Built in USA
  • 3-door van
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $2,000*


1995 Chevrolet Lumina APV


1992 Chevrolet Lumina APV


1990 Chevrolet Lumina APV commercial


1991 Chevrolet Lumina APV interior


1990 Chevrolet Lumina APV interior

Pros:
  • Acceleration (3.8-liter V6)
  • Noise
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Ride
Cons:
  • Acceleration (3.1-liter)
  • Steering feel
  • Visibility

If you need cargo space but demand the smooth ride and handling of a car, and don’t like boxy vans, look no further. Dodge and Plymouth have long been the class leaders, but Luminas tend to be cheaper.

Overview

APV stood for “All Purpose Vehicle” when this minivan was launched for 1990. The Lumina APV featured body panels of fiberglasslike composite bonded to a steel framework. Pontiac offered the Trans Sport and Olds Silhouette, from the same platform. Base and CL editions came with five different seating configurations, carrying two to seven passengers. The APV had a sliding right-side door and a one-piece rear liftgate. An all-independent suspension and power rack-and-pinion steering went onto all APVs, which used front-disc and rear-drum brakes. APVs rode a 109.8-inch wheelbase.

Yearly Updates

1991 Lumina APV/Minivan
Nonreflective carpeting was added to the top of the huge dashboard shelf and claimed to improve visibility. A stainless-steel exhaust system was installed.
1992 Lumina APV/Minivan
A 165-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 joined the option list for all APV models, connected to a new 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission. With that powertrain, towing capacity rose to 3000 pounds. Only a 3-speed automatic could be used with the 3.1-liter engine. New springs and strut/shock valving promised to improve the ride.
1993 Lumina APV/Minivan
A power sliding door became available late in the model year. If the sliding door senses an obstruction, it automatically reverses to the open position. Upmarket APVs switched from a CL to LS designation, gaining new acoustical insulation to reduce engine, road, and wind noise.
1994 Lumina APV/Minivan
Restyling shortened the nose, and the “APV” suffix was replaced by “Minivan.” Overall length shrunk three inches, and a driver-side airbag was added. Integrated child safety seats became available in 7-passenger models. Traction control became an option later in the year.
1995 Lumina APV/Minivan
Other than extended-life transmission fluid, little change was evident.
1996 Lumina APV/Minivan
A new 3.4-liter V6 became standard, as all models got seven passenger seating and standard air conditioning. Lumina Minivans disappeared after ’96, replaced by an all-new steel-bodied Venture.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Sole powertrain in 1990 was a 120-horsepower 3.1-liter V6, mounted transversely, driving a 3-speed automatic transmission. A 3.8-liter V6 engine arrived in 1992 as an option, hooked to 4-speed overdrive automatic and developing 165 horsepower. Finally, in 1996, a new 3.4-liter V6 was the sole engine, rated at 180 horsepower–also working with the 4-speed automatic transmission.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.1/191
Engine HP 120
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 170-175
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
3-speed automatic

19/23

17.4

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/231
Engine HP 165-170
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 220-225
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/25

16.5

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.4/207
Engine HP 180
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 205
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

19/26

17.5

Road Test

The long sloping snout with steep windshield cuts into interior space and looks oddly daunting from the driver’s seat–almost like you’re steering from the back seat. Most people quickly get used to that, but it’s still difficult to see the front end while maneuvering. Even after the snout was shortened for 1994, forward visibility could be a problem.

Don’t be dissuaded by appearances, as the APV has several notable virtues. This minivan drives much like a passenger car, cornering with commendable control and absorbing most bumps without harshness or wallowing. Smooth and quiet on the road, the minivan leans modestly in turns and offers good rain/snow traction, but steering feels much too light.

Lack of power is a major drawback in early models, especially at passing speeds when fully loaded. The 3.1-liter V6 simply runs out of breath in a hurry. So, give yourself plenty of time and room to merge into traffic or overtake other vehicles. Once at highway speed, on the other hand, the minivan settles in for fine cruising. An optional 165-horsepower “3800” V6 with 4-speed automatic, offered since ’92, moves more quickly and gives the Lumina performance to match or exceed its rivals from Ford and Chrysler. The 3.4-liter V6 installed in final Minivans feels stronger than the 3.1, but less lively than the 3.8-liter.

Undersized climate controls are the only serious flaw on the dashboard. Storage bins are everywhere, and there’s no engine hump to hinder passage to the rear. Versatile interiors seat up to seven, using modular seats that weigh just 34 pounds each and remove in seconds. With all seats installed, there’s little room for cargo, but each rear seatback folds down to create a 4×6-foot load space. The optional power sliding door is convenient.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1996 Chevrolet Lumina minivan

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Front - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 8
80%

Other

Value - 6
60%

Total: 54

Specifications

3-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
109.8 191.5 73.9 65.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
112.6 20.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.2 39.0 40.0 36.1
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1995 Lumina APV 3-door van

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 3
60%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 69
Injury 82
Theft 87

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: TH-125 automatic transmissions may shift late or not upshift at all. The problem is a stuck throttle valve inside the transmission. (1990-94)
Automatic transmission
Description: 4T60E transmissions may drop out of drive while cruising, shift erratically, or have no second, third, or fourth gear because of a bad ground connection for the shift solenoids. Poor grounds also allow wrong gear starts. (1992-94)
Coolant leak
Description: The 3.8-liter V6 may leak coolant into the engine from the intake manifold. A new gasket kit, revised throttle body nuts, and sealing compound is available. Redesigned manifolds are also available in the aftermarket. (1993-96)
Coolant leak
Description: Coolant loss via plastic intake manifold is corrected by installing upgraded manifold and gaskets plus new PCV kit. (1995-96)
Engine knock
Description: Bearing knock on many 3.3- and 3.8-liter engines is due to too much clearance on the number one main bearing requiring it to be replaced with a 0.001-inch undersize bearing. (1992-94)
Engine noise
Description: A rattling noise at startup is often caused by automatic-transmission pump starvation or cavitation, or a sticking pressure-regulator valve. (1992-95)
Oil consumption
Description: The 3.8-liter engine is prone to excessive oil consumption often accompanied by spark knock due to failure of the valve-stem seals. (1993-95)
Steering noise
Description: The upper bearing mount in the steering column can get loose and cause a snapping or clicking, requiring a new bearing spring and turn-signal cancel cam. (1994-96)
Transaxle leak
Description: The right front axle seal at the automatic transaxle is prone to leak. GM issued a revised seal to correct the problem. (1992-94)

Recall History

1990
Description: Rear modular seat-frame hold-down hooks on some vans may not meet the required pull force at rear-seat anchorage.
1990-91
Description: Due to corrosion, steering shaft could separate from steering gear.
1992-93
Description: Seatbelt for left third-row seat of six-passenger van, or center second-row seat of seven-passenger van, may lock up.
1992-95
Description: Transmission-cooler line in cars with certain powertrains, sold in specified states, can separate at low temperature.
1993-94 w/optional power sliding door
Description: Second-row, right-hand shoulder belt can become pinched, unable to retract properly.
1994
Description: Pawl spring may be missing from retractors for rear-center lap belts.
1994
Description: Third-row seatbelt retractors may lock up when van is on a slope.
1995
Description: On some vehicles, brake-pedal arm can fracture during braking.
1995 w/3.1-liter engine
Description: Throttle cable support brackets could contact throttle-lever system and inhibit throttle return; engine speed would then decrease more slowly than anticipated.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.