Minivan; Built in USA
  • 3-door van
  • 4-door van
  • 4-door van
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,300 – $7,100*

1998 Chevrolet Venture

1998 Chevrolet Venture LS

1997 Chevrolet Venture

1999 Chevrolet Venture

1999 Chevrolet Venture

  • Antilock brakes
  • Automatic-transmission performance
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Ride
  • Fuel economy
  • Rear-seat comfort

Critical shoppers are likely to find a lot to like about the GM trio of minivans, despite the discomfort endured by some backseat riders due to the low seats.


Redesigned from the ground up, Venture was one of a trio of second-generation, front-drive GM minivans. Except for styling and trim levels, Chevrolet’s minivan was similar to the Oldsmobile Silhouette and Pontiac Trans Sport. Plastic body panels were replaced by steel skins, and a passenger-side airbag became standard. Standard-length Ventures rode a wheelbase 2.2 inches longer than their predecessor, but measured 4.6 inches shorter overall. The new extended-length model was 8 inches longer in wheelbase, and 14 inches longer overall. GM’s exclusive power sliding passenger-side door was optional only on the long-wheelbase version. Also limited to extended-length models was the optional manual sliding door on the driver’s side. Both sizes came in base or LS price level. All models used a 180-horsepower, 3.4-liter V6 engine and 4-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety features included dual front airbags, antilock braking, and daytime running lights. Traction control and built-in child safety seats were optional. Standard 7-passenger seating in short-wheelbase models included two front buckets, a 2-person bench seat for the middle row, and a 3-person rear bench. Modular split bench seats were standard on extended-wheelbase models, with modular bucket seats optional.

Yearly Updates

1998 Venture
Seat-mounted side-impact airbags for the front occupants became standard this year. Regular-length Ventures could now be equipped with the optional sliding door on the driver’s side. A cargo version of the long-wheelbase Venture joined the lineup, fitted only with two front bucket seats.
1999 Venture
Eight-passenger seating became available this year. Heated power mirrors and a rear-window defogger became standard.
2000 Venture
No more 3-door Ventures were available; all were now equipped with dual sliding doors. A new Warner Bros. edition held a rear-seat video entertainment system, including a video player, TV monitor, and an audio system with separate second- and third-row headphone jacks. A child safety seat built into the second-row bench was standard on the Warner Bros. and optional on other Ventures, except the Value edition. Venture’s V6 engine gained another 5 horsepower. Traction control became standard on the LT model and GM’s OnStar communications was dropped from the options list, at least temporarily.
2001 Venture
2001 additions included a stowable third-row seat, driver-side power door, 6-disc in-dash CD player, and rear parking aid. The cargo version was dropped after 2000.
2002 Venture
Optional all-wheel drive and a DVD rear-entertainment system were the top additions to the 2002 Venture.
2003 Venture
Antilock brakes and front side airbags are now optional instead of standard on Value and Base.
2004 Venture
The regular-length Ventures comes only in the Plus model for ’04, and satellite radio is also available as an option on the LS and LT this year.
2005 Venture
Venture loses its regular-length and all-wheel-drive models for a shortened 2005 season. It’s being phased out for a restyled replacement, the ’05 Uplander, expected by early calendar 2005.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Only one powertrain has been installed in Ventures: a 3.4-liter V6 engine rated at 180 horsepower, driving a 4-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower rose to 185 for 2000.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.4/207
Engine HP 180-185
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 205-210
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



Road Test

In terms of interior space utilization, General Motors designers did their job well. Even with the minivan’s split-bench seats, they managed to retain the flexibility of the convenient modular seating concept. At the same time, they added innovative storage helpers throughout the interior, and the Venture’s optional driver-side sliding door opens wide enough to permit access to the third row of seats.

Chevrolet’s minivan feels somewhat sportier than those from Ford or Chrysler. Steering is precise and accurately communicates the action of the front tires. Body lean is moderate in turns, and the minivan’s all-season tires grip securely. The suspension absorbs most bumps with ease and delivers a comfortable, stable highway ride. Test Ventures halted with good control and a progressive pedal feel. Wind noise around the mirrors has been prominent at highway speeds, but road and engine sounds tend to be well-muffled.

The 3.4-liter V6 engine produces sufficient acceleration for nearly every usage. On the other hand, both Ford and Chrysler have offered optional engines with higher torque ratings, which are better able to cope with full loads of cargo and/or passengers. The automatic transmission keeps unnecessary gear changes to a minimum. It also reacts quickly when a downshift is needed to pass or merge. As for economy, we averaged 15.3 mpg with an early Venture, in a blend of city/suburban commuting and freeway travel–just about average in the minivan league. A later test of an extended-length model averaged 17.6 mpg.


Model Tested: 2002 Chevrolet Venture LS

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.


Acceleration - 4
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 5
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 6
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
Cargo Room - 9


Value - 7

Total: 56


3-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.0 186.9 72.0 67.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
126.6 20.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.9 39.3 39.9 36.9
4-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
120.0 200.9 72.0 68.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
148.3 25.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.9 39.3 39.9 39.0
4-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.0 186.9 72.0 67.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
119.8 1612 20 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.9 39.3 39.9 36.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Venture 4-door van


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 4


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

Collision 63
Injury 65
Theft 22

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: If the air conditioning is insufficient, the engine cooling fan and the air-conditioning orifice tube may have to be replaced. (1997)
Description: The brake pedal may not return causing the brakes to drag, get hot and wear out prematurely. The cause may be misadjusted brake or cruise control switches of a defective brake-pedal assembly. (1997)
Climate control
Description: The heater may not be adequate in cold weather requiring a revised heater core and possibly a new distribution duct. (1997)
Engine temperature
Description: Overheating and coolant loss may be due to rough surface on radiator filler neck. Neck should be sanded smooth and cap replaced. (1999-2000)
Hard starting
Description: Corroded electrical connector under the driver’s seat can cause hard starting, stalling, and improper fuel gauge readings. (2000-02)
Vehicle noise
Description: A rattling noise from the rear on long wheelbase models equipped with electronic level control requires replacement shock absorbers. (1997-98)
Description: If the “auto-down” feature of the power window quits, the integrated circuit that controls this function must be replaced. (1997)
Description: The windshield may crack in cold weather. (1997)

Recall History

1997-01 Venture w/passenger-side power doors
Description: Door closes but may not be latched. If this happens, the sliding door can open while the vehicle is in motion.
1997-05 Venture w/second-row bucket seats or captain’s chairs and power sliding passenger door:
Description: If someone holds onto the sliding-door handle while it’s being opened by the motor, that person’s arm may be pushed into the seatback or armrest, possibly resulting in injury to wrist or lower arm.
Description: Windshield-wiper linkage arm can contact brake line connected to traction-control modulator valve; brake line can chafe, resulting in brake-fluid leakage.
1997-98 Venture w/bucket seats or split bench seat in second or third row
Description: Seat-latch mechanism does not have protective covers; when activating release mechanism to roll a bucket seat forward, finger(s) could be severely injured or severed, if they are not kept clear.
Description: Faulty power-steering bearings may have been installed on certain vehicles, resulting in difficulty turning the steering wheel. Dealers will inspect and replace all affected parts.
Description: Broken shift-cable fitting or loose shift linkage can occur; moving shift lever to “Park” position may not shift the transmission to “Park,” and vehicle could roll.
1998-01 w/passenger-side sliding door
Description: Front passenger-side sliding doors may have inadequate welds. Actuator can jam in the unlatched position and, when the sliding door closes, it will not be latched.
Description: Front lower insulator to cradle sleeve on small number of minivans may collapse, which could result in steering-shaft separation.
2000 w/extended wheelbase
Description: Small number of vehicles have inoperative fuel-tank rollover valves.
Description: Some seatbelt assemblies were not properly heat treated and do not pass the load-bearing requirement.
Description: Passenger-airbag inflator modules may have been built without the correct amount of explosive. Airbag explosion or failure could occur.
Description: Seat-latch anchor wire diameter may be wider than 6.1 mm, potentially inhibiting the installation of child restraints.
Description: Owner’s manual doesn’t adequately explain-child restraint anchorage system. Dealers will send vehicle owners a supplement to their manual.
Description: Airbag-inflator could fracture and possibly injure passengers.
Description: Exposure to high ambient temperatures may lead to the fracture of the fuel tank inlet check valve. A fracture may allow fuel vapors to pass through and leak. Dealers will replace the fuel tank.
Description: Owner’s manual doesn’t adequately explain child restraint anchorage system. Dealers will send vehicle owners a supplement to their manual.

Equipment Lists

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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.