Kelley Blue Book ® - 2001 Chevrolet Venture Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2001 Chevrolet Venture Overview

Body

General Motors produces three minivans based on a single platform. Each of the three—the Pontiac Montana, Chevrolet Venture and Oldsmobile Silhouette—has their own unique styling and target audiences, yet mechanically, they are identical.

GM's minivans come in standard and extended wheelbase versions, and employ an older (but still potent) V6 engine. Second row and rear seating can be configured with a combination of bench seats and captain's chairs. The captain's chairs fold flat to create a raised but level surface for hauling cargo. The rear bench is stowable, meaning it does not have to be removed, but simply folds down to form a flat floor. The OnStar system is now standard on all but the base models and is active for one year, after which owners will have to subscribe to the service if they wish to keep it. OnStar serves as a kind of on-board watchdog that can detect when the airbags deploy and alert authorities. It can also be used to track the vehicle if it is ever stolen. Also new this year is an optional rear parking aid that alerts the driver to objects behind the vehicle. All three minivans come with dual sliding side doors, with optional power assist for the passenger and driver side, depending on the trim levels.

The GM design is now a few years old and is beginning to show its age. For example, on the Dodge Caravan, the track for the sliding door is hidden just below the rear side panel window, creating a clean, unbroken body panel. On the GM mini's, the track cuts into the side panel sheet metal, the same design used in the mid-70's when the sliding side door was first introduced. Interior space is average, if not a bit too narrow and the seats, while comfortable, lack the same firmness and back support as the Ford and Chrysler mini's.

The entry-level Chevrolet Venture is available in five trim levels, the most notable being the top-of-the-line Warner Brothers Edition. Highlights include a video entertainment system for the kids, wireless headsets and special paint and badging.

Pontiac's Montana is styled to play the part of a rugged outdoor minivan, equally adept in the country as it is in the suburbs. Racy wheels and heavy body cladding distinguish the Montana from its siblings. Options such as a leather interior and "Montanavision" (essentially the same entertainment system in the Warner Brothers Venture) round out the options list.

In the movie "Get Shorty," John Travolta described the Oldsmobile Silhouette as the "Cadillac of minivans." That is exactly what Oldsmobile wants you to think too. Available only with the extended wheelbase, the Silhouette features wood accents, optional heated leather seats and a more advanced version of the OnStar system.

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