2000 Venture New Car Test Drive
It helps to know yourself and your family pretty well before you wander into the Chevrolet store to look at minivans. There's a Chevy Venture designed for every imaginable type of family and the number of models can be confusing. They are based on what type of seating arrangements you want and how flexible you need those arrangements to be. Chevrolet claims 200 different seating set-ups are possible in the Venture by removing and adding seats in different places.
New for 2000 is a model offering the videotape and video game players and built-in headphone controls that have been popular for the past two years on the Oldsmobile Silhouette.
Chevy Venture is available in several trim levels: base, LS and LT, plus a new Warner Bros. Edition. This minivan also comes in two lengths: the regular wheelbase and the extended wheelbase.
Base and LS models are built on the shorter wheelbase. The base Venture is attractively priced at $22,350 and comes with split bench seats, power windows, remote keyless entry and cruise control. For $25,350, the LS adds a nicer interior, aluminum wheels, rear power vent windows and an overhead driver information center. The LS also offers popular options, such as the power sliding passenger door, a roof rack and the preferred bucket seats that are light and easy to remove and install.
The LT and the new Warner Bros. Edition are extended-wheelbase models with more luxury accoutrements. All of the Ventures have two sliding doors, but a power-operated curbside door is available as an option. (Toyota's Sienna and Honda's Odyssey offer power sliding doors on both sides.)
The Warner Brothers version is equipped like an LS (except that it adds a CD player), not the pricier LT which has more standard equipment. The Warner Brothers model, however, comes with the integrated video entertainment system. That makes it the most expensive of Ventures, at $28,995. The center console is replaced by a video tape player, and panels with headphone jacks and controls are added in the rear passenger compartment.
The top-line LT comes standard with the touring suspension, which also has a load-leveling system and a compressor that can inflate your basketball or air mattress. It retails for $27,750 and comes standard with traction control and a power sliding side door.
There's also a $21,760 cargo model built on the long wheelbase for work duty.