CAR REVIEW: 2004 Chevy VENTURE LT — PinoyExchange


CHEVROLET VENTURE LT “ The Perfect 10 Family Van”
by: mrtwenty1

The Philippine automotive market is loaded with various types of vehicles carrying various displacements of engines. With the rising prices of oil, can higher displacement engines keep up with it or be gradually outclassed by smaller displacement engines?… mmmm.. . not quite yet!.. As we can see, even in times of crisis, engines with displacements around the 2.0, 2.3, 2.4, 3.0 V6’or higher are still having there share in the market, these includes sedans, AUV’s, SUV’s and minivans of various brands here in the Philippines.
This year, the family is planning to buy a new vehicle; I listed down some of the features I want for the new vehicle. Here are some of the features I listed down: (1) High rating of Safety equipments and Ride Comfort for every passenger. (2) Extra Hauling Power and Fuel Efficient. (3) Can accommodate my family of 6 with the sixth member of the family, a baby, which uses a safety car seat. (4) Can store a reasonable volume of load at the trunk even if in full capacity. (5) Spacious cabin for enough Leg and Head room, (6) Has the latest standard equipments found now a days in new cars (e.g. VCD players, etc.) (7) Performs and look good on the road (8) has the latest technology in security features (9) Has Long Lasting dependability, durability and Performance. (10) Lastly, it has the value for the hard earned money.
Having this list, I start searching the internet and visiting various auto dealerships around the Metro to search what vehicle best suit my descriptions. Given this time to search, and finally, I bump into General Motors and they presented me with the 2004 Chevrolet Venture LT- upgrade with 2nd row captain chairs, which they called it the “The Perfect 10 Family Van”.
The Chevrolet Venture is equipped with a 3.0L V6 gas engine with 171 [email protected] and 184 lbs-ft @4400prm of torque. This smooth shifting V6 is controlled by a electronic 4- speed AT, and could go (as tested over 800km w/ 7pax.) 8.25km/L or 19 mpg on combined urban/highway and 10.2 km/L or 25 mpg on straight highways. This vehicle as tested on the Skyway and reached only 140 km/h, only because I ran out of road to go, but on the company brochure it claims to only have a top speed of 168km/h. and could reach 100km/h in 16.0 seconds.
The Power of the Venture is quite quick to react especially when overtaking in which the engine’s torque comes to work. If you’re starting from around 30 km/h and would like to overtake a big bus or truck in front of you, shift to a lower gear and you could feel the power of the V6 engine shifting. On the straight, it’s fairly quick with all those horses (you may not use all of them) and when you released the gas pedal, after accelerating about 70-80 km/h, the speedometer does not immediately go down (unlike other cars) it cruises (like a space shuttle). The engine uses the momentum gained to push the vehicle a few more kilometers before slowing down.
This luxury minibus handles the corners quite well; its long wheelbase helps achieve this. At speeds of 60 -70 km/h slightly banked corners are no problem; you could feel the ABS and wheel traction come in control of the car. The 4 wheel disc brakes are very reactive even in wet conditions and has the capability to tame the venture at your command. Safety is a priority inside the venture. It has dual airbags at the front and seat belts for every person inside. The venture’s cabin is really designed for safety, a complex safety cage structure and lateral steel beams surrounds the whole car.
Looking inside the venture, first thing I notice the dual sliding doors for easy access and then the lighting. There are almost light every where. But one main switch turns the interior back to earth again. Dual air-conditioning comes in standard. There is also a single dash VCD car stereo inside with 4 speakers, adding to the audio experience is a single 7” inch monitor mounted at the center of the vehicle. It is also equipped with a mini computer box which displays compass, temperature, fuel used, range that the fuel could go and average economy in English and metric units. Storage inside the venture is ample, there is a place for your CD’s, glasses, cup holders, magazines, clothes etc.
Comfort inside the Venture while driving is fairly good. Road pot holes and deformations are not felt inside the cabin, which is a mark of a finely tuned suspension. Comfy 7 (4 captains’ chairs, 1 bench type) seats make all the passengers aboard feel good even on long trips. To tell you how comfy & roomy it is, you could even cross your legs if you feel like you need it. Also, placing the car seat for the baby is no problem with seats belts all around the place and there is plenty more room to spare for strollers and luggage.
The venture has the capability to carry the whole family with plenty of room to spare for cargo. This is the appropriate vehicle I would recommend for families with 5 or more members. I would rate this vehicle 4 out of 5 stars, for its good drive, comfort inside, power, stability and great service. On the other hand, this car lacks something in the inside in order to make it more complete package. Overall, this is one tough family minivan.

Make: Chevrolet
Model: Venture LT
Engine: 2.98L V6 12V gas SFI
Transmission: 4-speed AT FWD
Max power: [email protected]
Max Torque: [email protected]
Wheelbase: 3047mm
L/W/H: 5114/1847/1729mm
Curb weight: 1853kg
Tires: 215/70 R15 all season electronic
Brakes: 4 wheel disc brakes w/ ABS
Economy (city/highway): 19/25
Price: P 1,315,000 + P28000 (2 cap. Chairs)

What needed to be changed or Improved
1.) The Venture has been always associated with the Mitsubishi adventure. For reasons I don’t know, they are not familiar with the Chevrolet venture.

2.) The side mirrors can only be folded ½ of the way. This is the only vehicle I know that fold this way.

3.) Lack of arm holders and cup holders at the 2nd and 3rd row seats.

4.) Auto power windows are available only going down how about going up?

5.) Fog lamps illuminates more than the main headlamps.

6.) If possible, make the two sliding doors automatic, its quite hard to open it!.


  • OTEP R
    OTEP R Admin
    The only thing I remember about that van is having to tow one from the Podium's basement parking to GM Autoworld because it died for no apparent reason.

    It then spent another month at the dealer because no one knew what the hell was wrong and they had to break open all the service manuals trying to find out what had happened.

    Then the dealer charges an insane amount of money for vehicle maintenance...
  • id still get the previa or the grandis over it
  • slamm
    slamm runnin on empty
    Otep: sounds family ah. ;)

    Based on what i've observed with it, it is a fast van given its big engine (i always seem to have Ventures being driven by family drivers after dropping the kids at school tailgating me on Katipunan and Whiteplains). My Tito who owns one likes the interior comfort and it was the best in terms of price back then when he got it (cheaper then the Chrysler vans and the Toyota van).

    Downside: GM Autoworld and the resale value.
  • OTEP R
    OTEP R Admin
    slamm, something to refresh our memory. hehehe.

    Dead Venture:

    Towing a Venture adventure:

    At the dealer:

    Talking Pajero:
  • well the only thing i could say to the pictures... thanks for sharing your experience regarding the venture.. it can happen to any car like my ISUZU CROSSWIND XUVi which its engine short circuited while I was driving... and to the other who posted thanks for the opinions and comments...
  • OTEP R
    OTEP R Admin
    Yes, it can (and does) happen to other brands. But the way the situation was handled by GM Autoworld is a story on its own.

    I just can't seem to find the thread on it.
  • thank you for sharing your concern regarding the venture.. hope if that happens to me... they have already attended seminars... by the way my plate number was released after 2 months of sale... :(
    GM has people calling you for surveys.. when they call i'll tell them about this...
  • slamm
    slamm runnin on empty
    BTW, the GM Autoworld in the story was GM Shaw if i remember it right. I've also had sad service experiences with GM in Makati when i brought my Tito's Suburban for servicing before.

    Yup, it can happen to any car but the service of the dealer was the icing on the cake (they did not even offer to tow the car from Podium if memory serves me right... that explains the Pajero rescue team). When the Nissan Serena that joined us in a fun run to Infanta Quezon a couple of years ago crashed, Nissan Q. Ave sent a tow truck to meet us along the way.
  • this week i received various calls from chevrolet pasig asking me to change the oil of my car when my odometer does not ask me to do so... is this somehting normal or they have no customers in there garage...

    but the venture is 4 out of 5 stars for me...:j
  • ^ When was your last oil change?
  • i bought the chevy venture last october... it has only 4000+km on the odometer...
  • ^ Haven't change oil since then? How about the 1st 1000km? Maybe it's been 3 months since your last oil change that's why nangungulit na.

    A question to all: Do we really need to change oil every 3 months? What if you've only travelled like 2500 kms after 3 months?
  • slamm
    slamm runnin on empty
    Try to check the service booklet if the GM calls for a 1K service stop (for the break-in period)... :)
  • OTEP R
    OTEP R Admin
    Part of the marketing in most dealerships is to remind you to have your vehicle serviced. Siyempre, they make good money out of it. :)

    Just follow what is stated in your manual. The dealer has a nasty habit of 'padding' the service schedule of vehicles.
  • thanks for your opinions guys....
  • OTEP R
    OTEP R Admin schoolbus iyan. :D
  • the fuel economy i achieve on the NLEX was 11.63km/l thats from balintawak to San Fernando, Pampanga... i installed k&N air filter on the venture

    but on the stock filter i only achieved 10.1 km/l thats on the SLEX from C5 pasig to sta. rosa exit...
  • [IMG]C:\Program Files\My Documents\Bluetooth Exchange Folder\venture pics\Venture front side.jpg[/IMG]
  • mahal magservice ang GM... they only want to use fully synthetic oils for there cars di daw pwde ang ordinary mas advicable daw FSOils.. and ang nakakainis is sa bagong car ngyn libre na first service... well that's life ganun naman mga car dealers eh always improving........... :splat:
  • mbt
    mbt Member
    hahaha OTEP R,

    that schoolbus looks veeeeeeeeeeeeeery familiar :D:D:D

    anyway, the venture is an excellent people carrier (just make sure to get a 7-seater, avoid the 10-seater like the plague) that specializes in quiet, easy-driving, soft-riding, long-wheelbase, 9.0 km/L (average, highway... in the city, expect something in the vicinity of 5.0 km/L) long-distance cruising... that is, when you get over...

    1) the Fisher Price interior plastics. Coleman makes better-quality plastic
    2) the San Andreas fault body integrity. feel the shivers, quakes, and rattles of the structure on bumpy roads... Legoland seems to built tougher hehe. 1997 rigidity doesn't cut it anymore in 2005.
    3) the featherweight steering, controlled by a thin-rimmed wheel
    4) the buried horn buttons... good luck in an emergency
    5) the ineffectual airconditioning. setting number 4 or 5 produces a wind-tunnel level of blower whine but hardly a breeze of cool air.
    6) the fact that the pushrod V6 can sometimes feel underpowered in pulling the vehicle out on the open road, especially on inclines with some load. while the performance isn't objectionable in general, the engine isn't as refined as japanese multi-valvers
    7) the shoddy build quality. the headliner, door handles, hood, and other bits all feel like they're going to fall off on most ventures i've seen. plus, the action of the rear sliding doors is sometimes junky.
    8) the weak headlights.
    9) the general user-maintenance-unfriendliness. a taillight bulb burned out? make sure to have that relatively rare star wrench ready. the battery flatlined and won't respond to jump starting? good luck accessing the buried battery. spark plugs need replacing? three of them aren't accessible unless the whole engine is yanked out. and be advised: the venture does not come with any tools except a fuse puller, a jack, and a tire wrench (the latter two items hiding behind an unbelievably cheap-feeling door).
    10) the scary IIHS 40-mph offset-frontal crash test result for this minivan series.
    11) the relative unreliablity, apparently. watch out for pricey coolant sensors that have a propensity to go bad and drive you nuts with intermittent warnings on the instrument panel message center. or ECUs that just suddenly fail. or groans, squeaks, and rattles that refuse to be banished. granted, track records vary, but it seems that this model is more prone to breakdowns than the japanese marques
    12) the exorbitant price of parts and service. get ready to shell out 5,000, 7,000, 12,000 or even 20,000 bucks every 5,000 km (sometimes even less) or every 6 months. the GM service staff can be rather... unaccomodating too.
    13) the poorly-positioned speakers that create a gaping hole in the soundstage in the middle of the vehicle.
    14) the somewhat slow-witted brake pedal.
    15) the general age of the vehicle design. the venture is simply 8 years old.

    in other words, the venture is viable and worth considering here only, and ONLY, because the Honda Oddysey, Toyota Sienna, and other more contemporary V6-powered, long-wheelbase, 200-plus-inch long minivans (well, including GM's own revamped-but-built-on-the-same-platform Terraza and its corporate twins) are not available here at the moment.
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