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2003 Chevrolet Venture Van

4dr Ext WB

Starting at | Starting at 19 MPG City - 26 MPG Highway

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  • $22,440 original MSRP
Printable Version

2003 Chevrolet Venture Van

Printable Version

2003 Chevrolet Venture Van


2003 Chevrolet Venture

Source: New Car Test Drive


Chevrolet Venture represents a solid alternative among minivans, one that will appeal to a lot of buyers. Its V6 engine is willing, and its ride is smooth and car-like. While neither the most economical minivan you can buy, nor the most powerful, Venture remains competitively priced for a van with V6 power.

Its best feature may well be its wide range of seating and cargo configurations. Available modular bucket seats and captain's chairs allow you to precisely tailor the Venture's interior for any conceivable combination of passengers and cargo.

Last year's Venture added two significant new options: GM's Versatrak four-wheel drive, and a DVD-based entertainment system in the special Warner Bros. Edition. The 2003 Venture remains unchanged.

Model Lineup

The Chevy Venture comes in a variety of trim levels. Two lengths are available: the standard 112-inch wheelbase and an extended 120-inch wheelbase. All models are powered by a 185-horsepower 3.4-liter overhead-valve V6 engine, which drives the front wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission.

The bargain-priced Value Van ($21,520) comes with a surprisingly high level of standard equipment, including air conditioning, side-impact air bags, anti-lock brakes, dual sliding doors, and a tilt steering column. The Value Van rides on the shorter wheelbase, but still provides seating for seven.

Plus and LS models each add another layer of interior amenities. Both are available in either the standard wheelbase or the long wheelbase, with the longer chassis adding an even $1000 to the price. Long-wheelbase models come with a 25-gallon gas tank, rather than the 20-gallon unit installed in short-wheelbase Ventures.

Venture Plus ($24,920) comes with an AM/FM/RDS radio and six-disc CD changer, cruise control, deep-tinted side and rear glass, power windows, and remote keyless entry. The Plus version can be ordered with a power sliding door on the passenger side.

LS ($25,770) adds an overhead console, a roof rack, and aluminum wheels, and makes the power sliding door standard on the passenger side. A power sliding door for the driver's side is optional.

LT ($29,880) rides on the long wheelbase exclusively, and comes with second-row captain's chairs and separate front and rear air conditioners. Traction control and a touring suspension with automatic load leveling are standard as well.

The Warner Bros. Edition ($30,040) adds a DVD-based entertainment center that should take the "are we there yet?" out of even the longest trip. Some owners say it has eliminated the phrase, "Don't make me stop the car and come back there," from their parental repertoire. That alone could easily be worth a thousand bucks. Like the LS, the Warner Bros. Edition comes only on the longer wheelbase.

Extended-wheelbase LS, LT, and Warner Bros. versions can all be ordered with Versatrak all-wheel drive (AWD). An independent rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes and 16-inch wheels are part of the AWD package.

LATCH (Lower Anchors and Top tethers for Children) child safety seat anchors come standard. GM's OnStar communications system comes as standard equipment on LS, LT, and Warner Bros. models. Also available is an ultrasonic rear parking aid to alert drivers about hard-to-see objects hiding behind the van.


The first thing you might notice about the Chevrolet Venture is the cheery, bright-metal grin of its front grille.

Otherwise, Venture's appearance is either undistinguished or restrained, depending on your point of view. Compared to minivans from Ford and Chrysler, Venture is more traditional, less overtly streamlined. We do like its decisively horizontal lines and relatively short front overhang. It's a more purely functional look, one that's entirely appropriate for a practical family vehicle.

Interior Features

The Venture seats seven, and there's plenty of head room and elbow room no matter which seat you're in. Up front, a height-adjustment lever allows the driver to change positions without getting too close or too far from the steering wheel. The fore-and-aft range of the driver's seat is long enough for folks over six-and-a-half feet tall. The front seats hold you securely with large side bolsters, yet the seating surface itself is relatively flat, which makes getting in and out easy, while encouraging you to move around on long trips.

The Venture stays abreast of more recently designed minivans with lots of cupholders and bins for passengers to store stuff.

There isn't a lot of legroom in the second row, however, even in the long-wheelbase versions. Mainly, the longer wheelbase adds extra space in the cargo area.

Value Van, Plus, and LS come with bench seats in the second and third rows. The seatbacks are split and fold separately; that's handy for carrying two-by-fours and a couple of rear-seat passengers at the same time. But the bench seats are relatively heavy to remove and replace, should you need more space for grandfather clocks or dog cages.

More convenient are the modular bucket seats found in the more up-market models. They weigh just 38 pounds, light enough that plucking them out and leaving them in the garage is not a painful act. Five of them are standard in the Warner Bros. edition, and you can order six in LS and LT models. The backs of these seats fold down flat and compact, and have indentations so cups won't slide off while underway. When folded, the bucket seats are much easier to stash in the garage than the heavy bench seats.

A combination of captain's chairs for the second row and a split bench for the third row is standard in LT and optional in LS. The LT seems to be the more adult-oriented Venture, as its captain's chairs are more comfortable for grown-ups. The captain's chairs will not recline fully unless they are moved all the way forward, however.

The Warner Brothers Edition comes with leather seating surfaces and cloth inserts. The leather part is easy to wipe up after the youngsters have an in-van picnic. Only the LT offers full leather.

The Warner Bros. entertainment system has a 7-inch, flip-down screen, four wireless headphones and a wireless remote control. The system plays DVD video, DVD audio, and CDs. The screen has a 1.5- second video memory feature that prevents potholes, railroad tracks or other road irregularities from interfering with the sound and picture. Three auxiliary jacks for such things as video games or camcorders put some flexibility in your on-the-road entertainment. Talk about versatile: Passengers can use the DVD player, the radio and the CD player all at the same time.

Driving Impressions

The Chevrolet Venture operates seamlessly. The drivetrain is smooth, nearly invisible. The engine delivers good response in traffic, even though the Venture is less powerful than the Ford or Honda minivans. It's quiet, isolated. You can hear a distant growl from the engine, a pleasant muted sound.

The traction control system, which came standard on our LT, engages under hard acceleration. You are reminded constantly that this is a front-wheel-drive vehicle, especially when there is a lot of weight in the back. The front wheels spin easily, and when they spin in a corner you feel small tugs on the steering wheel.

All of this is addressed by the available all-wheel-drive system, which GM calls Versatrak. Versatrak keeps the vehicle moving as long as at least one wheel has traction. In normal conditions, power is delivered to the front wheels, but the system automatically transfers power to the rear wheels if the front wheels lose grip.

The touring suspension makes the Venture a good highway cruiser. It does hop around a bit on bumpy metropolitan surfaces, but you won't notice this if you do most of your driving on well-paved suburban roads. We drove Ventures with the standard Smooth Ride suspension, and we did not see a big difference in ride quality.

The brake pedal feels more spongy in the Venture than it does in Chevrolet's sedans. But the anti-lock brake system engages smoothly and without drama on loose surfaces.

Rear park assist is a terrific aid. It can warn the driver of that little red wagon in the driveway, which is especially important when the little red wagon is occupied. But it also comes in handy when parallel parking or when backing up to a wall. Besides helping to avoid bumping a bumper, it can speed up the parking process by making it easier. That's particularly nice when you have a crowd waiting to head into a restaurant.

We tested the load-leveling suspension on a long-wheelbase LT by hauling a 450-pound motorcycle for a ride across several states. The full-size bike fit with room to spare, though we had to compress the front fork to get it through the rear hatchback. The seat-mounting latch bars in the floor made perfect tie-down points. The load-leveling suspension compensated for the extra weight, so our headlights weren't pointed to the stars. Nor did our loaded-down Venture wallow or lean excessively during quick maneuvers through downtown Chicago. We don't recommend you try this at home, but it shows that the Venture is a capable cargo hauler.


The 2003 Chevy Venture is ready to haul a bunch of folks on vacation, or a load of hardware from the home-improvement center.

Venture seats seven or eight people comfortably. The long-wheelbase models add more cargo space. There are plenty of storage bins and cubby holes on all models. On the road, Venture is smooth and quiet, with good throttle response and car-like handling.

The LT combines luxury and load-hauling features, and is the only model to offer full leather. The Warner Bros. Edition entertains restless rugrats, which is luxury in another form. With the optional Versatrak four-wheel-drive system, bad weather shouldn't keep you home.

The minivan market is highly competitive, and other minivans offer similar features. It helps to know your own needs very well before you select the van that's right for your family. Only you can judge whether the Venture is the best minivan for your particular needs, but we think any minivan shopper ought to give it consideration.


Model Line Overview

Model lineup: Value Van ($21,520); Plus ($24,920); Plus Extended ($25,920); LS ($25,770); LS extended ($26,770); LT ($30,040); Warner Bros. ($30,820); LT AWD ($32,600); AWD LT ($32,375); Warner Bros. AWD ($33,570)
Engines: 185-hp, 3.4-liter ohv 12-valve V6
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic
Safety equipment (standard): dual front airbags, front side-impact airbags, ABS
Safety equipment (optional): traction control; all-wheel drive
Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in: Doraville, Georgia

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): LT ($30,040)
Standard equipment: air conditioning, rear air conditioning, traction control, tilt steering wheel, automatic transmission, touring suspension, automatic leveling suspension, power front disc brakes, anti-lock brakes, rear parking assist, keyless remote power programmable door locks with theft deterrent system, power mirrors and front windows, power rear vent windows, power drivers seat, tilt steering wheel, dual heated side mirrors, rear wiper and washer, OnStar communications system, leather seating surfaces, windshield antenna, in-dash cassette and CD player with rear seat controls, cruise control, intermittent wipers, aluminum wheels, luggage rack, cargo net, tinted rear windows
Options as tested (MSRP): none
Destination charge: ($680)
Gas guzzler tax: N/A
Price as tested (MSRP): $29,880
Layout: front-wheel drive
Engine: 3.4-liter ohv 12-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 185 @ 5200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 210 @ 4000
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 19/26 mpg
Wheelbase: 120.0 in.
Length/width/height: 200.9/72.0/67.4 in.
Track, f/r: 61.5/63.3 in.
Turning circle: 39.7 ft.
Seating capacity: 7
Head/hip/leg room, f: 39.9/55.5/39.9 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m: 39.3/64.3/39.0 in.
Head/hip/leg room, r: 38.9/48.3/36.7 in.
Trunk volume: 140.7 cu. ft.
Payload: N/A
Towing capacity: 3500 Lbs.
Suspension, f: independent
Suspension, r: twist beam
Ground clearance: 8.3 in.
Curb weight: 3838 lbs.
Tires: P215/70R15
Brakes, f/r: disc/drum, with ABS
Fuel capacity: 25.0 gal.


Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of May 10, 2002.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-222-1020 - www.chevrolet.com


Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.



Printable Version

2003 Chevrolet Venture Van

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Intermittent Wipers Std
Printable Version

2003 Chevrolet Venture Van

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Chevrolet Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-year/24,000-Mile¹ CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile² Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile³ Powertrain Limited Warranty for model years up to 2014.

¹Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.

²Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.

³Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2014 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2003 Chevrolet Venture Van

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