2003 Chevrolet Astro

Change Year or Vehicle
$1,438–$7,250 Inventory Prices
(4.5) 8 reviews
SAVE
Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
Compare
Back to top

Key Specs

of the 2003 Chevrolet Astro. Base trim shown.

2003 Chevrolet Astro Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Introduced in 1985 as a rival to the first front-wheel-drive (FWD) Chrysler minivans, the midsize, truck-based Astro was Chevrolet’s original entrant into that market. Still available with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), the Astro is positioned between Chevy’s FWD Venture and the full-size, RWD Express.

For the 2003 model year, the Astro minivan gets standard four-wheel disc brakes. Newly styled 16-inch aluminum wheels go on the LS and LT passenger models; those trim designations are actually option groups. A new, lower-cost base model equipped with 16-inch steel wheels has been added. A two-seat Cargo Van is also available for commercial applications.

GMC’s Safari is nearly identical to the Astro, but Chevy’s van outsells its GMC cousin by a wide margin. Neither has been selling strongly.

Exterior
Produced in a single body length, the Astro rides a 111.2-inch wheelbase and measures 189.8 inches long overall. A regular-length Dodge Caravan is nearly as long as the Astro, while a Dodge Grand Caravan stretches 11 inches longer. Optional running boards help ease entry and exit in the Astro.

A sliding door is installed only on the passenger side, and swing-open rear cargo doors are standard. Dutch doors with a swing-up rear window on top and twin swing-out doors on bottom are optional. A rear defogger is included with the Dutch-door setup.

Interior
Astros are equipped with a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, and pow...
Vehicle Overview
Introduced in 1985 as a rival to the first front-wheel-drive (FWD) Chrysler minivans, the midsize, truck-based Astro was Chevrolet’s original entrant into that market. Still available with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), the Astro is positioned between Chevy’s FWD Venture and the full-size, RWD Express.

For the 2003 model year, the Astro minivan gets standard four-wheel disc brakes. Newly styled 16-inch aluminum wheels go on the LS and LT passenger models; those trim designations are actually option groups. A new, lower-cost base model equipped with 16-inch steel wheels has been added. A two-seat Cargo Van is also available for commercial applications.

GMC’s Safari is nearly identical to the Astro, but Chevy’s van outsells its GMC cousin by a wide margin. Neither has been selling strongly.

Exterior
Produced in a single body length, the Astro rides a 111.2-inch wheelbase and measures 189.8 inches long overall. A regular-length Dodge Caravan is nearly as long as the Astro, while a Dodge Grand Caravan stretches 11 inches longer. Optional running boards help ease entry and exit in the Astro.

A sliding door is installed only on the passenger side, and swing-open rear cargo doors are standard. Dutch doors with a swing-up rear window on top and twin swing-out doors on bottom are optional. A rear defogger is included with the Dutch-door setup.

Interior
Astros are equipped with a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, and power windows, locks and mirrors. Eight-passenger seating consists of two front buckets and a pair of three-place rear bench seats. An optional seven-passenger configuration for the LT puts two second-row bucket seats in place of the bench; the LT may have optional leather seating. With the second- and third-row seats removed, cargo space totals 170.4 cubic feet.

Under the Hood
A 4.3-liter V-6 engine produces 190 horsepower. The four-speed-automatic transmission incorporates a Tow/Haul mode that alters shift patterns when transporting heavy loads. A RWD passenger model can tow up to 5,400 pounds, while the Cargo Van is capable of pulling 5,800 pounds. AWD Astros offer towing capacities that are 200 to 300 pounds lower. RWD passenger Astros have a 1,648-pound payload rating vs. 1,495 pounds for AWD models.

Optional AWD normally sends full power to the back wheels. In case of slippage, the system begins to deliver power to the front wheels until the Astro is able to regain traction.

Safety
Four-wheel all-disc antilock brakes are standard. Side-impact airbags are not available.

Driving Impressions
In terms of both size and overall driving feel, the Astro and its Safari cousin are more like scaled-down Express vans than enlarged Venture minivans. Despite refinements in current models and a load of comfort and convenience features, RWD inevitably produces more of a trucklike sensation than you’d experience in a FWD Venture or its rivals. For ample hauling capacity and a spacious cargo hold, the Astro can be a useful compromise. But for everyday driving, most people would be more comfortable in a conventional, FWD minivan.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2003 Buying Guide
Posted on 2/26/03

Latest 2003 Astro Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.1)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.4)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.9)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

good value

by Sawyer Dan from GREENSBORO on May 16, 2018

I would have killed for this car when I was 20 years old. Instead I had to hitchhike around the country. I'm letting my son use this car to tour the country between college and grad school. Read full review

(5.0)

Most reliable vehicle I've ever owned

by Jeff from St. Pete Beach, Florida on December 16, 2017

I decided to write this review because I recently inherited a vehicle that's newer and has considerably less mileage than my 2003 Astro van. Despite a 75,000 mileage difference I'm torn about selling ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2003 Chevrolet Astro currently has 3 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2003 Chevrolet Astro has not been tested.

Change Year or Vehicle

0 / 0 0 Photos
0 / 0

Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Astro received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker