Not one I'd regret
March 16, 2017
So I have had a 2003 Venture LS LWB for about a year now. We bought it used with 143,000, and to date, we're at about 158,000 miles on it. The previous owner had abused it, but as with most GM cars I've owned it was pretty forgiving, considering how badly it was treated. The transmission fluid looked like used oil and smelled like burnt toast so strong you could smell it as soon as you removed the dipstick. Because of that the transmission sometimes slips at take off but shifts fine otherwise. My wife drives it daily and we use it to travel with the family 3-4 times a year and never think twice about it. Some issues that it has that I can't blame on the previous owners are there are some easy to fix electrical issues. The parts supplier for this van made sub-par light sockets for the front turn signals and the rear brake lights. Because of this the brake lights burn out allot, and when they do the cruise control doesn't work. However it's a simple fix. I went on rock auto and for about $20 I ordered new sockets for both left and right assemblies. Changing them out is no big deal since you have to take them out to change the bulb so if you can do that you can fix the problem for good, in about 20 min. The front turn signal sockets were also bad. They would get hot and blow out the bulbs the same way, although mine took it a step further and melted the light housing. Not as easy to fix as, the new sockets have to be spliced into the old wires, but if you've every hooked up speakers you can do this too.
Now on to the good. The van even with the previously mentioned transmission abuse, has quite a bit of pep, for a minivan. On the highway it rides smoother than our Town and Country that it replaced, and gets slightly better mileage too. The 25 Gallon Tank cost a bit more to fill up but really makes it easy on long trips than some Vans with 17-20 Gallon tanks. Radio has nice sound even with 14 year old speakers, on an almost base model vehicle. It also has speed compensated volume, which is nice. Although there isn't a huge amount of road noise in ours anyway. Seats are comfortable, even in the back. The Third row Seat folds nicely into the floor and we have the optional cargo area bin that when the seats are folded makes it a seamless flat load floor all the way to the second row. The second row seats don't fold into the floor but are light weight, but to be honest we've never needed them out since it's a family car there is normally booster seats sitting there.