Welcome, visitor! [ Register | Login

The Sky’s the Limit (and Beyond) with the ASTRO Van

Vans October 9, 2017

The Sky's the Limit (and Beyond) with the ASTRO Van

Between the years 1995 and 2005, the Chevy Astro Van (also called the GMC Safari) carried passengers and cargo all around the U.S., often competing for work against minivans like the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager, as well as vehicles like the Dodge Durango and Honda Pilot, though it carries 8 passengers, placing it between the minivan and the full-size van.

Assembled in the Baltimore Assembly plant in Maryland for the entirety of its production run, the Chevy Astro Van was a 3-door, front engine, rear wheel/all wheel drive vehicle. It came with a 4-speed automatic, 4-speed manual, or 5-speed automatic transmission. In 1990, the Chevy Astro was the first mini-van in the United States to begin using all wheel drive, and though it provided better handling, there was a loss in fuel economy (17 mpg as opposed to 20 or 21 mpg that the rear-wheel drive option received).

Later on it was produced with multi-point fuel injection, a HydroBoost hydraulic assist brake booster, and anti-lock control. The Chevy Astros that came with fabric seats were also protected by Scotchguard, and the air conditioning system was made CFC-free. In addition to the original color choices, in 1994 three more options became available: Indigo Blue Metallic, Light Quasar Blue Metallic, and Medium Quasar Blue Metallic.

From 1985 to 1994, the first generation of the Chevy Astro Van had either a 2.5L Tech IV I4 engine (98 hp), or a 4.3L 4300 V6 engine (165 or 200 hp) with a wheelbase of 111 inches. It measured between 176.8 to 187.9 inches long. The second generation Chevy Astro had a 4.3L V6 engine (190 hp), with a wheelbase between 111 and 111.2. It measured 189.8 inches long.

With the size of the Chevy Astro, and its rear-wheel drive capabilities, it became a popular option, especially in the late 80’s, for families who wanted to tow their camper to a favorite weekend vacation spot. It was capable of towing around 5,000 lbs, which meant loading up with a camper, equipment, supplies, and a few extra people was easy. The all-wheel drive option meant it could be driven even in extreme weather conditions, although of course that meant more regular visits to the gas station. Families weren’t the only ones to flock to the Chevy Astro, as many companies purchased the commercial version for towing and toting large amounts of merchandise.

While the Chevy Astro did not perform well in the initial highway testing (the structural failure resulted in a broken leg for the crash dummy), it managed to dramatically improve its rating over the years until it received a 3-and-4 star (driver and passenger, respectively) rating. It received a 5-star rating every year for its side impact safety. In 2007, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety disclosed that between the years of 2002 and 2005, the Chevy Astro had the least amount of killed drivers in passenger vehicles in the United States.

After twenty years of being on the road, the Chevy Astro Van was retired and succeeded by the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and the Chevrolet City Express.

No Tags

4629 total views, 1 today

  

  • Chevrolet Kodiak - Medium Duty Muscle

    Chevrolet Kodiak - Medium Duty Muscle

    by on November 3, 2017 - 0 Comments

    Is there another vehicle that can go from blue-collar work to white-collar work and maintain its credibility as a working vehicle? Maybe, maybe not. But the Chevrolet Kodiak has and will continue to serve in multiple capacities as a medium duty truck, whether it’s used as a crew transport, a school bus, or carrying the […]

  • Tesla Semi Tractor... Fully-loaded 0-60 in 20 seconds

    Tesla Semi Tractor... Fully-loaded 0-60 in 20 seconds

    by on November 18, 2017 - 0 Comments

    Elon Musk has now revealed the new Tesla semi truck, a tractor that’s more aerodynamic, more environmentally friendly, and faster than any semi truck ever built, showing graphs that made regular tractors appear to be barely moving compared with the fast-accelerating Tesla option. Truckers, can you imagine a fully weighted 0-60 in 20 seconds? Of […]

  • Deora, DIY Custom Truck that Became a 'Golden' Hit

    Deora, DIY Custom Truck that Became a 'Golden' Hit

    by on November 6, 2017 - 0 Comments

    In the mid-1960’s, a custom truck was created that has lived on in automobile history, from taking part in the 50th anniversary celebration of the Detroit Autorama, to becoming a plastic model kit and one of the first Hot Wheels cars. This was the Deora, a modified Dodge A100 pickup that went from a blue […]

  • Haulmark RVs, a Luxury RV that Does Everything

    Haulmark RVs, a Luxury RV that Does Everything

    by on November 6, 2017 - 0 Comments

    Whether you’re looking for a motorhome, a stacker, or trailer, or even all three, it can be difficult to find one of each. Some companies only make motorhomes, others only make stackers and trailers, and some only make trailers and motorhomes. Haulmark not only has motorhomes, but motor garages (for your racing vehicles) and a […]

  • Chevrolet GMC Van

    The Chevrolet / GMC Van

    by on November 6, 2017 - 0 Comments

    From 1964 to 1995, the Chevrolet GMC van (along with its competitors the Ford E-Series and the Dodge Ram van) was a popular choice for all sorts of vocational workers, such as plumbers, florists, and caterers. Its size and options, along with the inexpensive upkeep made it a practical choice for many small businesses during […]