: I got a new car, and it's a GM.



I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-05-09, 07:08 PM
2000 Chevrolet Astro AWD LS.

So with the new job, I get a company vehicle. Now considering how much I carry, and tow at times, a big van (or SUV) is necessary, so all the sales people get AWD Astros. The nice thing about the Astro is it's not too huge or ponderous for city driving. It's a nice size, probably about the length of an S10 Blazer, and given that it's built off the S10/Blazer platform, it's got a great towing capacity, and still feels like somewhat of a truck, but not too much so where it's intimidating.

It's got that Vortec 4.3L V6, which in all reality feels like a small V8...it reminded me of the Cadillac 4.5L V8...good amount of low end torque, flat torque curve, etc etc. It's not "fast" but it's torquey...that definitely shows when going to pass someone and all you need is to apply a little more throttle...which is something I've definitely come to miss with the S Class.

I'll have more input once I get more miles on it, but lemme just say this is one of the only vans that I'd drive on my own will. It's not as ponderous as a full sized van, but it's not as small, carlike or as effeminate as a car based van. Being a vehicle used mainly for long distance driving (my main route is two hours from home), the only downside I can see is the fuel economy...or complete lack of. They have the trip computer in the overhead console and I've never seen one average more than 14.0, even with highway driving in consideration.

Oh well, atleast I'm not paying for gas.

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_2794-1.jpg

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_2799-1.jpg

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_2798.jpg

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_2796.jpg

Loads of cargo space!
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_2795.jpg

And such great fuel economy!!!! This thing's practically a Toyota. :D:D:D
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_2797.jpg

Aron9000
01-05-09, 07:34 PM
Maybe its the AWD that's causing the bad mileage. I don't think its running right though, 14mpg is what a big V8 Ford cargo van gets. Is that rust or just mud down on the rockers?

The Astro is a great van for hauling crap and it isn't too unwieldy like a full size van would be in a cramped city

Jesda
01-05-09, 07:57 PM
It should do a couple mpg better than that. My dad had an AWD Astro as a company car. Much more power, space, and comfort than a minivan. It was a bit rickety and noisy though, and was in the shop often for brake service and non-serious repairs.

And in the snow it was a BEAST.

slk230mb
01-05-09, 07:59 PM
Looks clean for being 9 years old. How many miles? And I like the color - although I am biased ;)

c5 rv
01-05-09, 08:33 PM
Are you tall? Have you figured out where to put your left foot aside from under the brake pedal?

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-05-09, 08:39 PM
Maybe its the AWD that's causing the bad mileage. I don't think its running right though, 14mpg is what a big V8 Ford cargo van gets. Is that rust or just mud down on the rockers?

The Astro is a great van for hauling crap and it isn't too unwieldy like a full size van would be in a cramped city

I've ridden with all of my coworkers, and all of their Astros have the trip computers too, and I've looked at their average MPG displays and they're all within the 13.5-14.5 mpg range. But, my Astro has an intermittent miss at idle...nobody can diagnose it....they've tried replacing the 02 sensors, the MAF sensor, etc etc but it hasn't changed anything, and I could swear up and down that the rear differential is excessively noisy (howling sound at speed), but maybe it's because there's nothing in the rear to dampen the sound? The van has no problem accelerating or shifting at all, and I don't hear any clunking in the rear end when making turns, so I'm not too worried. And regarding the intermittent miss, it's had that for a while and has never had any issues as far as reliability goes, so I'm not worried. By the way, this van is just temporary...they're replacing it at some point.


It should do a couple mpg better than that. My dad had an AWD Astro as a company car. Much more power, space, and comfort than a minivan. It was a bit rickety and noisy though, and was in the shop often for brake service and non-serious repairs.

And in the snow it was a BEAST.

I looked it up on fueleconomy.gov, and the '00 Astro AWD Passenger Van is only rated at 13/18, and the 2wd ones are 14/19, so they're not fuel friendly, but oh well. They make up for it with space, comfort and power. For the front passengers, the dual captains chairs are pretty comfortable, but footroom is severely limited due to the intrusive wheel wells. I can tell I'm gonna get a lot of cramps in my left calf thanks to that..oh well.. There isn't a whole lot of storage space for odds and ends, but I'll make do. There are two cupholders in the center part of the dash, and directly below them is a big storage bin in lieu of the glovebox, but that's all aside from an ashtray, so I've gotta put my cell phone in the overhead console sunglass holder and leave my iPod in one of the cupholders.

I pulled into my driveway for a few minutes when I got home today and later my dad complained of an oil leak on the driveway from the van. If it's like 99% of the other 4.3 liters, it's leaking oil from the oil cooler lines. And the engine area smells of coolant. I double checked to make sure it didn't have the Northstar, but alas it was just the 4.3. Darn. :(

Just for shits and giggles (mainly mine), I looked up the horsepower and torque stats. 180hp @ 4400 rpm and 245 lb/ft at 2800 rpm....not bad. Just for comparison purposes, the PFI 4.5L Cadillac V8 made 180hp at 4300 rpm and 245 lb/ft at 3000 rpm, so it's damn near identical!

The way it accelerates is very close to the way the old TBI V8's feel. It has great low end torque, good mid range power, but at higher speeds the acceleration drops off a lot. It doesn't take much gas to get going, nor to pass anyone, but if you go WOT at speeds above 60 or so, the results are less than thrilling.

Destroyer
01-05-09, 08:43 PM
I always liked the Astro and thought it was the unsung hero of mini vans. Reliable, RWD and drives pretty nice. 14 mpg is bad though, my '97 S10 averaged 21 mpg with the same motor but it was lighter. My '05 Hemi Ram quad cab averages 15mpg so there's something "off" there.

Blackout
01-05-09, 09:12 PM
The fuel mileage issue is probably due to a combination of the AWD, the engine probably needs a tune up, and past owners having a lead foot. Every person that I know that at some point had a company car would beat the dog piss out of it

hueterm
01-05-09, 09:28 PM
Just don't wreck it....I seem to remember those things crash tested not much better than a Yugo....

Blackout
01-05-09, 09:33 PM
Here's some more info for ya I~LUV

Gas mileage: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/noframes/16177.shtml
14 City/18 HWY

Crash ratings and all types of other info: http://www.carfax.com/car_safety/ratings/SRR.cfm/year/2000/make/CHEVROLET/model/ASTRO/trim_id/2000CHEVECAASTRO_VAN#SARcrashNHTSA

gdwriter
01-05-09, 09:37 PM
Too bad you didn't get an Oldsmobile Silhouette. Then you could drive the Cadillac of minivans.

Blackout
01-05-09, 09:45 PM
Or go all out and get yourself one of these babies!

http://www.tuonti.com/kuvat/autot/pontiac_transport.jpeg

billc83
01-05-09, 09:52 PM
Pontiac built excitement...




...in minivan form.

hyperboimmv
01-05-09, 09:55 PM
Or go all out and get yourself one of these babies!

http://www.suxdorf.info/suxdorf/bell47g.nsf/bell47helicopter.jpg

Ugh I hate the helicopter looking mini-vans.. Not that I'd drive a minivan anyways...

hueterm
01-05-09, 10:45 PM
Here's some more info for ya I~LUV

Gas mileage: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/noframes/16177.shtml
14 City/18 HWY

Crash ratings and all types of other info: http://www.carfax.com/car_safety/ratings/SRR.cfm/year/2000/make/CHEVROLET/model/ASTRO/trim_id/2000CHEVECAASTRO_VAN#SARcrashNHTSA

Just drive around w/your legs crossed, and you should be OK....

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-05-09, 10:49 PM
Too bad you didn't get an Oldsmobile Silhouette. Then you could drive the Cadillac of minivans.


Or go all out and get yourself one of these babies!

http://www.tuonti.com/kuvat/autot/pontiac_transport.jpeg



Epic minivan fail.

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
01-06-09, 01:46 AM
Very nice Chad. My mom's '00 Blazer has the 4.3 and to everyone else, yes it does get that bad of gas mileage. You are lucky to see over 17 highway and about 15 city. When you have it in 4wd it will barely make it over 12-13 in the city, so it is right where it should be. As for power, I disagree a little. The 4.5 in my Caddy has way more low end torque while the 4.3 will kick my ass anywhere above 30. When I stomp on it in the Blazer it feels almost like it is turbo charged. It take a little while for the trans to get in the right gear and for the motor to start putting out some power but once it does it moves. Maybe when you guys come in for the Auto Show I can use her car for a night instead of the Isuzu.

Let me know when you do a few AWD donuts in the snow. I have done a few this year in the Isuzu and it is friggin awesome. :)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-06-09, 04:50 PM
As for power, I disagree a little. The 4.5 in my Caddy has way more low end torque while the 4.3 will kick my ass anywhere above 30. When I stomp on it in the Blazer it feels almost like it is turbo charged. It take a little while for the trans to get in the right gear and for the motor to start putting out some power but once it does it moves.


Hmmm......I wonder if anyone has ever done a Typhoon/ Syclone swap into an Astro or Safari.... :lildevil:

Aron9000
01-06-09, 06:57 PM
Hmmm......I wonder if anyone has ever done a Typhoon/ Syclone swap into an Astro or Safari.... :lildevil:

I've seen one with a big block chevy with mini tubs in the back. Was tan and had $20,000 worth of subs, amps, tvs, and scooby doo murals too:barf:

urbanski
01-06-09, 07:07 PM
wewt

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
01-07-09, 06:13 PM
Hmmm......I wonder if anyone has ever done a Typhoon/ Syclone swap into an Astro or Safari.... :lildevil:

I keep begging her to either let me turbo it or do a 350 conversion. It has the tow package so higher rear end gearing and a posi. It also has a 700r4 trans so it can take the power. :)