Chevrolet and Geo Trucks and Cars For 1997
By Carey Russ
Chevrolet and its Geo affiliate have a truck, van, or sport-utility for just about every need and budget. The Venture minivan is new this year.
The second-generation Chevy minivan is so new it gets a new name: Venture. Offered in standard or extended-wheelbase passenger models and as an extended-wheelbase cargo van, the Venture has innovative features that should make it useful for a wide range of customers.
The optional power-operated passenger-side sliding door familiar from the previous GM minivans continues to be available, and it can be operated with the remote keyless entry fob. The Venture has an available driver's-side sliding door as well for ease of access. The Sungate solar coating in the windshield glass not only helps keep the interior cool, it does double duty as the radio antenna. There are several different seating configurations, with second and third-row seats foldable or easily removable. Separate rear seat climate and sound system controls are a convenient option.
Passenger models come in standard and LS trim. The cargo model is standard-trim only. Dual airbags, side-impact protection beams in the doors, and a front crumple zone are standard safety features. A 180- horsepower 3.4-liter V6 provides power through a four-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission.
The second generation of Chevrolet's full-sized van made its debut last year. Two lengths are offered. The Express is the passenger model, with seating for 5 to 15 depending on length and configuration. The Chevy Van is the cargo hauler. They have a variety of detail changes this year.
The mid-sized rear or all-wheel drive Astro continues as a choice for people who need something bigger and more powerful than a minivan but smaller and more economical than a full-sized van.
Chevrolet and Geo Sport-Utility Vehicles
Chevy's compact sport-utility has some new safety and convenience features for 1997. It comes in two- and four-door versions. A new optional liftgate with separate liftglass is available on 4-door models. Four-door LT models with the All-Wheel Drive system get four-wheel disc brakes. A ZR2 offroad package is offered on 2-door 4x4 models. An electric tilt-and-slide sunroof and HomeLink universal transmitter are also available.
The full-sized Tahoe SUV has an outboard front passenger facial airbag this year. Four-wheel drive models have a reduced turning circle.
The stretch limo of the sport-utility world has an outboard front passenger facial airbag this year, and four-wheel drive models have a reduced turning circle.
The smallest Chevy/Geo sport-ute comes in 2-door convertible and 4-door hardtop models. The 2-door models get a new rear seat.
Chevy's compact S-Series pickups come in the usual (for pickups) wide array of models. Two- or four-wheel drive, long or short cargo box, regular or extended cabs, and four- or six-cylinder engines are available. Two-wheel drive models get a new, stiffer frame for 1997.
The best-selling vehicle line that General Motors makes gets outboard front passenger facial air bags and detail improvements to transmissions and the climate control system.
"C" models are rear-wheel drive and "K" models are 4-wheel drive. There are a tremendous variety of configurations available, with different cargo and towing capacities. Seating arrangements range from 2-seat regular cab to 6-passenger crew cab. All full-sized Chevrolet pickups have 4-wheel antilock brakes, safety-cage cab construction, and daytime running lights.