Chevrolet Astro

Chevrolet Astro (1985-1994)

Chevrolet Astro (1995-2005)

The Chevrolet Astro was a rear-wheel drive van, the Chevrolet introduced in 1985 as a competitor to the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager from the U.S. and the Japanese Toyota Van. The Astro was sold with a different grille as a GMC Safari. In addition to the equipment for transporting people there were the two as vans. In addition, she served as the basis for custom conversions.

The name Astro Chevrolet had previously used for the concept vehicle Astro 1, which has nothing to do with the van described herein, and has been shown at the New York Auto Show 1967.

The Astro Van is called and is the size between the Venture and Lumina APV on the one hand and the Chevy Van / Express on the other. How the Ford Aerostar took over the Astro Drive and components from other vans its manufacturer. But he has a monocoque chassis with a front subframe to accommodate the engine and front suspension.

Because of the vans drive Astro and Safari have about 2,500 kg permissible total weight of about 600 kg payload.

Initially Chevrolet advertised the fact that " reveals this vehicle yourself that life is too big for a minivan ", which was aimed at the Chrysler minivans.

The van had 8 seats.

The Chevrolet Astro was sold outside the U.S. and in Japan, where he became a cult vehicle. In the last year of production, 2005, Chevrolet offered a Japan Limited Edition on. Although the car was only offered with left-hand drive, he was still so popular in Japan.

Landing gear

As for the vehicles of the second generation GM F- platforms and GM-X platforms, the Astro / Safari had a front connected subframe with the front suspension of the GM B platform of the station wagon versions of the Chevrolet Caprice and the Cadillac Brougham and rear leaf springs. The lower ball joints were larger than those of the B- platform (eg Fleetwood limousines ). These ball joints were built 1995/1996 in the 9C1 police package for the Chevrolet Caprice one. The cars were also many mechanical similarities with the GMT-325/350-Pickups and vans.

As previously mentioned, Astro and Safari had rear-wheel drive, but in 1990 there was an entirely new request -wheel drive, which is designed by FF Developments ( FFD). The all-wheel drive consumed more fuel: Only 17 mls / gal. compared with 20 mls / gal. the rear-drive van. Premature wear of the links has been a problem. There are hundreds of cases of a failure of the torsion bar in the chassis of the all-wheel drive vehicles. The torsion bars failed without warning, resulting in a lowering of the landing gear. To repair both torsion bars to improved copies had to be replaced, which is about U.S. $ 1,000 - cost. Deaths were not complaining.

In 1990, a new instrument panel was introduced and there was also a model with a longer structure ( Astro EXT). The wheelbase, however, is same for all models. 1995, it can be the model bestow a facelift; it got a longer front end that looked similar to the new Express. 1996 there was again a new instrument panel with front passenger airbag. From then on the Vans remained stylistically unchanged until the cessation of production in 2005.

2003 GM improved the suspension of Astro and Safari with certain suspension components, larger brakes and 16 "wheels of the big Chevrolet and GMC -0 ,5- tonners. These changes improved the poor handling and braking behavior of the vans.

End of the model

As the sales of GM fell across the board, the company closed several plants and put a bad current models. As new technical standards for side impact protection and the protection of passengers should come from head injury, GM decided that it would not make sense to put a lot of money in the redesign bad salable model series. The production of Astro and Safari 14th May 2005 set and the long -used plant in Baltimore, where the two had been made ​​, was closed. Astro and Safari were the only vehicles with rear-wheel drive, which were produced over 20 years - a much longer cycle model than that of the direct competitors Ford Aerostar, which was taken out of production in 1997. Since 1998, when the original Mazda MPV was discontinued, Astro and Safari vans were the only available in the U.S. and Canada with rear wheel drive. As there were only the two of them in two generations. Overall, the work in Baltimore approximately 3.7 million Astro and Safari put forth.

The Chevrolet Astro was replaced by the Uplander "Crossover ", which also served as a successor to the venture. Like the Astro, there is also the Uplander as a van and minibus, although the self-supporting body has been found in conjunction with the front-wheel drive to be unfavorable for transporting heavy loads. GMC Safari presented as the successor of the 2007 Acadia.

Safety and crash tests

The IIHS ( Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), which is often tested vehicles for their safety and the results in the NBC show, 'Data Line presents '', evaluated the Astro 1996 as bad because its entire vehicle structure when 64-km/h- offset crash collapsed against a solid barrier. The vehicle floor was deformed and pushed both front seats with dummies forward into the dashboard and the steering wheel.

In the tests, the NHTSA ( National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ) Astro and Safari cut but better. From a single star in 1990, the car improved to 3 star (driver), or 4 stars ( Passenger), 1999 In the side impact, both vehicles achieved the highest rating -. 5 star - and every year.

Popular tags

In addition to their popularity for professional tuner Astro and Safari were also in "backyard tuners " popular. Conversions are available for road and off-road. In some Vans, the original 4.3 -liter V6 engine was replaced by a 5.7 ​​liter V8 small block. This is simply because the 4.3 -liter V6 is based on the small-block, so most of the original drive components can still be used.

Because of its interpretation on the basis of a van the Astro is also often used by off-road and camping enthusiasts. The combination of a powerful drive, a high passenger and cargo capacity, all-wheel drive and an available on request slip differential for the rear axle facilitate the conversion on the road use. The vehicle can be set higher, allowing for changes in the tires and the ground clearance at a relatively low change in the external appearance.


The Chevrolet Astro is referred to in the computer game Grand Theft Auto than Moonbeam.

Pictures of Chevrolet Astro