Chevy Astro Van

The best part about the Chevrolet Astro is that it has a cult following in Japan. In fact, the Astro is so well loved in Japan that in 2005, to celebrate the last year of Astro production, Chevrolet of Japan offered a limited edition of the final production models. It is even funnier that the Astro was so popular in Japan because they were only offered the model in left-hand drive. Chevrolet introduced the Astro in 1985, as competition for the Dodge Caravan/Plymouth Voyager twins. The Astro and Safari vans proved to be very popular and useful for large families, conversion companies, and commercial companies. Companies preferred the vans because they were also available as very roomy cargo vans. Meanwhile, converters used them as small conversion vans. Most people refer to the Astro as a minivan, when in reality it is slotted in size between the Chevrolet Venture minivan and the full-size Chevy Express. Much like the Ford Aerostar, it was based on a traditional truck frame. The general consensus is that since the van is so large, its true classification would be considered a "midi" van, like the Toyota Van or Ford Aerostar. Due to their truck-based platform, the Astro and Safari were laid out for cargo and towing. With the tow package, the Astro could pull 6,000 lb with ease. This is remarkable in comparison to the car-based, front-wheel drive minivans which may be more passenger-friendly but really have no business to haul anything but children to and from soccer practice. Initial advertising boasted that it was a vehicle that will "make you realize that life is too big for a minivan". This advertising seemed to work and was also very realistic given that it seated up to 8 passengers. If you had a large family, the Astro was the only thing on the market that would really get the job done.