Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

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Thread: Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

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    Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

    Blurring the lines between minivan and SUV
    Full Article: http://www.newsargus.com/jims-cars/

    The Montana is not without a large number of desirable features, but first one downside. Side curtain airbags for second and third row occupants are not available even as an option. That’s a major oversight because people are buying as much safety as possible these days, particularly when it comes to vehicles that haul their families.

    Virtually all large sport utility vehicles and minivans have the side curtains available for 2005.

    On the plus side, the Montana comes with 4-wheel antilock brakes as standard equipment. And GM’s antiskid system, StabiliTrak, can be purchased as a $450 option. Side impact airbags for the front seat passengers are also available for an extra $350.

    And Pontiac stresses its energy-absorbing frame built from high-strength steel with extra crush space in front.

    What makes the SV6 a more attractive vehicle, particularly in northern climates, is the availability of all-wheel drive. That feature will push the price up about $2,300.

    We found the SV6 to be a relaxing driving companion. The seating position is comfortable and the view out is excellent. The suspension is tuned to a ride bordering on the soft side. But we think that’s probably what minivan owners desire.

    And the interior solitude is noteworthy. Pontiac has done a commendable job in reducing wind, road and outside noise from intruding.

    All SV6’s come with a zesty 3.5-liter 200-horsepower V-6 mated to a 4-speed automatic. With a light load, the Montana has a quickness to its step. Four adult passengers slowed it down a bit, but we had no complaints over performance.

    The engine is quiet unless forced into action with a firm plant of the right foot.

    One of the Pontiac’s highlights is its entertainment system. Our test vehicle came with a DVD entertainment system, which includes headphones and a flip-down screen, as standard equipment.

    XM Satellite radio was also a pleasing part of our week’s test drive. For the real music and movie lovers, Pontiac has an option called Mobile Digital Media powered by the PhatNoise system.

    PhatNoise is a wallet-sized 40-gigabyte hard drive cartridge capable of storing and playing back 10,000 songs in MP3 format and storing and playing back up to 40 movies in MPEG format.

    We were afforded a demonstration of the PhatNoise system in Detroit last summer and it is, indeed, amazing.

    The SV6 comes in two trim levels, the 1SA starting at $25,235 and the 1SB starting at $28,605. All-wheel drive versions begin at $28,415 and $30,925.

    A few desirable and interesting options on our test vehicle included power sliding doors, rear parking assist, 110 volt power outlet, remote vehicle starter system and rooftop luggage rails.

    The bottom line was $31,790. If you can deal with the rear seating issues, the new Montana has a lot of interesting things to offer a family including a myriad of cupholders and storage nooks and crannies.

    Last edited by Ming; 01-13-2005 at 11:02 PM.
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    Re: Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

    The more I see all of them in the local dealerships the less ugly they are becoming

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    Re: Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

    "rugged looking minivan"...? interesting, but its nice to see these minivans getting semi favorable reviews. They are definetly going to sell. My grandparents in Georgia just purchased an Uplander and they love it. The other vehicle they were considering was a Subaru Outback but I persuaded them to check out the Chevy's (Equinox or Malibu Maxx would of suited their needs perfectly) but somehow a salesman got them into an Uplander and they loved it because its alot easier to get in and out of then a car, especially so for their elderly passengers.

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    Re: Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

    Well, they arent great, but at least they're not terrible. I'd be curious to see which comes last in a minivan comparo, this or the Ford. The Freestar seems worse, which is especially satisfying since I beleive Ford put a lot more into their model than did GM in these stopgaps.
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    Re: Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

    Why is it satisfying to have the two largest domestic auto manufacturers competing for the crappiest product? And why is it especially satisfying to know that one of them wasted a ton of money doing it?

    Chevy vs. Ford is over. It's GM and FoMoCo vs. Toyota.
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    Re: Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

    The vans are definately vehicles that look much better in person. I think the Uplander, at least in my drive-bys, looks downright sporty.

    From this review, GM has a good thing going, with some things missing. If they really tried, with a new platform, they have the potential of building a truely outstanding minivan. Maybe we'll meet that minivan (or CSV) in the next generation. Until then, I don't think GM will lose too much ground.
    Last edited by Mr_Pringle; 01-14-2005 at 01:26 AM.

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    Re: Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

    These vans have received a lot of criticism for their least-in-class horsepower and horrible styling. But the truth of the matter is minivan buyers will still buy millions of them so long as (1) GM keeps the price down, (2) the vans are good on gas, and (2) the vans prove to be reliable. I think these 2 factors count far more than whether it has 250hp.
    Real drivers use both feet.

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    Re: Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

    I think they look like a$$

    a simple "face lift" isn't going to cut it against the 2nd and 3rd generation models from Honda, Toyota and Chrysler....

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    Re: Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

    I'm not a minivan buyer, but when seeing one in person at the dealership, I think they look much better than they I thought they would when I first saw a picture.

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    Re: Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

    These vans continue to get somewhat good reviews. I, too, would like to see what M/T and C&D have to say about them.

    It's too bad though that many people won't even give these vans a chance. To see them up close, especially the interiors, one would think this was not a GM car. So what if it doesn't have 250hp - this is a family hauler, not a race car. My Venture, with its paltry 185hp, does just fine hauling the little ones and luggage around town and on the highway.

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    Re: Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

    These vans do look much better to me now than they did in pictures. It's too bad GM didn't give them an optional 3.9L, optional head curtains and maybe better seating. They are a good effort IMO but they can stand some improvements.

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    Re: Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

    These vans aren't bad at all but I can already hear C&D whining about the lack of curtain side airbags, a rear seat that doesn't fold all the way in the floor, engine noise at high rpm's, some interior cheapness and not enough power. When talking about the Freestar I see that van as having a rear seat that folds flat, an optional engine and curtain side airbags and a better crash test rating possibly. It would be interesting to see which was rated better but it's the Odyessy and Sienna who are the real enemies.

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    Re: Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

    Not to sound too tongue-in-cheek, like my usual self, but it appears that minivans are getting more favorable press these days. After all, the journalists want to help Toyota and Honda sell as many of their new minivans as possible!

    My criticism of GM's vans has become more measured with time, and I can appreciate that they're not as bad as I initially thought. But it would be refreshing to finally be able to associate the word "great" with GM's minivans rather than what it seems GM fans are relegated to doing: "they're not that bad."

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    Re: Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

    Once again a favorable review wich still manages to emphasize faults while downplaying advantages. All wheel drive, phat noise system, remote start. all get passing mention. and as for horse power, my wife keeps wondering why everyone needs to drive a race car. yes she has a v-6 camaro, but has no desire for the v-8. there are down sides to the stow and go seating, a high step up. your best bet is to do like my brother. Take the entire family to different dealerships and have them tag along on the test drives. Oh, and the comment about climbing into the back seats, If it's my car, I'm not climbing back there, my younger more limber kids are.

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    Re: Pontiac Montana SV6 - Blurring the lines between Minivan and SUV

    Time to start counting how many times the word stopgap will be used here.

    It's not a stopgap when it will be around just as long as a Toyota from redesign to redesign.

    Think this van will be replaced in 3 years? I hate to sound skeptical, but I don't think so. It will last every bit as long as the 2004 Grand Prix "redesign", and few are calling that a stopgap to make excuses for it.

    When it goes longer than 3 years, you can all throw your "stopgap" self-reassurance out the window.

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