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Edmunds Takes a Velvet Hammer to the Pontiac SV6

886 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  kmacleod
This review/preview is a little old, but I found it pretty well sums it up:

2005 Pontiac Montana SV6

Neither the Pontiac Montana nor its corporate minivan brethren have ever sold in the numbers General Motors would like.

This van will get a taller stance; a longer, more angular nose; a more tasteful application of underbody cladding; and a name change to "Montana SV6." The results are not at all unattractive, and Pontiac will again field the most rugged-looking minivan in the GM lineup.

The SV6 does not represent a full redesign of the current Montana ? passenger and cargo space are nearly identical. It does, however, incorporate more of the features that today's minivan buyers are looking for, along with a more powerful engine. Additionally, structural upgrades, including a longer, reinforced front end and a stiffer occupant compartment, should improve the van's crashworthiness - a good thing because the GM minivans fared poorly in IIHS' frontal offset crash testing. Seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants are optional, but head curtain airbags are still nowhere to be found.

Crisp, new interior styling does wonders for the overall appeal of the cabin, and this being the Pontiac version, there's plenty of faux aluminum trim to go around. The SV6 should also be a more practical place to spend time, as GM has taken Honda's example and installed folding center trays (with cupholders) between the first- and second-row captain's chairs. An overhead rail system provides rear-seat access to climate and entertainment functions and can be customized to families' liking with various storage containers. In addition to the usual rear DVD entertainment system, midway through the 2005 model year, the SV6 will be available with a PhatNoise mobile digital media system that allows owners to store thousands of MP3s and/or several dozen movies. Another convenient option is a 115-volt household outlet for all manner of Game Cubes and portable stoves. For those who require easier access to the van, Pontiac will offer a dealer-installed Sit-N-Lift seat that lowers and rotates to ground level; unlike other mobility retrofits, this one is fully backed by the factory warranty.

For power, the Montana SV6 will offer a 200-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 as the one and only engine choice. We've experienced this engine in the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu, and although it should be a welcome upgrade from the overworked 3.4-liter motor, don't expect to keep up with Honda Odyssey drivers. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard, and both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available. In keeping with its sporting appearance, the SV6 wears standard 17-inch wheels, which should benefit handling as well. The StabiliTrak stability control system is a new option this year.

What's Edmunds' Take?

Although we're encouraged by the SV6's more attractive and functional interior, not to mention its improved crashworthiness, the fact remains that Pontiac is barely keeping up in the minivan race (PhatNoise system excepted). These days, side curtain airbags are basically a requirement for all-new models, and the SV6 doesn't have them. Nor does it have an independent rear suspension to deliver the kind of ride refinement buyers expect. And its V6 engine still isn't up to par. As a result, this handsome, mostly capable van will continue to be passed over in favor of better-equipped imports. - Erin Riches

Full Uncut Preview here

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Wow, they said almost exactly what I was thinking!!! :lol:
Originally posted by RCtennis3811@Mar 6 2004, 11:32 PM
Wow, they said almost exactly what I was thinking!!! :lol:

wake up GMC get these retards off your design team.
Good Article Ming.

My impression is that GM has invested design$$$$$ elsewhere
& did not have the money to really redesign the SV6 & siblings until
the Lamda platform debuts in a few years......

GM will have to make a quantum leap in Minivan design in four years with Lambda,
Even if they are still a marginal player in this segment...........

Meanwhile the rest of the Automotive world continues eating GM's lunch......

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