What's New for 2000
Base models receive additional standard equipment, while the standard 3.1-liter V6 gets more power and torque. The sporty LTZ and upscale LS models are dropped. This is the final year for the Lumina.
While in college, one of our staffers attended the 1989 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The 1990 Chevrolet Lumina was displayed at the show in coupe and sedan form, and this young man thought the vehicle was some kind of funky, ill-conceived concept car, like those oddly shaped safetymobiles created during the 1970s. Few showgoers even seemed to notice the silly silver Luminas as he inspected the angular styling - all the while wondering if GM had missed the boat on Ford's success with the Taurus. When the Lumina hit the streets for the 1990 model year, he couldn't help but chuckle every time one passed him on the street. Amazingly, the Lumina went on to become a bestseller, due in part to strong fleet sales.
These days, a different Lumina occupies Chevy showrooms. Chevy engineers claim the current-generation Lumina is the result of intensive consumer clinics, and that the car was designed in accordance with the research findings. A vast improvement over the first-generation model, the current Lumina offers an ergonomically correct, straightforward dashboard. The exterior shape is modern, but somewhat dull. Styling was not a strong issue among sedan buyers, a point well proven by the popularity of the previous-generation Lumina. Fortunately, Chevy saw fit to give the Lumina a tidy, attractive look that is marred only by a somewhat characterless and protruding proboscis.
Inside, seats could use more support and firmer padding. Controls, however, are easy to see and use, and fabrics are treated with Scotchgard to repel the occasional Dairy Queen spill. Lumina can be equipped with GM's OnStar Mobile Communications system, which uses a cellular phone and global positioning satellite to pinpoint the car's location for emergency purposes. The system can also be used to get directions when the driver is lost, or book reservations with a restaurant or an airline.
This is the final year for the Lumina. For 2000, the model lineup is trimmed to a single entry. That base model receives added standard equipment like a rear window defroster, power windows, a cargo net, and an uplevel sound system. Options include an appearance package with alloy wheels, CD player and nicer cloth upholstery. The 3.1-liter V6 gains power and torque, helping to fill the void left by the departure of the 200-horse, 3.8-liter V6 on the options list. Upscale LS and sporty LTZ trims have been discontinued.
With a competent car and a pricing structure that undercuts Ford and Chrysler, Chevy's 2000 Lumina offers a blend of function and value that many Americans might find appealing - at the rental counter.