Our monte carlo was purchased brand new in January of 97. 250,000 miles and 4 family members later, all that its needed is a head gasket, an alternator, and regular mantinence. It's a great car for long trips, in town, and as a highschool car.
This was the first car that I got after I got my license a year and a half ago. It lasted until this week when it literally BLEW a plug and became unfixable. I replaced the brakes once and it needed a new control arm after 185K miles. The interior dash lights and windows also went out, but the window fixed itself. Overall, I'm very satisfied with it. Good acceleration and steering. I would have loved to have driven it when it first came out!
Trunk room, acceleration, steering, suspension, overall handling.
More cup holders, and less complication with brakes and battery placement.
I got this car about a year ago with 155K on it. It now has 166K and is still running pretty strong. It always starts right up, I haven't had to do anything to it except the regular oil change. However its very slow for being a "sporty" 2-door. Also there is one cup holder for five seats and it breaks easily so i don't even use it anymore. Overall i would give this car a 5 out of 10.
I purchased mine 3 yrs ago. It's been an ok car, but has had it's share of problems. First of all, the 2 middle injectors gave ma A LOT of grief in the beginning. The computer NEVER reads the EGR valve correctly, which keeps the service engine light on continuously. Injector replacements are not cheap, and i have replaced the egr valve and installed the recommended screen over the port. I still cannot figure out how to get the drum off the rear brakes, and have tried multiple times. I am now starting to have multiple electrical problems, and don't think the car is worth fixing at this point. I love the room in the car, and like the style of it a lot. The gas mileage in my opinion isn't good.
Body style, room on the inside. It's always a comfortable ride. Plenty of room in the backseat for my little daughter. Good size trunk space as well.
Better interior quality. Mine is just plain falling apart, and believe me, I take care of my things. Sound system is not the greatest, and they ALL rust terribly by the fuel filler door, and on both rear panels just above the bumper.
Not a car that is going to burn up a race track, but acceleration and road holding is fine for everyday situations. The roomy interior, smooth and quiet V6 engine, supple ride quality, and light steering make the Monte a very comfortable car that is a nice place to spend time in. Great for long freeway trips and relaxed cruising. Fuel economy is good on the freeway for a car this large (~27 MPG) but not impressive in the city (less than 20). 3.1 and 3.8 liter engines have good reliability, but avoid the 1995-1997 Z34 models as their 3.4 liter is expensive to fix. I've driven a lot of cars, and the interior design and controls are among the simplest and easiest to use of any car I've been in.
Smooth ride, quiet engine, simple controls, roomy interior, large backseat (for a coupe). Mechanical reliability with 3.1 liter is also quite good. Dual airbags, ABS, and traction control make this a very safe car, especially considering its age and class. The Monte also does great in the snow.
Interior layout is stellar... but the interior materials, appearance, and assembly are atrocious. Overall GM made a good car, but as usual the interior is an orgy of hard, shiny, dollar-store plastics that aren't assembled very well. Be wary of rattles and loose components in high mileage examples.