Comfortable, Roomy, Reliable, Safe
By maxp on
1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS 2dr Coupe
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.