My family has owned this car since 2001 with 15,000 miles on it. We now have 190,000 miles on it. Still runs great. All we do it give it regular maintenance (oil changed every 3 and tires rotated and such). Its a fairly comfortable cruiser and has a basic but durable interior. The cloth seats still hold up well. It has a responsive engine/transmission and has no issue passing cars on 2 lane roads. (I last clocked a 0-60 run at 7 seconds flat). Gets about 25 on average with a 50/50 highway/city. Its not taxing to drive and has some decent driver feedback through the steering wheel. Handles winter fairly well to with stock tires. The family hope to get another 100,000+ miles out of it at least
What can I say? This car started right up after a 5 minute charge after I'd let it sit for over 9 months with a dead battery and old gasoline. Bought it titleless and the DMV's been totally unhelpful so unfortunately I couldn't drive it that whole time. Here I'd been trying to find a cheap battery to replace the one that certainly should've been dead, but said "Hey...why not see if it starts?" so I let it charge for maybe 5 minutes and what do you know, that sucker roared to life! I drove this car 2,000 miles from Wisconsin to California and haven't had to fix a thing on it. No repairs in the 2 years I've owned it besides oil and brakes. 10/10 for reliability.
Amazing sound quality from the default speakers, comfy seats for a short person, big steering wheel, great visibility
After putting about 130K miles on it and reaching over 180,000 on the odometer, I sold the vehicle to my brother in Aug. 2011. It's still running strong (April 2014), with over 200K miles and counting.
The Lumina was a reliable daily driver, and not a bad long distance trip vehicle either. Never less than 20MPG on a tank even in the deepest cold Chicago winters; typically low 30s pure highway driving. Stovebolt reliable and cheap to fix wear-out parts. Oil usage excellent at about 6K miles per quart.
Tough as a tank. Was rear-ended once by a Mustang. Major frontend damage to the Mustang. Replaced the exhaust, bumper cover and shocks on the Lumina.
Best Chevy I ever owned.
Smooth ride. Logical controls.
Seating for 6 in a pinch.
Great highway MPG, 30-32.
(about 2000 RPMs at 70 MPH).
Excellent outward visibility, reliability and durability.
No timing belt to change @ $1K per job - nothing wrong with simple, durable, pushrod engines!
3.1 V-6 a gem.
These points are kind of moot since the vehicle is out of production, but....the one thing I wish it had was 4-wheel disc brakes.
Braking at highways speeds over 65MPH or downhill in the mountains was always a little scary.
The rear drums did little real braking work, and the too-small front discs did about 80% of the braking work.
Lots of brake fade.
Never liked the double-push E-brake system.
The battery was more than half covered by the washer wiper reservoir - dumb design.
Since driving back from FL last Spring (see my earlier review) this car still impresses. The mileage has remained mich higher than the official ratings. City driving has been over 21 even in harsh conditions. The car drives nicely on snow covered roads. No ABS is a bit of a change since even my 99 Camaro has it. Mechanically, everything has been fine except an occasional extra noise from the starter. Not an emergency.
I like the front split bench seating with the folding arm rest. Comfortable. No complains from back seat passengers, plenty of room.
Just one cup holder in this car, in the dash. Not sure if this is common, but the heat is nothing to brag about. I've noticed this is a cool running engine and that is fine. But, when the temp is really down there, the heat is just okay. Warm, but that is about it. Takes a while to develop, and a while to really warm the interior. On another matter, the battery is difficult to access. Well hidden.
Just drove this car to Wisconsin from Florida. I carefully monitored the fuel efficiency was very impressed by the numbers. Peaked at 33.4 mpg and averaged 32.30 mpg, all Interstate miles in relatively good conditions. Besides that the car accelerates nicely, handles relatively well, and rides pretty smooth. Mine has only 60k now and I hope to run this car for quite a while.
The engine and power train feel good. The fuel efficiency is very good.