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!
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.
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.