2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Review
Pros & Cons
- Large interior, distinctive styling, powerful V6 in SS models.
- Front-wheel drive platform, no traction control on base models.
Edmunds' Expert Review
Questionable throwback styling cues, wobbly handling and characterless interior make this a last-resort coupe at best.
Heritage design is popular these days, and Chevrolet has employed this styling trend on the all-new 2000 Monte Carlo. From the traditional "Knight's Crest" badge, script lettering and distinctive headlight treatment to the sculpted fenders and vertical taillights, the new MC strongly recalls the '70s and '80s models that made the nameplate a hit.
Under the skin, the Monte Carlo shares a platform with the Chevrolet Impala, which means this is a big coupe - a full Monte, if you will. Two models are available: LS comes equipped with a 3.4-liter V6 engine making 180 horsepower, while SS benefits from 20 additional ponies and more torque, thanks to the venerable 3.8-liter V6 under the hood. Either model comes well-equipped, but to emphasize performance, the SS gets fog lights, rocker-panel moldings, a rear spoiler, 16-inch alloy wheels, a full complement of gauges and twin exhaust outlets routed from dual mufflers.
A tower-to-tower structural brace under the hood, combined with a magnesium dashboard support beam, contributes to a rigid platform, improved handling and helps reduce squeaks and rattles. Large four-wheel disc ABS brakes with front cooling ducts provide confidence-inspiring stopping ability. A four-wheel independent MacPherson strut suspension is matched to front and rear stabilizer bars and meaty Goodyear Eagle RS-A performance tires to help make Monte Carlo fun in the curves. But you're going to have to settle for an automatic transmission in this Chevy; a manual is not available. Traction control is standard and available only on SS.
Inside, buyers looking for healthy doses of comfort will find it in Monte Carlo, whose cavernous innards were designed specifically to maximize harmony between the car and the driver. Special attention was paid to control placement and seat design, and engineers strove to provide top-notch brake pedal and steering feel. Good visibility, thanks to generous glass areas, a standard rear-window defogger, and large side-view mirrors, is a new Monte Carlo hallmark, though the wide C-pillars likely block vision in certain parking and lane change maneuvers.
All Monte Carlos come with air conditioning, power door locks, power windows, tilt steering wheel, a driver message center with oil life monitor, RDS radio technology, theatre-dimming interior lighting, daytime running lights, and a tire-pressure monitor. Step up to the SS model, and you get, in addition to traction control and performance/cosmetic enhancements, a cargo net, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with redundant audio controls, remote keyless entry, dual-zone temperature controls and a pollen filter. Options include leather seating, premium stereo with CD player, power front seats, heated exterior mirrors, and a power sunroof. If desired, the dealer can install GM's On Star communications system and a trap-resistant trunk kit designed to prevent a child from becoming locked in the luggage compartment.
By all indications, the 2000 Monte Carlo is a tremendous improvement over the bland Lumina-based coupe it replaces.