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2005 Pontiac Montana Van

4dr Ext WB w/1SA Pkg

Starting at | Starting at 18 MPG City - 24 MPG Highway

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  • $24,520 original MSRP
Printable Version

2005 Pontiac Montana Van

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2005 Pontiac Montana Van

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2005 Pontiac Montana SV6

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

General Motors has had two unsuccessful tries at building a minivan that the American public wants. Finally, GM may have found a workable formula with a selection of all-new long-nose family haulers: the Pontiac Montana SV6, the Chevrolet Uplander, the Saturn Relay and the Buick Terraza.

The long-nose design gets the engine completely forward for additional crash protection, and out of the way, and lets the interior open up so that real American families can use every cubic foot. GM also believes that the long-nose design makes the minivans look more like SUVs and thus makes them more acceptable to those buyers who attach some kind of less-than-macho stigma to minivan ownership. Montana competes against the Honda Odyssey, the Toyota Sienna, the Dodge Grand Caravan, the Ford Freestar, and the Nissan Quest.

We found the all-new Pontiac Montana SV6 to be pleasant and easy to manage, though not bristling with horsepower. It's roomy and competent, though it doesn't offer the latest in interior innovation. The Pontiac may be the best of the GM minivans with sporty, distinctive styling in a vehicle class not noted for those attributes. All-wheel drive is available, a key feature for owners who battle wintry weather. The Montana SV6 is priced well below the Odyssey and some of the other minivans, and cash incentives can sweeten the deal considerably.

Model Lineup

The new Pontiac Montana SV6 has a straightforward and easy to understand model lineup. The first thing to understand is that all Montanas are called SV6, so don't look for a non-SV6. The lineup starts with a well-equipped front-wheel-drive model called the 1SA, starting at $24,520; the 1SA All-Wheel-Drive version starts at $27,700; the better-equipped 1SB front-drive model starts at $27,890; and the 1SB All-Wheel-Drive model starts at $30,210. Most of the pricing differences are made up by additional features and amenities. GM's optional remote-starter ($175) lets you fire it up from inside the house during cold or hot weather.

All use the same engine, transmission, tire and wheel package. The standard setup is one right-side power sliding door for the second- and rear-seat passengers in the 2-2-3 seating layout. The left-side power sliding door comes as part of the $815 premium convenience package that includes the left-side power sliding door, rear park assist, an alarm system, and a three-way universal transmitter for garage doors, lights and gates.

Safety equipment on all models includes ABS, childproof door locks and the federally mandated dual front air bags. Side air bags are optional at $350. We recommend getting them. Traction control is also optional for the front-wheel-drive models at $195. All models come with OnStar and a year's worth of basic services.

Walkaround

After having driven and tested three of the four models in this family, including the Montana SV6, the Buick Terraza, and the Saturn Relay (with only the Chevy Uplander left to go), we'd have to classify the Pontiac as the best-looking, sportiest and most stylish of the bunch, which befits Pontiac's traditional role as the excitement division. The split grille up front tells everyone this is a Pontiac, while the Buick and Saturn will have to create their own identities in this long-nose minivan family. Between the nose, the headlamps, roof rack, and the side cladding, everything says this is a Pontiac, and that it's ready for some heavy family adventuring.

One of the things we like about modern minivans is the remote-actuated power sliding doors. The GM system, though, seems slow to unlock, slow to draw back, and slow to return and lock down. Perhaps they view this deliberate, slow operation as a secondary safety feature for passengers, but we'd like it all to speed up a bit. They've been working on this feature for close to a decade, and it should be faster, with more powerful motors, by now. And, as long as they're at it, how about a power liftgate?

Interior Features

The way GM does these things, there's only about a nickel's worth of difference inside any one of the four long-nose minivan interiors, perhaps a little bit of wood trim here, a chrome dress-up ring there, but all the basic elements are in the same places in any of the four. That doesn't mean to say the interior is bad, by any means; just a lot of sameness among the four. There is absolutely nothing difficult to find, use or understand in the Pontiac Montana, especially if you've owned GM vehicles before. Materials, grains, fits, and finishes are all within acceptable norms for this class.

There's plenty of room for average-sized adults in the first two rows of seats, and for average-sized kids in the last row. All the seats can be folded and/or removed quickly and easily, they just don't disappear into the floor as they do on the Honda and Chrysler products. There's a maximum of 136 cubic feet of cargo space, with 25 cubic feet behind the third seat and 74 cubic feet behind the second seats.

The driver's seat is comfortably roomy and comes with six-way power adjustment and an armrest full of power controls for mirrors, windows and locks. The hefty three-spoke steering wheel includes buttons for the cruise control and sound system, all big, round and easy to use. The gauges in the central cluster are large, with large numerals, easy to read and use. The instrument panel, center console and door panels are well integrated, and follow GM interior schemes to the letter. Most of the materials look good and are soft to the touch.

Going down the road, the Montana is about as good as anything else in the $30,000 minivan class in terms of storage, amenities, and accommodations. The multi-functional overhead rail system is slick, providing storage cubbies as well as a home for the rear-seat DVD entertainment system. The optional PhatNoise entertainment system features a 40-gigabyte hard drive that pops into and out of the overhead rail system. It can store up to 10,000 songs in MP3, WMA or WAV formats, store and play up to 40 movies, or a combination of songs and movies. It can play video games, and has a voice-browsing interface. It can transfer digital photos through a USB port in the cartridge and play them back on the DVD screen.

Driving Impressions

Driving the Pontiac Montana in the American heartland is pleasant. The engine is smooth and quiet, though not exactly rippling with musculature. Its 200 horsepower will accelerate at a good but not a quick pace. Performance for making passing maneuvers is acceptable. This minivan weighs in at over 4300 pounds empty. It wouldn't be our choice for hauling the family and a 3500-pound trailer at the same time. Just not enough grunt here to do a job like that.

Steering is typically GM over-assisted, very light and lacking in road feel, but it turns the truck. The anti-lock brakes work well at light loads and perform extremely well in panic stopping situations.

Two different suspensions are used. The front-wheel-drive models have MacPherson struts up front with a simple, inexpensive twist-beam axle at the rear mounted on trailing arms, with coil springs. Opt for Versatrak all-wheel drive, however, and you get a fully independent double-wishbone rear suspension that's a bit more aggressive and flatter in the corners. It adds considerably to the bottom line, however.

Our Montana was EPA-rated at 18 mpg City/24 Highway, but got 25 mpg overall after draining one tank on a highway trip, which would give a cruising tank range of 625 miles with its 25-gallon tank.

Summary

The all-new Pontiac Montana SV6 is a nice minivan that appeals to budget-conscious buyers who need room for family, dogs, and cargoes of all shapes and sizes. We found the Montana to be the most pleasing of the new GM minivans. Retailing for less than $32,000 including destination and delivery charges, the Pontiac Montana SV6 retails for $6,000 less than a Honda Odyssey, the current class leader in minivans. Cash incentives can sweeten the Pontiac deal considerably.

New Car Test Drive contributor Jim McCraw filed this report from Detroit, Michigan.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$27,890
Model lineup:
Pontiac Montana SV6 1SA FWD ($24,520); 1SA AWD ($27,700); 1SB FWD ($27,890); 1SB AWD ($30,210)
Engines:
200-hp 3.5-liter V6
Transmissions:
4-speed automatic (Hydra-Matic 4T65-E)
Safety equipment (Standard):
ABS, EBD; frontal airbags, OnStar
Safety equipment (Optional):
Stabilitrak, side air bags, traction control
Basic warranty:
3 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in:
Doraville, Georgia
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Pontiac Montana SV6 1SB ($27,890)
Standard equipment:
air conditioning, OnStar, power steering, ABS, power disc brakes, power windows, power vent windows, power locks, driver power seat, tilt wheel, console, cruise control, AM/FM/CD/MP3 system, information center, overhead rail system, DVD entertainment system
Options as tested:
Premium convenience package ($815); 7-passenger seating ($475); Stabilitrak ($450); dual front air bags ($350); XM Satellite Radio ($325); traction control ($195); remote starter ($175); 115-volt power outlet ($175); CD/DVD storage and first aid kit ($100); entertainment package and headphones ($75); roof rails ($50)
Destination charge:
715
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$31,790
Layout:
front-wheel drive
Engine:
3.5-liter dohc 24-valve V8
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
200 @ 5200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
220 @ 4400
Transmission:
4-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
18/24 mpg.
Wheelbase:
121.1 in.
Length/width/height:
205.5/72.0/72.0 in.
Track, f/r:
62.4/62.9 in.
Turning circle:
7 ft.
Seating capacity:
N/A
Head/hip/leg room, f:
39.8/59.9/40.0 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
38.9/61.2/36.2 in.
Head/hip/leg room, r:
38.1/38.7/36.2 in.
Cargo volume:
136.5 cu. ft.
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
3500 lbs.
Suspension F:
independent, MacPherson strut
Suspension R:
twist beam axle with trailing arms, coil springs
Ground clearance:
5.5 in.
Curb weight:
4307 lbs.
Tires:
P225/60R17
Brakes, f/r:
disc/disc with ABS, EBD, Brake Assist in.
Fuel capacity:
25.0 gal.

Printable Version

2005 Pontiac Montana Van

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Opt
Passenger Air Bag Opt
Side Air Bag Opt
Child Safety Locks Std

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Std
Printable Version

2005 Pontiac Montana Van

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Pontiac Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-year/24,000-Mile1 CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile2 Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile3 Powertrain Limited Warranty

1Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.

2Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.

3Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2010 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2005 Pontiac Montana Van

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