1997 Chevrolet Lumina LS 3.1 from North America
Dependable in a "plain brown wrapper"
The alternator failed at around 125,000. My neighbor was handy with cars so he was able to diagnose it for me and make the repair free of charge! All I had to do was buy the alternator.
This was purchased as my first car in the late summer of 2001. I first considered the Monte Carlo, but liked the more traditional set-up of the Lumina with its column mounted gear selector, four doors, and more compliant suspension tuning. My car was the LS which is in between the base Lumina and the sporty LTZ. The only real benefits of the package were the upgraded velour interior and the nice aluminum rims. The only additional options on my car were the rear window defroster and trunk net. It lacked convenience options such as an automatic trunk opener, key fob to lock and unlock the doors, and power seats. I was suprised to read that other owners complained that the suspension was a bit too spongy as I felt it leaned a bit on the firm side, but was never really uncomfortable. While the car was always very dependable over the four years that I owned it, I became bored with it after about the first year. The car was definitely basic transportation, I often likened it to driving a rental car every day. I also never achieved very impressive gas mileage at only around 18 miles per gallon in mixed driving (heavily in-town). While I would never buy another Lumina or any other Chevrolet, I would recommend it for a first time driver or someone who only needs basic transportation, but if you want a car that is a little interesting, don't consider this one. I find my Buick Park Avenue far more pleasing to drive and would definitely recommend the similar Buick Century over the Lumina.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 20th November, 2006