I love my Monte Carlo!
So far, the car is running perfectly. It's much better on gas than I expected and the seats are super comfortable.
The 3.1L engine is sufficient for my needs although I wish the steering was tighter. When making a turn aggressively, I really notice that there is a lot of play in the steering. I'm looking into whether this is normal or not. There are no noises or other oddities with the steering. My '94 Grand Prix had much tighter steering, but I guess it's like apples and oranges.
The power moon roof needs a track replaced. This is a common repair it seems. Apparently, they are plastic. There is a kit on the market that allows you to fix just that track without replacing the entire moon roof assembly.
The power window switch doesn't work sometimes.
The center console armrest hinge has broken --- another common problem. It doesn't bother me much as I don't store anything in the console, so I never have to open it.
My first car was a 90 Camry, purchased in '92 when I was 18. In '96, at 143K the tranny started slipping so I traded it for a '94 Grand Prix. This car was a nightmare! Electrical problems galore. I totaled it Xmas eve '98 in a snowstorm and vowed to never drive another American car. I moved to NYC and didn't have a car until a year ago when I moved back to NJ and inherited my moms '01 Sonata. It now has 160K on it, and is still running, although it needs a new tranny and power window repairs.
I saw this Monte Carlo and thought it was in pretty good condition for it's age. It only had 71K original miles and was obviously well taken care of. It is fast becoming my favorite car --- and I loved my Camry. I love the amenities: V6, power moon roof, very comfortable leather seats with electric 4-way driver seat... and I was looking for a black coupe larger than a Cavalier or Mustang, with better reviews than a Sebring and cheaper than a Solaro. Well, I got it all for $2500!
If you can find a well-maintained, low-mile '97 Monte Carlo, I say go for it!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th June, 2008