1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS 3.1 Liter from North America
A safe, reliable, well built car
The alternator had to be replaced at 40000 miles.
This vehicle, while it appears sporty, is a perfect example as to why you should never judge a book by its cover. Whereas many other vehicles in this price range can command power and speed to make Hemingway proud, it seems at times the vehicle wishes to plod on like a James Joyce novel. If you're willing to abuse your gas pedal you can squeeze some power from the engine.
The car apparently has a touring suspension which limits its cornering and acceleration capabilities, though it enhances the feel of being in a slightly more upscale Chevy.
On the other hand the interior is rather roomy and well appointed. Imitation wood panel inserts and a chrome Monte Carlo name plate in the cabin add a touch of class.
The factory sound system has served very well and has weathered quite a bit of high volume punishment.
Speaking of punishment, I personally wrecked this car by taking out a barbed wire fence at around 90 miles per hour and the only repairs other than some hose replacement were to the body panels and windshield. At more than $4000 worth of damage, the vehicle was still sound mechanically and has given me no problems since. As for myself, I walked away from the wreck unscathed (much to the surprise of the highway patrol), living proof that the time taken by GM in making this vehicle safe for its passengers was well spent.
My only real problem with the vehicle is in its lack of power worthy of its name.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd September, 2002
22nd Apr 2003, 06:48
A nice review, you sound like an english major, but I have a question for you. You're complaining about the lack of power, but you bought the base model. Didn't you expect less power from the lesser engine?
14th May 2003, 04:34
I bought my '98 Monte Carlo LS when it had 42,000 miles on it in January of 2003. I put a aftermarket stereo in it, being as I didn't have a cd player, but I think that it has plenty of power considering I have drove a Berreta with a 3.1 and mine is faster.
22nd Dec 2004, 10:30
I also own a 97' LS, and in lines of what you stated about the lack of power. For one I agree for the fact that I've compared the car to three other cars. The first car was a 2003 Grand Prix also with a 3.1 liter V6, which was indeed quicker than the LS 3.1. The second car was an 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue GL 3.5, with it being the fastest of the test cars. The third test car was a 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier LS with the 2.2 liter four cylinder engine. It was actually about the same in performance with the Monte Carlo, which shocked me.
Point being, no the 3.1 liter in the LS is not a performer, but that's why the had the Z34 with the 3.4 liter. Which at this point I'm looking for a junked Z-34 for the engine simply because its that much more powerful.