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.

General Comments:

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.

1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Z34 3.4L from North America


High maintenance, low value!


At 3900 miles, the air conditioner was serviced twice due to a clogged drain.

At 6900 miles, the passenger air bag module was replaced due to failure. It was replaced again at 7300 miles.

At 29000 miles, faulty jumper harness for anti-lock brake system was replaced.

At 30000 miles, ignition wire set was replaced due to failure.

At 59000 miles, the fuel pump was replaced due to failure.

At 63000 miles, the transmission begins periodic episodes involving an odd noise and hard shifting. The Chevy dealership cannot find a problem. The problem subsides when the car is shut down and allowed to "rest" for approximately 5 minutes.

At 79000 miles, the vapor canister is replaced due to failure. Also replaced right hand rear wheel speed sensor and both rear sensor harnesses due to failure.

At 83000 miles, number 3 cylinder goes down. Also replaced left front bearing assembly due to failure.

At 85000 miles, number 1 cylinder goes down.

At 87000 miles, it's time for a new alternator.

General Comments:

I put 105,000 miles on my Geo Metro and I never had nearly as many mechanical problems as with my Monte Carlo. I expected that such an expensive vehicle (more than 3 times the price of the Metro) would certainly be of comparable value. Boy was I wrong. I can't believe I have put up with this car for this long.

If you are not a mechanic with an in depth knowledge, do yourself a favor and stay away from this car. I will never buy a Chevrolet (or any GM) again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th June, 2002

20th Jun 2002, 15:23

You loose faith with Chevy and GM over this? If you knew any better you would've bought an older MORE RELIABLE Monte Carlo in the first place. I've got a classic Monte Carlo and it has never let me down.

21st Sep 2002, 09:59

I have a 1997 Monte Carlo Z34 and have had nothing but costly repairs. I replaced the alternator twice, fuel pump, fuel regulator, power steering pump, plugs and wires 3 times (which is very costly for this car), and the serpentine belt. The repairs are very costly due to the way the car is made. The alternator alone cost 535.00 (including labor) because the motor literally needs to be dismantled! Getting to the battery is time consuming because the windshield washing reservoir sits on top of the battery! I think the engineers were stoned when they designed the car! I always owned Chevy's, but will stay away from the Monte Carlos in the future!

1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Z-34 from North America


This car is a near-luxury vehicle that can move in comfort and style


Five years later this car looks and runs as if it were new.

Gas mileage is the only real fault in this car. It feels like I'm filling up constantly.

General Comments:

The cabin is very luxurious for what I paid for the car. Leather wrapped seats and steering wheels, and very nicely visible control panels and gauges.

215 horsepower let you get from point A to point B in good time. Acceleration comes best after 3000 rotations per minute.

Trunk and passenger space is bountiful. I can fit two big guitar cabinets in the trunk using the fold down rear seats for extra space.

The stock stereo is pretty good, which is an important factor for me.

The exterior is very nice. It is a very streamlined design that is sure to catch an eye or two, especially my red one. The four exhaust tips add to the sporty elegance. With "Z-34" on the rear people will know that your capable of some serious speed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd April, 2002