2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS 3.5 V6 from North America
Great car, great reliability! GM has really stepped it up!
Water pump - it was my sister's fault for not putting water in the car.
This is actually my sister's car. But since I got my learners permit (I am 15), I have spent a great deal of driving it.
The Monte Carlo is known for being one of America's muscle cars. So it's sort of a shock for such a legendary vehicle to have a Front Wheel Drive layout.
Engine/Transmission Performance - GM replaced the 3.8 engine. It had been in production for like forever! This was the engine used in the previous Monte Carlos. But this engine just made you feel so disconnected from the car.
All new for 2006, the Monte Carlo comes with three engine choices. 3.5 on the LS (I will be reviewing). 3.9 on the LT and the motorheads dream the 5.3. The 3.5 is very impressive, throttle response is incredible compared to the aged 3.8 most of its torque is achieved at 2-5 rpm. Acceleration is pretty good for a car this size.
I have come to believe that this engine will have stellar reliability, knock on wood. She first bought the car at 28000 miles. The Monte now has 102000 miles on the clock and not a speck of trouble.
Beware that transmission fluid is 7.19 cents a quart. The transmission has really good gear ratio to provide crisp shifting and better acceleration. It's really touchy from the start, and you can bump the gears every now and then, but it's held up to some abuse and still does good.
This car handles very very well for its size. On par with my aunts 350z (I've driven). It's really fun to drive. I particularly enjoy highway driving in this car; it's so stable! No wobble compared to an Impala or Grand Prix. I can take a really deep curve at 75-80 MPH with no wobble, but serious understeer can become a problem if steering is jerky.
Interior is basic and bland, well insulated though. Seats are pretty harsh because they are so tall. Interior room is ample even in the back. Interior quality is also good, no squeaks or rattles.
Exterior is well fit, there seem to be no gaps, and everything is well thought out. The headlights seem to be bulgy to me.
Great car, great reliability.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd January, 2009
There was nothing wrong with the 3800 engine, it was arguably one of GM's best engines. But I suppose you do have to move on.
The 3500 is indeed a fine engine, until the head gaskets start leaking. Which they all will/already do. You'd think after all of this trouble, that GM would know how to design a gasket. Not yet apparently. The coolant crossover gaskets are also very prone to fail. I'm replacing mine today. Not a job for the faint at heart. And very expensive otherwise.
And as for "it's so stable! No wobble compared to an Impala or Grand Prix.", All three of the cars are on the same platform, sharing much of the same parts. If there was wobble with the others, there was something wrong.
The Grand Prix should handle the best of the three; most got better suspensions.