8th Mar 2017, 23:05

They copied the Cadillac Seville design. I bought a brand new 78. When you comment, keep in mind what was considered attractive at the time. If I looked into the future, then I would be horrified seeing a Prius design for example. At least today there are many models I like. The late 50s-60s and early 70s were a great time to choose many models. Not all, but better than early 80s to late 90s where I was pretty horrified with many domestics and Japanese models' designs. The Supra and Nissan Z cars were nice as were the 911s and some other European models. The wind tunnel tests produced a lot of potato shape cars. More concern with head and legroom than appearance.

9th Mar 2017, 18:35

There is a book I read a few years ago by the former chairman of product development at GM. Anyway he came back to GM in the early 2000s and prior to that the company (according to him) were designing cars mostly with statistical data... AKA - what designs supposedly had the largest mass appeal.

The problem with that is the result tends to be very bland design. Yes - if one looks back to the 50s-70s you will see a lot of rather attractive cars designed by car designers using decisions based on aesthetics. But when looking at cars from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s even there was an awful lot of just outright boring, totally uninspired designs with the occasional halo product.

As a child of the 80s, even as a kid I thought an awful lot of the domestic car brands had some really dull looking cars. But at the same time a lot of the Japanese cars looked so futuristic. A lot of them had the whole planular, origami type understated exterior styling. Many of those cars still look great some 30 years later.

We've come full circle and now GM in particular seems to be back in the business of designing cars for the sake of pleasing aesthetics. The Cadillac lineup is a perfect and evolving example of that. Each new model release seems to be pushing the brand further and further upwards into desirability and sophistication, which is such a far cry from where they were in the 90s, making these big bloated things with soft couch-like seats.

The car in this review was made more or less right in the middle of that era at GM where cars were designed by numbers and it shows too. It's a totally fine car. There is nothing offensive about it. But then again there's also nothing memorable, interesting or even exciting about it either. That's why it's a car among many from the era that you really don't hear anyone gushing about or lusting after. Thank God that at least back then the muscle cars were sort of allowed to be their own thing. Otherwise there's not much from that era I'd really want to consider as a future classic.

9th Mar 2017, 20:13

They must have liked the Lumina body design for NASCAR tracks.

10th Mar 2017, 03:47

2000-2005 was a much better look for the Monte Carlo; the body flares resemble the look of the late '70s-mid '80s G-body Montes, which I always liked. Never cared for most of the GM W-body designs and style, but 2000-2055 Monte Carlos along with a 2 door Grand Prix are nice. We had a '90 2 door Regal in our family which looked pretty good because it was ordered with the Presidential Package. It also was sold with almost 200,000 miles with only routine maintenance due to the 3800 V6.

10th Mar 2017, 14:22

Unless I misread your comment; please explain how the Monte Carlo copied a Seville. A 4 door car.

11th Mar 2017, 05:37

What's your thoughts on the newer gen Monte Carlos? I think they should reintroduce a SS manual trans model to honor the rare 70 454SS first gen. And have the badging on the same lower rocker again.

11th Mar 2017, 15:59

Read comment 3:47. That is my thoughts on the newer generation. My original question to you was how did they copy a Seville.

12th Mar 2017, 04:39

Same answer as what year import is perfect.

12th Mar 2017, 05:12

Separate poster from 15:59 here.

No, the market for both manual transmissions and personal luxury coupes is all but completely extinct. The last Monte sold poorly, and there's no reason to expect it fare any better now.

12th Mar 2017, 15:47

Cadillac has the manual trans. Plus 638 HP. If I have to buy automatics, even paddle shifters, I am not buying any more fun cars. Just doesn't make sense unless you are just racing 1/4 miles. Boring.

12th Mar 2017, 16:15

Yeah that makes about as much sense as a Monte Carlo copying a 4 door Seville.

12th Mar 2017, 22:36

The 4 doors were not a part of the styling cue.

13th Mar 2017, 03:22

Yes, I prefer manual transmissions, too. But you and I are people who spend our free time posting on automotive websites; we are a subset of the greater population. Most people see driving as a chore (at best), and would rather not bother with shifting gears. Even most Corvettes sold have automatics!

13th Mar 2017, 17:14

If you expand your net into super cars, many from European countries, see what true enthusiasts go after. My next big car buy will be a Porsche. And no way on earth will it be an automatic. I also drive a Viper, after all the effort just getting into the car I want to shift. A lot of couples buy automatics so the wife will drive. But in most cases they drive once or twice and the guy longs for a stick shift. I know many women like the same. But that's what I have commonly seen. True you can paddle shift automatics, but I find manuals much more rewarding to drive. I had one automatic and regretted it from day 1.

14th Mar 2017, 11:05

Wonder why at the collector auctions that manuals command a premium. If you are driving a minivan I get it. Even our Accords were much more fun to drive with manuals.

16th Mar 2017, 09:35

A lot of people were simply never taught how to drive manuals. I don't know if it's laziness or just afraid to try it. Or some of each perhaps. I learned on a 60 MGA. Not much power, but it seemed like it. But after people do learn, they then really kind of see how much fun they can be. Drive a Honda Accord for example, first an automatic, then a manual, and see. You feel like you immediately have more power and will notice the difference. I have had better luck and durability with manuals. You might at some point need a clutch, but that's far better than an automatic trans failing. Less maintenance and better gas mileage. The new ones are smooth to shift with a shorter throw than the past. My one older manual car was recently push started - something you can't do with an automatic. Did not require calling AAA or carrying around a battery jump box.

There's nothing like hearing a big block shifting through the gears if nothing else. The best sounding domestic shifting through the gears of all is an older 426 or 440 Mopar. With an import, a Ferrari, which I only hear leaving a Cars and Coffee. The only family member I couldn't convince or even try was my wife. Unfortunately that affects what car you can buy. She doesn't even really care about cars. Just that they are new, work and are very comfortable. The only automatics I personally pick for my own use are pick ups. Try your car if you can with a manual if it's offered. You may really like it.

16th Mar 2017, 16:17

Much agreed that any vehicle with a manual becomes instantly more fun. I have a little 4 banger Tacoma with a 5 speed manual. It's not the easiest gearbox to deal with, but after owning it for 20 years it feels natural to me. It's about 200% more fun to drive than the automatic version a friend has.

That said... if you want to experience something really nice, try anything with electrically driven wheels. We have a 6 year old Volt, and though it's heavy, it will really launch from a stop light. All of the torque is available up front. It's a very satisfying feeling!