I've leased a 2006 SV6 since new and apart from a few minor issues, I'm pleased with it.
Prior to leasing the SV6, I looked at both the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey and Ford Freestar. I liked the Sienna and Odyssey, but I didn't like the prices the dealers wanted. The Freestar was OK and it was priced comparably with the SV6 but I chose the SV6 because I liked it more than the Ford.
My SV6 is loaded with leather, heated seats, DVD, dual power sliding doors, air ride, XM radio, backup sensors etc. It was about $15,000 less than a comparably equipped Odyssey or Sienna. About $200 more a month to lease than the SV6.
I've put 53k on my SV6 and replaced, under warranty, the cruise control switch, a front seat heater element, steering knuckle and sway bar bushings. I just replaced the front rotors and pads which cost me $338. A friend of mine replaced the rotors and pads on his Sienna at 48k at a cost of over $600.
No vehicle is perfect and I'm sure there are problems with other manufacturers offerings, but when all is said and done, I look at my total end use cost. Yes the Sienna and Odyssey are nice, but paying an extra $200 a month over a four year lease didn't make any sense to me. My SV6 has everything I wanted and costs me less. What else can you ask for!
I personally fell in love with the 2000 Montana on the 30 minute highway test, so my wife and I bought it with an extended warranty. Luckily we did this because the fuel sensor on the pump was bad, showing what we thought was a full tank, but never moving until the tank was near empty 2 days later. Then the low fuel light would come on and the gauge would drop to near E. It was covered under the warranty and replaced by the dealership free of charge.
Also this winter 2008, we noticed the temperature gauge would fluctuate wildly and sometimes the low coolant light would come on instead after it would read hot. The coolant was full and having a mechanical background I could tell the thermostat was stuck at these times, and with a quick acceleration it would open and read normal temps. The dealership mechanic did not realize it, even with tests and still has not replaced it even though it is under warranty, so I'll have my friends at Ace Muffler in Rock Island, they will do it right.
However it is still the best van I have ever owned; I still love it. 93000 miles and climbing!
I just bought a 2008 Pontiac Montana SV6. I only have 4xx miles on it so hardly a long term review. So far I am very very happy with the van. The standard 240hp engine is nice and torquey, and a big step up from underpowered van engines. While it could still use even more power, and I would love to see a turbo V6 option, it's at least adequate power now for most drivers.
The van handles very nice and has very low body roll. The brakes are powerful also. The ride is very smooth and the van seems very quiet, in terms of rattles or squeaks, and in terms of wind noise.
I see no big problems with seating. The seats do not go right into the floor like Dodge ones, and they are maybe heavy to take out? I did not buy this van to be a truck and haul stuff around like plywood or engines. I have a truck for that.
I bought it to haul people and it seems very comfortable for that purpose.
I did first buy a 2007 Montana SVS with less options, and traded it up on the 2008 a few days later. The 2007 had no rear heat/air, and I found out this is a 700 buck option that cannot be added later.
So be careful; that is one really stupid thing about these vans, every extended van should have the rear heat/air standard, not optional.
I did not get the power doors, no big deal there. And did not get the ultrasonic parking thing. You can buy the parking thing aftermarket, or get a rear camera pretty cheap these days.
I have had pretty good luck with Pontiac products in the past, and hope this van is reliable. I plan on keeping it a long time.
Also, while I was not originally impressed with the front end styling, it's grown on me and doesn't look that bad to me anymore.
Update: took major trip with my 08 Montana and put like 5000 miles on it. Had no issues so far. Previous comments still apply. Van has good power,nice smooth engine. As said a 300 hp turbo v6 would be even better. But I do like my power.
The brakes are great. The van handled excellent even at pretty high speeds like 130km/hr on mountain roads. Body roll was great very very minimal. Ride was very smooth over most all roads. I did get some shaking from wheel, but it turned out to be road surface.
Everything so far is working as it should. I also talked to another guy with 2006 or 07 Chev equivalent, and he had lots of miles on his, used it daily for work, as well as personal, and had zero problems. He said he loved it and had older an Montana.
So not sure why some people are having such bad luck with theirs. Maybe I will change my mind after putting a lot more miles on mine. I haven't sat in the back; I just drive the van normally. So no comments on back seat room. I am short; only 5 ft 5. Short legs.
I am going to pick my new 2008 Montana EWB in a couple of days. It is disturbing to read some of the negative reviews. I had a 1999 Chev Venture and never had any problem.
I wasn't aware that 2006 was the last model year the Montana SV6 was sold in the U.S. GM is still selling them up here in Canada. There's tons of these things around, they out number all other vans 2 to 1 in my neck of the woods, and they're a bargain compared to what Nissan, Toyota, Kia, Hyundai and Honda have to offer.
My 2006 SV6 has been very good, I can't say I've got any real complaints other than a few minor issues.
Too bad that GM is offing out of the North American Mini Van market, both the Montana and Uplander are good value for the money compared to the competition.
The Kia or Hyundai van models are close in price, but they're not well respected vehicles up here. Poor reliability and dealer support.
The vans I have had are a 1993 Lumina APV, 1999 Montana and our last one, a 2006 SV6. The 2006, by far, has been the best. We just traded it in for a 2008 SV6 and picking it up later this week. We bought the 2006 last year at 32000 Km and it now has 64500 Km. The issues we had with it, right after buying it was: A/C condenser replaced (lower row of fins falling off), brake cable rattle (insulator missing, cable hitting axle), noise from hub caps (needed insulators). All in all, nothing serious and have been so totally pleased, we bought another.
Some quirks we can live with are: only one lighter plug in front and bad location (like way down at the floor), small rear buckets (captains would have been better), no Bluetooth (OnStar blows for phone calls), red rear turn signals (amber are more visible), traction control no good for winter driving (wears out tires but you can turn it off each time you start it), cup holder easily comes out of its tracks (grrrrr!).
Since 2009 is the last year for them, we wanted to grab a new one before they're gone. Too bad since this vehicle could have overtaken other vans on the market. Apparently it cost more to produce than they could sell them for so they were losing money on them.