After reading the negative comments, I'll speak in favor of a 2002 Pontiac Montana. We bought it in Nov, 2004 with 57K on it. It now has close to 156K and the only major problem has been the AC compressor. Compare this with a 1996 Ford Windstar which had already had its new transmission (132K) and engine (141K) by this point in its life.
The worst thing about this van is that GM designed them for midget seating. Wide-tailed Americans have a hard time sitting for long distances. Windstar seating was much better.
I also have a 2002 Montana. I bought it with 132000 kms on it, and 2 days later I had to do intake gaskets on it.
In the past year I have had to do a blower motor regulator, A/C condenser twice, inner and outer tie rods (and now they are bad again) control arm bushings (bad again too), front wheel bearings twice, and both front window regulators.
The radio lost front speakers, so I put a Pioneer in, front wiper motor, rear wiper motor and the light sockets in the rear tail lights, as they were melted and kept blowing bulbs.
Luckily I am a mechanic and can get a deal on parts or I would be in the poor house, and for the most part I used GM parts from a dealer and am sick of the money pit in my driveway. As I write this, it is dripping power steering fluid all over the driveway. DOES ANYONE HAVE SOME DYNAMITE I CAN BUY???
2002 Pontiac Montana - Bought from family member at 15K miles, now 80K.
Biggest issue was the cracked inlet to the fuel tank - it caused leaking fuel. Even though mine wasn't covered by the recall (Extended version), apparently the high temps in AZ will make those fail too. It was covered well outside the warranty period.
Cheap little dome-light switches on the push-lights up front broke (poor design, though not GM's). Assembly replaced at the cost of $130. Next time I'll check ebay, $17.
A/C condenser went bad due to thermal expansion issues and poor decision to anchor at four places. Aftermarket condenser only anchors on one side, and is slotted on the other to allow the condenser and radiator to expand/contract at different rates. Of course the intake manifold gasket was an issue, and I just didn't get it into the dealer on time, so that was another hit to the wallet.
There have been other minor annoyances, but nothing beyond what I've experienced in other non-GM brands.
Overall, discounting consumables, I'm out about $1,200 total maintenance costs over 65K miles. I don't see that as too bad. Happy with my Montana.
My 2002 Pontiac Montana at 180,000 kms, driven here in Canada most of the time, still looks great and there's still no problem with tranny, gasket intake, engine etc.. Despite the worst Canadian weather, it's still doing fine.
It doesn't have much power at 185 hp compared to Japanese minivans, but the price is great, saving at least $10,000 to $15,000.
I love my Montana, and everything is working (power sliding doors, windows), and most of all it's not a scrap after all. You just need to use it properly, and do the proper maintenance too.
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