Last post on Aug 11, 2013 at 2:16 PM
You are in the Pontiac Montana
What is this discussion about?
Pontiac Trans Sport, Pontiac Montana, Van
Dec 07, 1998 (5:32 pm)
As far as the Skylark, what you guys bought was, I believe, a "J" car, which is a gussied up Chevy Cavaliar (Cavaliar, Sunbird, Olds?, Skylark and Caddy? are all the same car). I believe the 1999 Cavaliars ("J" cars) are a far cry from the 80's.
Venture vs. Montana vs. Silhouette:
So why the Venture? Well... If someone wanted to spend less on the options to save money, the Venture is the "Value Leader" (sounds like a ad, doesn't it?). But I plan on getting a fully loaded GM minivan.
Fully loaded, you actually get more for your money to purchase a Silhoutte; about $25 less and you get passenger elec seat, rocker moldings with front/rear mud guards, fog lamps, and tachometer.
So... why not the Montana? The main reason is that the nearest Pontiac dealer is 45 minutes away. Also, I want the load leveling suspension and the Montana has has the stiffest of the three. I want a softer ride. I already have a 4X4 SUV, and don't need two cars that will bounce me around.
I also don't like Montana's radio and the light gray interior toggle panel buttons on the dark grey background (pretty superficial, I know). On the flip side, you can get radio controls on the steering wheel with the Montana.
At this point, I am mainly considering the Venture because I live in Calif and have different incentives than the rest of the country to consider. Chevy is giving 0.9% financing vs. 3.9% for the Silhouette. The savings is about $1200 over the 36 month loan period. There is no CASH currently being offered.
Also, of 193,500 GM minivans built last year, over half (99,500) were Ventures, 58,300 were Montanas, and 35,700 were Silhouettes. Looking into my crystal ball I am thinking it will be easier to resale a Chevy Venture as there is a larger pool of potential buyers for these minivans. And I hate to admit it publicly, but I like the big toothy grill of the Chevy. It's the only feature that distinguishes it from all the other minivans on the road; all other minivan hoods look very simular.
I hope my views help you dcide which GM minivan is right for you.
Best of luck,
#169 of 1493 1 star (*)
Dec 07, 1998 (6:20 pm)
Actually, one star is bit more significant than teh difference between 24 and 27 mpg. On a 5 star scale, one star is 20%, which would be the difference between 24 and 29 mpg. But that's still immaterial. We're talking about injuries and death, not dollars.
If you look at NHTSA's explanations, a 5 star rating means 10% or less chance of serious injury, and 4 star 10% to 20% chance of serious injury. So the difference between the Sienna and the GM trio could be as much as 20 times (or as little as 1% point). NHTSA doesn't provide finer gradation, but looking at the IIHS videos, my bet would be on a larger rather than smaller difference.
#170 of 1493 Phil Dino
Dec 09, 1998 (4:18 pm)
I would like to report of a real head-on collision that happened to my '98 Transport Montana Ext 4DR. This is for those of you questioning GM's crash safety. In October, my wife was hit head on by a Ford pickup that had crossed the center median on a 4 lane divided highway. The impact of the collision was estimated between 80 to 100 MPH (combined speeds of vehicles). My wife survived the accident and is thankfully OK today. She did suffer an ankle injury (common in today's vehicles), but overall the seatbelt and the front airbag saved her life. The side airbag did not inflate (expected since their was no side impact). The other driver did not do as well. They were not wearing a seatbelt and the vehicle had no airbag. The person died a few weeks later. The vehicle was totalled by insurance. The safety cage did a good job of protecting the driver, but I must report that if there was a passenger in the right seat (there weren't any others in the vehicle), they would have suffered more leg injuries due to the dashboard crushing into the leg area. Overall, at this impact, I think the vehicle did a good job. Well after suffering all this, I went ahead and purchased a new '99 Montana Ext 4dr to replace the '98.
Dec 09, 1998 (9:43 pm)
Sorry to hear of your demise. I'm glad all is okay. Thank you for reporting a very "real" crash and its outcome. Now, those who would not otherwise consider a GM van due to the offset crash might take another look. Every crash is different.
Best to you and yours,
#173 of 1493 buk1
Dec 13, 1998 (7:12 pm)
Hi. We're considering a 99 Montana. Does anyone know if there are any dealer incentives (not rebates) in California? We are getting ready to negotiate and our salesman offered $200 over invoice with 3.9% 60 mo. financing. Can we do better?
Dec 14, 1998 (2:27 pm)
Edmund's lists a 3% Dealer Holdback.
Check it out here.
Dec 14, 1998 (8:23 pm)
Sounds about right. Most of the GM vans are offering 0.0 for 36 mo, 2.9 for 48 mo, and 3.9 for
60 mo. I have not heard of any dealer incentives.
$200 over invoice is a good price. That is what I will be paying for my Venture,
Best of luck,
Dec 23, 1998 (4:05 pm)
Picked up my '99 Montana two weeks ago (purchased), and returned my '96 Windstar (leased). The Montana is better than my Windstar in just about every way, and my wife and I are very pleased. We got the "Sport Performance and
Handling Package", along with just about every other option (except leather seats and power passenger seat). This minivan handles better (on cornering) than any other minivan I tested. It is also extremely quiet, and has a great turning radius. My wife loves the "SUV look" of the Montana, and quite honestly, I probably wouldn't have even looked at this minivan had it not been for that. I am hoping for the best on reliability, since my last GM car (like others on this list)was a 1984 Buick Skyhawk (the ill-fated J-Car). It literally fell apart at 60,000 miles.
Since the Montana is so well designed, I'm willing to put up with a few minor problems, should they arise. Just my .02 cents.
Dec 29, 1998 (3:14 pm)
I've just read the 185 postings. However, I'm still stuck. After driving too many vans and reading far too much internet information we're finally narrowed our selection between the 99 Montana 4 dr extended (loaded) and the Windstar SE. The Ford drove well, but the inside is not as plush as the Montana. Also, color selection was a problem against the options we wanted. In regard to the Montana, it drove very strong and by wife likes the red\gray color package. However, the brake pedal did feel soft in relationship to my Grand Cherokee. We drove a different Montana and the feel was the same. May just be me.
I'm trading in a 91 Grand Caravan. I will never own another. If it wasn't for the 7/70 my wallet would be far lighter today! All said and done, We're buying a van between today and New Year's. Please, I need to overload my mine just a little more.... are you satisfied with your Montana's?