Monte Carlo receives an exterior freshening for 2006, including revised front and rear fascias, new headlamps, and new tail lamps. Updated mechanical items include two new V-6 engines and revised suspensions. And, for those who want more, there's a new SS version that features a 5.3L small block V-8 engine. Inside, there are revised instruments and controls, a new family of audio systems, standard OnStar telematics, enhanced ABS and traction control systems, dual-stage front airbags, and available side-impact airbags.
The Monte Carlo was first introduced in 1970 as a powerful and affordable mid-size coupe with lots of sheet metal and chrome. The 2006 version is more modest in size and noted for providing the silhouette for Chevrolet's NASCAR effort. The street version is available in four trim levels: base LS, uplevel LT, premium LTZ, and the sporty SS. LS and LT models receive a 3.5L, 211-hp V-6. Optional on the LT and standard fare for the LTZ is a 3.9L version that delivers 242 hp. Meanwhile, the Monte Carlo SS has a new 5.3L V-8 under the hood, packing 303 hp and 323 lb.-ft. of torque. The V-8 features GM's Displacement on Demand technology that shuts down four of the engine's cylinders when not needed, such as when idling or cruising at steady speeds. All Monte Carlo powertrains are mated to an electronically-controlled, 4-speed automatic transmission.
Safety features include standard OnStar telematics, front occupant dual-stage airbags, available side-impact airbags, seat belt pretensioners, and a tire pressure monitoring system for Monte Carlos equipped with 17- and 18-inch wheels. All Monte Carlos come equipped with four-wheel disc brakes, and a new ABS system is standard on LTZ and SS models, and available on LS and LT trims. The system also includes electronic brake force distribution, and a traction control system is optionally available.
Some of the Monte Carlo's standard amenities include dual front bucket seats with 6-way power adjustment for the driver, AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary input jack and six speakers, brushed metallic instrument appliqu, dual-zone climate control, simulated walnut interior trim, cruise control, rear window defogger, automatic programmable door locks, OnStar telematics, remote keyless entry, a remote starting system (except LS), and a theft-deterrent system. Notable options include XM Satellite Radio service, Bose premium audio system, Leather Nuance seating surfaces with front-yobucket seat heaters, a power sliding sunroof, engine block heater, choice of alloy wheels, and heated outside mirrors on the SS model.
Performance and style meet the pavement in the Midsize Sporty segment, and the seven contenders provide fun in spades.
Looking at the 2005 calendar year, the J.D. Power and Associates Sales ReportSM reveals that the segment was led in sales by the Ford Mustang (160,975 units in 2005), followed by the Toyota Solara (56,900) and Chevrolet Monte Carlo (33,562). Others in the segment include the Mitsubishi Eclipse, Mazda RX-8, and two outgoing models, the Pontiac GTO and Chevrolet SSR.
|LS||4 speed automatic||$20,330||211-hp / 3.5L 6-cyl||21/31|
|LT w/3.5L||4 speed automatic||$20,830||211-hp / 3.5L 6-cyl||21/31|
|LTZ||4 speed automatic||$24,930||242-hp / 3.9L 6-cyl||20/28|
|SS||4 speed automatic||$26,330||303-hp / 5.3L 8-cyl||18/28|