2007 Minivan Challenge: 2008 Pontiac Montana SV6, Week Two pontiac car comparisons
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Read more of Dave & Carolyn’s comments on the 2008 Pontiac Montana:
Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

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By Dave and Carolyn;
edited by Paul Williams

The 2008 Pontiac Montana SV6 is making a positive impression on Dave and Carolyn. Dave likes it appearance and features. Carolyn likes the many amenities, including the rear proximity sensors, and interior lighting.

The Montana turns out to be a common sight on the roads in Dave and Carolyn’s area. It’s odd how sometimes you don’t notice a vehicle until you look for it, and then they seem ubiquitous.

2008 Pontiac Montana SV6 – Dave’s Week Two impressions

The Montana has received several compliments from my male friends and neighbours regarding its styling – and its dark grey colour. Most of these people like its sporty, yet stylish, appearance. I have been asked several times if it is an all-wheel drive vehicle and I think this is because of its SUV-like styling features. One individual likened the Montana to his Chevrolet Avalanche, and I see what he means by this. In comparison with the Sienna, Entourage, and Odyssey, the Montana is a bit more truck-like for a minivan (especially its back half, and its interior, including its column shifter), but this is not necessarily a negative characteristic. Moreover, I am noticing that many people drive this particular model in my region. In this regard, I seem to be passing Montanas on a regular basis. This might have something to do with the fact that I live in GM territory!

2007 Minivan Challenge: 2008 Pontiac Montana SV6, Week Two pontiac car comparisons
2008 Pontiac Montana. Click image to enlarge

We used the On-Star system for driving directions the other day and this proved very helpful, and very user friendly. I am impressed by all of the On-Star features that are offered at a seemingly reasonable price. Our van’s entertainment system is quite sophisticated. For example, Carolyn and I can listen to the CD, while a passenger in the middle seat can watch and listen to a DVD (with the headphone set), and a passenger in the back seat can simultaneously be listening to the radio (with the second set of headphones). This is very impressive, in my opinion. We have experienced some fairly long drives with the Montana during the past two weeks and I find the seats very comfortable, and firm. The switches for operating the power seats are awkwardly placed, however (e.g., difficult to reach). All of the other switches/control knobs in the van seem well placed.

I still find the Montana to be a quick van, with plenty of power to spare, but it is not as quick or agile as the Toyota Sienna was (that van was a rocket), and in this regard, the Sienna seems to be in a league of its own. The Montana is a big vehicle, and it does feel quite large when you drive it around town – but it is not difficult to handle or park. The rear parking sensors are a welcome option. Inside the van there is a lot of storage space, but in comparison with the previous minivans we tested, it seems to have slightly fewer storage areas/compartments. I have noticed that when driving over speed ramps, for instance, the van sways back and forth a bit, as if it is top heavy. Further, when driving over the Burlington Skyway the other day I noticed that we were blown around quite a bit. The Montana stops very quickly, and you feel very much in control of this vehicle when braking suddenly.

2007 Minivan Challenge: 2008 Pontiac Montana SV6, Week Two pontiac car comparisons
2008 Pontiac Montana. Click image to enlarge

2008 Pontiac Montana SV6 – Carolyn’s Week Two impressions

I continue to be impressed with the Pontiac Montana for several reasons. I really like the way that the interior lights automatically and gradually turn on when the ignition is turned off so that you can see what you are doing and where all of your stuff is when you are exiting the vehicle. This feature also makes me feel safe when I am getting into or out of the minivan in a dark parking lot. Also, we had a chance to test out the On-Star system and it was fantastic. I was positively impressed with how easy it was to use; we simply pressed a button and a lady was there to assist us (we obtained fast & easy directions to where we wanted to go). The DVD system is also a bonus feature which we are looking forward to using on an upcoming family outing to Huntsville. The tinted windows are helpful too.

While I originally thought this minivan had climate control it turns out that it does not; this is something that I wish it did have. Moreover, this minivan needs a conversation mirror and some built-in sunshades. As for the exterior of this vehicle, when my dad saw the Pontiac Montana he immediately said how much he liked the colour. I think it is great, too.

2007 Minivan Challenge: 2008 Pontiac Montana SV6, Week Two pontiac car comparisons
2008 Pontiac Montana. Click image to enlarge

I must also note that the rear liftgate is pretty heavy to shut. In my opinion, this minivan’s interior and exterior styling are very masculine, rugged and “truck-like” and would likely appeal to men more than women. However, I think that the features this minivan has to offer along with its overall storage capacity makes it an ideal vehicle for all family members. While there are many storage compartments in the Pontiac Montana these are constructed of hard rather than more flexible materials, which can sometimes makes it difficult to fit certain things into the compartments. The leather seats and armrests are very comfortable.

This minivan also has two centre consoles, one in the front row and one in the second row. This is a very nice feature too. Finally, the Pontiac Montana has a rear sensor, which makes a beeping noise and lights up (you really cannot miss it this way); and this is great when you are backing up (you can back up with confidence!).

Overall, this minivan is distinctive because it offers many attractive features and holds the potential of appealing to both women and men. A Pontiac representative kindly provided us with a safety harness for our travels with Laila, our family dog, and we simply have not had a chance to use it yet; we will of course have more to say about this next time.


Read more of Dave & Carolyn’s comments on the 2008 Pontiac Montana:
Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

Read all the articles in the Minivan Challenge

Photo Gallery: 2008 Pontiac Montana

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