For 2007, the Pontiac Montana SV6 retains its Canadian citizenship only; it’s been discontinued for U.S. buyers. The 3.5-litre V6 available in 2006 has also been discontinued, with all models now carrying a 3.9-litre V6, and the all-wheel drive option is no longer available, with all models front-wheel drive only. Other changes include an available navigation radio and new Gold Mist Metallic and Silver Plum Metallic exterior colours.

GM prefers to call this a “mid-van”; its truck-like nose looks more like an SUV, but its sliding doors and interior seating are all minivan. It also appears as the Chevrolet Uplander, Buick Terraza and Saturn Relay. The Montana SV6 is available in regular or extended length, and in base, Uplevel 1 and Uplevel 2 trim. The 3.9-litre V6 is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.

Base models include power heated mirrors, dual sliding doors, 17-inch steel wheels, variable intermittent wipers, rear washer/wiper, air conditioning, floor mats, tilt wheel, power front windows, power swing-out rear quarter windows, cloth seats, CD/MP3 player, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, power locks with keyless entry and OnStar.

The Uplevel 1 adds cruise control, driver information centre, roof rack side rails, and an optional power passenger-side sliding door. The Uplevel 2 adds aluminum wheels, overhead storage bin, leather-wrapped wheel, second-row captain’s chairs, six-way power driver’s seat, front- and second-row utility trays, front-row side airbags, cargo net, and on extended-wheelbase models, rear air conditioning and rear cargo organizer.

The Montana SV6 is a pleasant driver; handling is more car-like than most typical minivans, and the 3.9-litre gives it enough power to merge easily on the highway. All models come with an overhead rail system that looks a bit cheap, but optional items can be snapped into it, including a DVD entertainment system or storage bins. Available PhatNoise can also be added; the system uses a wallet-sized, 40-gigabyte hard drive cartridge that installs in the overhead rail system, and can store and play back up to 10,000 songs, 40 movies, digital photographs, and other data loaded from a PC. XM Satellite Radio is also available.

Rear visibility isn’t the greatest, and the optional rear parking assist is a definite asset, and while it doesn’t have Chrysler’s Stow ’no Go fold-into-the-floor seats, the second and third rows fold to form a flat floor, or can be removed entirely. The rear cargo organizer on extended-wheelbase models is a great system, especially when grocery shopping. StabiliTrak stability control is standard on all extended-wheelbase models, and optional on regular-wheelbase. This is definitely a contender among minivans.

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