Like its General Motors siblings — the Buick Terraza, Chevrolet Uplander and Saturn Relay — Pontiac's Montana SV6 shuns the dreaded minivan label. To attract customers who dislike minivans' tepid image, Pontiac says the Montana SV6 "blends the rugged body of a sport utility vehicle and the functionality of a mid-van." Still, it features sliding side doors like a minivan. All four models were launched for 2005.
This crossover sport mid-van can have front-wheel drive or optional Versatrak all-wheel drive, which can split torque between the left and right wheels, as well as the front and rear. The second- and third-row seats can be folded or removed.
For 2006, a new 240-horsepower, 3.9-liter V-6 is optional for front-drive models. Second-row side-impact airbags are newly available. A new Security Package includes a remote starter and side-impact airbags for the front occupants. The available Sport Package includes the 3.9-liter V-6, 17-inch aluminum wheels and an engine cooler.
The Montana SV6 has a relatively long, a horizontal hood that extends back from the squared-off front fascia and wide, body-colored C-pillars. The headlights wrap back and over the hood. Chrome accents surround the signature twin-port, mesh grille.
Dual-powered sliding side doors are optional, and the Montana SV6 has a low step-in height like a minivan. Steel 17-inch wheels are standard, but aluminum wheels are available. Built on a 121.1-inch wheelbase, the Montana SV6 is 204 inches long overall.
Seven occupants can fit inside the Montana SV6. The second- and third-row seats can be folded down or removed, and the second-row buckets fold and tumble against the front seats.
Base models have all-cloth upholstery, but leather is available. The third row contains a 50/50-split bench seat.
Cargo space behind the third-row seat totals 26.9 cubic feet. Snap-in storage modules fit into the standard overhead rail system. Instruments are red-lit at night, with red pointers.
GM's OnStar communication system and a DVD-based backseat video system are standard. XM Satellite Radio is optional. The Montana SV6 can also be equipped with a Mobile Digital Media Powered by PhatNoise system, which includes a removable hard drive and can store up to 10,000 songs in MP3 or WAV formats.
Under the Hood
The standard 3.5-liter V-6 produces 201 hp and 216 pounds-feet of torque and is connected to a four-speed-automatic transmission. The optional 3.9-liter V-6 is rated at 240 hp and 240 pounds-feet of torque. Versatrak all-wheel drive is available; when so equipped, engine output drops to 196 hp.
All-disc antilock brakes are standard. Side-impact airbags for front and rear occupants and Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist, which can warn of obstructions while backing up, are optional. GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability system is optional on front-drive models.