1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Change year or car

Change year or car

$17,945

starting MSRP

1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

2 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo trim comparison will help you decide.

1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo review: Our expert's take

By

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

To my eyes, the Chevrolet Monte Carlo was the white polyester suit that John Travolta wore in “Saturday Night Fever.” Attention getting, with little there once the suit came off, but an American icon all the same.

Oh sure, this is a stylish enough coupe, but its roots as a two-door Lumina haunt it with an overwhelming blandness.

Of course, Chevy wants you think that this car is the same one that has won so many times in the Winston Cup circuit. After all, Detroit’s old creed — win on Sunday, sell on Monday –survives intact.

I could always appreciate this car’s attributes, but it never really sang. But for 1998, Chevy has replace the more-modern double-overhead-cam 3.4-liter V6 with the much older 3.8-litre overhead-valve pushrod V6.

If this seems like a step backin time, keep in mind this car’s mission steps back in time, too. After all, personal luxury coupes such as the Monte had their heyday when disco was hip.

But that’s not giving this mill credit. It’s a big ol’ smoothy that does duty in the upper echelon of GM’s line. It lends the car not only good power, but removes the gruff nature of the newer engine. With 200 horsepower on tap, this car can hustle up to Pocono with little problem. The four-speed automatic transmission is electronically controlled and is smooth in the GM tradition. And that’s the problem with the Monte Carlo in it’s sporty Z34 guise.

This is supposed to be the sporty version of the GM coupe, yet the suspension, while delivering a firmer ride, leans almost as much around corners as the more luxury-oriented LS. Once you get past that, it’s a lot easier to forgive the Monte’s numb power steering, while appreciating its power 4-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock.

What’s impressive about this car, something that’s increasingly true of most GM cars, is the value here for the money. Quite simply: there’s a lot of stuff here. Aside from the usual power windows/locks/mirrors/cruise control/keyless entry bit, this Chevy has a power sunroof, leather seats, steering-wheel-mounted radio controls, dual climate control, 16-inch chrome wheels and chrome-tipped exhaust. The AM/FM/CD player had a sound and fidelity better than some cars at three times the price. This coupe coddles.

But it doesn’t always coddle well. Although the leather bucket seats felt comfy on first acquaintance, their lack of support caused pain within an hour. Better support is needed, but this has always been true in this line of cars.

The trunk is roomy, meaning you haul lots of stuff as well as you and your brood.

Best of all, it all comes in at a Chevy price: $22,933 for a very well-loaded test car.

So it seems that just as the ’70s have come back, and disco is now called dance music, it’s time to accept and welcome a unique American automobile and appreciate its merits.

Just don’t expect it to perform at the track, like the Winston Cup versions do.

1 998 CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO Z34 Standard: 3.8-litre OHV V6, 4-speed automatic transmission, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, keyless entry, ride and handling suspension, daytime running lamps, P225/60R16 tires, 16-inch aluminum wheels, dual climate control, cargo area net, cupholders, power locks, floor mats, front bucket seats, split-folding rear seats, cruise control, tilt wheel, steering wheel-mounted radio controls, AM/FM cassette stereo, illuminated vanity mirrors, power windows with driver express down, intermittent wipers. Options: Leather bucket seats with console, power sunroof, rear window defogger, rear deck spoiler, AM/FM/CD stereo, 6-way power drivers seat. Base price: $20,295 As tested: $22,933 EPA rating: 19 mpg city, 30 mpg highway Test mileage: 24 mpg

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.0
  • Interior design 3.3
  • Performance 3.7
  • Value for the money 3.5
  • Exterior styling 3.3
  • Reliability 4.2

Most recent consumer reviews

3.3

Has been a great first car!

I have owned it now for over 4 years and it has been an extremely reliable, fun, and cost-effective daily driver. It has gotten me through harsh winters, hotter than the sun days, and everything in between. Although not incredibly fuel efficient it has been relatively cheap to own due to good reliability. The largest drawback of the interior is the single cup-holder. The trunk is huge and going to and from college with it has been easier than expected.

4.4

It's been a good car.

I bought this car in 2001 used with 33,000 miles on it. As of May 2007, it has 79,000, and has been a good vehicle all around. Maintenance has been done normally, and the car has never left me stranded. It has needed some work over the years (front brakes, tires, abs sensors & module, cruise control) but these are normal with any car. If there was one thing I would say I don't like, it is the blind spot behind the rear windows. If there have been problems with the traction, it has been because of tires. Problems that are noted by mechanics with this car: the intake gaskets will be eaten away if you do not get the Dexcool antifreeze out of the radiator, and that job by a good shop will cost you between $500 to $600 (a radiator flush with the old green antifreeze will cost between $50 and $100, and may keep the gaskets from deteriorating). Also, the fuel tank will eventually rust, which will need to be replaced. If you need to do this repair, buy a new aftermarket tank and ask the mechanic to undercoat the tank before installation, and you should have no further problem. Currently am thinking about buying another car, but this one has been so good to me it is turning out to be a tough decision.

5.0

Best car I've ever owned

This is the best car I have ever owned and every one of my cars have been purchased new. The reliability is wonderful, the comfort, styling, lines, performance, upkeep. Anyone who doesn't give this car 5 stars is mistaken or got a lemon. Of course, it helps when you do regular maintenance.

See all 4 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Chevrolet
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
36 months/36,000 miles
Roadside assistance
36 months/36,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)
Powertrain
6 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

2001

Chevrolet Monte Carlo

$19,690

starting MSRP

See all 1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo articles