Consumer Reviews
Be the first to write a review for the 2005 Pontiac Montana SV6
View Pictures
2005 Pontiac 1143 Montana SV6 13680 267357
Write a Review for the 2005 Pontiac Montana SV6
Step 1: Rate and review this vehicle
Overall rating
Reliability rating
Interior rating
Exterior rating
Driving rating
Driving Dynamics
600 of 600 characters remaining
Step 2: Enter vehicle details
Enter mileage as a number
* All Fields Required

Expert Reviews

Jim McCraw
powered by New Car Test Drive
General Motors has had two unsuccessful tries at building a minivan that the American public wants. Finally, GM may have found a workable formula with a selection of all-new long-nose family haulers: the Pontiac Montana SV6, the Chevrolet Uplander, the Saturn Relay and the Buick Terraza.

The long-nose design gets the engine completely forward for additional crash protection, and out of the way, and lets the interior open up so that real American families can use every cubic foot. GM also believes that the long-nose design makes the minivans look more like SUVs and thus makes them more acceptable to those buyers who attach some kind of less-than-macho stigma to minivan ownership. Montana competes against the Honda Odyssey, the Toyota Sienna, the Dodge Grand Caravan, the Ford Freestar, and the Nissan Quest.

We found the all-new Pontiac Montana SV6 to be pleasant and easy to manage, though not bristling with horsepower. It's roomy and competent, though it doesn't offer the latest in interior innovation. The Pontiac may be the best of the GM minivans with sporty, distinctive styling in a vehicle class not noted for those attributes. All-wheel drive is available, a key feature for owners who battle wintry weather. The Montana SV6 is priced well below the Odyssey and some of the other minivans, and cash incentives can sweeten the deal considerably.

Model Lineup
The new Pontiac Montana SV6 has a straightforward and easy to understand model lineup. The first thing to understand is that all Montanas are called SV6, so don't look for a non-SV6. The lineup starts with a well-equipped front-wheel-drive model called the 1SA, starting at $24,520; the 1SA All-Wheel-Drive version starts at $27,700; the better-equipped 1SB front-drive model starts at $27,890; and the 1SB All-Wheel-Drive model starts at $30,210. Most of the pricing differences are made up by additional features and amenities. GM's optional remote-starter ($175) lets you fire it up from inside the house during cold or hot weather.

All use the same engine, transmission, tire and wheel package. The standard setup is one right-side power sliding door for the second- and rear-seat passengers in the 2-2-3 seating layout. The left-side power sliding door comes as part of the $815 premium convenience package that includes the left-side power sliding door, rear park assist, an alarm system, and a three-way universal transmitter for garage doors, lights and gates.

Safety equipment on all models includes ABS, childproof door locks and the federally mandated dual front air bags. Side air bags are optional at $350. We recommend getting them. Traction control is also optional for the front-wheel-drive models at $195. All models come with OnStar and a year's worth of basic services.

After having driven and tested three of the four models in this family, including the Montana SV6, the Buick Terraza, and the Saturn Relay (with only the Chevy Uplander left to go), we'd have to classify the Pontiac as the best-looking, sportiest and most stylish of the bunch, which befits Pontiac's traditional role as the excitement division. The split grille up front tells everyone this is a Pontiac, while the Buick and Saturn will have to create their own identities in this long-nose minivan family. Between the nose, the headlamps, roof rack, and the side cladding, everything says this is a Pontiac, and that it's ready for some heavy family adventuring.

One of the things we like about modern minivans is the remote-actuated power sliding doors. The GM system, though, seems slow to unlock, slow to draw back, and slow to return and lock down. Perhaps they view this deliberate, slow operation as a secondary safety feature for passengers, but we'd like it all to speed up a bit. They've been working on this feature for close to a decade, and it should be faster, with more powerful motors, by now. And, as long as they're at it, how about a power liftgate?

The way GM does these things, there's only about a nickel's worth of difference inside any one of the four long-nose minivan interiors, perhaps a little bit of wood trim here, a chrome dress-up ring there, but all the basic elements are in the same places in any of the four. That doesn't mean to say the interior is bad, by any means; just a lot of sameness among the four. There is absolutely nothing difficult to find, use or understand in the Pontiac Montana, especially if you've owned GM vehicles before. Materials, grains, fits, and finishes are all within acceptable norms for this class.

There's plenty of room for average-sized adults in the first two rows of seats, and for average-sized kids in the last row. All the seats can be folded and/or removed quickly and easily, they just don't disappear into the floor as they do on the Honda and Chrysler products. There's a maximum of 136 cubic feet of cargo space, with 25 cubic feet behind the third seat and 74 cubic feet behind the second seats.

The driver's seat is comfortably roomy and comes with six-way power adjustment and an armrest full of power controls for mirrors, windows and locks. The hefty three-spoke steering wheel includes buttons for the cruise control and sound system, all big, round and easy to use. The gauges in the central cluster are large, with large numerals, easy to read and use. The instrument panel, center console and door panels are well integrated, and follow GM interior schemes to the letter. Most of the materials look good and are soft to the touch.

Going down the road, the Montana is about as good as anything else in the $30,000 minivan class in terms of storage, amenities, and accommodations. The multi-functional overhead rail system is slick, providing storage cubbies as well as a home for the rear-seat DVD entertainment system. The optional PhatNoise entertainment system features a 40-gigabyte hard drive that pops into and out of the overhead rail system. It can store up to 10,000 songs in MP3, WMA or WAV formats, store and play up to 40 movies, or a combination of songs and movies. It can play video games, and has a voice-browsing interface. It can transfer digital photos through a USB port in the cartridge and play them back on the DVD screen.

Driving Impressions
Driving the Pontiac Montana in the American heartland is pleasant. The engine is smooth and quiet, though not exactly rippling with musculature. Its 200 horsepower will accelerate at a good but not a quick pace. Performance for making passing maneuvers is acceptable. This minivan weighs in at over 4300 pounds empty. It wouldn't be our choice for hauling the family and a 3500-pound trailer at the same time. Just not enough grunt here to do a job like that.

Steering is typically GM over-assisted, very light and lacking in road feel, but it turns the truck. The anti-lock brakes work well at light loads and perform extremely well in panic stopping situations.

Two different suspensions are used. The front-wheel-drive models have MacPherson struts up front with a simple, inexpensive twist-beam axle at the rear mounted on trailing arms, with coil springs. Opt for Versatrak all-wheel drive, however, and you get a fully independent double-wishbone rear suspension that's a bit more aggressive and flatter in the corners. It adds considerably to the bottom line, however.

Our Montana was EPA-rated at 18 mpg City/24 Highway, but got 25 mpg overall after draining one tank on a highway trip, which would give a cruising tank range of 625 miles with its 25-gallon tank.

The all-new Pontiac Montana SV6 is a nice minivan that appeals to budget-conscious buyers who need room for family, dogs, and cargoes of all shapes and sizes. We found the Montana to be the most pleasing of the new GM minivans. Retailing for less than $32,000 including destination and delivery charges, the Pontiac Montana SV6 retails for $6,000 less than a Honda Odyssey, the current class leader in minivans. Cash incentives can sweeten the Pontiac deal considerably.

New Car Test Drive contributor Jim McCraw filed this report from Detroit, Michigan.

Model as tested
Pontiac Montana SV6 1SB ($27,890)
Basic Warranty
3 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in
Doraville, Georgia
Destination charge
Gas guzzler tax
Base Price
Price as tested
Options as tested
Premium convenience package ($815); 7-passenger seating ($475); Stabilitrak ($450); dual front air bags ($350); XM Satellite Radio ($325); traction control ($195); remote starter ($175); 115-volt power outlet ($175); CD/DVD storage and first aid kit ($100); entertainment package and headphones ($75); roof rails ($50)
Model Line Overview
Model lineup
Pontiac Montana SV6 1SA FWD ($24,520); 1SA AWD ($27,700); 1SB FWD ($27,890); 1SB AWD ($30,210)
Safety equipment (standard)
ABS, EBD; frontal airbags, OnStar
Safety equipment (optional)
3.5-liter dohc 24-valve V8
4-speed automatic
Specifications as Tested
air conditioning, OnStar, power steering, ABS, power disc brakes, power windows, power vent windows, power locks, driver power seat, tilt wheel, console, cruise control, AM/FM/CD/MP3 system, information center, overhead rail system, DVD entertainment system
Engine & Transmission
3.5-liter dohc 24-valve V8
Drivetrain type
front-wheel drive
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
200 @ 5200
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm)
Brakes, front/rear
disc/disc with ABS, EBD, Brake Assist
Suspension, front
independent, MacPherson strut
Suspension, rear
twist beam axle with trailing arms, coil springs
Seating capacity
Head/hip/leg room, middle
Head/hip/leg room, front
Head/hip/leg room, rear
Fuel capacity
Trunk volume
Turning circle
Towing capacity
Track, front/rear
Ground clearance
Curb weight
Search Local Cars for Sale
Searching Locally
0 found
2005 Pontiac listings within 25 miles of your ZIP code.
Find 2005 Pontiac listings for sale near you.
Autotrader vehicle image
Autotrader vehicle image
Autotrader vehicle image
Autotrader vehicle image
Vehicle History Report
Get answers to buy with confidence. Save when you purchase multiple reports.
  • Check whether an accident has been reported on the vehicle
  • Check for severe damage, salvage, and theft
AutoCheck Reports
Pontiacs for Sale
Find 2005 Pontiac Montana SV6 listings near you.
Car Selling Services
List your car in minutes on
Free Dealer Price Quotes
Get free quotes from dealers near you.
New & Used Auto Loans
Compare real, custom loan offers from multiple lenders in minutes!
Official loan marketplace source of
Insurance Quote
Get a free insurance quote provided by GEICO and save 15% or more.
2005 Pontiac Montana SV6
Recommended Competitors
Recommended vehicles based on audience feedback. The values listed below are based on MSRP and does not include any incentives, trade-in, options, or other adjustments.
This Vehicle

New & Used Car Search

Select from one or more dropdowns below, to find the right car for you. You can filter by car price, year, and make. For a more robust search, navigate to our official Car Finder Tool.
All Prices
All Years
All Makes
See all cars
AMO Page View Count Pixel