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Pontiac Montana

wlhwlh Posts: 1
I have a 1992 Pontiac Transsport. Despite all the
dustbuster comments and the mediocre Consumer
Reports reviews, I am really happy with the van and
have had virtually no costs except for routine
maintenance. The van has 67k miles and now I'm in
the market for a new one. I really like the 34
pound seats for easy removal when I need to take
them out so I am first focussing in GM minivans.

Has nayone made the switch from the pre-1997 GMs
to the redisgn? Any experience, comments?
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Comments

  • PeggyPeggy Posts: 8
    Hi wlh! Welcome! Glad to see that you've joined us in the Vans conference. I'm Peggy, your host in this area. Although I don't have the personal experience that you're looking for, I'm sure that someone will come along who has. Be sure to check in for an update.
  • I am in the process of buying an 1997 Pontiac Transsport 4 door extended minivan. I like to hear from the current owners' comments regarding the reliability and performance. Thank you very much.
  • PeggyPeggy Posts: 8
    Welcome Juliuslaw!

    It is nice to hear such a positive comment on the '92 Transport's reliability from wlh. It would be great to find out if more recent purchasers of that van have had the same experience on good reliability and performance.
  • Hi everyone! I'm in the market for a mini-van and have always owned pontiac's. Can anyone tell me about the new Montana's vs the Pontiac transport. Is the only difference the all weather traction? I haven't had much of an opportunity to get feedback from other mini-van owners. I'm only 27 with a husband and 20 month old and it seems a little yuppyish but we travel to the in-laws and turning around to take care of the baby gets really old for three hours. Please give me some feed back about the pontiac transport & montana.
    We also are considering a Plymouth or Dodge grand caravan. Info is appreciated on any
    thanks
  • JeffTJeffT Posts: 2
    We are considering the 97 or 98 Pontiac Trans Sport and would be interested to hear from any current owners.
  • Hi, I am in trying to decide between a used Pontiac TransSport and a Ford Windstar. If anyone has any opinions about how the two cars compare, I would be grateful.

    Reliability, comfort, power, handling, are important to me. Thanks.
  • LarryLarry Posts: 2
    My family had a Transsport for 5 years now. We travelled with two kids (now 7 and 10). The individual seats allows for real convenient seating arrangements, especially if you bring a lot of kid supplies. I would recommend the individual seat arrangement,
  • I'm looking at minivans now, in particular the Pontiac Transport Montana. On visuals alone, it has the best looks, Chyrslers are blobs, and the Ford is just vanilla looking.

    Test drove it and the Astro/Safari - what a huge difference. The Safari bounced us all over the road while the Pontiac handled the rough smoothly. I still havn't driven the Chrysler's or Ford's and would be interested in other's handling comparisons.

    One complaint on the Montana, why the heck do they require dark-tint windows with some options. The whole purpose of a window is to be able to see out, not feel like your inside a panel van!
  • I am looking at the Chevrolet counterpart, the
    Venture. The Venture, Oldsmobile Silouhette
    and the Pontiac Transport are all made at the
    same factory (I believe I am correct on that.
    Please let me know if you know different).

    Please realize that the 97 Transport and Silouheete are completely difference cars/vans than the year models before this. I don't think it would be wise to compare.
  • PeggyPeggy Posts: 8
    Not knowing how much information you already have I thought that I would add an Edmund's link in here which will allow you to do a little research on the
    various models which you mention. Not only will you have access to articles about '98s, but you can also look into 97s for a little comparison.
  • FredFred Posts: 1
    Just bought a 97 4dr extended Montana. The Montana is just an option pakage of the Trans Sport. Dark windows? My engineering background tells me they're first to jack up the price a little bit and second to help the AC system keep up with the heat load...more sunlight through the windows means more heat energy inside the van. Very satisfied with the power of the 3.4L V6...plenty of juice to move around when needed, not like the wimpy engine on the Venture we drove. I like the load leveling suspension and the traction control systems. The wife likes the set-up of the whole interior, especially with the captain's chair seating option we got. Late year deals from the dealers trying to sell the 97s are getting good...getting to invoice before taxes and fees is very easy (look in Auburn if you're near Sacramento, CA). Overall, the best van on the market right now...even good enough to lure the wife away from a SUV. What else do you want to know?
  • I am looking into a Transsport basicaly because I need 8 seats and like the power sliding door. Two questions:

    1) Do I have any other 8-seat options in any other TRUE minivans?

    2) The Middle row of seats (3 seperate modular "buckets")were VERY uncomfortable when I checked out 1997 model. Has this been addressed for 1998? Has anyone else noticed this problem?
  • As was mentioned earlier, the Silhoutte, Transport, and Venture are identical vans - in regard to the interior, options, powertrain, etc...the only differences are outer cosmetics and the different equipment packages. They all have 8-seating options.

    Lousy seats.....they're still the same for '98. Unless you go for the Captain's chairs - but then you limit yourself to 7 seats. I am considering buying either a Venture or Transport, but am extremely bothered by how uncomfortable the back seats are.
  • Ok...let's scratch that last comment of mine. I just read Edmund's review of the '97 Transport and it said that is the only minivan on the market that offers 8-passenger seating.....I regress !

    It's likely nothing has changed for '98....but I guess reading the '98 reviews might answer that one !
  • JamezJamez Posts: 1
    Can the integrated child seats be moved to the back row? (So I could put the younger kids in middle and older kids in back) Thanks.
  • I read with interest on the UNCOMFORTABLE rear seats in the GM Minivans, including the TransSport. Consumer Reports claims that GM raised the seats higher in the 1998 versions, and the improvement IS noticeable. I'm 6' 1" and the low, flat seats were uncomfortable in the 97 version, and tolerable in the 98 TransSport. I STRONGLY agree that the 7 passenger captains chairs are still the BEST seating option!

    Additionally, I've driven three Montanas and two of the three had MANY squeaks and rattles. ALso, the plastic looks pretty cheap, but then I'm used to Hondas, so my expectations are very high.

    By the way, check out www.hwysafety.org for the 40 mph offset Crash Test of the GM Minivans - pretty awlful results! The TransSport folded up in that crash test.

    Also, you may want to consider the reliability issue of the GM minivans... According to Consumer Reports, the GM minivans have a very dismal Much Worse than Average repair record.

    MY VERDICT: The styling may be nice (especially the Montana), but the POOR (!) Crash Tests and Reliability Record makes me VERY cautious!

    Hope these opinions help out...
  • 3mmms3mmms Posts: 3
    Does anyone out there have any opinions and specific information/experience with the reliability, maintenance and safety of the Transport or Silhouette. If there has been a history of reliability or maintenance problems could you detail. I have found general reference as consider "the reliability" factor but nothing specific....(Look at the Dodge Caravan/Chrysler comments for comparison). The specifics help.... And I need feedback information.) I drove the Silhouette and liked its handling... I'll probable test the Transport, today. I also drove the Sienna and like the assumably Toyota reliability factor. But, Siennas' are either non-available around here (LA, So-Cal.) or dealers have attitude, are nonnegotiable and price Siennas at "premium prices" $1700-$2000 above "their" dealer invoice. (another story, unless the internet invoice prices are wrong as the dealer(s) insisted). Thanks.
  • I am in the process of negotiating a 97 Transport SE 3 door. Has quad seating, Cd, power everything--only missing the rear heating and air controls. can anyone give me an idea of how imperative the back controls are for an extended van? The salesman says we should have them, but of course, they cost... Also, they are quoting me a price of $21,700. Does that seem like a goo deal for the end of the year? Any help (preferably quickly) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • 3mmm's

    i posted for you on the Sienna board.

    NOTE:: Microsoft is having major problems with the auto-pricer. I've been in constant contact with them and they tell me it should be fixed this week. You will not get an accurate price on AP, trust me I know!

    I have never seen "GM buying power". Any refence to "CMI" packages? Look in Kelly Bluebook (www.kbb.com) prices for CMI package Transports. CMI means (i think) "consumer marketing ______"

    KBB has two CMI paackages for the 98 Transport. Maybe this is it??

    The 3400 you are referring to is in options. Copy and paste this URL and it will get you to what I think you have. Just add up the options you mentioned and see if it adds up to the MSRP:

    http://www.kbb.com/cgi-bin/cgi.exe?kbb+zip:53185+nc+ncfrm:01979

    We like the Venture over the Montana ONLY because of the front seats. They are a bit too short for us. I wish the went about 2" closer to my knee. See the Sienna board for more comments.

    I added the CMI package plus what you listed and came up with MSRP = 26330...darn..I tried.



    SOODIEN---sounds high. a local dealer has a loaded 97 Montana 4 door that i should be able to get for 22000, remember, it's already 1-1/2 model yrs old already

    just my .02 worth

    Jim
  • 3mmm's

    p.s.

    go to www.kbb.com and start from scratch. the zip code in which you live may have some effect on the pricing..i'm not sure

    Jim
  • jboaterjboater Posts: 199
    To 3mmms

    In addition to the base price and options you mentioned, the Montana package ($1,010) with the 1SD package ($1,640) plus destination ($570) gets close to the figure your referring to. Edmunds does list these items under the options section. Hope this is of some help.
  • 3mmms3mmms Posts: 3
    To 98XLTSP and jboater

    Thank you for your help in trying to figure out these prices. I believe that the pricing is sufficiently complicated that it is not meant to be simple, clearly understood or made easy to calculate.... (The Chevy, right now is the easiest, the Silhouette more challenging and the Transport/ esp., Transport Montana, impossible). Yesterday, hubby and I searched most of the day for a van. Went to at least 5- 6 different dealerships. ( A van marathon search)... I have narrowed it down from the Sienna to one of the GM products (Chevy or Old's) , based in part, on your and other's great input and my daughter's and hubby feed back and van availability. Now, if I can find the right price and a dealer willing to bargain on the price. At one of the dealerships, I found out a reference to " GM Buying Power". This was at Browning Oldsmobile in Cerritos, Ca.. . In the dealership was this huge (at least 3 and 1/2ft. x4ft. with 2 -2/2 inch lettering ) sign designating its pricing policy. It seems that " GM Buying Power" means that the GM corporation has determined certain automobile and option packages pricing returns, which are suppose to reflect a reasonable (fair) cost, a (fair) return or profit to GM, (fair) return to the dealer and yet also be a ( fair ( ha- ha) price to the consumer .
  • 3mmms3mmms Posts: 3
    To 98XLTSP and jboater

    Thank you for your help in trying to figure out these prices. I believe that the pricing is sufficiently complicated that it is not meant to be simple, clearly understood or made easy to calculate.... (The Chevy, right now is the easiest, the Silhouette more challenging and the Transport/ esp., Transport Montana, impossible). Yesterday, hubby and I searched most of the day for a van. Went to at least 5- 6 different dealerships. I have narrowed it down from the Sienna to one of the GM products (Chevy or Old's) , based in part, on your and other's great input and my daughter's and hubby feed back and van availability. Now, if I can find the right price and a dealer willing to bargain. At Browning Oldsmobile in Cerritos, Ca., I found out a reference to " GM Buying Power". In the dealership was this huge (at least 3 and 1/2ft. x 4ft. with 2 -2/2 inch lettering ) sign designating its pricing policy. It seems that " GM Buying Power" means that the GM corporation has determined certain automobile and option packages ( MSRP) pricing and returns, which are suppose to reflect a reasonable (fair) cost, a (fair) return or profit to GM, (fair) return to the dealer and yet also be a ( fair ( ha- ha) price to the consumer . The "ultimate" gist of the message was "the prices are what they are and are non- negotiable" euphemistically referred to as a no- hassle pricing. ( I wonder if all of GM is moving in this direction; first with Saturn and at least with this Old's dealer or if this is just one (non-Saturn) GM dealer trying to do the Saturn thing. Also, I'll bet you anything that if you add up invoice cost of the items you'll find a 12 %- 15% profit margin,including dealer hold backs.) I would want to and suggest to anyone to double check figures for accuracy and to verify the "buying power" or package option/offering by any automobile dealer. The figures for base invoice price and options for the Chevy were more simple, straight forward and came out about right. However, the Old's Silhouette had more complicated package option offerings. I used dealer costs indicated on the internet for each of the option items designated in two different packages offered in the GM buying power or preset packages. If the figures I found/used were correct, there was a difference of $250 in one and almost $500.00 in another from what the total would be if you took the invoice cost of the van and added in the cost of each additional option, one by one. The Pontiac's Transport and Montana packages are so generally (vaguely) described and package offerings, so complicated, that it is impossible to relate it to an index and be certain that each item was the same or be able to ascertain that the prices charged actually reflected the goods obtained. Also, I could not find a complete or thorough base index of options and their costs to use. (I wonder if this is also why you nor I can get the figures for the Montana to jive; but had the ($500 + differences). .... I like the grocery receipt ticket, thank you, where each item is itemized and the price is clearly shown. I hope that there is some alternative to this GM Buying Power thing, the package options offering and to the non-negotiable pricing, as I don't see how they are really going to be good for us, the consumer... Also, I really don't understand how dealers can refuse to negotiate a lower price for the automobile.
  • SP8SP8 Posts: 2
    After driving a '94 Pontiac Transport for some time, I have experienced very few minor problems - the biggest one being I had to replace battery in remote. Any Chrysler or Ford drivers able to match this? Forget about Consumer Reports biased testing. Check out how many drivers they have to test drive the many , many cars they say they test in so short a time. Baloney! Motor Week tests a few but over quite a bit of time. I have more trust in this Town Hall Owner's report.
  • Some of the comments in this topic are scary! I am in the process of buying a minivan. The crash test results, consumer reports frequency of repair records, and the list of problems that the previous "chatter" wrote about in a 1200 mile-old Transport make me closer to the Sienna . Are experiences with the Olds Sillouette the same? better? worse?
  • frankkfrankk Posts: 35
    Overall we liked it. It had a powerful
    engine. We did, however, have many reliability
    problems with it. At around 20K miles it
    started consuming oil at an alarming rate
    (fixed under warranty). I would say that
    on average it was in the shop for warranty
    work once a month.

    The power sliding door is a great feature,
    and I am suprised that Toyota is the only
    other make to offer this feature.
  • We are looking at minivans and have test drove about all of the models. We like the Honda since the middle window rolls down and the Pontiac for the engine and ride and traction control (and the middle windows at least crack open unlike the Caravan and Sienna). Worried about Pontiac reliability and have read the responses above.
  • Do you think there is variation amoung the GM "family"? Is the Olds more reliable? Mechanically it is the same, but is there a build quality difference?

    I have looked at both the Silloutte and the Montana. Clearly aimed at different demographics. The Montana is more sporty, but not as "finished" looking inside. The leather seats also seem nicer in the Olds. My wife likes the exterior looks of the Montana better, though.
  • Just bought a 98 montana three weeks ago. Love the way it drives. Have had a few problems though. During the first week, the radio died. Since they were back-ordered, the dead radio remained in my car. During the following two days, I had to have the van jump started twice--seems there was a short in the radio which drained the battery. The dealer was able to fix all the problems and so far (knock on wood) there have been no problems (which is good considering I only have 700 miles on it). I have a three year lease on this van---I may be back to Volvos in 2001.
  • BACBAC Posts: 1
    I had a 96 Windstar 2 Yr lease. We are now looking to buy the Transport Montana. We looked at the 98 Windstars and although they are cheaper to buy,the Transport diff has a nicer look. The Windstars quality in our opinion has dropped. Ford wet cheap with the new vinyl/cloth seats use to be all cloth. Cup holders look and are made cheaper. We owned a Windstar GL-loaded and compare the Montana to the GL. Over all the GL's quality was cheaper center console had gaps between dash and console . Aluminum wheels aren't as nice either. But, I do have to say the Windstar was a GOOD van. Ford has just dropped a notch with quality and apperance and lost our business and they couldn't offer 4 door access either.
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