2002 Montana New Car Test Drive
Families are buying sport-utility vehicles in droves, but not everyone needs or even wants an SUV. For many, a minivan still is the best option. The Pontiac Montana answers this call.
Pontiac has enhanced its minivan for 2002 by offering all-wheel drive for improved traction in wintry conditions and a new-generation DVD entertainment system for improved relations with backseat occupants. A Thunder Sport appearance package is now available for a sportier appearance.
All models are powered by a 3.4-liter V6 engine and come with a four-speed automatic transmission.
The Pontiac Montana comes in two different lengths. The regular wheelbase models ride on a platform with 112 inches between the front and rear wheels. Extended wheelbase models have 121 inches between the axles, and therefore are roomier on the inside as well as being more than 13 inches longer overall. The extended versions also have larger fuel tanks (25 gallons vs. 20).
Two seating variations are available for the regular-length wheelbase models. The six-passenger model ($24,425) is equipped with modular bucket seats for the second and third rows. The seven-passenger model ($25,405) comes with second-row captains chairs and a split bench seat for the third row. Standard equipment includes antilock brakes (ABS), air conditioning, power windows (including the third-row quarter vent windows), power door locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control, tilt steering column, an overhead console, auxiliary power outlets, OnStar communications system, fog lights, a roof-mounted luggage rack, and 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers.
Extended wheelbase models come with a choice of front-wheel drive ($26,895) or Versatrak all-wheel drive ($30,430). In addition to all-wheel drive, Versatrak versions benefit from an independent rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes and 16-inch wheels instead of the standard 15-inch wheels.
Extended wheelbase models come in two trim levels. The higher level adds rear air-conditioning outlets and controls, power sliding doors on both sides, a power driver's seat, alloy wheels, and a new DVD entertainment system. The higher level retails for $30,480 with two-wheel drive and $34,035 with all-wheel drive. Extended wheelbase models are available with seating for seven or eight people ($235).
A new Thunder Sport package ($1,200) includes a fully independent front and rear touring suspension, two-tone leather interior, 16-inch chromed wheels, a rear spoiler and special badging. Thunder Sport is available only on extended wheelbase models.