Sunday, 5 March 2006

Pontiac Montana

Hard to believe, but our 2003 Pontiac Montana just turned three years old. With almost 80,000 km, this minivan is performing well. It is due for it's annual maintenance - as the yellow maintenance indicator lets us know each time we turn the vehicle on. We have the extended version of the Montana - it gives us about 14 inches more in length. This model includes two air conditioners and heaters - one set for the front and another for the rear; both may controlled independently of each other. It seats seven in a 2-2-3 layout, though we usually have one middle seat out to provide easier access to the rear bench (where Corbin sits).

There are sliding doors on both sides, but you have to use human power to open them; however, even Corbin can open the doors. For a minivan, it is great on gas. We can travel to Brantford or Goderich and back one tank of gas - usually with gas to spare. The sound system - consisting of an AM/FM/CD player is acceptable. There is a control panel for middle and rear passengers, who, through two headphones, can listen to either the radio or CD, while the driver and front passenger can listen to the opposite device (if the back passengers are listening to a CD, the front can listen to the radio). The control panel also permits back passengers to control temperature and fan settings. There are two 12-volt plugs - one at the front and one at the rear. Both retain power for approximately 10 minutes after turning the vehicle off. Power windows and locks, remote key, cruise control and anti-lock brakes are standard.

We have encountered no problems with the Montana. The vehicle is serviced semi-annually; tires were replaced last summer. We did replace one tail light where the shell was broken - which let water into the electronics causing a short. Both engine coolant and transmission fluid are long-life (240,000 and 100,000 km, respectively). An oil life monitoring system lets you know when to change the oil - usually around 12,000 to 13,000 km. We both love driving this vehicl and despite our initial hesitation at buying a minivan, we really could not do without (well it would be harder to make those trips to dump garbage at the transfer station).

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