Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pontiac Montana

The Montana nameplate was used as a trim level of the Pontiac Trans Sport van from 1997 to 1998. GM dropped the Trans Sport name for 1999 (2000 in Canada) and the van simply became Montana. This generation was related to the previous generation Buick GL8, the Chevrolet Venture, the Oldsmobile Silhouette, the Vauxhall Sintra, and the Opel Sintra. The Opel and Vauxhall were only sold in Europe, although made in the same factory in the USA as the others. Chevrolet also introduced a nearly identical twin to Pontiac save for its badging for European consumption, named the Chevrolet Trans Sport. Both of the Buick GL8 minivans were only sold in China. The 2000-2005 GL8 is a similar version of the first-generation Pontiac Montana, and the 2005+ GL8 is similar to the Pontiac Montana SV6. The Pontiac Montana came in both short- and long-wheelbase models. The Pontiac Montana was one of the few minivans which provided seating for eight. For 2001, the Montana received a new steering wheel with the Pontiac symbol which replaces the one with the Pontiac letters. For 2003, the sport-style head restraints were dropped in favor of the conventional head restraints the Venture and Silhouette offered; and the anti-lock brakes became optional, as well as for the Venture, but remained standard for the Silhouette before Oldsmobile's demise in 2004.

[edit] First generation

The Montana Thunder was the most up-level model of the Montana. Introduced in 2002, Thunder featured special "Thunder" badging, Thunder-specific 16" chrome 5-spoke rims, upgraded ride and handling package, and a special spoiler on the back of the roof rack. Inside, the Montana Thunder had special two-tone black and grey leather seating, and a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Montana Thunder was produced in 2002 and 2003, but for 2004 and 2005 it was made an optional package on Montana GTs called the "Chrome-Sport" package. Only the "Thunder" badges were discontinued. Despite the Pontiac Montana's redesign in 2005, Pontiac continued to sell the original body style for the 2005 model year for fleet use. The last Montana rolled off the production line on March 31, 2004 as a 2005 model.

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