The Chevrolet Monte Carlo’s roots go back to the era of muscle cars; it even has a NASCAR racing heritage. A sporty, V-8-powered, rear-drive coup presented the perfect mix of style and performance. It eventually evolved from its early SS edition’s big-block style to a downsized, fuel efficient, luxury ride. Its popularity continued until 1988, when it was replaced by the Lumina coupe. However, the Monte Carlo was brought back to life in 1995. Anyone longing for the powerful performance of yesterday was in for a letdown, as the reintroduced Monte Carlo was softer than previous incarnations, with a meager V-6 engine.
A refreshed sixth-generation 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was introduced with the new Impala at the 2005 Greater Lost Angeles Auto Show. With an all-new, high-power, V-8 engine, the Monte Carlo is attempting to come full circle back to its roots with improved dynamics and power.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6, 3.9-liter V-6, 5.3-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, four-speed automatic
Models: Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS, Chevrolet Monte Carlo LT, and Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
The 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo has returned to its roots for the 2006 model year with the newly-introduced, V-8-powered SS edition. The reworked SS edition featured a Generation IV, small-block, 5.3-liter, V-8 engine, producing 303 horsepower (hp). A heavy-duty, four-speed automatic transmission is used to handle this extra power. One notable difference is this V-8 engine has been placed in an all-wheel-drive (AWD) car. Displacement on Demand technology is used to improve fuel economy by transitioning engine use between four- and eight-cylinder operations. Base models now utilize a new 3.5-liter, V-6, base engine with 210 hp. Next level models use a 3.9-liter, V-6 engine with 240 hp.
The 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo is shorter than its predecessor by 1.2 inches. Otherwise, there have been no dramatic changes to the styling. Its glass bottle shape and flared fenders have been spared. Hard edges and boxy lines have replaced the compound curves for a sleeker look. Larger headlights with independent lighting units and improved flat-blade windshield wipers have been added. The dual-split grille with a black-diamond pattern gives the SS coupe’s front-end a distinct look. All models include a rear deck lid spoiler. NASCAR-style spoilers with bright Corvette-style exhaust outlets highlight the SS. It has a base FE2 suspension. Front springs are constant-rate, while rear springs are variable-rate. An FE4 suspension is used for the SS coupe for a steadier ride and better body control. It has a 110.5-inch wheelbase and measures 196.7 inches. It has a height of 55.8 inches and a width of 72.9 inches.
The 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo can comfortably seat five occupants. Seating is comfortable, with firm cushions offering enhanced lumbar support. The interior upholstery has also been upgraded, and now includes the option of sandstone leather seating. Trunk space is spacious with 15.8 cubic feet. The instrument panel’s gauge layout resembles that of a pilot’s cockpit, and the gearshift lever is highlighted with chrome accents. The LS model has 16-inch wheels, power locks and windows, air-conditioning, tilt-adjustable steering, and keyless remote entry. The LT model is a slight step up, with dual-zone climate control and a remote vehicle starter that automatically detects whether to warm or cool the car. The LTZ models feature an upgraded stereo system, heated leather bucket seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a rearview mirror with auto-dimming. The SS coupe has 18-inch tires, suspension built for high performance, and full-perimeter ground effects.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo is a comfortable ride that performs and handles better on the freeway than winding mountain roads. It would benefit from better weight distribution and more balanced handling. It accelerates fast in a straight line, but the V-8 SS coupe has a nose-heavy feel.
The 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo comes standard with all-disc anti-lock brakes, except on the base model. Traction control and seat-mounted side-impact airbags are optional. Government crash tests have awarded five out of five stars for driver and front passenger protection in frontal-impact collision.
EPA Fuel Economy
Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS: 19/29 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet Monte Carlo LT: 19/29 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet Monte Carlo LTZ: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS: 16/26 mpg city/highway
- Spacious interior
- Reasonable price
- Powerful engine options
You Won't Like
- Vague steering
- Torque steer and nose-heavy feel in SS
Brings back speed and power with a low sticker price.
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