Midsize car; Built in Canada
  • 2-door coupe
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,300 – $3,000*


1995 Chevrolet Lumina LS


1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS


1995 Chevrolet Lumina interior


1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Z34


1997 Chevrolet Lumina LTZ

Pros:
  • Antilock brakes
  • Automatic-transmission performance
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Ride
Cons:
  • Engine noise (3.4-liter)
  • Fuel economy (3.4-liter)
  • Rear-seat entry/exit (Monte Carlo)
  • Rear visibility (Monte Carlo)
  • Steering feel

The Lumina is a pleasant, competent family sedan, which deserves consideration if you’re shopping in the midsize field. Monte Carlo shares most of its pluses and minuses, in 2-door coupe form.

Overview

Chevrolet’s redesigned front-drive midsize duo rivaled the Ford Taurus and Honda Accord, among others. The 4-door sedan was again called Lumina, but the coupe now adopted a Monte Carlo moniker. Both models got dual airbags, as well as a substantial exterior redesign and reworked interiors. Wheelbase was the same as in the prior generation, but the new models measured three inches longer. As in the 1990-94 generation, the platform was similar to that of the Buick Regal, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and Pontiac Grand Prix. Luminas came in base and LS price levels; Monte Carlo, in LS or sportier Z34 trim. A 160-horsepower 3.1-liter V6 was standard. Optional in the LS Lumina sedan and standard in the sporty Z34 Monte Carlo coupe was a 210-horsepower, 3.4-liter dual-overhead-cam V6. All had a 4-speed electronic automatic transmission. Antilock brakes were standard (except optional on the base Lumina).

Yearly Updates

1996 Lumina/Monte Carlo
Engine output from the 3.4-liter V6 rose to 215 horsepower in 1996. The Monte Carlo Z34 adopted all-disc braking for ’96, which also went into Lumina LS models with the 3.4-liter engine. Other models stuck with front-disc/rear-drum brakes. Air conditioning could now be the dual-zone type, with separate temperature controls for the driver and passenger.
1997 Lumina/Monte Carlo
All models gained daytime running lights, and a sporty new Lumina LTZ sedan arrived during 1997. The LTZ included unique front and rear fascias, a rear spoiler, and alloy wheels, with the 3.4-liter dual-cam engine as an option. The V6 was no longer available in the Lumina LS. A new automatic transmission, used with the 3.4-liter engine, promised smoother, more prompt shifts.
1998 Lumina/Monte Carlo
A 200-horsepower 3.8-liter overhead-valve V6 replaces the dual-cam 3.4-liter V6 on Monte Carlo Z34s and Lumina LTZs. Otherwise, changes are minimal.
1999 Lumina/Monte Carlo
Lumina and Monte Carlo carried on into 1999 with little change. Both got more standard equipment, and the Lumina LTZ lost its rear disc brakes in favor of drums.
2000 Lumina/Monte Carlo
Only one Lumina model was available, equipped between the 1999 base and LS editions. Only the 3.1-liter V6 engine was offered, retuned for 15 extra horsepower. Front bucket seats were no longer available, leaving only a standard 60/40 bench. GM’s OnStar communications system disappeared from the options list. A new optional Appearance Package included a CD player and 16-inch aluminum wheels with higher-performance touring tires. Chevrolet redesigned its Monte Carlo coupe for 2000, switching from the Lumina platform to that of the new Impala.
2001 Lumina
No changes were made to the Lumina as it was sold exclusively to fleet buyers.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

The base engine has been a 3.1-liter V6, rated at 160 horsepower. A dual-overhead-cam 3.4-liter engine, installed in the Monte Carlo Z34 and available in the Lumina, started at 210 horsepower in 1995 and rose to 215 in ’96. In ’98 that engine was replaced by General Motors’s ohv 3.8-liter V6 rated at 200 horsepower. A 4-speed overdrive automatic is the sole transmission available. Only the 3.1-liter engine continued into 2000, gaining 15 horsepower.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.1/191
Engine HP 160-175
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 185-190
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

20/29

20.1

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/231
Engine HP 200
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 225
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

19/30

19.1

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.4/207
Engine HP 210-215
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 215-220
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/26

Road Test

Performance is adequate from the 3.1-liter engine, though it feels a little slow initially. The 4-speed automatic transmission changes gears smoothly and downshifts promptly when passing power is needed. We’ve averaged 20.1 mpg in a Lumina with the base engine, with about half of the driving on expressways.

Expect a few mpg less with the stronger 3.4-liter engine. That one has more potent passing punch, but gets louder during hard acceleration. The smooth 3.8-liter on some later models is even more powerful–especially around town.

An absorbent suspension on the Lumina soaks up bumpy pavement without harshness or excessive bouncing. Steering in the Lumina is light and has little road feel.

As many as six people can fit in a Lumina–though everyone will be squeezed somewhat. There’s ample room for four in the Monte Carlo, but a fifth might feel unwelcome.

The Monte Carlo requires plenty of room to fully open its wide doors, and climbing into the back seat demands some bending. Thick rear pillars hurt over-the-shoulder visibility in the Monte Carlo, whereas relatively narrow pillars and deep side windows in the Lumina help give a good view to all directions.

Dashboards have a clean, contemporary design. Simple controls are easy to see and reach while driving. Trunks in both models are roomy, with a flat floor that reaches well forward.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1996 Chevrolet Lumina LS

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
40%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 5
50%

Total: 46

Specifications

2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
107.5 200.7 72.5 55.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
15.7 17.1 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.4 37.4 42.4 36.6
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
107.5 200.9 72.5 53.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
15.7 17.1 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.9 36.9 42.4 34.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Monte Carlo 2-door coupe

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
60%
Rear Passenger Injury - 4
80%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 89
Injury 81
Theft 40

Trouble Spots

Coolant leak
Description: The 3.8-liter V6 may leak coolant into the engine from the intake manifold. A new gasket kit, revised throttle body nuts, and sealing compound is available. Redesigned manifolds are also available in the aftermarket. (1995-2001)
Coolant leak
Description: Coolant loss via plastic intake manifold is corrected by installing upgraded manifold and gaskets plus new PCV kit. (1995-01)
Engine noise
Description: Ticking on cold startup may be due to excessive piston pin to bore clearance. (1996-98)
Engine temperature
Description: The engine may overheat due to a problem with the heater hoses, which swell, then loosen from the heater core pipes and leak. (1996)
Engine temperature
Description: Overheating and coolant loss may be due to rough surface on radiator filler neck. Neck should be sanded smooth and cap replaced. (1999-2000)
Fuel pump
Description: Excess material in the plastic fuel tank can collect on the fuel pickup filter and restrict fuel flow. (1995-96)
Hard starting
Description: There is a new Flash PROM available to correct hard starting and stalling under high-load, slow-speed operation. (1996)
Oil leak
Description: Some cars have high oil consumption that is corrected by replacing the PCV harness as well as the valve cover, spark plugs and wires, and oil-fill cap. (1995)
Suspension noise
Description: A popping noise from the front end is caused by a problem with the struts and can be corrected with an additional jounce bumper. (1995-96)

Recall History

1995
Description: Right lower control-arm ball-joint mounting hole was incorrectly positioned.
1995
Description: Seatbelt anchor can fracture in a crash.
1995 Lumina
Description: Steering-column bracket bolts on some cars may not be tightened.
1995
Description: Strained or separated windshield-wiper/washer switch wire can cause intermittent or nonexistent wash/wipe operation.
1996
Description: Brake-booster tab is improperly located; if stopping distance is short, crash could occur.
1996 Lumina
Description: Left front brake line can contact transaxle bracket or bolt and wear through.
1996
Description: Faulty power steering bearings may have been installed on certain vehicles, resulting in difficulty turning the steering wheel. Dealers will inspect and replace all affected parts.
1998-03 Lumina/Monte Carlo w/normally aspirated 3.8-liter V6 engine
Description: Some of these vehicles have a condition in which drops of engine oil may be deposited on the exhaust manifold during hard braking. If the manifold is hot enough and the oil runs below the heat shield, it may ignite into a small flame. Dealers will remove the spark plug wire retention channel at the front of engine and install two new spark plug wire retainers free of charge.
2000 Lumina
Description: Passenger-airbag modules on a few cars have undersized inflator orifice, so module could explode during a crash.
2000 Lumina w/rear drum brakes
Description: Bolt heads on rear spindle rod can separate and affected wheel can shift, causing loss of control.
2000 Lumina
Description: Clamp that secures flexible fuel-fill hose to metal fill tube on a few cars could be loose and might separate, causing fuel leakage.
2000 Lumina
Description: Right front brake hose on a few cars is incorrectly routed and could be cut or separated.
2000-01
Description: Some seatbelt assemblies were not properly heat treated and do not pass the load-bearing requirement.
2001
Description: Airbag sensing diagnostic modules could experience a memory error prohibiting deployment in a collision.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.