Minivan; Built in USA
  • 4-door van
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $5,400 – $7,700*

2005 Pontiac Montana SV6

2005 Pontiac Montana SV6

  • All-wheel drive
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Fuel economy
  • Quietness

SV6 has significant competitive disadvantages, namely the lack of curtain side airbags and 3rd-row seats that don’t fold flat into the cargo floor. On the plus side, it rides well, has standard DVD entertainment, and keen pricing. While they are worth considering for those on a tight budget, in the long run, a better designed minivan like the Dodge Caravan or Honda Odyssey makes more sense.


Pontiac’s minivan became what GM called a “crossover sport van” for 2005. Montana SV6 used the 1997-2004 Pontiac Montana’s extended-length body, but got an SUV-flavored nose and grew slightly in length, wheelbase, and height. It retained a 4-speed automatic transmission, but replaced Montana’s 185-hp 3.4-liter V6 with a 200-hp 3.5 V6.

SV6 offered 1SA and 1SB models and was available with front-wheel drive with optional antiskid system or GM’s Versatrak all-wheel drive. Antilock 4-wheel disc brakes were standard. Front side airbags with head and torso protection were optional, but curtain side airbags were not offered. OnStar assistance, air conditioning, power windows and locks, CD/MP3 player, and DVD entertainment were standard.

Also standard were 17-inch wheels, sliding rear side doors, and 3-row seating for seven. Power sliding doors were available, as were 2nd-row bucket seats instead of the standard bench. The 3rd-row seat was a 50/50 split bench that folded flat atop the cargo floor. All 2nd- and 3rd-row seats could be removed. An included interior roof-rail system offered optional snap-on storage modules. Also available were satellite radio and a remote starting system that operates from the keyfob. SV6 shared its basic design with the Buick Terraza, Chevrolet Uplander, and Saturn Relay.

Yearly Updates

2006 SV6
Side airbags for 2nd-row passengers were added as an option for 2006. SV6 also was slated to receive a 235-hp 3.9-liter V6 as an option during the model year. GM delayed introduction of this engine until 2007. As such, SV6 didn’t receive it as 2006 was its last year.


transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

Only one powertrain was available in SV6s: a 3.5-liter V6 engine, mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. This engine produced 201 horsepower and 216 lb-ft of torque in front-wheel drive models, with all-wheel drive versions having 196 horsepower and 213 lb-ft of torque.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/213
Engine HP 196-201
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 213-216
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic 18/24 18

Road Test

Front-wheel drive models feel livelier than GM’s quoted 0-60 mph time of 10.5 sec. All-wheel drive models are heavier, and therefore lazier, on takeoff. But all have adequate highway passing power. Fuel economy is mediocre at best, averaging 16.4-19.8 mpg depending on driving conditions. While no minivan is sporty, SV6 is average for the class in handling response. Body lean is prevalent, but the availability of AWD is a plus for wet or snowy conditions. Another plus is the ride. It comfortably absorbs bumps, with the load-leveling suspension (standard on AWD, optional on FWD) doing an admirable job of smoothing out the ride on the highway. SV6s are reasonably quiet on all fronts, though more road noise intrudes in the rear of the vehicle than in the front.

The interior is a mixed bag. Gauges are clear, and switchgear has an upscale feel that’s vastly improved over previous GM minivans. Standard DVD entertainment is a big plus for families. Trays and drawers, though, are lined with budget-grade plastic. Aside from a lack of curtain side airbags, perhaps the biggest deficit these vans face is the setup and configuration of the cargo area. The 2nd- and 3rd-row seats do fold, but only flat atop the cargo floor. The only way to create a level loading deck is to remove the seats entirely.

With the seats in place, passengers can travel in adult-size comfort in the 2nd row. The 3rd row is best left to kids. Visibility is good all the way around, aided by large exterior mirrors.


Model Tested: 2005 Pontiac Montana SV6/SV6 Base FWD

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.


Acceleration - 3
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 6
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
Cargo Room - 10


Value - 5

Total: 57


4-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
121.1 204.0 72.0 72.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
136.5 25.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.8 38.9 39.9 38.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A 4-door van


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


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

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Engine misfire
Description: The engine may not start, may start then quit, and/or assorted warning lights may glow because the wiring connector under the driver seat may get wet and the contacts corrode. (2005-06)
Engine noise
Description: A whistling noise from the 3.5L engine during acceleration is corrected by replacing the PCV tube. (2005)
Fuel gauge
Description: The engine may not start or may stall because the tank is empty yet the gauge shows fuel remaining, or the fuel gauge will not show full after refilling due to sulfur corrosion of the fuel level sender and if after treating with Fuel System Cleaner PLUS the problem remains, the sender may need to be replaced. (2005-06)
Description: The horn may require extra pressure on some spots of the steering wheel pad and softer springs are available to retrofit. (2005-06)
Description: The headlights and interior lights may flicker requiring replacement of the alternator. (2005)
Electrical problem
Description: The PCM was being replaced for a defective chip under a voluntary emissions recall because it affected the fuel pump and EGR system. (2005)
Check-engine light
Description: The check engine light may come on due to failure of the EGR valve. The Delphi valve is to be replaced with a Seimens valve kit and have the PCM flashed. (2005-06)

Recall History

Description: In a side impact crash, the rear latches on 2nd-row bucket seats may disengage. Dealer will replace the rear seat latch release lever.
Description: The emergency brake may not fully disengage when released, causing unintended braking while accelerating, decelerating, or coasting. Dealer will inspect the parking brake lever and replace the rear brake calipers as necessary.
2005 Montana w/aftermarket leather seats
Description: Testing has indicated that the aftermarket leather seat covers can cause the passenger sensing system to malfunction. If the passenger sensing system malfunctions, the front air bag on the passenger side may be disabled when it should be enabled, or enabled when it should be disabled. GM will purchase these vehicles for the full price paid for it (not exceeding the fair market value at the time it was bought), including taxes and fees, if the vehicle is returned to GM’s possession by January 31, 2007. Through January 31, 2007, GM will also pay for the removal of any aftermarket accessories that may have been installed and return them to the customer.
Description: Some vehicles may have a misprinted tire and loading label that lists inaccurate capacity weights. Dealer will replace the label.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


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.