Midsize car; Built in Canada
  • 2-door coupe
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $6,000 – $13,000*

2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

  • Acceleration (SS)
  • Steering/handling (SS)
  • Fuel economy (SS)
  • Rear-seat comfort

Monte Carlo is a throwback to the era of the midsize domestic coupe, trading passenger space and cargo room for a sporty profile. Strong performance and sharper moves in an SS coupe might be appealing, but plenty of sporty cars on the market make more sensible choices.


Chevrolet updated its midsize Monte Carlo coupe (and related Impala sedan) for 2006 with new engines, reworked suspensions, and revised exterior styling. Both the front-wheel-drive Monte Carlo and the Impala were offered in LS, LT 3.5, LT 3.9, LTZ, and sporty SS trim.

Monte Carlo LS and LT 3.5 models came with a 211-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 (up 30 hp from 2005’s base engine). LT 3.9 and LTZ models held a 242-horsepower 3.9-liter V6. The SS coupe got a 303-horsepower V8 with GM’s Displacement on Demand, which deactivated four cylinders under light throttle conditions to save fuel. Supercharged models were no longer offered.

All Monte Carlos came with a four-speed automatic transmission. SS models had a sport suspension and 18-inch tires; others rode on 16- or 17-inch rubber, depending on model. Impalas could be fitted with a front bench seat, but all Monte Carlos came only with buckets.

Head-protecting curtain side airbags were standard in Impalas, but not available for Monte Carlos. Front torso side airbags were optional, however. Antilock braking, traction control, and a tire-pressure monitor were available. GM’s OnStar Assistance was standard. Available options included a remote starter that turned the engine on via the keyfob, leather upholstery, and satellite radio.

Monte Carlos competed against such midsize coupes as the Toyota Solara and Honda Accord.

Yearly Updates

2007 Monte Carlo
Little changed for 2007, except that the 3.9-liter V6 engine was no longer available and the LTZ trim level disappeared. A tire-pressure monitor became standard, and the SS coupe could get a new Rally Stripe package.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

For 2006, Chevrolet gave Monte Carlos the same engine choices as the Impala sedan. Two V6 engines and a V8 were available, each driving a four-speed automatic transmission. LS and LT 3.5 models used a 211-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. The LT 3.9 and LTZ contained a 242-horsepower 3.9-liter V6 (later rated at 233 hp). SS models unleashed a 303-horsepower, 5.3-liter V8 with GM’s Displacement on Demand, which deactivated four cylinders under light throttle conditions to save fuel. Chevrolet dropped the 3.9-liter V6 and the LTZ trim level after 2006.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/213
Engine HP 211
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 214
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic


ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.9/237
Engine HP 242
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 242
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic


ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.3/325
Engine HP 303
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 323
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic


Road Test

In most respects, performance of the Monte Carlo is similar to that of an Impala with the same powertrain. Regardless of engine, Monte Carlos are peppy from a stop. The 3.5- and 3.9-liter V6s provide similar acceleration in around-town driving, but the 3.9 delivers better passing response in the 35-55 mph range. Chevrolet’s V8 furnishes ample power at any speed. Ethanol-blended fuel, called E85, is increasingly available and can be less expensive than regular-grade gasoline, but mileage is reduced. E85 can be used in the 3.5-liter model.

A test SS coupe averaged 17.2 mpg with abundant city driving, which is reasonably close to the EPA estimate. Chevrolet recommends regular-grade fuel for V6s, premium for V8s.

Monte Carlo’s 17-inch tires temper much of the unwanted motion, avoiding the float and wallow that plague Impalas with 16-inch tires. Little comfort penalty must be paid with the SS coupe, despite its sport suspension and 18-inch tires, though larger bumps are felt more readily in a Monte Carlo than an Impala.

Expect stable handling, with well-balanced steering. The SS coupe has the sportiest moves, but no Monte Carlo feels truly agile. Stopping power is good, but Chevrolet should have made ABS standard on all models including the LS.

Wind rush and tire roar both intrude somewhat-more than in Impala. In rapid acceleration, V6 engines emit a prominent growl. Subdued while cruising, V8s produce a “muscle car” rumble under throttle.

As in Impalas, gauges are clearly marked and easy to read. Large radio/climate controls have easy-grip rubberized surfaces and operate smoothly. However, Monte Carlo climate controls are mounted too low for easy use, requiring a protracted look away from the road to adjust. Cabin materials are serviceable, but these models trail most like-priced imports for quality feel.

Comfortable front seats offer adequate head and legroom. Decent visibility is compromised more than in Impala by thick rear pillars, sharply angled back window, and smallish outside rearview mirrors. Rear space is generous for a sporty coupe, but passengers taller than 5-foot-10 will want more headroom. A high step over the low seat complicates entry/exit into the rear, but wide doors help ease entry into the front of a Monte Carlo.

Though average in size for a midsize car in general, the Monte Carlo’s trunk is generous for a coupe. Cabin storage is adequate but no more.


Model Tested: Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

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 - 8
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 5
Steering/Handling - 7
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 4
Room/Comfort Front - 6
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
Cargo Room - 4


Value - 5

Total: 51


2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
110.5 196.7 72.9 55.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
15.8 17.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.1 36.5 42.4 35.8
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2006 Monte Carlo 2-door coupe


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
Rear Passenger Injury - 4


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

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

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: The air conditioner may not change modes when requested requiring reprogramming of the HVAC module. (2006)
Automatic transmission
Description: Over time, the wires going to the torque converter clutch can chafe on their clip and short causing rough or late shifts. (2006)
Automatic transmission
Description: A shudder or lack of power in second gear could be caused by a malfunctioning piston in the model 4T65E automatic transmission. (2006)
Description: A campaign was conducted to reprogram the electronic brake control module on cars with ABS and fitted with 17 in. or 18 in. wheels. (2006)
Description: The horn fails from water getting inside and the replacement horn should have a splash shield. (2006)
Keyless entry
Description: The remote keyless entry system may not work or may work poorly and/or the tire pressure warning may come on due to a malfunction of the receiver and antenna. (2006-07)
Description: The cloth seat covers may appear to be worn thin because the napped material crushes down. (2006)

Recall History

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.

Share this: