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2006 Monte Carlo LT 3.9L

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I currently have a new Monte Carlo LT with the 3900 as a rental car......

......and I'm fairly impressed with the 3.9L VVT pushrod V6 in this car!


First, let me just clarify that I HATE the exterior styling of this car (always have) and I think the interior fit-and-finish and materials is horribly unforgiveable. (As we know, the Monte Carlo does NOT share the vast majority of the MUCH nicer Impala interior upgrades.) The whole car strikes me as "typical" "old-school" GM.

NOW that that's off my chest, I can say that the 3.9L in this car is the nicest execution of a pushrod V6 that I've ever seen GM accomplish.

Wierd because in the G6 GTP rental I had about a month ago or so, I was really UNDERwhelmed with the engine.

I don't know why there would be such a big difference, but in the MC, it was smooth, punchy, and refined for a GM pushrod V6. I'm actually a bit surprised at the low-end punch combined with an almost-un-pushrod-like willingness to rev to the redline. Maybe that's the VVT doing some of its tricks.

NOW.....would I still choose this engine over the 3.6L HF V6? NO......but it is the first GM pushrod V6 that I feel rivals the pushrod V8s for overall execution.

There was some vibration through the pedals and steering wheel at idle with the car in gear and foot on the brake.....and the engine still SOUNDS moany and thrashy.....it's just not as loud as it used to be. GM did a much better job this time in muffling the unpleasant sounds.

Also, the 4-speed auto ( :deadhorse: ) really does even this pushrod engine a big injustice. The chasm between 1st and 2nd gears at full throttle really seems to take the wind out of the sails of this decently-powerful V6. Also, throttle-induced downshifts at in-town speeds feel like they don't get you down enough into the powerband for quick acceleration and merging. Compare to a Ford 5-speed auto which when shifting from 1st to 2nd seems to dump you RIGHT into the meat of the powerband.

However, there is next to no torque-steer.

I can't comment too much on the ride-and-handling other than to say it's not too floaty and the structure and suspension feel pretty solid. I'm going to assume though that if I push it hard through some corners, the body roll and grinding understeer will rear their ugly heads.

In comparison, the LaCrosse 3.6L I drove (MC platform-mate) was that much MORE refined sounding and feeling and had an intoxicating pull up to redline that the much-improved 3.9 still lacks to a certain degree.

But even I can admit this pushrod V6 is a pretty good effort. (That doesn't mean it will change the majority of consumers' perceptions about this technology unfortunately....)

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I don't know. I ain't no techie, but two RPOs would suggest something significantly different.

The 3.5L in the Impala is for sure different from the 3.5L in the Malibu.

Well, I know they're rated differently... there's a 10hp difference.
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The G6 GTP is rather aggressively geared at 3.69 (or 3.62, I can't remember), so it surprises me that you're more impressed with the mid-level Monte, with would definitely have a smaller gear ratio. Still, I like most of the things I'm hearing about the engine.

Montes aren't bad cars if you like that styling. I had one in my crosshairs until one day I was looking at a side profile of a base '05 model and just said "Oh my God, YUCK!!" really loudly. A couple of weeks later I put a deposit down on my Cobalt.

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Monte Carlos tend to look good in certain colors. For me, those colors would be blue, green, bronze, or black. Anything else tends to look bad in my eyes. I also prefer the look with door moldings as they break up the slabbiness of the sides.

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There was some vibration through the pedals and steering wheel at idle with the car in gear and foot on the brake.....and the engine still SOUNDS moany and thrashy.....it's just not as loud as it used to be.

This is so disappointing to me. I had a 1998 Malibu that did the same damn thing. I used to pop it in neutral at stop lights to avoid this vibration. In my wife's Honda Odyssey, there is none of this shaking. It really is much smoother.


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Shhhh... evweyone be vewwy quiet.  O.C.'s praise is soo faint, you won't hear it otherwise. :AH-HA_wink:


No....I really was impressed.....

...it's just that IMHO if you put the 3.6L HF V6 into that same car, you do away with the few complaints that I DID have with the 3.9L....

...and get a smoother running, even quieter, and better sounding powertrain.

The 3.9L is a GREAT pushrod V6 GM engine......but even the 3.9L is not the best V6 engine GM makes.

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Yeah, too bad the 3800 is being run out of the market by the media.  Smooth, powerful, reliable and efficient, it is still better than much newer competitors.

I think the 3900 VVT pushrod V6 eclipses any 3800 I've ever driven.....it felt as punchy as my parents' SC3800 Regal GS....if not more so.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Now that Cheby has a decent normally aspirated V6 engine in this car, it's time to make some changes to the rest of the package. The new 6 speed automatic would add some needed slickness to this engine and maybe even slightly better mileage. The bodyside door molding badly needs to be reinstated or even offered as an option at least. The std rear spoiler has to go on LS and LT models and just used on the LTZ and SS versions. That would shave $275.00 off the base prices adding to the value of this car. I would also like to see some padding in the door armrest, the option of woodgrain alongside the silver accents, floor shifter indicators and a glovebox light and maybe some chrome accents on the exterior with a more prominent grille. These simple changes would go a long way in improving this otherwise lackluster car and maybe pick up some more sales.

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I just wish the MONARO had been brought over YEARS SOONER in a vairious DECONTENTED form's as a MONTE CARLO instead of a GTO. It could have had a 200HP 3800 seriesII V6 as a base Engine in the mid to late 90's with a opt 300HP 5.7L LS1 for the SS. -----And most of all it would have been ((((RWD!!)))) Today it could have the 240HP 3.9L as a base and a midrange 300-320HP 5.3L V8 as an opt with the 400HP LS2 as a $30K SS! GM should have hired LUTZ YEARS SOONER away from DC and this COULD HAVE HAPPINED!!--------OHHHHHHH THE POSSIBILITIES!

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