Car Review: 2004 Monte Carlo

Whenever I go out of town and rent a car, I do a review of it in my head. The last one I published was the 2004 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT.

There was that 2004 Chrysler Pacifica that Erin and I rented in Orlando this summer for Nick’s wedding reception, but that sled was basically a sweet-ass mini-van… and I’m not mentally prepared to write a glowing review of a goddamned grocery-getter/soccer-mom-taxi on my website.

This past weekend, Erin rented a car while we were in Columbus. At her asking, I urged we upgrade from the standard Chevy Impala crap they were going to give us. So… we found ourselves “upgrading” to the standard 2004 Chevy Monte Carlo crap, in a flattering *gag* champagne color.

Since there was no “SS” badge on the bitch, I assume we got the 180hp 3.4L V-6. One hundred eighty horsepower? Try finding eighty of them somewhere in that nag.

Apparently, if you’re hard set on buying a Monte Carlo, you can get the SuperSport (SS) badge if you pony up the cash at point-of-sale and land the 200hp 3.8L V-6. A fucking 2004 Chevy offering two hundred max horsepower earns the legendary “SS”?

That’s bullshit. Well… maybe not… maybe I could glue some “SS” badges on my 1999 stock Blackura three liter V-6? Y’know, after I get that huge magnetic 3 installed on both doors.

The Pain. Back to the Monte Carlo.

Its doors were way longer than they should be, and weighed more than the state of Rhode Island… apiece. The whole interior screamed “cheap plastic controls”, but it did offer individual driver/shotgun climate controls.

The long wheelbase and sloshy suspension made for a really smooooooth ride. But, that’s not really what I like. I need some feedback.

The automatic transmission sucked whale ass; it was completely unresponsive. Even after I’d kick down the accelerator, it’d shift “for me” when I didn’t want it to… and dog up to cruising speed. Try getting this car to downshift for passing, merging or whatever. I felt like I was driving Erin’s four-banger Accord… except that hers actually has some punch if you coax it. No offense, baby.

Power steering is an automotive given nowadays… but I’d like to tweak the steering wheel before the car starts to move, okay?

My Dad was a Mopar/Chevy guy… and I inherited that shit from him. My brother has only recently jettisoned family tradition and purchased Ford products.

After driving the 2004 Monte Carlo… I can’t blame him.

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