Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Both sporty and luxurious, the 2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo is offered in three models: the LS, the more luxurious LT, and the high-performance SS. The LS and LT both get a 211-horsepower 3.5L V6 with variable valve timing, and the SS gets a 303-horsepower 5.3L small-block V8. The V8 uses Active Fuel Management technology to help decrease fuel consumption when coasting or cruising. Both engines are mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.

The top-of-the-range SS builds on the model's NASCAR heritage and strong following in the Southeast, with a distinct front and rear appearance, Corvette-inspired bright exhaust outlets, and an available Rally Stripe package.

The front-wheel-drive Monte Carlo claims to offer good handling in all variants, with gas-charged struts and stabilizer bars used front and back. Two different suspensions are available on the Monte Carlo. The FE2 suspension standard on the LS and LT has a calibration that emphasizes ride quality and comfort while maintaining sporty handling; LT model is offered with larger 17-inch wheels for better high-speed control. The top FE4 suspension gets larger front and rear stabilizer bars, along wit 18-inch wheels and W-rated performance tires for a stiffer ride to handle the V8's power.

Fuel economy is also a strong point on V6 models, with an EPA highway rating of 31 miles per gallon.

Inside, the Monte Carlo's interior has a cleaner, simpler appearance than past models, with available Nuance leather seating that brings center-cushion French seams, firmer padding, and improved lumbar support.

All Monte Carlos get four-wheel disc brakes; ABS and electronic brake-force distribution are also standard on the LT and SS. Seat-mounted side air bags, which provide head and torso protection for front-seat occupants, are optional.

The base LS model comes equipped with most popular conveniences, like air conditioning, cruise control, remote keyless entry, and an AM/FM/CD sound system. LT models upgrade to steering-wheel audio controls, an upgraded gauge cluster, dual-zone climate control, a remote vehicle start system, and an MP3-compatible audio system with auxiliary input jack. The SS--in addition to the V8, appearance changes, and a number of mechanical upgrades--gets interior features similar to those of the LT. Notable options on the top models include a sunroof, upgraded eight-speaker audio, and heated leather front seats.

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