Used 1996 Buick Regal Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1996

The Series II 3.8-liter V6 is standard on Limited and Gran Sport, optional on base Custom models. Standard equipment now includes dual ComforTemp climate controls and a cassette player. Revised wheels, available in chrome, are standard on the Gran Sport. Base V6 is upgraded, and both engines feature long-life engine components.

Vehicle overview

The current front-wheel drive Regal started life in 1988 as a replacement for the hugely successful rear-wheel drive coupe of the same name. Blocky styling and vinyl roof treatments gave way to rounded corners and a less ostentatious amount of chrome trim. Sales dropped like the proverbial rock, leaving Buick scratching its head in puzzlement. The addition of a four-door in 1990 helped somewhat, but sales levels never climbed back to mid-Eighties highs.

The Regal is an attractive car, depending on how it's optioned out. GS versions sport the best appearance, eschewing chrome and skinny tires for a more luxury-sport look. This year, Regal Limited and Gran Sport get the powerful Series II 3.8-liter V6 engine, which pumps 205 horsepower through an electronically controlled four-speed automatic. Torque is up as well. Base Custom models make do with the standard 3.1-liter 160-horsepower V6.

Four new colors debut for 1996, and dual ComforTemp climate control is now standard. Revised wheels are available on Gran Sport, including an optional chrome finish. Extended-life spark plugs and long-life engine coolant find their way under the hood. Also included on all Regals are antilock brakes and dual air bags.

With base prices starting at about $20,000, Regal is a relatively good value. However, there are plenty of coupes and sedans on the market that offer more style and performance than this rapidly aging effort.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.