Used 1996 Buick Riviera Coupe

1996 Buick Riviera
List price range
1996 Buick Riviera

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

After decades of mediocre personal luxury coupes from Buick, 1995 brought a stunning Riviera that returned the car to its performance roots, when equipped with the optional supercharged V6. Photos do not convey the elegance and beauty of this design. It looks best in dark shades, and from just about every angle, the new Riviera's sheetmetal is intriguing. The stark interior is thankfully devoid of digital wizardry, sporting simple round gauges and a slightly retro look. Real wood inserts on the instrument panel and console soften the interior mood for 1996.

Motivating the base front-wheel drive Riviera is GM's tried-and-true Series II 3.8-liter V6, which puts 205 horsepower to the ground through the front axle. A supercharged version of that motor, which comes standard with bigger wheels and tires, stretches the Riviera's performance envelope a bit, getting the big Riv to 60 mph in about eight seconds. Antilock brakes and dual airbags are standard, and traction control is one of the few options available.

For 1996, Buick ups the ante with its personal luxury coupe by offering a new Personal Choice feature on the remote keyless entry fob. Two drivers may personalize a variety of convenience items to their own tastes, including the door lock system, perimeter lighting, driver's seat and mirror settings. Battery rundown protection is new on Riviera this year, as are long life coolant and spark plugs, which make the Riviera even easier to own. Other changes include revised climate and radio controls, and optional chrome wheels.

Prices start right around $30,000 for the supercharged Riviera. While this big Buick won't woo buyers who favor smaller, more sporting cars like the BMW 3-Series, the Riviera is a fine American luxury coupe with more than a hint of Euro flavor.

1996 Highlights

Series II supercharged engine gives top-of-the-line Riv 240 horsepower. There are new colors inside and out, real wood on the dash and revised climate and radio controls. Chrome wheels are optional.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Buick Riviera.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Awesome ride by Buick.
I bought a nice 96 Riviera that is Supercharged for $400! It has been sitting for three years due to driver's sudden death. It was a very sad story. I bought a $144 battery and put under the seat. It started right up and ran great! No knocks but it had a great big brake line leak. I drove it the 20 miles home with no brakes! It was a comfortable ride and man the power was awesome! The buttery leather seats and carpet and still like new! It is like riding the the space shuttle cockpit! Tires and brakes were just replaced! Engine and tranny are superb! I have it at the shop now to replace the brake lines and I am looking for a hood and fender as it hit a deer just before it was parked
Excellent value
Bought with 88,000 miles on it, paid $1500 over private party value at time. Have put 45,000 miles on it in 19 months. Has every option. Gets 28.5 mpg. Has great acceleration and is quiet inside. Work needed at purchase: slow leak in tire, tiny oil cooler line leak (caused by sitting and which went away first week I had it), cd player ocassionally skips. Done so far: top off supercharger oil once, 2 new tires, air filter, Broken since I bought it:absolutely nothing. Still has orig. spark plugs. I drive 47 miles each way to work, and it smooths the road and quiets the trucks I pass. I planned on $600 a year in repairs and 23 mpg when I bought it, so I'm very happy because repairs are zero.
Bought My Dream Riviera New in 1996
I drove my 1996 Buick Riviera out of the showroom and could drive it back there today to sell as a new car, it still looks that fantastic! I've taken excellent care of this car and it's only been the dealership for all maintenance. It was my daily driver for 10 years with 112,000 km (70,000 miles) now. Only had 2 problems: 1. there's been an electronic bug in the tape player; GM has acknowledged the problem but no fix, since it only happens one-in-awhile I live with it; 2. I recently had to replace the ABS Pressure Modulator Valve which cost $50 for the part and $75 for labor. Otherwise, the car has been a dream and it still turns a lot of heads!
Never had a better vehicle
I puchased my 1996 Riviera in 1998 and still own it today. I stopped driving it full time in 2005. It currently has 164,000 on the odometer. It had 39,000 miles on it at purchase I averaged about 19,000 miles a year when using it as an everyday driver. I couldn't see trading or selling this car for the "book value" when it is still in fantastic mechanical and cosmetic shape. I now take to car shows and believe it or not a lot of people don't even recognize the car as a GM or Buick. They haven't made the Riviera since 1999 so there just isn't that many left driving around. I have trophyed in numerous shows and will probably never get rid of this car.
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Features & Specs

17 city / 27 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
205 hp @ 5200 rpm
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
240 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 1996 Buick Riviera Coupe features & specs


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Buick Riviera
Used 1996 Buick Riviera Coupe Overview

The Used 1996 Buick Riviera Coupe is offered in the following styles: 2dr Coupe, and Supercharged 2dr Coupe.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Buick Riviera Coupe?

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Used 1996 Buick Riviera Coupe Listings and Inventory

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Can't find a used 1996 Buick Riviera Riviera Coupe you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Buick Riviera for sale - 8 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $14,417.

Find a used Buick for sale - 5 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $17,596.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick Riviera for sale - 5 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $15,448.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick for sale - 10 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $23,574.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Buick Riviera?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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