We bought the Riviera new in at the end of 1998, best and most reliable car we have ever had. Runs and drives great, rarely ever needs anything but gas, gets pretty good mileage too. It is powerful, roomy, comfortable, relatively quiet, nice ride, seats are real comfortable, never left us stranded. I own 3 cars a truck and a boat and the Riv is the most trouble free and reliable. Drove it across the country from Michigan to Arizona last year, no problems. Finally sold it with 240,000 miles on the car. GM really screwed up when they did not continue making these. If you find a 96-99 Riviera with low mileage, buy it!
It is unfortunate that GM is no longer making the Rivera. It is a very comfortable car that is a joy to drive. I drive 25,000 miles a year and most of it highway and it is great car on the road. The average MPG over time has been 21 miles per gallon and as much as 25 mpg on the highway. The Supercharger is great to have when you need that extra power the car steps out nicely. At 100,000 I just had the first tune up and overall reliability has been excellent.
The '95-99 Riviera is a large, comfortable, quick, attractive coupe. Its design feeds from the classic Riviera lineage, & has a very retro feel. There’s a spacious interior, soft ride, torquey engine, heavy (safe) chassis, & traditional style. It has a gorgeous body, its curves and edges continuing the classic-car look with a wide & low stature & pinched fenders. One of the last big & fast 2-doors, the Riv is a definite "sleeper”. Leather (heated & motorized) buckets, power everything, auto climate control, CD radio, self-dimmed mirror w/compass, huge trunk, and VERY quiet ride make driving a pleasure.
I have driven Rivieras since 1990 (2). At one time, I traded cars every 2-3 years, after buying my first Riviera, I just wanted to keep them. I have never had a Riviera to "stop" on me. My car has over 150,000 miles on it and the motor sounds like it did 10 years ago. Can't wait for the 2009/2010!
Purchased in late 1997 and totaled in July 2013 with only 51,000 miles on it. Most comfortable ride of any car I ever owned. Had very little maintenance. The heavy structure and the airbag clearly saved my life in the accident. UPDATE 2018: Still think it was best car I ever owned. Sure wish I still had it.