1996 Buick Roadmaster Review

Used Roadmaster for sale
List Price Estimate:$414 - $965
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Buick Roadmaster model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Named after land yachts of yore, the Roadmaster bowed in 1991, based on the all-new Chevy Caprice chassis. Huge inside and out, and available in sedan and station wagon body styles, the Roadmaster has been a hit with traditional Buick buyers.

In 1993, the Roadmaster was infused with power when GM installed the LT1 Corvette's 5.7L V8 under the hood. So equipped, this big Buick spun the rear tires at half throttle and pulled down 60 mph quick enough to peel back the drivers' eyelids. Getting the thing around a corner or stopping it from freeway velocities was another matter altogether.

General Motors has decided to kill the Roadmaster, and its siblings the Caprice and Cadillac Fleetwood, so that the company can produce more profitable trucks in the Arlington, Texas assembly plant. Therefore, changes to the 1996 model are few. All Roadmasters will be labeled as Collector's Editions for 1996. A new console/cupholder design makes its way to the interior, electronic touch climate controls, and premium speakers are now standard. Long-life engine coolant lasts five years or 100,000 miles. Oh, there is one other change; the Smokey Amethyst vinyl top has been axed. Darn.

Considering the fact that this is a premium Buick carrying a $25,000 price tag, the interior is a woeful collection of cheap plastic, fake wood, and horrible ergonomics. Exposed screw heads litter the passenger compartment, plastic surfaces have the texture of Tupperware, and it's a reach to adjust anything on the wood-paneled slab of vinyl and plastic in front of the driver, also known as a dashboard. Sliding in and out of a Roadmaster isn't easy, especially with the oddly-placed power lumbar and seat control box affixed to the left side of the mushy seat. These controls are housed in a hard plastic box, and getting out over this box is an uncomfortable chore.

Those who find the Roadmaster irresistible, take note; 1996 will be the final year for the Roadmaster, so get one while you can.

1996 Highlights

Last year for 260-horsepower land yacht. All models are designated Collector's Editions.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Buick Roadmaster.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Vintage GM
4dr Sedan
This is the kind of car GM builds better than anyone else. I bought this to replace my older GM boats (1972 Electra and Riviera). I remember not liking these when they were new but now they seem to have a presence when compared to the other cars on the road. The LT-1 is fantastic as is the transmission. Very good power and roadability. I have to agree with other reviewers that the interior is somewhat poorly designed especially the door panels. The plastic front and rear bumpers don't seem that strong and chrome trim on them tends to come off (it's chrome tape.) I still give this car high marks for all around comfort and reliability.
4 out of 5 stars
Power, Great Value, I've owned 5 of Them
Estate 4dr Wagon
I echo what the other reviewers said, but the car does have its faults: the roof windows leak, not a lot, but they all do it enough to make the interior foggy on cold mornings. I park mine facing uphill and drill drain holes in the spare tire well and storage bin. The side rubber moldings come off after a dozen years, but don't throw them away. 3M exterior mounting tape puts them back as good as new, same for the interior door trim pieces whose tabs always break. The rear vent windows come off their hinges. Cynoacrylate gel does a decent job of putting them back. Rear windows go cockeyed after a plastic piece breaks--every car eventually. It's a $1 part and removing the door panel.
4.5 out of 5 stars
last of the best
Estate 4dr Wagon
I had been wanting a "Roadie" wagon since i was 16 and now that I finally have one i'm not disappointed. the best car ive owned... there are owners clubs out there for these cars (they are called B-Bodies ). parts are still readily available. i live in hilly western pa and I get 22-25 hwy mpg i have gotten as high as 28 in flat florida on vacation. the car drives smaller than it is. and is not hard to park. it will carry a 4x8 sheet of plywood with the tailgate closed. the areas to look closely at when buying one are 1. body rot particularly the 1/4 panel just past the rear tires. 2. air compressor issues (if air suspension equipped) 3. rear axle leaks 4. water leaks.
4.75 out of 5 stars
car for life?
Estate 4dr Wagon
Love this car. Fast, reliable, comfortable and economical even for a big V-8. I load 12 foot surfcasting rods right down the middle or 4 X 8 sheet rock flat with the tailgate down. This car is so functional, reliable and so comfortable to drive I have difficulty buying a 2010 Anything! And it still looks great!


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger2 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
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 Roadmaster

Used 1996 Buick Roadmaster Overview

The Used 1996 Buick Roadmaster is offered in the following submodels: Roadmaster Sedan, Roadmaster Wagon. Available styles include 4dr Sedan, Limited 4dr Sedan, and Estate 4dr Wagon. Pre-owned Buick Roadmaster models are available with a 5.7 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 260 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1996 Buick Roadmaster comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Buick Roadmaster?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Buick Roadmasters are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Buick Roadmaster for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Buick Roadmaster.

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

Find a used Buick Roadmaster for sale - 9 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $18,461.

Find a used Buick for sale - 3 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $15,807.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick Roadmaster for sale - 2 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $22,115.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick for sale - 2 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $20,722.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Buick Roadmaster?

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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