1996 Chevrolet Lumina Minivan Review

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$511 - $890

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Not quite so dramatic or futuristic-looking as it used to be, Chevy's front-drive minivan never really rivaled the sales-leading Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager, and the latest rendition of those two champs are proving unbeatable. Like the similar--but more costly--Oldsmobile Silhouette and Pontiac Trans Sport, the strangely-shaped Lumina never quite caught hold in the marketplace.

Fiberglass-like plastic body panels, bonded to a steel space frame, mean no rust worries. Acceleration is outstanding with the new standard 180-horsepower, 3.4-liter V6 engine, not only from a standing start but when merging and passing. The Lumina is much quicker than one would expect. Upshifts are quick and barely discernible with the electronically controlled four-speed automatic.

Driving the Lumina Minivan takes some getting used to. Most drivers can't see the front end for parking, and even after you're accustomed to it, the vast, steep windshield seems odd every time you step inside. Even though the extra windshield pillars don't impede much of the view, large triangular panes on the side can be trouble in bad weather, lacking wipers or defrosters.

Occupants enjoy pleasant seating and a comfortable ride--a bit floaty and boatlike at times, but more like a ship that's moored securely. The van absorbs bumps capably, almost gliding past a lot of them. For a vehicle of this size and weight, too, the Lumina maneuvers with some dispatch. A driver's airbag and antilock braking are standard. Traction assist is optional. In keeping with Chevy's family focus, integral child seats are available. Storage space actually is minimal unless seats are folded down or, better yet, removed. A small glovebox is compensated for by lots of auxiliary storage spots, including a dashboard recess.

New to the standard equipment list for 1996 is air conditioning, seven-passenger seating, and an uplevel acoustical package. Extended maintenance schedules for the new 3.4-liter V6 make owning a Lumina Minivan easier.

Chrysler is still the standard of comparison, but the GM minis are stronger contenders than ever. One could hardly ask for more on a long trip: comfort, easy handling--and most people quickly get used to that enormous front glass. Next fall, a new Chevrolet minivan debuts, called the Venture. It will be constructed of steel, will sport more conservative and attractive styling, and will offer a left-side sliding door. Finally Chevy dealers will have a minivan that can compete head-to-head with the Chrysler vans. We suggest you wait that extra twelve months.

1996 Highlights

Last year for this van. A 3.4-liter V6 good for 180 horsepower replaces standard and optional V6 engines from last year. Air conditioning, seven-passenger seating and an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission are standard.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Chevrolet Lumina Minivan.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Nice van
3dr Minivan
We've owned several vans over the years and use them pretty hard in our antiques business. The Lumina is far superior to the Caravan we had (I'd not own one of those again if it was gifted to me - BAD experience). The Lumina is right up there with our old VW Vanagon, but much more stylish and, yes, has power to go up hills and air conditioning! We like this vehicle, have friends who own them and would recommend it as a good mini van option for someone considering purchase. We bought ours as a lease-return with 25K on it and it is now at 80K .. mostly all trouble free.
Excellent Van
Mike loves ,12/07/2002
3dr Minivan
This van is an all around great family van!
Best car I ever owned
3dr Minivan
I have owned this mini van since it was new. I am currently considering a new vehicle. I am researching the same car. This car has done everything I have asked of it and then some. It is an extremely versitile vehicle, from hauling 7 people to piles of lumber with seats removed. This car has never left me stranded and the only reason I am considering a new one is mileage.
satisfied owner
3dr Minivan
other than noisy windshield wipers no negative experiences.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger3 / 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 Chevrolet Lumina Minivan

Used 1996 Chevrolet Lumina Minivan Overview

The Used 1996 Chevrolet Lumina Minivan is offered in the following submodels: Lumina Minivan. Available styles include 3dr Cargo Minivan, and 3dr Minivan. The Used 1996 Chevrolet Lumina Minivan comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Chevrolet Lumina Minivan?

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 Chevrolet Lumina Minivans 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 Chevrolet Lumina Minivan 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 Chevrolet Lumina Minivan.

Can't find a used 1996 Chevrolet Lumina Minivans you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Lumina Minivan for sale - 1 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $17,857.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 3 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $20,048.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Lumina Minivan for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $12,073.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 1 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $25,290.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Chevrolet Lumina Minivan?

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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