I bought my Lumina when it was 20 years old, and am trading it in at 21. In its condition it's hard to justify keeping it, though I'm still attached! Over the past year I've had to replace the rear struts, sway bar, rear engine mounts, a brake line, and spark plugs that were overdue for changing. It also had to be towed to the garage to get a rear wheel unstuck that rusted solid over two days out in the rain. The A/C doesn't work and the coolant sensor is broken, so the dash flashes LOW COOLANT at you half the time. It's not necessarily the car's fault, as it was kept in poor condition as a rental in Massachusetts, and it's just plain old. If you're thinking of repairing one, the Lumina is not a car that can be easily tinkered with, thanks to GM. The battery is hidden under a support bar AND the windshield washer fluid tank, the engine has to be rotated forward to get some tasks done, and the oil filter is nigh unreachable. But if you find a Lumina in good condition, I'd recommend it anyway. The ride is quiet and comfortable, there's a ton of room for passengers and luggage, and even at its age, the car has some get-up-and-go. The exterior design is dated but endearing, and you'll be able to pick your car out in the parking lot from all of the new sleek silver models. RIP.
When I received the car a few months ago, it had great millage, it has great get up and go and it is great on gas. It used to be a security car at UNT. since I got it, I had to replace the starter and seal a leak in the transmission line. Now it is leaking power steering fluid and its going run from $200-$500 to fix. That's a whole lot of money when your a broke college kid.
I still drive my 1997 Lumina and it has 260,000 miles on it. It has been the best car I have ever driven. I have never had any major issues with the car. Car maintenance is key. It is a comfortable ride, still has great pickup and handles nicely on curves. It's roomy without being an overbearingly large car. Wish they still made them.
I bought my Lumina in 2004 and just sold it. I never had a problem with this car. All I had to do to it was regular maintenance, oil change, brakes, plugs, other fluids. Well, I did have to replace the compressor after 6 yrs and a new battery. It drove smooth as silk. I always felt very safe in this car. Initially, I thought the car was nothing to look at but after driving it all these years..the looks didn't matter. I had two wrecks in this car and it bounced back everytime. I wish I didn't sell it. Bought it with 76,000miles on it and sold it with 206,000. It never left me stranded not once. I am looking for another one.
The power. This car would get up and go. Heavy enough that it always held its ground.