Used 1996 Ford Probe Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1996

Ford concentrates on the SE and GT trim levels this year, revising and simplifying options lists and making minor cosmetic and trim revisions.

Vehicle overview

Probe sales have been off since Ford introduced a revamped Mustang in December of 1993, but that doesn't mean the Probe is a lesser car. It has earned high praise since the first-generation model bowed on the sport coupe scene in 1989, and the current iteration is quick, comfortable and good-looking; particularly in GT trim.

For 1996, base Probes are little changed. That's because Ford is emphasizing the SE and GT models this year. Option packages have been combined and trimmed down, making it easier to order an SE model. Lost in the shuffle are several equipment groups and individual convenience items, such as a glovebox light, rear window wiper/washer, perimeter alarm system and locking lug nuts on the SE's 15-inch wheels. Also gone from the SE options roster are a CD player and a power sunroof.

GT models get a softer sprung suspension for 1996, but handling hasn't been compromised. The GT's excellent Mazda-engineered V6 remains unchanged.

All Probes get standard remote hatch and fuel door releases and saddle cloth interiors are new. The rear seat has been re-sculpted to create more leg room, and minor cosmetic revisions are evident across the board. Probes can be painted in three new hues.

Rumors claim that the Probe will be canceled after the 1996 model year to make more showroom space for the hot-selling Mustang. Those rumors have been quelled. Plans now call for the next generation Probe to ride atop the Contour's tight platform. While we relish the current car and its Mazda-based engineering, a V6 Contour-based Probe really intrigues us.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.