Used 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva Coupe


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$759 - $1,952

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Oldsmobile has taken great steps toward changing the "Under Achieva" reputation of its entry in the compact marketplace. Improved base and optional engines debut, and dual airbags have been installed in a redesigned dashboard. Seatbelts have been relocated to the door pillars, rather than the previously unsafe arrangement that had the restraints attached to the door. Air conditioning is now standard equipment, and all Acheivas equipped with an automatic transmission get traction control as part of the deal. GM's PASSlock theft system is also standard for 1996, as are daytime running lights.

Similarly, Buick has made substantial improvements to the formerly underwhelming Skylark. We're impressed by the efforts made with both cars, but the changes to Acheiva don't register with quite the amount of surprise and delight provided by the amazing transformation of the formerly horrid Skylark. Maybe part of the reason is because Oldsmobile didn't make changes to the Acheiva's clean exterior styling. The Buick gets much-needed revision to its front and rear styling for 1996, but the Achieva makes do with a handsome new wheel design.

Sitting in the Achieva you are faced with simple, large analog gauges and controls that are placed where they can easily be found and operated. The new dashboard is welcome, but the high beltline and restrictive greenhouse results in an unpleasant enclosed feeling. Open and airy this car is not. The oversize steering wheel makes the inside of the Achieva feel even smaller, and overly grippy seat fabric seems to want to hold you in the Achieva whether you want to stay or not. The back seat is tiny and difficult to access.

Overall, the Achieva is a much better car than it has ever been. It provides excellent value in the compact segment. However, we think a Toyota Corolla, Geo Prizm or Honda Civic would be far more satisfactory to own than this Oldsmobile.

1996 Highlights

Substantial upgrades make the Achieva palatable for 1996. A new interior with dual airbags, standard air conditioning, a new base engine, daytime running lights, a theft-deterrent system and optional traction control make this Oldsmobile an excellent value in the compact class.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Good Old Car
Young Gal,05/28/2008
My 1996 2 door V6 automatic Achieva is a great car, overall it's been very dependable. It was purchased for me about 5 1/2 years ago. If I was to pick a car, this would not be it, but since it was purchased for me I can't complain. It's been a great car, fun to drive with lots of power. The style and look of the car is very "grandparent'ish" but the two door is much better than four door at least. Good back up car to drive to and from work or as a kids first car, nothing to fancy. And gets pretty good gas mileage. Now that its over 12 years old its starting to see some problems with water leaking in, but drill a few holes in the floor and its manageable. Overall, it's been a good ride.
Good work car
I bought this car just for driving to and from work, it is very reliable, and with the 3.1 V-6, Automatic Tranny, and traction control it preforms great on the snow and ice.
awesome for money
I've riden this car hard and soft, twice back and forth from Maryland to Florida and it's still my daily driver and runs great. Bought it with 87K and now has 99K in 9 months. Also installed dual exhaust and K&N air intake. Car pushes ~155hp~ and runs a 15.92 1/4 mile on a 5-spd manual tranny...not to shabby.
Fun and Economics
Daniel/Sarah Miller,11/19/2002
It is a fun car to drive. When I test drove it I swear it had a v-6. The GM quad-4 engine is very stong. It also gets great milage. The seats are comforable and the interior is nicly laid out. I have made many long trips in olds. and comfort was never a problem. The engine is very strong and works well both on anf off the highway.

Features & Specs

20 city / 30 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
150 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva Coupe features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 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 Oldsmobile Achieva

Used 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva Coupe Overview

The Used 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva Coupe is offered in the following styles: SC 2dr Coupe.

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Can't find a used 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva Achieva Coupe you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Oldsmobile Achieva for sale - 4 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $10,620.

Find a used Oldsmobile for sale - 5 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $10,660.

Find a used certified pre-owned Oldsmobile Achieva for sale - 5 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $20,588.

Find a used certified pre-owned Oldsmobile for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $22,938.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva?

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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