Used 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera

1996 Oldsmobile Ciera
List Price Estimate
$1,012 - $2,474

Pros & Cons - Not Available

Oldsmobile Ciera years
Oldsmobile Ciera for Sale

Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

First introduced in 1982, the Ciera is pretty much the same car as it was 14 years ago, inside and out. A mild freshening of the exterior several years ago didn't help the Ciera march into the '90s with any sense of contemporary style, and our opinion is that the Ciera is ready to be retired from the Oldsmobile lineup.

One glitch in that plan; the Ciera is Oldsmobile's hottest seller. More than 100,000 Cieras find their way out of GM's Oklahoma City assembly plant every year, and sales haven't tapered off in quite a while. And so it remains in the lineup, possibly to be replaced by a modern design in 1997. What is the current Ciera's secret recipe for success? It certainly isn't obvious.

Crash tests prove the Ciera to be a relatively safe car, but it only comes with a driver's side airbag; a passenger-side airbag is unavailable. Antilock brakes are standard, but the Ciera does not meet 1997 side impact standards. A dedication to safety features is not what sells the Ciera.

Uadventurous styling renders the car invisible on the excitement meter, and the interior is about as close to numbingly dull as it gets. The dash is reasonably functional, but many of the controls look like they were pilfered from the Chevette parts bin. The seats are mushy and unsupportive. Style and comfort are not what sell the Ciera.

Prices for the anemic four-cylinder sedan start around $14,500, and a top-of-the-line V6 station wagon goes for less than $19,000. The Ciera is reasonably roomy, decently reliable, and carries a fair-sized load of cargo, at prices that reek of value. Ahhh, so this is what sells the Ciera.

New reasons for those buyers to swoop into Oldsmobile showrooms in 1996 include groundbreaking improvements like simplified exterior badging and fresh colors. Storage armrests, better speakers and a cassette player are now standard items. Long-life spark plugs, and improvements to the optional V6 round out the changes to the Ciera this year.

We think buyers would be better off shopping Dodge Stratus, Ford Contour or Chevy Lumina in this price range. So the Olds is a good value; we think the more modern machinery will make you happier in the long run, unless you're one of the few who really needs a mid-sized wagon. The Ciera, and its corporate twin the Century, are the least expensive mid-size wagons on the market

1996 Highlights

Best-seller prepares for retirement at the end of the year, receiving badge revisions, some additional standard equipment and an improved optional V6 engine.


Overallundefined / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera.

5 star reviews: 29%
4 star reviews: 37%
3 star reviews: 21%
2 star reviews: 13%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 3.8 stars based on 24 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

  • comfort
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • interior
  • oil
  • appearance
  • seats
  • acceleration
  • handling & steering
  • driving experience
  • maintenance & parts
  • value
  • engine
  • electrical system
  • lights
  • brakes
  • transmission
  • spaciousness
  • doors
  • climate control
  • dashboard
  • road noise
  • fuel efficiency
  • wheels & tires
  • ride quality

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.375 out of 5 stars, Attached To My Olds

I bought the car when it was 5 years old.It had 39,000 miles on it. I liked the car on the first test drive. I am quite attached to my 96 Olds now and take care of it with TLC. I read on another review: QUOTE "I've had to replace the battery several times and the "service engine soon" light stays on all the time." The same for me but it's OK. I will have a hard time to part with this car. It looks like new (had body work done) had a remote starter installed, added Oldsmobile mudflaps and wire wheel covers. It's a sharp looking car. I have spent the most for repairs this year but I knew that was coming and I was willing to make the repair investments. I love my 96 Oldsmobile !

3.75 out of 5 stars, No Major Problems After Eleven Years!
J Bloom,

I have two '96 Cierras. The other one is a 4-door sedan. My wagon has 108,000 miles on it while my daughter has 132,000 miles on her college bound four door. The wagon has just had the water pump and fuel pump replaced for the first time shortly after it turned 100,000 miles and the drive belt was replaced at 80,000. It's comfortable and the fuel economy - especially on trips is very good. Both get exactly what the EPA reports - about 20 mpg in town, and 29 to 30 mpg on trips. The 3.1 V6 engine combined with a four speed automatic (overdrive) transmission does the trick. Even my 3-speed auto '90 Corolla doesn't deliver 30 mpg on the highway! The sedan had a top manifold leak at 125,000 miles, so I'm watching for similar problems with the wagon. It's OK so far.

4.875 out of 5 stars, Great Care

Great Car to get around in. Great on fuel consumption.

4 out of 5 stars, Love <3 MyOldie Olds but goodie!!! ***** Q
SL 4dr Sedan

I bought this car in 2006 from an estate sale with 24,000 miles on it. I bought it for to drive because I wanted an inexpensive car to drive that I would have to have liability insurance,and since I had two sons in college I had to cut down on expensive wherever I could. I have enjoyed driving this car, it has been reliable, only upkeep with only regular maintance. I've been ask it I wanted to sell it more than a few times since I've had it. It is 20 yrs old and am still driving it, I actually think it is better looking than a lot of the newer cars on the road now, it has more character and is to me a classic. I have a chance to buy a 2013 Altima at a bargain price but I don't want to part with my old Olds. It has served me well, I love my 1996 Olds!!!! <3

Write a review

See all 24 reviews

Features & Specs

SL 4dr Wagon features & specs
SL 4dr Wagon
MPG 18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
160 hp @ 5200 rpm

See all Used 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Driver4 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Side Barrier RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
DriverNot Rated
PassengerNot Rated
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
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 TestNot Tested
Roof Strength TestNot Tested
Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test


Is the Oldsmobile Ciera a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 1996 Ciera both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Oldsmobile Ciera fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Ciera gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Ciera has 41.6 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Oldsmobile Ciera. Learn more

Is the Oldsmobile Ciera reliable?

To determine whether the Oldsmobile Ciera is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Ciera. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Ciera's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 1996 Ciera is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

How much should I pay for a 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera?

The least-expensive 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera is the 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera SL 4dr Wagon. Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $0.

Other versions include:

    Learn more

    What are the different models of Oldsmobile Ciera?

    If you're interested in the Oldsmobile Ciera, the next question is, which Ciera model is right for you? Ciera variants include SL 4dr Wagon. For a full list of Ciera models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera

    Used 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera Overview

    The Used 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera is offered in the following submodels: Ciera Sedan, Ciera Wagon. Available styles include SL 4dr Sedan, and SL 4dr Wagon.

    What do people think of the 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 1996 Ciera 3.8 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 1996 Ciera.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 1996 Ciera featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our 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.

    What's a good price for a New 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera?

    Which 1996 Oldsmobile Cieras 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 Oldsmobile Ciera for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap 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 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera.

    Can't find a new 1996 Oldsmobile Cieras you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Oldsmobile Ciera for sale - 9 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $12,569.

    Find a new Oldsmobile for sale - 1 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $15,602.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    Should I lease or buy a 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera?

    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.

    Check out Oldsmobile lease specials