Used 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera Sedan
Edmunds' Expert Review
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
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Used 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera Sedan Overview
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Find a used Oldsmobile Ciera for sale - 8 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $12,679.
Find a used Oldsmobile for sale - 12 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $24,050.
Find a used certified pre-owned Oldsmobile Ciera for sale - 3 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $18,536.
Find a used certified pre-owned Oldsmobile for sale - 9 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $12,560.
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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.