Used 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera Wagon

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1996 Oldsmobile Ciera
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1996 Oldsmobile Ciera

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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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

No Major Problems After Eleven Years!
J Bloom,01/19/2007
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.
Great car at excellent value
1996 Olds Ciera Wago,10/12/2008
I bought this car on auction from Suffolk County. It is an ex fleet vehicle. I use it primarily to take me to and from work. Which it does very well. While not an sexy car. It works for me. The mileage is excellent and with 100k + on the odometer all I have had to do is change the oil , have it inspected and flush the rad. Excellent buy. I still get quite a few comments (positive) about it.
used county car
Sean,08/10/2009
I had bought my 1996 Olds Ciera Wagon from Suffolk County on auction. It had over 100K when I bought it. I have used it as a utility vehicle basically to carry stuff that I do not want getting wet in my pick up. The car has been excellent, while not a great stand out by styling it does the job it is suppose to do. Like the car very much. Have the 3.1 V6 offers good acceleration.
My really used Ciera Wagon X fleet
Sean 418,03/30/2008
In June of 2007, I purchased a 1996 Olds Ciera Wagon on auction from Suffolk County. I bought it because I like station wagons and my 1989 Celebrity wagon was dead. This car has been excellent. After dropping in a new battery and having the oil and fluids changed, I have not had a single problem. Not bad for a vehicle I spent $410. on. Gets me back and forth no problem. May not be the most stylish thing on the road, but that is what I have my 2000 Intrigue and 1968 Chevy Biscayne for. It is like having a van, that is what I use it as. I also use it for work. Love this car. Would buy another one.
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Features & Specs

MPG
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
160 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera Wagon features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 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
    0

More about the 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera
Used 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera Wagon Overview

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Find a used Oldsmobile Ciera for sale - 7 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $10,146.

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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.

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