Used 1996 Pontiac Firebird Hatchback

Used Firebird for sale
List Price Estimate:$896 - $2,084
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Pontiac Firebird model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Aside from a small period of history during the early '80s, Firebird has been synonymous with performance since 1967. The blue-striped Trans Am from 1969 comes to mind, along with the 1974 SD-455, the 1978 black and gold 6.6-liter T/A abused by Burt Reynolds in "Smokey and the Bandit," the orange 1978 Firebird Esprit driven to fame by James Garner in "The Rockford Files," the 1989 Turbo V6 Indianapolis 500 pace car, and this, the current iteration of Pontiac's F-car.

The Firebird, in base form, is a beautiful car. The blend of angular greenhouse lines and softly bulging sheetmetal creates the automotive equivalent of Kim Basinger in a silk nightgown. Unfortunately, the bespoilered Trans Am, with its aero skirting, decklid Batwing, and peek-a-boo driving lights ruins the effect. Not to worry; the Formula provides all of the T/A's hardware goodies in a more restrained, lighter, less costly package.

The Firebird's cockpit is a nice blend of style and function, and is much better than, say, that found in a Dodge Stealth. Dual airbags and antilock brakes are standard, and Firebird can be equipped with an optional traction control system on the Formula and Trans Am. Additionally, convertible versions of each model were introduced in 1994, so if top-down motoring is preferable, for a boost in price it is yours.

Performance from the Corvette-derived 5.7-liter V8 is astounding, providing enough power to get the Firebird to 60 mph faster than your ten-year-old can get to 40 yards. The LT1 V8 is good for 10 more ponies in 1996, up from 275 horsepower on last year's V8. New for 1996 is a Ram Air WS6 Performance and Handling Package for the Formula and T/A. Twin hood scoops force cool air into the LT1, resulting in 20 extra horsepower. WS6 suspension tuning and P275/40ZR17 keep the Ram Air Firebird planted to the ground. Base models haven't been forgotten; the new 3800 Series II V6 makes 40 more horsepower and 25 foot-pounds more torque than the 1995 base engine. A Performance Package for base Firebirds includes four-wheel disc brakes, a limited slip differential, dual exhausts, bigger tires and a tighter steering ratio. All Firebirds get sharp five-spoke alloy wheels for 1996.

One new exterior color and one new interior color have been added to the roster. Any Firebird can be ordered with a power antenna in 1996, and steering wheel radio controls are available with any radio. A theft deterrent system with a personal security key fob is newly available.

With major powertrain improvements and hot sheetmetal, the 1996 Firebird fries Ford's Mustang. Stay away from the well-optioned Trans Am, because the Formula provides all the performance and image you need, and keeps your budget well in the black.

1996 Highlights

A new standard V6 makes 40 more horsepower than the old one. The LT1 V8 also makes more power, particularly when equipped with Ram Air induction. A new color livens up the exterior, as if it needed it.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Pontiac Firebird Hatchback.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.13 out of 5 stars
Firebird of Paradise
2dr Hatchback
I am the former owner of a 1996 Pontiac Firebird, with the 3800 V6 engine. I miss my car. I was constrained by necessity to sell her in Feb. 2009. But for ten years, this car served me well. The V6 engine had good performance, with 200HP and 225 lb/ft of torque. But what really impressed me was the reliability of the car. I have owned other Camaros and Firebirds in the past. I love these cars, but they are generally not well known for their reliability. But my 96 Firebird was rock solid reliable. The 3800 GM V6 motors are excellent. The fuel economy wasn't top notch (in fact, I think that the LT1 engines were more fuel efficient), but the car was fun to own and drive. I miss it!
4.75 out of 5 stars
Dont know.
Hot Momma,01/05/2003
Formula 2dr Hatchback
I have owned this car for a while now and it is awesome. It is liked by teenagers and adults as well. Everyone always has something nice to say about the car. The gas mileage is great! I just hate the air bags system.
5 out of 5 stars
Love this Car
Formula 2dr Hatchback
I have had this car for 7 years & I ordered it in July 1995. I have driven it 3 times up to NJ and back. My Labrador Retriever is comfortable in it. I use it at Home Depot to transport shrubs, plywood, etc. I have not had any problems with it. Just minor things that any car would have. Mine has the Traction Control in it & is a great option have when driving in bad weather. My t-tops are fun and easy to take off & on.
4.75 out of 5 stars
1996 firebird v6 3.8
2dr Hatchback
My firebird is equipped with a 3.8 L v6, t-tops and and some nice rims and i am very happy with it.The power is amazing. I put headers, cold air intake and did some head work to mine and it will rip the tires off. The fuel economy is great. This car is all around fun to drive. The only reason I would sell this car is to by a v8 model.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 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 Pontiac Firebird

Used 1996 Pontiac Firebird Hatchback Overview

The Used 1996 Pontiac Firebird Hatchback is offered in the following styles: Trans Am 2dr Hatchback, 2dr Hatchback, and Formula 2dr Hatchback. Pre-owned Pontiac Firebird Hatchback models are available with a 5.7 L-liter gas engine or a 3.8 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 285 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1996 Pontiac Firebird Hatchback comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual, 5-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Pontiac Firebird Hatchback?

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Used 1996 Pontiac Firebird Hatchback Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Pontiac Firebird Hatchback.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Pontiac Firebird Hatchback for sale near you.

Can't find a used 1996 Pontiac Firebird Firebird Hatchback you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Pontiac Firebird for sale - 3 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $9,083.

Find a used Pontiac for sale - 6 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $16,758.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac Firebird for sale - 3 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $7,936.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac for sale - 6 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $23,165.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Pontiac Firebird?

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 Pontiac lease specials
Check out Pontiac Firebird lease specials