Used 1996 Pontiac Grand Am Coupe

1996 Pontiac Grand Am
List price range
1996 Pontiac Grand Am

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Pontiac's perennial sales leader returns for 1996 with much needed exterior and interior updates to keep this compact competitive.

The big news this year is evident inside the Grand Am. A redesigned interior sports dual airbags and pillar-mounted 3-point seatbelts. The new soft-touch instrument panel features revised analog gauges, and a console-mounted parking brake replaces the anachronistic floor-mounted pedal of the 1995 model. Two new interior colors and fabrics debut. Improved cupholders and controls complete the interior redo.

Under the hood, a new twin-cam 2.4-liter engine is standard on all models. Pontiac claims that the new engine improves zero to 60 mph times by one second over 1995 models. A 3.1-liter V6 is optional, but requires an automatic shifter. Traction control is included with the automatic transmission this year. Fresh styling tweaks update the Grand Am's sheetmetal, and new alloy wheels compliment the new look. Four new paint colors are available.

Daytime running lights have been added to the Grand Am for 1996. A single key operates the ignition, as well as all door and trunk locks. PASSlock theft deterrent is standard on all Grand Ams. Variable effort steering, formerly found only on the GT, is available on both trim levels this year.

After five years on the market, the Grand Am is Pontiac's best-selling model, and it's not hard to see why. The Grand Am offers stylish good looks and reasonable performance, yet remains a decent value. The SE model is our pick, because it can be equipped to GT specs without the false performance pretensions and higher price of that premium trim level. Budget minded shoppers may want to investigate the twin-cam Sunfire, which offers more equipment for less money.

1996 Highlights

New styling, a new base engine, dual airbags and body-mounted seatbelts.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Pontiac Grand Am.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Typical GM experience.
While the interior stuff is nicely located, the seats aren't good for entering and leaving the vehicle. Trunk space is cramped compared to others. Engine response is good when traction control is off. When turned on, there is a noticeable help with rain/ice slippage. Several components around the engine required awkward maintenance; Various sensors, valves, a lead pipe from the AC. . . but the engine itself, as well as transmission were strong. This I've come to find typical in GM engines.
This car is AMAZING!! I painted it and it looks like a race car! my car is so fast! I have a cold air intake and dc sports racing exhaust with a cat back. It sounds great. I run a 11 second 1/2 mile! It tops about 105 due to rev reduction. Trans spinns great!
every pennies worth
Bryan Mirzaian,01/11/2010
My dad bought me this car 10 years ago for little more than $6k with 67k on the odo. 10 years later,I still (hard) drive it daily with over 200k miles. @ 178k pulled a 16.07 sec 1/2 mile having less than $180 in performance parts,& that was with almost a half sec crap start! I use full syn oil, changed timely,& replace the usual parts when they fail. Parts failure is inevitable with any car, its the nature of the beast! But have never had to crack the motor open & thats the more pertinent point. Cost of ownership has been very low.My quad4 motor began smoking V6 GA`s with a $25 cone filter, so not sure why one would choose the heavier V6 that has more moving parts to potentially fail.
I have had nothing but trouble with this car from the moment I have bought including 1 recall for the starter. I have put $4000 worth of work into this car. I have had to replace the brakes about 4 times, replaced the manifold gasket, head gasket, fan belt, tires (twice) roters, strut mound, struts, trasmission line, a/c ...... Please be careful buying this car.
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Features & Specs

20 city / 30 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
150 hp @ 6000 rpm
20 city / 30 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
150 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 1996 Pontiac Grand Am 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 Pontiac Grand Am
Used 1996 Pontiac Grand Am Coupe Overview

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Find a used Pontiac Grand Am for sale - 1 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $8,311.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Pontiac Grand Am?

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 Grand Am lease specials