Used 1996 Pontiac Grand Prix Sedan

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1996 Pontiac Grand Prix
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1996 Pontiac Grand Prix

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

It took General Motors 10 years to bring the platform on which the Grand Prix is based to market, and since the 1988 debut of the Grand Prix and its corporate siblings, the Buick Regal and Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, the cars have been major money losers for the company. Originally available only as coupes, sedans joined the lineup in 1990, but were too late and too lame to capitalize on a market dominated by the Ford Taurus and Honda Accord. To remain competitive, prices for these under-engineered vehicles have remained quite low, and GM loses money on every single one it sells.

The current Grand Prix may not look much different from the car we first saw in 1988, but under the skin it's very different. A new interior was added in 1994, more powerful engines power both the coupe and sedan, and low prices undercut the competition. Equipped with the optional DOHC 3.4-liter V6, the Grand Prix is transformed into a reasonably good performer with accommodations for five adults. Each year, the Grand Prix receives improvement.

This year, improvements are kept to a minimum as Pontiac prepares to launch an all-new Grand Prix for 1997. Newly standard on the SE coupe is the B4U option package, which includes five-spoke alloy wheels, sport moldings, fog lights and other performance cues. Horsepower is up to 215 for the 3.4-liter V6, and the base 3.1-liter V6 receives long life spark plugs. A new High-Polished Wheel Package includes chrome wheels, silver decal work and a decklid spoiler.

Despite its inherent value, we do not recommend the Grand Prix in sedan or coupe form. They feel heavy, look dated, and are generally underwhelming. Granted, the GTP coupe looks like a bad boy compared to Ford's Thunderbird and the new Monte Carlo, but those cars are far more sophisticated, better looking, and better engineered. Ditto the GT sedan, which goes up against the likes of the Volkswagen Jetta GLX and Nissan Maxima SE. With the availability of far better cars for slightly more money, the Grand Prix just doesn't make sense. However, the main reason for avoiding the 1996 Grand Prix is the imminent arrival of the 1997 model. It's hot, and we wouldn't want anyone to suffer severe buyer's remorse when it debuts.

1996 Highlights

Minor trim and powertrain improvements to the only car in GM's stable that still has those stupid door-mounted seatbelts. Do yourself a favor. Wait for the 1997 GP.

Top consumer reviews

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

Solid Investment
JonC,04/18/2002
This car is a joy to own. I have 120,000 miles on mine and it still gets up and goes. The dash and controls are convieniently placed and the car has a generally sporty feel.
Most Fun To Drive Ever
Holly,07/26/2002
This car is great. I've had it for 5 years; having to repair mainly minor problems. It is incredibly fun to drive. I did have to fix the lock in the back that would not work, the passenger side door which would not open from the outside, and the clock in which the numbers actually dissapeared.
Grand Prix GT
CmsCarMaster,09/14/2005
The Pontiac Grand prix Gt 4 door is clearly The best Sedan I have owned, I give it a 5 star rating for reliability and fuel economy. Thank You Justin
a great car
dkmustang,02/25/2004
great car that is fun to drive and i will keep until the wheels fall off
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Features & Specs

MPG
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
160 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
15 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
215 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 1996 Pontiac Grand Prix Sedan features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 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 Pontiac Grand Prix
Used 1996 Pontiac Grand Prix Sedan Overview

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Find a used Pontiac Grand Prix for sale - 7 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $9,047.

Find a used Pontiac for sale - 2 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $17,939.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac Grand Prix for sale - 12 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $16,283.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac for sale - 2 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $21,459.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Pontiac Grand Prix?

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 Prix lease specials