1996 Ford Thunderbird LX 3.8 Litre V6 from North America


A great midsize performance car for starters


Nothing has gone wrong with the car so far.

General Comments:

It's a great and fun car to drive, it's at its best on the highway. Its styling looks great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th July, 2000

1996 Ford Thunderbird LX 3.8 V6 from North America


A great beginners car


Nothing major has happened. Returned to the dealership for a factory recall with the front engine cover gasket. But never had any problems from this recall.

General Comments:

Car rides smooth and has a lot of comfort. The only downfall is that the car could use a lot more horsepower for its sleek sports coupe design. But other than that, I have no complaints.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd June, 2000

1996 Ford Thunderbird LX 3.8L V-6 from North America


Had to replace the radiator due to leaks. Other than that, no major problems. Although the engine has had no major problems, I'm somewhat worried as to the integrity of the headgaskets, given the history of headgasket failure in this engine.

General Comments:

This is a great car to drive. It handles fairly well for such a large car. This is definitely a cruising car, as it loves to be on the highway. At highway speeds, the car is sure-footed and stable, even at high speeds. The fully independent front and rear suspensions do a good job of soaking up the bumps. The 4-wheel disc brakes w/ABS are smooth and predictable. The 3.8 V-6 has plenty of torque, but could use more horsepower.

The styling is excellent, especially the sculpted cockpit-style interior. The exterior styling is the best of all previous years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 18th January, 2000

11th Aug 2001, 13:54

I have owned a 1997 T-bird since day one. Always took it in for maintenance at the dealership (excellent service) for its regular check-ups and service. The car has 36,000 miles and is exceptionally clean.

On June 27th I had the oil changed and checked because I was selling the car to my son. Three weeks later my son calls and says the car is broke down and he took to a local Goodyear dealer, who then sent him to an engine shop. The engine shop told him the head gasket was blown and there were particles in the oil pan. Each person I have asked says that this engine is notorious for this problem. I do not have the extended warranty, but feel due to the history of the car (always having Ford work on the car), that they should replace the motor. Neither my son nor I have almost $5,000 for a new engine. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

19th Sep 2001, 21:03

$5000?! I recently replaced my 4.6 V8 and 4-speed auto tranny from a '96 for about $3000 total. Try another mechanic.

8th Aug 2008, 05:59

I spun a bearing on my dad's Thunderbird by pushing it too hard, the likes of which the poor v6 had never seen before or was accustomed to. It lost oil pressure and later seized. I would suspect your son may have done the same.

29th Nov 2008, 13:33

OMG, the 1996 Ford Thunderbird is the best vehicle I have ever owned. I am putting a new motor in her as we speak. The old motor had 171,000 with no work at all done to the motor since bought off the showroom floor! My car is a black t-bird 3.8 V6 with 0 miles, going to have a new trans and rear end put in it when it is needed. Paid 3200 for the new motor... can't wait to take her out and let her purrr!

10th Dec 2008, 09:31

We're looking at a '96 Ford Thunderbird to possibly purchase as a first car for our 17 year old. One of the stipulations is the rear-wheel drive.. not usually good in snow. Can anyone give us feedback on how this car runs in the winter?

Looking at safety as well as reliability. Thank you in advance.