1996 Pontiac Bonneville SE from North America


The car is a spoiler


Power seat control failed.

Power door lock failed.

General Comments:

This is my second Bonneville, and I just got it used two weeks ago when the injectors went out on my '93. Big money fix, so I decided it was time for another Bonneville.

Before I got my used '93 Bonneville in 2000, I drove a 1984 Fiero (the "Pontiac Porsche") that I thought no car in the world could compare to.

Boy, was I wrong. Still love Fieros, but now I'm spoiled by the creature comforts of the Bonneville.

Both my '93 and my '96 Bonneville are the most comfortable cars I've ever owned. The interior is plush, the ride solid, and all in all, a great car for long distance cruises. Very driver friendly.

The only problem I have with them is they seem to be gas hogs. As long as I drive like a Grandma, I get better mileage. But if I drive over 55 mph for any length of time, I can go through a tank of gas in no time flat.

In rush hour traffic the other day, I had seconds to go from a dead stop to merge into a lane of traffic at about 40 mph. I nailed it, the tires barked, and I took off like the Space Shuttle! It was great, but the gas gauge said don't do that again.

Will be getting a new stereo system put in, the last owner of this Bonneville liked to jam like I do! The speakers are still passable, but the bass is starting to sound kinda funky.

I'll be getting the repairs made to this car before winter sets in, and I hope to have this car for many years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th October, 2004

1996 Pontiac Bonneville SE 3+ liter from North America


Fancy, sporty, and moderately priced


The coil packs have failed far too often for such low mileage. The first time they fried the spark plug wires, the second time they killed the fuel pump, power seat motor, and ignition system. In both cases (one mechanic, one dealer) it was a battle to get GMPP to cover anything.

The gearshift jammed around 50K miles. This was a very odd problem, as you couldn't get the key out of the ignition. The dealer failed to diagnose it correctly the first time, but I got a new steering wheel for free.

The hood release cable broke, which made it a real pain to open the hood. Dealer fixed it for free eventually.

The mute button on the steering wheel has never worked properly, it usually just blips the radio.

The display for the stereo no longer works. You can see it in very bright sunlight, and it sometimes fixes itself for a day or so.

The trunk release and front passenger power lock failed, but fixed themselves within a week or so.

General Comments:

For such a big car, it really drives very well. Acceleration is smooth and quick, unless it's in overdrive, which makes it sluggish. It also corners very well.

The a/c has always been weak. The fan speed is fine, but the air just doesn't get cold.

I've driven it on long roadtrips several times, and it has proven itself to be an excellent car for all-day driving. It's very comfortable, for the passengers as well.

The trunk size is excellent, but whoever designed the lid should be fired. When you open it in wet weather, all the water dumps into the trunk.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th January, 2004

17th Feb 2004, 23:30

Mine dumps water in the trunk too. Very poor design.

It is comfortable and fast. Can drive it 10 hours across Texas and not get a back ache or a neck ache. But lots of repairs. You covered most of the problems.

My engine blew up at 38,000 miles. Not covered under warranty.

My heater fan also began working intermittently at 76,000 miles and finally conked out at 86,000.

Fuel regulator went bad at 84,000 and car started dying at left turns. It's too bad. It's a great long distance car for a solitary driver or a family, but it's not reliable. I have that window rolling up difficulty as well.