1996 Pontiac Grand Prix SE Coupe 3.1 SFI from North America


Great ride, affordable, sweeeeet. Recommend to anyone


Head gaskets at 170k, and transmission at 175k.

General Comments:

When I bought the SE I only paid 250 bucks for it. Yes, you read right.

The head gaskets were blown and the previous owner had someone start to replace them, but never finished. So I thank god I found this car. I know a few people, and I bought a top half rebuild kit from a dealership for only 85 bucks; had to get head bolts for it and an alternator, cause they both were missing.

Got it running and was like WOW!!! The exhaust was rusted off at the beginning of the mufflers, but had this deep rumble; you might think was coming from an old school muscle car.

At 175k my transmission went somehow, and have no clue how the tail stock of the tranny broke and was still drivable, and so I didn't notice and it lost all tranny fluid, burning the clutches. So I bought a junk yard tranny with only like 60k on it for 300, and a rebuild kit for 200, and rebuilt it.

Other than that, this car has been a great car and I would recommend it to anyone.

Did I mention I have only put under 1000 bucks into this car, including the price for the car.

Don't buy from dealerships... waste of money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th April, 2008

1996 Pontiac Grand Prix SE 3.1 from North America


Pleasure to own a Pontiac..


Well I have to replace the front and rear struts, The drivers side window switch and the rear brakes. I had a 2001 Pontiac Bonneville SLE before this car. That was a good car, but unfortunately, I was rear ended and it got totalled..

General Comments:

The Grand Prix for its age is a very good car I had an 88 Grand Prix and I tell you what it feels good to own a Grand Prix again.. I love the radio controls on the steering wheel, the wide track agressive stance of the vehicle. It looks so hot and handles like a dream... Pontiac and GM both built me a good car when they built me the Bonneville. Ever since then I am strictly a Pontiac owner for life..

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd June, 2007

1996 Pontiac Grand Prix SE 3.1L V6 from North America


A nice looker, but don't judge a book (or a car!) by its cover


Before the car hit 80,000 miles and not even a year of me owning it, it needed a new water pump, alternator, battery, and front brake pads.

There was a period where the car would randomly die while driving down the street. The interior lights would flash and the gauges would jump all over the place. This was eventually traced to bad wiring to the battery, after the dealer insisted on checking the computer and various other electrical components for a ridiculously high fee.

The cable running from the shifter to the transmission corroded and jammed one morning, preventing me from shifting the car into gear. After fearing the worst (the transmission itself), I was thankful it was only an inexpensive cable that needed to be replaced.

A rough idle in the morning was remedied by replacing the fuel pump and several engine sensors.

All four struts and strut mounts have been replaced at various intervals after the increasingly loud thumping and banging over every bump in the pavement wore my nerves to their breaking point.

Both the mufflers and the exhaust system have rusted badly in the 4 years I have owned the car. I looked into replacing it, but for the amount of money the dealer wants, I can live with the noise.

The intake manifold gasket developed a leak and eventually blew, causing several hundred dollars worth of repairs.

The padding in the driver's seat is wearing flat and the carpeted "kick" panel underneath the passenger dashboard is constantly falling down.

The car now requires repeated attempts to engage the left turn signal. Sometimes I feel compelled to break off the lever, as it feels so flimsy and cheap.

General Comments:

I previously owned a 1994 Grand Prix and liked it well enough to look for a newer model when the high mileage prompted me to trade it in after two years of ownership. When I saw this 1996 sitting on the lot, I was drawn to the bright red color, ground effects, and 5-spoke wheels so I was eager to close the deal on it after a (too) brief test drive.

It wasn't until I got the car home that I discovered it did NOT have antilock brakes as my old Grand Prix did and it is a feature I have missed to this day.

I later discovered this car was originally a rental car for the first portion of its life. That knowledge has always bothered me, what with the common conceptions of how rental cars are generally (mis) treated.

This 1996 Grand Prix has not been nearly as reliable as my 1994 model had been. I love the looks of it, both inside and out; however, mechanical and electrical issues (some preventable, some not) have plagued me from my first year of owning it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd January, 2006

29th Jul 2007, 22:24

It is unfortunate that this person had bad luck with his Grand Prix. I personally, have owned my 1996 SE for 9 years with very little problems. I have put an alternator, water pump, and brakes on it since I purchased it. The car had 40,000 miles when purchased, now it has 90,000. I am currently deciding on what mufflers to buy for it. My car has the 3.1 engine, it gets 24 mpg around town and 32+ on the highway. I am sure it will need new struts in the near future, but for now they are alright. Remember, if you drive it like you stole it no car will last very long. My Grand Prix is the nicest car I have owned. To me it was the BEST America had to offer in 1996 for personal luxury!

20th Apr 2008, 14:32

One thing people need to do is find a good friend that knows how to work on cars. I myself have two 1996 Grand Prixs; one is an SE coupe with a 3.1, and the other is a GTP.

The reason I say find a friend who knows how to work on cars is because all dealerships do is try to get your money. That means they do everything they can to get money. I and everyone should know this. I've worked at a few.

The only problems I've had is the head gaskets on my SE at 170k, and then just 5k later the transmission went; cost me 5 hundred to rebuild it myself.

People would save hundreds, even thousands of dollars if they knew someone they could trust to work on their cars, instead of a dealer.