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1996 Buick Regal Coupe

2dr Cpe Gran Sport SK

Starting at | Starting at 19 MPG City - 30 MPG Highway

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  • $19,445 original MSRP

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1996 Buick Regal Coupe

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1996 Buick Regal Coupe

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Pre-Owned Profile: 1990-1996 Buick Regal

Source: AutoTrader.com

Buick's Regal adds a small air of luxury at a lower price

The Buick Regal sat in the middle of Buick's lineup of cars in the mid 1990s. It was a cut above the small Skylark and nowhere near as big or ungainly as the Roadmaster. In many ways it was the forerunner of a more modern Buick image.

A pre-owned Regal could be just the vehicle for someone who is searching for a car with some classy lines and a little more room inside but does not want or cannot afford a near luxury import car.

Be aware that if you are looking for a newer Regal you'll have a tough time finding a 1997 Regal as the new version was introduced later in the model year. In fact it was officially a 1997.5 model meaning that most of them are recorded as 1998 models. Because the last year of the previous generation had an extended production run there are more of them on the market.


What You Need To Know:

1. Review of a 1996 Buick Regal
2. Summary of Good and Bad Points by Owners
3. History of Regal
4. Review of Current Model
5. Basic Facts
6. Changes Year-to-Year
7. Safety Information
8. Value Guide
9. Option Installment Rate
10. Sales History
11. Awards and Commendations Earned
12. Other Reviews
13. Recall Information
14. Price of Spare Parts


1. Pre-Owned Vehicle Evaluation - 1996 Buick Regal

Likes: near luxury feel, strong V-6 engine

Dislikes: so-so handling, too much plastic inside

Competitors: (on same platform: Chevrolet Lumina/Monte Carlo, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme and Pontiac Grand Prix), Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Maxima

Miles: 47,365
Condition: B
Price when new: $21,600 (est.)
Posted Price: $12,990 (Feb. 2000)

Normally one expects a two-door coupe version of a car to be the more attractive than the four-door sedan. However, in my opinion the opposite is true for the Buick Regal produced between 1988 and 1996.

When I first approached this light-colored Regal in the dealer lot I was struck by how it still looks quite stylish, despite being a decade-old design. This 1996 model was produced during the last year of the previous generation. Like so many vehicles from General Motors, the Regal had a long run of eight years compared to about four years for many car lines.

The 1988 to 1996 Regal was offered with a choice of two engines, a 3.1-liter or 3.8-liter V-6. My advice is to try and find a car with the 3.8-liter engine as it provides more power and is smoother, plus its fuel consumption is not much worse than that of the smaller engine. Fortunately the majority of Regals sold during this time period were fitted with this engine option.

Externally the Regal starts with a neat grille that gives the car - dare I say it - a regal look. The car has slim pillars especially the C pillar that gives it an airy look. Lower body protection trim running along the side of the car helps make it look well proportioned. Sadly the two-door coupes design does not work quite as well. It is as if it was an afterthought, whereas in reality it was designed before the four-door sedan.

On the road the car's engine provides good performance. The steering could be crisper and the handling is somewhat soft. It's certainly no sports sedan but neither is it a big sloppy car. Inside the passengers get generously proportioned seats that are quite wide. I felt the leather surface was too slippery and despite decent side bolsters one tended to slip around in the seats. Rear seat head- and legroom is adequate for taller passengers and even the rear seat is nicely contoured to give added comfort and support. The trunk is a decent size though access through the large opening is cramped somewhat by the high lip.

The dashboard on the car I tested was quite attractive with a nice instrument panel that wraps around the driver and is integrated into the door panel and the center console. A large semi-circular speedometer and tachometer take center place in the instrument cluster. The climate controls and radio are well placed high up in the center of the dashboard. This dashboard design first appeared in 1995 when dual airbags were installed for the first time. The previous dashboard was an unattractive horizontal affair with small gauges.

Overall this 1996 Regal I tested was in quite good condition and was free of squeaks and rattles. It s tough to describe the car as having any pretense at being a luxury car yet somehow it did exude some feeling of luxury. If the fit and finish were a little better and there were some luxury touches such as wood trim and the like it could almost be regarded as a low cost near luxury car. In this regard it is a more stylish car than an Accord or Camry.


2. Summing It Up - Owners Views

Good:
Very dependable ('95)
Nice features
Roomy
Leather seats are comfortable
Good dual a/c controls

Bad:
Air conditioning control knob broke on first day of ownership!


3. History of Regal

The Buick Regal nameplate has been in existence since 1973, when it was introduced as a stylish two-door coupe based on the Buick Century. It was a large car and unfortunately despite success in its first year it was just - at the time of the oil embargo and Buick's fortunes plummeted as people stayed away from big cars. In the mid 1980s the Regal was the sporty model in the Buick lineup and it was popular in NASCAR races. Indeed one of the most brutish high performance sedans ever produced was the Buick Regal Grand National in the mid 80s. But the world of automobiles was changing.

An all-new two-door coupe appeared in 1988. It was the first of a new breed of General Motor s midsize front-drive coupes, the others being the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme and the Pontiac Grand Prix. Finally Buick introduced a four-door sedan based off the two-door coupe in 1991. Gradually sales of the four-door sedan increased while sales of the coupe waned.

The current version of the Regal was introduced as a late 1997 model and it is available only as a four-door sedan. For the first time in Buick's history there is no two-door model in the lineup.


4. Review of Current Regal

Buick has positioned the current version of the Regal as a sports sedan. In GS guise it has a supercharged version of the 3.8-liter engine which gives the car a decent amount of power. With the sports suspension Gran Touring option, it is a perfectly good mid-size sedan. But BMW will not have to worry - it does not compare to any of its models. On the other hand for a person who is used to older American cars the new Regal is pretty decent car. The interior has been upgraded considerably providing more room and it has a nice dashboard that has a touch of class.


5. Basic Facts: 1994 - 1996 Regal

Vehicle Type: Mid-Size Sedan/Coupe
No. Passengers: up to six
Origin of assembly: Oshawa, Canada
Engine: (standard): 3.1-liter 160 hp V-6
(optional): 3.8-liter 170 hp V-6 ('94-'95); 3.8-liter 205 hp V-6 ('96 on)
Transmission: 4-spd automatic; front-drive
Length: 194 inches
Wheelbase: 108 inches
Width: 73 inches
Height: 53 inches (55 inches four-door)
Curb weight: 3300 lbs. (approx.)
Cargo volume: 16 cu. ft.
Fuel tank capacity: 16 gals.
Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway): 20/29 (3.1-liter); 19/30 (3.8-liter)


6. Changes in the Buick Regal Line 1994 - 2000

1994 Model Year
Driver side airbag becomes available although automatic seatbelts remain
Anti-lock brakes are now standard on all Regal models
Base engines output increased by 20 hp
Power windows become standard

1995 Model Year
Interior changed
Dual airbags now standard

1996 Model Year
Optional 3.8-liter engine output increased by 20 hp

1997.5 Model Year (first year of new model)
Larger, totally redesigned Regal introduced
All models powered by 3.8-liter engine
New GS model gets a supercharger

1998 Model Year
No major changes

1999 Model Year
Some suspension modifications improve ride and handling

2000 Model Year
Side airbags available as option


7. Safety Notes

NHTSA Crash rating ('94 model year): Driver 4; Passenger 1 (5 is best)
ABS standard on all Regal models from 1994
Driver side air bag standard from 1994, dual air bags standard from 1995


8. Value Guide

Prices listed are for base models. Options can add considerably to the lowest price listed as these are usually stripped models. In many cases very few vehicles are ever sold at the lowest price listed! Source: Kelley Blue Book

1994 Model Year

New: $18,524 to $20,824

1995 Model Year

New: $19,225 to $21,387

1996 Model Year

New: $19,985 to $22,340

1997 Model Year (first year of new model)

New: $21,645 to $24,045

1998 Model Year

New: $21,495 to $24,240

1999 Model Year

New: $22,255 to $27,705


9. Option Installment Rate

Generally, when you order a new car you have a choice of factory-installed options. When you buy a pre-owned vehicle the choice is limited to what was actually installed on vehicles sold in that model year. Use this option installment rate as a guide to the chances of finding particular options on a pre-owned vehicle. Source: Ward's Automotive Yearbooks

1994 Model Year
Installment Rate
Engine:
3.1-liter V-6: 10%
3.8-liter V-6: 90%

Body Style:
2-door coupe: 23%
4-door sedan: 77%

Remote/Keyless Entry: 78%

1995 Model Year
Installment Rate
Engine:
3.1-liter V-6: 26%
3.8-liter V-6: 74%

Body Style:
2-door coupe: 20%
4-door sedan: 80%

Leather Seats: 36%
Remote/Keyless Entry: 73%

1996 Model Year
Installment Rate
Engine:
3.1-liter V-6: 30%
3.8-liter V-6: 70%

Body Style:
2-door coupe: 5%
4-door sedan: 95%

Leather Seats: 30% (est.)
Remote/Keyless Entry: 67%

1997.5 Model Year
Installment Rate
Engine:
3.8-liter V-6: 59%
3.8-liter V-6 supercharged: 41%

Leather Seats: 68%

1998 Model Year
Installment Rate
Engine:
3.8-liter V-6: 67%
3.8-liter V-6 supercharged: 33%

Leather Seats: 76%

1999 Model Year
Installment Rate
Engine:
3.8-liter V-6: 75%
3.8-liter V-6 supercharged: 25%

Leather Seats: 77%


10. Production/Sales Volume History

Normally a model year runs from October to September. Often though, when a new version is introduced it hits the market before October. Legally, a model year can start as early as January of the preceding year. Accurate model year sales counts are almost impossible to collect as different model year vehicles are regularly sold side-by-side for several months. Production figures, when listed, often include vehicles made for export to Canada, Mexico and overseas. Source: manufacturers/Ward's Automotive Yearbooks

1994 Model Year
Production run: Oct. 1993 through Sept. 1994
Total number produced: 92,403
Total no. sold in U.S.: 72,522

1995 Model Year
Production run: Oct. 1994 through Sept. 1995
Total number produced: 106,210
Total no. sold in U.S.: 91,938

1996 Model Year
Production run: Oct. 1995 through Nov. 1996
Total number produced: 99,185
Total no. sold in U.S.: 93,465

1997.5 Model Year (first year of new model)
Production run: Jan. 1997 through N/A
Total number produced: 0
Total no. sold in U.S.: 49,370

1998 Model Year
Production run: Jan. 1997 through Sept. 1998
Total number produced: 297,588
Total no. sold in U.S.: 64,004

1999 Model Year
Production run: Oct. 1998 through Sept. 1999
Total number produced: NA
Total no. sold in U.S.: 76,658


11. Awards and Commendations

1995
"Best Midsize Coupe in Initial Quality Study" - J.D. Power and Associates

1997
"Best Mid-Size Total Value Award" - Strategic Vision

1998
"Total Value Award" - Strategic Vision


12. Quotes

"It offers a comfortable ride and it has crisp handling. An enthusiast driver might ask for a stiffer ride and more precise steering but most people would describe the car as being easy to drive, which is exactly what my wife said. In this aspect it compares well with the Honda Accord SE, I tested a few weeks ago." - New York Times Regional Newspaper Group, John Rettie Test Drive, Dec. 1992

"The younger person's Buick. Get the GS with the supercharger for a surprisingly spirited drive." - Autoweek's 1999 Buyers Guide


13. Recalls (Only major recalls listed)

ID Number: 95V061000
Component: brakes: hydraulic: lines: hose: non-metallic
Potential Number of Units Affected: 199,572
Year: 1994
Manufactured From: June 1993 To: Oct. 1994
Year of Recall: '95
Summary: The rear wheel brake hose(s) can contact the rear suspension components causing the brake hose(s) to wear through. This condition can cause loss of brake fluid and eventual loss of the vehicle braking system increasing the potential for a vehicle accident.

ID Number: 95V152000
Component: lighting: lamp or socket: side marker lights
Potential Number of Units Affected: 39,849
Year: 1991-1995
Manufactured From: June 1991 To: Feb. 1995
Year of Recall: '95
Summary: Incorrect clear front side marker bulbs were installed rather than amber bulbs. This does not conform to the requirements of FMVSS no. 108, "lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment." Consequence of non-compliance: during illumination, the bulbs will show clear rather than amber and could momentarily confuse other drivers.

ID Number: 97V017000
Component: visual systems: windshield wiper/washer switch
Potential Number of Units Affected: 349,331
Year: 1994
Manufactured From: June 1993 To: Aug. 1994
Year of Recall: '97
Summary: Some of these vehicles have a strained or separated washer/wiper switch power feed wire. This can cause the windshield washer/wiper to work intermittently and could ultimately result in inoperative wipers. If this were to occur in a severe weather situation, driver visibility could be reduced, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.

ID Number: 98V306000
Component: interior systems: restraint: belt anchor and attachment
Potential Number of Units Affected: 111,470
Year: 1995
Manufactured From: Nov. 1994 To: Jan. 1995
Year of Recall: '98
Summary: The center rear seat belt anchor plate exhibits stress cracks. In the event of a vehicle crash, the seat belt system can fracture, increasing the risk of injury to the seat occupant.

ID Number: 96V069000
Component: brakes: hydraulic: lines: fittings
Potential Number of Units Affected: 43,213
Year: 1996
Manufactured From: Apr. 1995 To: Oct. 1995
Year of Recall: '96
Summary: The left front brake line can contact the transaxle mounting bracket or attachment bolt. This condition can cause the brake line to wear through, resulting in loss of brake fluid and eventual loss of one-half of the vehicle's brake system, increasing the potential for a vehicle accident.

ID Number: 96V116000
Component: fuel: carburetor: single: manifold: intake
Potential Number of Units Affected: 275,811
Year: 1996
Manufactured From: July 1995 To: May 1996
Year of Recall: '96
Summary: A backfire during engine starting can cause breakage of the upper intake manifold. This condition can cause a no-start condition and possibly an engine compartment fire.

ID Number: 97V223000
Component: brakes: hydraulic: lines: metallic
Potential Number of Units Affected: 4,387
Year: 1997
Manufactured From: Aug. 1996 To: May 1997
Year of Recall: '97
Summary: The right front brake pipe can contact the power steering assembly causing the brake line to wear through. This condition can result in the loss of brake fluid and eventual loss of half of the vehicle brake system.

ID Number: 98V102000
Component: lighting: lamp or socket: head lights
Potential Number of Units Affected: 149,342
Year: 1997
Manufactured From: Aug. 1996 To: July 1997
Year of Recall: '98
Summary: The owner manuals do not contain the requirement information pertaining to the vehicle headlamp aiming device. This does not comply with requirements of FMVSS No. 108, "Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment." If the headlamp assemblies are replaced, customers may not be able to properly aim the headlights.

ID Number: 99V356000
Component: lighting: lamp or socket: head lights
Potential Number of Units Affected: 411,880
Year: 1998-1999
Manufactured From: Apr. 1997 To: Aug. 1998
Year of Recall: '99
Summary: These vehicles do not conform to the requirements of FMVSS No. 108, "Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment." The vertical head lamp adjusting device may not be calibrated properly. Driver visibility may be impaired increasing the risk of a crash.

ID Number: 99V170000
Component: brakes: hydraulic: anti-skid system
Potential Number of Units Affected: 168,035
Year: 1999
Manufactured From: Mar. 1998 To: June 1999
Year of Recall: '99
Summary: Some of these vehicles with the key in the "on" position, exhibit a condition in which the antilock brake system (ABS) motor shorts to its case and grounds through a flexible brake fluid pipe. This short can cause extreme heating of the flexible brake pipe where it can melt a nearby flexible plastic fuel hose, which could result in an underhood fire.


14. Cost of Parts (relative to other vehicles)

Headlight unit: $227 (above average)
Side marker lamp: $29 (below average)
Door (left front): $930 (above average)
Fender (left front): $269 (average)

Note: these are estimated retail prices for commonly replaced body parts on a 1996 model. Prices are current as of Feb. 2000 but will vary from region to region and are subject to change at any time.Source: ADP Collision Repair Services


The Rettie Report and Pre-owned Profiles contain objective information from a variety of sources. The subjective comments are those of John Rettie.

Printable Version

1996 Buick Regal Coupe

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

1996 Buick Regal Coupe

Buick Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-year/24,000-Mile¹ CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile² Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile³ Powertrain Limited Warranty for model years up to 2012. 6-Year/100,000-Mile³ Powertrain Limited Warranty for 2013 model year and newer Certified Pre-Owned Buick vehicles (as of 6/24/13) .

¹Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.
²Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.
³Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2014 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

1996 Buick Regal Coupe

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