1996 Lumina

Consumer Reviews

1996 Chevrolet Lumina

$422 - $4,430  MSRP Range
1996 Chevrolet Lumina

Review Score

4.0 out of 5 stars

4.0

16 Reviews
88% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.4 out of 5 stars Comfort
3.9 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
3.6 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4 out of 5 stars Reliability
3.8 out of 5 stars Performance
3.2 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 16 reviews

4 out of 5 stars

It's Not Pretty, But It Keeps Going

by My Other Vehicle is a Motorcycle from Rock Hill, SC on Sun May 24 2009

I purchase this car used in 1999 with a couple of things in mind: a) I'm 6'0" tall and needed something that was going to be comfortable, and b) wanted something that felt safe in which to drive my daughter. The engine inexplicably started leaking oil within the first few months, but the extended warranty replaced the engine, and no mechanical problems since then. As far as comfort goes, the layout of the interior is fine, but the seats have worn like I weigh 300lbs rather than 140. The car does a decent job accelerating into traffic or passing on the highway. You're not going to win any drag races, but it'll get you where you're going with a bit of pep. Whoever said they get between 12 and 20 mpg was WAY off. I typically get anywhere from 21 to 24 city and 27 to 32 (that's right, 32!) highway. Obviously, where you're driving makes a difference; mountains vs. level, winter vs. summer, etc. It may not get you where you need to go in style, but it will get you there reliably.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

UNSTOPABLE beater with a heater

by Tim from Iowa on Tue Jul 26 2011

i had the base version. i bought it with 189,000 miles and im not gunna lie, i hated this car when i owned it, but now that i think about it it wasnt too bad. i got mine very cheap it had been a rental and loaner car its whole life so u know it was beat on big time. and when i got mine i drove it like a 4x4. i took it mud bogging. i was extremely mean to this car. i didnt take care of it. i did no mantinece i was honestly trying to destroy this car. i had to beat the living day light out of this car trying to blow it up, i beat on this car very hard for a year and i gave up and thats when it finally let go. ITS BUILD TOUGH!! romped on it jumped it, offroaded with it, and got an avg of 23mpg. i had to put 2 engines in it. the 1st threw a rod at 190,000 and the second when i engaged cruz control and the trans slipped and launched the rpm cuzing it to throw another rod. but for what i did to the car and how i treated it its a tough car overall. being beateb to death with 212,000 miles rode down the road smooth as can be. holes in the muffler sounded great. like a v8, it could get LOUD! but i did have to put alot of money into it to keep it running. tons of little repairs. little sensors. i would recommend this car, and i am actually looking for another 1996 with the 3.1 i am now sad that i destroyed this car. i want it bad. its bullet proof!! amazing in the snow! 4 BALD tires and i NEVER got stuck in iowa snow. it would coast right threw 2ft snow banks and walk right threw a foot of standing snow. i recommend this Chevrolet!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Off-roading

Does recommend this car!!

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4 out of 5 stars

owned one for 4 years, very dependable!!

by The one.. from Sioux Falls, SD on Thu Jun 07 2007

only had to replace altinator, very reliable, inexpensive to maintain. Mine had a ticking sound the whole 4 years i had it and was louder in cold weather but it didn't effect the car at all. My friend has a Lumina and his does the same thing, but doesn't effect it. I would recommend this car any day!!

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

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4 out of 5 stars

Would be good for a first car.

by Lumina Man from Ohio on Thu Jan 27 2011

After I first bought the car I had regular maintenance on it, Battery, Belts, Tires and oil change. Had to get a new alternator at 75,000 miles. The engine started knocking real bad at 85,000 miles and would not go over about 30MPH. That lasted about a month and as I was going to get rid of it because of that problem but it stopped by itself and I never had that problem again. At 98,000 miles my engine seized up and would have had to get a new engine. So that?s when I got rid of the car. The paint job on this years model was extremely bad! It chipped off almost 75% of the car. The heat and air conditioning went out at about 78,000 miles. It rusted easy. I called my Lumina the "tank/snow plow/race car." It handled very well in the snow and I'm talking about 8+ inches! Never got stuck in the snow the six winters I drove in that car. I had hit a deer going 60MPH and all I needed was a new headlight and hood. Got rear ended 3 times and never had any major damage. At speeds of about 5MPH, 10MPH and 30MPH. For a bigger car it was fast and was comfortable. A lot of trunk space and leg room in the back.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
3 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
2 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Work

Does recommend this car!!

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4 out of 5 stars

o.k.

by Tim from Minburn, IA on Sat Feb 21 2009

not the best on gas gets around 20...with the 3.1 any ways. the engine moves it with some authority...kinda torquey when not ran for a long time for some reason...comfortably...affordable. sound system is great untill one of your back speakers blows...then they all seem to follow...one blows replace them all...other whise decent car made my chevrolet...195,000 and just starting to rust...one speck of rust and it will start to fly after that expecially in the winter...durable...get one and maybe do some work on it and it will keep working for you...gauranteed!!!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Work

Does recommend this car!!

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4 out of 5 stars

owner of a 96 lumina.

by Lumina owner from west bend, wi on Wed Jun 17 2009

i have a 96 lumina and i love the car. it definitely isn't a race car but it has a v6 and has some pep to it. of course it is a larger vehicle so a geo will beat it in gas mileage but i usually average about 20 to 25 mpg depending how and where i am driving. the interior is nothing fancy but comfortable and the most worn part is the carpet because the previous owners did not have mats to protect the floor. the seats are still comfortable and everything works. the body has a rust spot or two and if it wasn't for a tree it would be in great condition. handles great in the snow and has not problem quickly accelerating or stopping for emergencies. i highly recommend this car. it is very reliable.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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4 out of 5 stars

Used is always a Risk

by Stuck on Used from Spokane, WA on Wed Dec 26 2012

I bought my used chevy lumina at 140,000 mi for $1200 about a year ago and she's still trotting along. The owners didn't care for it (oil changes, belt, ect) as I would have and do, so there have been a few problems here and there. Mostly minor until recently when my crank shaft position sensor got gunked up with oil leaking onto it and thus the car would die out at random times until one day it just quit working. As it so happens, the mechanic told me that my intake manifold gasket was cracked which is a common problem with 3.1 V6 engines (i.e the lumina). This is causing oil and coolant to leak into each other and oil is leaking everywhere else too and it's a fairly expensive problem to fix (~$900). Having said that, I am going to fix it because overall the car is worth it and in two years, I've had three used cars and this one has been the best.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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4 out of 5 stars

Lasting Lumina

by EsD from Detroit, Mi on Fri May 05 2017

I think this car has potential, old police cars also in some places. A nice first car if I do say so myself.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Just keeps on going

by Lumina driver from St. Paul, Minnesota on Wed Apr 18 2007

This is one trooper of a car, you can't go wrong with one of these! Good reliable engine, sturdy transmission, durable body, and has plenty of feature options.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

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4 out of 5 stars

Bought used

by Wild Bill from Michigan on Tue Aug 08 2006

Nice handling has somewhat of a style. Seems very popular. Good for transportation, not a woman getter, but is reliable.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

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Our Take on the 1996 Chevrolet Lumina

I was on the phone to an old friend I was about to visit. He asked what carI would be driving. Upon hearing the words, "Chevy Lumina," he laughed. "Irent those," he said.

You, too, might laugh. But then, you probably don't drive a Lumina.

Too bad.

What many see as its weakness is its strength: its sheer ordinariness.

Park it in New York City. No one will steal it. The opposite sex will notflock to you. Your neighbor won't ask you where you got that nice set ofwheels. You'll probably see it next to you in traffic with some company's logoplastered on the side. Conservatively styled and priced, the Lumina goes aboutits duties with the quiet dignity of a faithful servant.

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