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1996 Pontiac Bonneville Review
Refined performance at a bargain.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1996 Pontiac Bonneville is a full-size car manufactured by General Motors. Introduced in 1957, it was launched as a limited-production performance convertible. The Bonneville and the Grand Ville share the same platform and are some of the largest cars ever built by the automaker.
The 1996 Pontiac Bonneville is famous for combining the traditional elements of a full-size car with the style and class of a European car. This particular generation, including the 1996 model, comes as close as possible to perfecting this combination.
Engines: 3.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Pontiac Bonneville SE, Pontiac Bonneville SLE, Pontiac Bonneville SSE
The 1996 Pontiac Bonneville’s Series II V-6 engine has been fitted with a supercharger, delivering more horsepower than before. On the outside, the front and rear have been tweaked a little, and daytime running lights make a debut this year.
The 1996 Pontiac Bonneville has been changed a little to differentiate it from previous models. It gets new alloy wheel designs, daytime running lights, and an automatic headlight control system called the Twilight Sentinel. This switches the running lights to regular low-beam lights when the sun sets.
The 1996 Pontiac Bonneville has a very conventional but dignified external appearance since it was redesigned in 1992. It has a wheelbase of 110.8 inches and an overall length that ranges from 201.7 inches for the SE to 203.1 inches for the SSE.
The 1996 Pontiac Bonneville is very similar to that of its siblings from Oldsmobile and Buick. Space is not a problem at all with plenty of legroom, headroom, and in the front and the rear. There is no complaint in terms of comfort either as it has very comfortable seating. Up front, the instrument panel is laid out very well with all the controls easily accessible and readable.
The 1996 Pontiac Bonneville gives large cargo room inside the trunk with 18 cubic feet of space. The flat floor of the trunk extends a good length forward, which is complimented by the wide opening angle of the trunk lid.
Performance & Handling
The 1996 Pontiac Bonneville is powered by the Series II 3.8-liter, V-6 engine that delivers 205 horsepower and 230 lb-ft of torque. A supercharged version of the V-6 engine is also available with the SSEi Supercharger Package, delivering 225 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque.
The 1996 Pontiac Bonneville's base engine offers brisk acceleration and enough power for quick and confident highway passes. The supercharged engine feels a lot like a large V-8, but its extra power comes at the price of using only premium unleaded fuel.
The 1996 Pontiac Bonneville's engines combine very well with the four-speed automatic transmission, which shifts smoothly. The CCR feature used in the SSE make seem good on paper, but the Touring mode is too bouncy and the Performance mode too fails to absorb bumps well.
The 1996 Pontiac Bonneville got a five-star rating for driver safety but a mediocre three out of five stars for passenger safety during frontal impact tests conducted by the NHTSA.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Lively performance
- Good transmission
- Lots of passenger and cargo space
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy
- Poor ride with the SSE
Refined performance at a bargain.
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