1996 Ford Thunderbird User Reviews

1996 Ford Thunderbird Review Ratings

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Average Ratings from 25 reviews

  • Performance:4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars 4 / 5
  • Appearance:4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars 4.2 / 5
  • Build Quality:4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars 4.3 / 5
  • Overall: 4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars 4.4 / 5

Review Highlights Click to filter reviews below

PROS
"ride" 15 reviews
"power" 11 reviews
"fuel economy" 8 reviews
"handling" 7 reviews
"big car" 5 reviews
CONS
"fuel economy" 5 reviews
"power" 3 reviews
"transmission" 3 reviews
"build quality" 2 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 25 1996 Ford Thunderbird reviews.

Duane writes:
1996 Ford Thunderbird LX Review
Appearance:
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Performance:
Price:
Power:
Quality:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
4

Pros

fun to drive and decent gas mileage for a V8

Cons

electronics are shifty, and poor grip in less-than-desirable road conditions.

75

Very Happy With It As My First Car. It Has Served Its Purpose Well, And Continues To Do So. — 0-60 in around 6s stock Around 18 mpg city, with a 4.6L V8 Dashboard lights have gone haywire a few times, but then magically fix themselves Automatic temperature control is very nice feature 4 speed automatic transmission is nothing special, but has not been problematic either. Grips the road well enough in good road conditions, but add just a little rain or snow, and driving becomes much more difficult

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Dan writes:
1996 Ford Thunderbird LX Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

You get a little bit of everything with this car

Cons

gas

55

Your Looking For A Classic Car That Is Becoming Very Rare On The Road.....great To Drive — This car is just a perfect blend of everything, sport, class, luxery. very comfortable to drive long distances. the only downside is the gas mileage where i get 300 miles on 18 gallons. No matter love driving this car. totaly reccomend it

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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Matthew writes:
1996 Ford Thunderbird LX Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Great Handling, Good Gas Mileage, Good Looks

Cons

Lots of interior squeaks. LOTS OF PLASTIC

35

One Of The Best Out There. — I've enjoyed my Ford Thunderbird. Its been a great car. I've driven lots of other cars, and being compared to most 90's cars, its one of the better ones. It has a great ride, it rides better that some new cars. After owning this car, my opinion of Fords have changed.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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John writes:
1996 Ford Thunderbird LX Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Has good handling for such a large car

Cons

It is a coupé, so rear seat space is a bit tight

45

If You Like Big Cars, And Don't Need To Carry A Bunch Of Stuff Or People, It's Worth A Look. — It's got a torquey 4.6 litre V8, and is one of the few affordable RWD V8 powered cars that you can drive without feeling like you've borrowed your son's car. A gentlemen's sport coupé that surprises more than a few people on a winding road.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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Jonathan writes:
1996 Ford Thunderbird LX Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Its comfortable and reliable

Cons

Gas is expensive

35

1996 Thunderbird — My particular car is immaculate but by now most are pretty beaten up but they are very durable and not too bad looking. Its not too expensive to maintain and it never breaks. Over all its not the most fun to drive but it get you there and its reasonably quick with the V8

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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Josh writes:
1996 Ford Thunderbird LX Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

the power

Cons

hard to find wheels for

55

Mark Viii Luxury And Mustang Performance For Under $22,000 — Ford's aging personal coupe is nearing the end of the proverbial line. Seven years is a long time for automotive sheetmetal to be around, and the Thunderbird is looking a little long in tooth. For 1996, the Thunderbird has received a freshened front and rear end that has improved its looks. In spite of these updates, the Thunderbird is due for a full-body makeover (i.e., Taurus, Escort, F-Series and Contour) by the gang at the Blue Oval. Nonetheless, we will be saddened by this rendition's departure because we feel a rare balance between sport and luxury is represented in this affordable car. We received our Laser Red Thunderbird one fine Arizona morning and were delighted to find it equipped with the Sport Package and Ford’s exciting modular V-8 engine. We immediately hunted down the nearest stretch of open road to enjoy the melodious song of this powerful engine. We weren’t disappointed. Acceleration was brisk and Ford thoughtfully included a defeat switch for the optional traction control that allows the kid in all of us the thrill of squealing the sixteen-inch tires, not that WE would ever do that. Flat spots in the powerband were non-existent as we ran the car up to the Grand Canyon State’s much appreciated new 75 mph speed limit. The T-Bird's motive force had us merging with traffic without a second thought. It also let us mow down freeways like some speed-crazed farmer in a supercharged John Deere. Anti-lock brakes on the T-Bird are optional and we were happy that Ford included them on our test vehicle. Early one morning, a smoke-belching Pontiac Le Mans decided to help us test them by pulling into traffic a scant fifteen feet in front of us. The ability to steer while standing on the brakes is the only reason we didn’t trade paint. Cornering is not the Thunderbird’s greatest ability but the car handled reasonably well, with just a touch of predictable understeer. A stiff suspension reminded us that we were in a fast car, but the ride was smooth enough to leave our fillings intact when motoring over Phoenix’s washboard Interstate-17. The Thunderbird has an organic, sweeping dashboard that is dramatically oriented towards the driver. No-nonsense white-on-black analog gauges include: a tachometer, speedometer, voltmeter, fuel and temperature indicator. They are small but easy to read. The equipment buttons and dials are ergonomically correct with the obvious exception of the Ford stereo, we aren’t sure but we think older Ford stereos were designed by malevolent elves that held a grudge against myopic people with big fingers. The hard-to-see lettering on the hard-to-push buttons makes the radio dangerous to fiddle with while driving. Fortunately, the sound quality of the stereo makes up for its disastrous design. Cabin noises were minimal except for a strange rattle in the dashboard that occasionally assaulted our aural senses. Our car had a tan leather package that looked great with the Laser Red exterior, but contrasted oddly with the fighter-pilot charcoal dash. The driving position of the Thunderbird was excellent, but one staffer noted that the rearview mirror was in exactly the wrong place. Every time he looked towards the right fender he caught a glimpse of the trunk. We overcame small blind spots created by the C-pillar with the sideview mirrors, and our drivers enjoyed expansive forward views out of the large windows. Passenger room is commodious and comfortable for a sporty coupe. The driver enjoys a power seat while the passenger has to do things the old fashioned way. Ford deleted the power passenger seat from the option list for 1996, and one of our writers complained that the seat was too low and flat. Several of us noted the uncomfortably low placement of the glove box. Backseat space is big enough to accommodate a six-footer, and those riding back there are kept from stifling by the inclusion of rear air vents. Trunk space is wide and deep but not very tall; liftover is easy but the trunk-lid is so short that items that roll to the front of the trunk are hard to get at. The Thunderbird is a lot of car. Measuring over 200-inches in length, and weighing more than 3500 pounds, no one will confuse this car with a lightweight sports coupe. It offers satisfactory speed and agility and has the added benefit of not being mistaken for a boy-racer hot-rod. In our opinion, this is the ideal vehicle for a mature driver who isn’t quite ready to plant themselves in a garden variety sedan. The Thunderbird is also a great value for the smart shopper. Fully optioned with the V-8 engine, sports package, leather package, premium audio, ABS, and traction control; our Thunderbird had an MSRP of only $21,800. We think the understated Thunderbird is much more attractive than its gaudy corporate-twin, the Mercury Cougar. We also believe that it offers an amazing value when compared to its distant cousin, the Lincoln Mark VIII. The Mark VIII costs a whopping a $26,000 more, but doesn’t deliver that much more luxury. Unless you think a 10-disk CD changer and built-in dash compass are worth $13,000 a pop. We were happy with our Thunderbird and sad to see it go. We wish there were more cars in the market that offered two-door sportiness, a touch of luxury and V-8 power at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, there aren’t. Maybe that’s why Ford is hesitating with the Thunderbird’s makeover; as it stands, nothing can touch it.

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Chad writes:
1996 Ford Thunderbird LX Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

response and handling

Cons

not a truck

35

One Owner Clear Title — for a thunder bird it's a good quality performace vehicle, throotle response great, durability great. as a 12year old car needs some suspenion and little paint( clear peeling on top of car) average fuel mileage 20 to 21 miles per gallon

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Jessica writes:
1996 Ford Thunderbird LX Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

tight cornering, 0-60 in less than 5 secs, runs great for 140k miles...

Cons

horn in middle of steering wheel than side buttons

45

Best Car You Could Ever Own! — Alpine Green exterior color, 140k miles, runs like she's brand new, had one accident that saved my life and the only damage done was front left quarter panel, just absolutely AMAZAZING!!!

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Jerry writes:
1996 Ford Thunderbird LX Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Very powerful, engine sounds deep and mean, turns some heads, soundsystem is at perfection, perfect gear ratio, interior is cozy and roomy with digital climate control, 8 way power seat

Cons

No Posi, engine speed limiter, sun roof broke and leaks, hood should be built up a few more inches, stupid LED tail lights work when they want(made by HP), these cars aren't very valuable with high miles, paint on spoiler is chipping everywhere

45

They Don't Make Them Like This Anymore. — I bought this vehicle in 2003 and I am the second owner. Bought this thing with 117K now its at about 138K. Straight pipes out the back for that deep rumble and K&N direct intake. I just recently took it out of storage. It sat unused and a bit smashed up from 2005 to 2007 but its back and better than ever. Chris Hardtke and I fixed all the flaws and made it quite presentable. New sound all around with Pioneer speakers and 2 12's in the trunk. USB flash drive head unit and I'm good to go. Very quick. I have been on a few police ride alongs and I think this one is faster and quicker than the Crown Vic police package. Current speed limiter at about 115 but I'm working on getting the Hypertech programmer. I try to keep up on all the mechanical aspects and rust as well, but i don't drive it very much. The roads must be salt free and try to be dry before I even bother with it. My Sundance is my everyday car and close to my heart as well. I have ground effects for it but I have mixed feelings about putting them back on or not. Otherwise handles very well and the 4.6L is very solid unlike the problemactic 3.8L they put in these cars as well. I'm always on the look out for nicer rims as well. I replace parts that wear out on this car such as shocks, sensors, and anything else that shows wear. Giving that no one else destroys this car, because I know I won't, I'd say its good for at least 250K.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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cwhit1 writes:
1996 Ford Thunderbird LX Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
4

Pros

27.9 mpg

Cons

Slow.  Under powered.

cwhit1
25

Make This Bird Fly — I love this car I will keep it forever I just wished it was faster however it might be because it's got a hundred forty thousand miles on it. this is a sport luxury car and handles great is God a super comfortable ride in it is really not a great family car but I love it.

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 25 1996 Ford Thunderbird reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

2005 Ford Thunderbird Reviews

50 Anniversity, Limited Edition By heinem1

Drive and rides very nice. Wife's car and she loves the Cashmere color and looks. White cashmere leather interior feels soft and is better than the basic 50 Anniversity we had previously. The retro l... Read More

Love This Car! By budhennessy

Would have liked a manual trans option. Passenger power seat not available. Not a good car for a trip due to small trunk and no usable space behind seats. Still, it is a great car to drive for a night... Read More

Read all 6 2005 Ford Thunderbird reviews

2004 Ford Thunderbird Reviews

Wife's Toy By Luger

Rather cramped for tall people. Little storage and the trunk is very shallow. A car to cruise in, not for trips.Had to get custom seat covers since a black interior will cause damage in 115 degree h... Read More

Retro T-bird Ok, But No Classic By Luger

The retro-Birds are nice looking and average performers, but they miss being either a luxury car or a sports car. The trunk is so shallow that there is little storage. Ford got the retro part right,... Read More

Read all 8 2004 Ford Thunderbird reviews

2003 Ford Thunderbird Reviews

Excellent Ford Thunderbird! By Chrystael

The Ford Thunderbird is a weekend cruiser. Drop the top for a great canyon drive with the retro look and feel, but all the modern requirements of a nice reliable car. This vehicle is the perfect pleas... Read More

Thinking Of Getting A New One. By Kyle

not the best handeling car... but its pretty quick in a straight line.Breaks could be better. It needed the roters replaced at under 18000 mi. andk several coil packs went bad... it was under warranty... Read More

Read all 4 2003 Ford Thunderbird reviews

2002 Ford Thunderbird Reviews

Luxury, Sporty And A Great Fun Driver. By Blackhawke

I love everything about this car. It is not a Corvette but then again wasn't supposed to be anything other than a boulevard cruiser. There are tons of specialty products made to customize this car ... Read More

Beautiful Classic 2002 Thunderbird By RLRose

This is a wonderful Cruiser, Top Down or with the Port Hole Top on, you're always in style and comfort. Drawing questions and looks about the T-Bird wherever you travel, while listening to the rumble... Read More

Read all 6 2002 Ford Thunderbird reviews

1997 Ford Thunderbird Reviews

Great Car For A Cruiser Or Commuter Car. By NIXOTIMO

I really enjoyed the comfortable ride quality when driving this car. The interior is nicley set to be user friendly and the seats you could fall asleep in. Front end is too long and pointy. Rear wh... Read More

Chalky By Charles

I like the look and the power the vehicle has. Very fun car to drive (V8!!) but there are leaks and electrical issues that ford was aware of when the sold this make and model (check the Internet ) It'... Read More

Read all 22 1997 Ford Thunderbird reviews

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