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The LSS gets two new exterior colors (Champagne and Evergreen) for '99. Olds has also upgraded the standard radio to an AM/FM stereo cassette with CD player and seek-scan, auto tone control, digital clock and power antenna.
Since 1992, the Oldsmobile LSS has been one of our favorites. It features Euro-chic styling, a stout suspension, loads of equipment and enough room to take the family to Disney World or on your own little version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride along mountain two-lanes. The only shortcoming the LSS suffers is a dose of somewhat nose-heavy handling.
For 1999, Oldsmobile leaves well enough alone, merely shuffling the color choice deck and upgrading the standard audio system. But that's all right, because some minor improving was done last year, including a revised antilock braking system, a new electrochromic rearview mirror, and a better-performing drive axle ratio on models with the normally-aspirated V6 engine.
The interior of the LSS is an ergonomic delight and aesthetic triumph. Add ample room for four (five if need be), standard dual airbags, ABS and traction control, and the LSS provides everything closet enthusiasts will require for safe, speedy driving. Our single interior complaint is with the front quarter windows, which can be distracting while driving.
Externally, the LSS certainly provides the requisite subdued sheetmetal that all stealth sedans must possess to avoid detection by law-enforcement authorities. But so subdued is the styling that the car projects little in the way of personality, unlike its more expensive and expressive stablemate, the Aurora.
Standard equipment on the full-featured LSS also includes leather seats, daytime running lights and the Twilight Sentinel automatic headlamp control system. Chrome wheels, a power sunroof and an award-winning, 240-horsepower supercharged 3.8-liter V6 are the only options on the LSS.
Compare the LSS to the Aurora. It's not as good-looking, but it weighs a whopping 600 pounds less, has more interior room, gets better gas mileage, goes and handles better, and is a year's tuition cheaper. So tell us again why you'd buy the Aurora over the LSS?
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.