Used 1997 Oldsmobile Achieva Coupe

1997 Oldsmobile Achieva
List price range
1997 Oldsmobile Achieva


  • Healthy dose of standard equipment, good value, standard ABS, standard traction control, punchy Twin Cam engine


  • Dated design, high cowl, low seating positions, serious understeer in quick corners
Oldsmobile Achieva years

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

When one of our staffers got married last May, old college buddies traveled together to Cape Cod for the ceremony. At Boston's Logan airport, Avis provided them with a 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva sedan, which they promptly nicknamed the "Acheesa." What do they drive back home in Michigan? One has a 1995 Honda Accord EX, another drives a 1992 Ford Explorer, and the third owns a ragged 1987 Ford Taurus LX. Complaints revolved around uncomfortable seats, a cramped interior, a loud engine, and dissatisfactory interior materials. Granted, none of these guys weighed less than 200 pounds, and all of them were at least six-feet tall, but they just couldn't stop making fun of Oldsmobile's smallest sedan.

Our assessment of the Achieva is not much different. Sitting in the Achieva you are faced with simple, large analog gauges and controls that are placed where they can easily be found and operated. A high beltline and restrictive greenhouse result in an unpleasant, enclosed feeling. Open and airy this car is not. The oversize steering wheel makes the inside of the Achieva feel even smaller, and overly grippy seat fabric seems to want to hold you in the Achieva whether you want to stay or not. The back seat is tiny and difficult to access.

This year, Oldsmobile strengthens side-impact protection to meet federal standards. The lineup is simplified to two trim levels, and the standard equipment roster is upgraded with the addition of an automatic transmission, larger touring tires, power exterior mirrors, and driver's side adjustable lumbar support. Series II coupes get new cross-lace alloy wheels.

Overall, the Achieva is a much better car than it has ever been. It provides excellent value in the compact segment. However, we think a Mercury Mystique, Volkswagen Jetta or Honda Civic would be far more satisfactory to own than this Oldsmobile.

1997 Highlights

Side-impact standards are met, and standard equipment lists are enhanced. Series II Coupe gets new alloy wheels, and the lineup has been simplified.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Oldsmobile Achieva.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Very Happy with my Old Olds!
Very Happy with Olds,09/19/2005
I orginally purchased this car with 89,000 miles on it and it is now at 230,000 and still running like a baby. I have had my share of problems, (transmission *put used in for less than 700*, belts, alternator, seals, catalytic converter *less than 200*) but I could not ask for a better vehicle. I have driven it everywhere without any major problems. Every problem is fixable and affordable and it runs better than my other vehicle with half the miles. I also have my Check Engine light and ETS light on constantly, but I chalk it up to one of it's tiny quirks. It runs no better or worse when the lights are on. This was my first vehicle and it will be may "last". I will never buy anything but and Oldsmobiles again.
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Features & Specs

19 city / 29 hwy
Seats 0
150 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 1997 Oldsmobile Achieva Coupe features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver1 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1997 Oldsmobile Achieva
Used 1997 Oldsmobile Achieva Coupe Overview

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Find a used Oldsmobile Achieva for sale - 4 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $24,950.

Find a used Oldsmobile for sale - 7 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $18,022.

Find a used certified pre-owned Oldsmobile Achieva for sale - 6 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $20,666.

Find a used certified pre-owned Oldsmobile for sale - 4 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $9,027.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Oldsmobile Achieva?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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