Used 1997 Oldsmobile Achieva Sedan

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1997 Oldsmobile Achieva
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1997 Oldsmobile Achieva

Pros

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

Cons

  • Dated design, high cowl, low seating positions, serious understeer in quick corners
Oldsmobile Achieva years
1997

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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

Lila
XxKilr0yxX,05/18/2009
I bought this car from a used dealer once I graduated high school. Once I found the car on the lot I knew I had to have it, but I was a little afraid because it had around 150,000 miles when I bought it. Now after years of driving for work, school and whatever else she is still running strong. The car has 227,000 miles right now I have not had to replace anything too major, the most expensive thing I have replaced was the memory chip for the computer. I love this car, and it is extremely reliable still to this day. Bottom line is if you can find a used Achieva do not be afraid if it has high miles but sounds great, I listened to mine and it has gotten me this far.
ups and downs
brett favre fan4,07/22/2009
purchased in october of '97. saw car in showroom and fell in love with it. problems started out early. In november of that year, the engine burst into flames while parking. I got the fire out with a mountain dew. luckily the 30 day warrenty was still in effect. so i got a new engine. I had the car until '05 and it ran great. It ran from Milwaukee to Chicago at least 100 times in its life span. unfortunatly, it suddenly just died. My mechanic couldnt start it, I couldnt start it. Worst of all, it only had 98,000 miles on it. All in all it was a great car to me. I really miss it.
My First Car
firstcarreview04,06/27/2007
I bought a 1997 Oldsmobile Achieva with about 80,000 miles three years ago. It has taken me from the West Coast to the East Coast twice. All I can say is that this car is very well built. It feels solid, has excellent safety features, and gets extremely good gas mileage for an American car (particularly on the highway). The twin cam engine is quite powerful and was easily able to tow a u-haul trailer from South Carolina to New Mexico. The ride is very comfortable. This car is extremely reliable. I have left it for about a month without running it and it started up with no problems. With regular maintenance only minor repairs are required.
I Love This Old Car
teddy13,08/11/2008
Bought in 1998. It was a rental car. It has had some problems, like ones I have already read: all but one window is not working, engine cuts out when on "C" in winter, metal trim falling off, front end banged up by a hit and run so does not look so good. I have to make sure it is above "c" otherwise will die. Comfortable and fun to drive. I prefer to drive this one around town rather than my 2003 Jeep. Good gas mileage. Have had to replace battery and alternator, but that's about it. Have over 92K miles on it and it is still reliable. But due to its age and miles, I don't drive this car on out of town trips.
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Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 29 hwy
Seats 0
N/A
Gas
150 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 1997 Oldsmobile Achieva Sedan features & specs

Safety

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
    0

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

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Find a used Oldsmobile Achieva for sale - 11 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $13,158.

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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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