Used 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1996

The convertible has been retired. The sedan and coupe enjoy their last year in production, receiving engine upgrades for 1996.

Vehicle overview

Like other models in the Oldsmobile stable, the Cutlass Supreme is reaping the benefits of value pricing. For a starting price of about $18,000, Series I coupes and sedans come loaded, standard. In fact, the only options are a CD player, an engine block heater, and a twin-cam 3.4-liter V6. Opt for a Series II, and you get leather trim, power seats, better speakers and other such niceties. The options list is a bit longer for the Series II sedan as well, offering steering wheel controls for the A/C and the stereo.

We've always liked the racy styling of the Cutlass Supreme, though it is beginning to look a bit geriatric. The optional twin-cam engine turns the Cutlass into a formidable sport coupe or sedan, with performance equaling that of such cars as the Thunderbird V8, Monte Carlo Z34, and Intrepid ES.

For 1995, Olds designers saw fit to update the interior of the Cutlass Supreme. A smoothly flowing dash housing dual airbags was installed, and it offers a simple layout, easy-to-read gauges, and rotary climate controls that feel and operate like those of much more expensive automobiles. In fact, the Cutlass interior, like those in all Oldsmobiles except the Ciera and the Silhouette, is a perfect example of ergonomic design.

This year, Olds changed very little on the Cutlass Supreme. The convertible body style has been dropped. Long life engine coolant and spark plugs mean maintenance intervals have been lengthened. The standard and optional V6 engines have been improved, with the bigger 3.4-liter motor developing five additional horsepower this year.

Interior fabrics are a bit too seventies' in look and feel, but the rest of the interior is just fine. Not as roomy as the old Ford Taurus in back, the Cutlass could use some improvement in the rear quarters. High door sills impede progress in and out of the car..

A new Cutlass Supreme, dubbed Intrigue, is due in 1997. But for now, this iteration can be outfitted to provide luxury, performance and value in one pleasing package.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.