Used 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1997

Alloy wheels and a power trunk release are added to the standard equipment list, while coupes gain side-impact protection that meets federal safety standards. The 3.4-liter, DOHC V6 engine is dropped from the options list.

Vehicle overview

If you've been saving your pennies to snap up a copy of the current Cutlass Supreme, better act fast. This aged model is retiring early in the 1997 model year to make way for the all-new Oldsmobile Intrigue.

We've always liked the racy styling of the Cutlass Supreme, though it is beginning to look a bit geriatric. The formerly optional twin-cam engine turned 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. Alas, Oldsmobile has dropped this potent engine from the options list for 1997.

Inside, a smoothly-flowing dash housing dual airbags 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, is a perfect example of ergonomic design. 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 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.

This year, Olds changes very little on the Cutlass Supreme. Alloy wheels come standard, as does a power trunk release. Coupes get side-impact protection that meets current federal standards (sedans have met the standard for years now). And, hold on to your hats, engine cradle corrosion resistance has been improved by a switch to ELPO coating, though we aren't sure what dog food has to do with preventing rust.

So, those looking for a traditional, attractive sedan or coupe that offers good value will find one at the local Oldsmobile dealer, but only for a limited time.

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.