Used 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Sedan
Edmunds' Expert Review
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.
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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme?
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.