Used 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass Sedan

1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass
List price range
1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass

Pros

  • Well-equipped and roomy, strong V-6 engine is standard, standard anti-lock brakes

Cons

  • Odd taillight treatment, not as good a value as Chevy Malibu twin, traction control not available, no integrated child seat option

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Does anybody miss the Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera? Didn't think so. After a 15-year run that saw few modernizing modifications to the chassis and styling, the Cutlass Ciera is gone, despite the fact that the old warrior was Oldsmobile's best-selling nameplate. In its place, Oldsmobile offers the all-new Cutlass.

Cutlass comes in two flavors, both of which are worlds sweeter than the Ciera. Base models are equipped with a 160-horsepower 3.1-liter V6, antilock brakes, and an automatic transmission that features a second-gear start function in lieu of true traction control. Standard amenities include cruise control, air conditioning, battery rundown protection, rear window defogger, power door locks, fog lights, illuminated entry, tachometer, cassette stereo, remote trunk release, split-folding rear seat, tilt steering wheel, and a security system. Move up to the GLS model, and you'll get alloy wheels, leather seats, remote keyless entry, variable effort steering, and a host of power doodads. Missing from the standard and optional equipment lists are traction control and an integrated child safety seat.

Conservatively styled, Oldsmobile designers have slapped a full-width reflective applique across the back of the Cutlass that looks out of place on this otherwise plain sedan. Inside, passengers will find a well-designed dashboard and funky A-pillar air conditioning vents designed to increase airflow to rear seat passengers. The ignition switch is placed on the dashboard rather than the steering column, making it easier to find. Best of all, and don't clutch your chest in surprise, General Motors has found a way to put real live cruise control switches on the steering wheel spokes where they belong.

Oldsmobile claims that the Cutlass has side-impact protection that exceeds federal standards. In addition to these tough door beams, Cutlass comes with standard antilock brakes and dual airbags. Bumpers can withstand five-mph impacts. Daytime running lights with automatic light control is also part of the package.

Rack and pinion steering is standard, and GLS models feature variable effort steering. Combined with a four-wheel independent suspension and P215/60R15 tires, the Cutlass should prove adequately responsive. The 3.1-liter V6 under the hood makes 160-horsepower, and should move the car to 60 mph from rest in about 8.5 seconds.

All in all, a dull but well-equipped and competent car. The Cutlass should fit right in with the scores of Accords, Altimas, and Camrys currently for sale. After offering the outdated Ciera for years, this new Cutlass is generating lots of excitement at Oldsmobile. It deserves a look.

1997 Highlights

Oldsmobile retires the Ciera and introduces the Cutlass, based on the same platform as Chevy's new Malibu. Cutlass is more upscale that its Chevrolet counterpart, offering a slightly more powerful V6 engine on all models, and a sunroof option, standard leather interior and larger wheels on the GLS.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Olds Cutlass
Sean,02/03/2009
I bought the car used in 2005. Great ride, very comfortable. But, the intake manifold has been a huge problem. GM should have spent a little more time on making quality not quantity. Great car with a lot of potential. But, it is in the shop constantly.
My Last GM car after after 6 Oldsmobiles
jmjaym,07/22/2010
I was excited when this car came out because it had a lot of nice features on it. I had it for 10 years and was satisfied for most of the time. The big complaint I have is that the head gasket went at 80,000 miles and it would have cost more to fix than the car was worth at that time. I enjoyed driving it and would have kept it a lot longer but it was cost prohibitive. For my next car I went with a 2007 Hyundai Sonata which I still have and am very satisfied with.
My last GM car for awhile!
RDM,08/21/2002
During the first 2 years of ownership I rarely had to wash the car because it was back for repairs so often, that the dealer kept it clean. After replacing struts, rack and pinion, power steering pump, disc brake rotors, plus many other ongoing problem; I am now looking forward to replacing this very undesirable car.
This Isn't your daddy's Olds
The General,11/09/2002
Great car, well worth the selling price. The 3.1 v6(160 hp at the wheels) is silky smooth begging you to take a visit to the redline. Cornering is very precise. There is a little body roll in hard cornering, a small price to pay for the excellent ride quality(even up over 100 mph).The transaxle shifts quickly and transparently.The car accelerates to 60 in 8.5 second, 8.0 with performance tires. All while averaging about 23-25 mpg in mixed driving(with a heavy foot). The interior quality is excellent overall but the radio bezel looks a bit cheap. On the other hand you won't find leather more comfortable on anything less than 40K.
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Features & Specs

MPG
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
155 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
155 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass Sedan features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 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
    Acceptable

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

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Find a used Oldsmobile Cutlass for sale - 6 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $9,835.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass?

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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