1997 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight Review

Pros & Cons

  • Good full-size sedan value, smartly styled interior, powerful standard engine, standard ABS
  • Front quarter windows are distracting, dull exterior design
Other years
Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight for Sale
List Price Estimate
$1,114 - $2,595

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

The Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight is one of the best full-size family cars you can buy. It sports contemporary but non-descript styling, an ergonomically correct interior, and a powerful V6 engine driving the front wheels. There is room inside for six adults, and the Eight-Eight has proven to be reliable. Oldsmobile's value-pricing' strategy has paid off with the Eighty-Eight; it comes well-equipped right out of the box, with few options available. So why haven't these cars sold as well as, say, the Ford Crown Victoria?

We think it must be the uncomfortable seats, because the seats were really this big Olds' only apparent flaw. The rest of the car is admittedly designed to appeal to middle Americans who just want to get from Point A to Point B in relative safety and comfort, but with mushy, unsupportive seats, the Eighty-Eight didn't fulfill the comfort portion of the equation.

This year, the Eighty-Eight receives a new 55/45-split bench seat. We haven't tried this new bench to see if it's more comfortable than the old one. Buckets continue as standard equipment on the LS, and do not receive upgrades this year. Passenger assist handles are new for 1997, along with reading lamps, an overhead storage bin and new interior trim materials. Seatbelt buckles have relocated release buttons for easier operation. New Oldsmobile logos are affixed to the car, and side-impact protection is improved to federal standards.

Despite nose-heavy handling, we think the Eighty-Eight is a great full-size value. But is it comfortable? We suspect that the LS, which does not receive a seat upgrade this year, still suffers low comfort levels. As soon as we can, we'll check the new base bench for improvement. In the meantime, keep this family-oriented Olds on your shopping list.

1997 Highlights

Side-impact protection is upgraded to federal safety standards, interiors are improved and new Oldsmobile logos adorn the body.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

I LOVE this car but...
Lady who buys cars,05/07/2010
I bought this used as a second car for the family. I love it and it's totally fun to drive. We also have a 1993 Buick Park Avenue. It's the same car only a little older. I like the updates on the Old's 88 but i'm having some old car type problems. The anti theft system engaged and had to be bypassed. The lighters don't work so I can't plug things in. The fuel sending unit rusted. $600. There just seems to be a lot of little things. I'm not sure if it's because the car is old. My other old car (the Park Ave) didn't have these problem - from what I recall. This car feels like luxury when you drive it. THAT's nice!
A Very Good Car
We bought this car used in '99 with 101,000 on the odometer. Has been a very good car, with only minor repairs. It seems to be hard on front brake hardware like pads and disc rotors (probably the way wifey drives!) but otherwise VERY dependable and I would recommend it to anyone. Styling is somewhat "dumpy" but still a very good car.
American Classic
Bought as dealer exec car with 5,500 miles on it. Big brawny rugged reliable American classic. It's a shame Olds is no longer made. We had a Pontiac 6000 LE for 15 years which was a great car. When we looked for its replacement, this Olds 88 was even better.
Has more power than meets the eye!
Mother of 2,04/12/2002
This has been a wonderful car. In going from the comfort and power of a Cadillac Sedan Deville (used) to a smaller car I was a bit concerned. But it didn't take me long to fall in love with this vehicle. The V6 Engine has plenty of get up and go and if I had my foot to the pedal I could have taken that Firebird! As far as reliability, I follow routine maintenance and have no problems except for a faulty gas gage. I would recommend this car to anyone if they can still find one that was taken good care of.

Features & Specs

See all Used 1997 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight features & specs


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

More about the 1997 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight

Used 1997 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight Overview

The Used 1997 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight is offered in the following submodels: Eighty-Eight Sedan. Available styles include LS 4dr Sedan, and 4dr Sedan.

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Find a used Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight for sale - 2 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $21,777.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight?

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.

Check out Oldsmobile lease specials
Check out Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight lease specials