Used 1997 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight Sedan
Edmunds' Expert Review
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.
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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.