1998 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight Review

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy interior. Powerful V6 engine.
  • Rapidly aging design.
Other years
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List Price Estimate
$1,037 - $2,410

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

The Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight is one of the better full-size family cars you can buy. It sports contemporary styling, an ergonomically correct interior and a powerful V6 engine driving the front wheels. There is room inside for six adults, and the Eighty-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?

Used to be that we thought it was the uncomfortable seats, because they 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.

Last year, the Eighty-Eight received a new 55/45 split bench seat. So what is the problem these days? Aging design. The current Eighty-Eight is now seven seasons old, and it feels like it. Standing in an Oldsmobile showroom viewing the Eighty-Eight, the Aurora and the new Intrigue, which would you be tempted to buy?

No new reasons to select the Eighty-Eight are offered for 1998. Changes are minimal, and are related to such minor improvements and trim changes that the car is essentially a carryover model. It has one year left before a replacement arrives, in the guise of the 1999 or 2000 Anthem sedan.

Despite nose-heavy handling, we still think the Eighty-Eight is a great full-size value. But the design, the demographic orientation and the nameplate are all on life-support. If you've gotta have a full-size sedan, and it's gotta wear an Oldsmobile badge, we strongly suggest you wait out temptation to grab a 1998 Eighty-Eight (repeat that one fast three times). Take a look at the changes occurring at Oldsmobile. The upcoming replacement for the Eighty-Eight is almost guaranteed to be a sure thing.

1998 Highlights

Virtually nothing, unless you find a new fuel cap, better access to rear seatbelts, new ABS wheel-speed sensors and a couple of new colors intriguing. Second-generation airbags are standard.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Loved my little old car!
kmfresh,08/23/2012
I absolutely loved my eighty-eight. Only problem I ever had with it was the water pump breaking and the belt breaking (only one-time fixes for me). I drove 12 hour round trips at least once a month and drove it every single day around town, to and from work, and across state for over 2 years and it always got me where I needed to go, no problems. Very reliable and dependable. I miss my Rico. I'd definitely buy another one if I got the chance.
Awesome Car
hayley,06/15/2010
For my first car its a good one. My grandparents had it before me and had no problems what so ever. It's fun to drive and handles well. It gets me through any kind of weather well. The only thing I've had to replace on it was the battery. I also changed out the tape player/radio with a CD player/radio. Over all its an awesome car. I would recommend it to anyone.
Replace Plenum before it wrecks engine
Steve,09/25/2009
Intake manifold gasket was replaced before I bought it. However, the plenum went and water went into the engine. After 600 dollar plenum repair, a valve was bad. After a couple hundred miles it needed a 1200 dollar valve repair. After a couple hundred miles a piece of engine (probably connecting rod) went through the engine block. Replace the original plenum and manifold gasket to avoid costly repairs. This happend on a 94 Park Avenue of mine with 156000 miles, a 99 Park Avenue with 190,000 miles and now a 98 Olds 88 with 111,000 miles. Great engine except for the plenums and intake manifold gaskets.
Update on Eighty Eigh LS
robbed718,02/23/2011
Robbed718 back. Update on the Oldsmobile Eighty Eight I bought with 53,000 miles in March of 2010 from the old lady whom lost her vision. The car now has 77,000 miles on it. I've had to replace a belt tensioner, tires and a sepentine belt since. Everything is still holding up good on the car, engine is still powerful and not bad on gas. (I get about 24mpg) . I think I could get 175-200K out of this baby. I'm gonna plan on it!

Features & Specs

See all Used 1998 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight features & specs

Safety

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
    0

More about the 1998 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight

Used 1998 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight Overview

The Used 1998 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 - 11 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $25,191.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 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