1999 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight Review

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful 205-horsepower V6 engine, spacious interior, good value.
  • Rapidly aging design, retirement village image.
Other years
Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight for Sale
List Price Estimate
$1,022 - $2,355

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

The Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight remains 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?

We used to think the reason was the uncomfortable seats, because they were 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.

Interior upgrades came along in 1997, including a nice 55/45 split bench seat. So what is the problem these days? Aging design. Although the Eighty-Eight had minor exterior freshening back in 1996, the current design dates back to 1992, and it feels like it. Let's put it this way: If you were standing in an Olds showroom viewing the Eighty-Eight, Aurora, Intrigue and new Alero, which would you be tempted to buy?

No new reasons to select the Eighty-Eight are offered for 1999. Changes are so minimal that the car is essentially a carryover model. Word is that it has one year left before a replacement arrives, in the guise of the model-year 2000 Aurora sedan.

Despite nose-heavy handling, we still think the Eighty-Eight is a great full-size value. And we are not alone. The current generation 88 has been winning "best buy'' type of accolades from the media since its introduction. But its basic design, its demographic orientation, and the nameplate itself 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 1999 Eighty-Eight (repeat that one, fast, three times). Take a look at the changes occurring at Oldsmobile. Unless the 50th anniversary model excites you, get ready to say good-bye to the Eighty-Eight. The upcoming replacement is a shoo-in to be a better product on all fronts.

1999 Highlights

The Eighty-Eight gets two new exterior colors, Champagne and Evergreen, and the LS model gets the option of white-stripe 16-inch tires. Oh, wait. Oldsmobile is celebrating the nameplate's golden anniversary with a special 50th Anniversary Edition Eighty-Eight. It has 16-inch aluminum wheels fitted with 215/65SR blackwalls, a highly contented leather interior package and special badging finished in, what else? Gold.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1999 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Most Reliable Vehicle I Have Ever Owned in 32 Years
alienrealtor,12/09/2006
In my eyes it's good looking, my kids are not thrilled about it's appearance though. It has been a good and very reliable friend. It does not require much maintenance or repair. I have 112,000 miles on it and it's still very solid. Obviously it is not a good idea to sell it, you won't be paid much for it and the clear coat is still shiny, so why bother. It's paid for and the insurance is peanuts on it. This Anniversary Edition has every luxury option and they all work fine! If you find one, don't hesitate to buy it. It's a very nice vehicle. Oil changes every 3,000 miles are a must, Synthetic oil will give you about 30 MPG on the highway, every so often go for the high octane gas that has cleaners (BP Gold, Chevron 93 or Shell 93).
50th Anniversary Edition
Susan,09/30/2006
I love this car. The only problem I've had - and it was big - was when a gasket leak took out the engine about a year ago. It appears to be a known problem - but they gave me little relief. One drawback is that the back seat does not have headrests. The driver's seat leather is splitting. But I love the look of this car and it's comfort. It's hard to find a vehicle as nice for its price. I'm at 108,000 miles now and hoping for many more.
Excelent College Car
pizzaman09,03/13/2012
My 1999 Oldsmobile 88 was my grandparents car and was given to my twin brother and I as our first car with only 42k miles on it! We have been driving it for about 5 years now and it has 69k miles on it. They 88 has been outstandingly reliable, we have under $1200 of maintenance into it in 5 years. We had the common intake leak and the power antenna is stuck up but else it is perfect. I use to hate how it looked but it has grown on me. It is factory Crimson Red and I have white strip tires on it, it looks sharp and stands out among today's cars. The ride and handling is like a marshmallow, but that is often a good thing. It is plenty quick too! I also enjoy the huge trunk!
I love this car!
susan,01/03/2010
I also hate that GM did not cover my expensive gasket problem when it happened in 2005 with just under 90,000 miles on it. Now have 141,000 miles and it has a few minor things wrong with it that I won't bother to fix - but I do love driving it. Also had problems with splitting leather problems the last 5 years. Somehow that hasn't held me back and I wish I could find another like it!

Features & Specs

See all Used 1999 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 1999 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight

Used 1999 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight Overview

The Used 1999 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight is offered in the following submodels: Eighty-Eight Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan, LS 4dr Sedan, and 50th Anniversary 4dr Sedan.

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Should I lease or buy a 1999 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.

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