I bought my 1997 Oldsmobile Silhouette from my parents when it was 2.5 years old with 54,000 miles. Now it has 140,000 miles and still looks great. The dark blue paint has held up exceptionally well even in the Texas sun. Unfortunately, this is not so with tan dash, which has turned a greenish hue. Also, the leather seats have not fared well, with a significant tear in the driver's seat. The reliability has been excellent, but rattles have increased with age and the rear power vent window motors went out around 120,000 miles. The air conditioning has been subpar since I had to replace the compressor. I also replaced the intake manifold gasket. Overall this is a nice vehicle. The actual in-town gas mileage that I have been getting, 15 mpg, is below this model's rating of 18, but the highway mileage is right on at 25 mpg. It does a nice job towing trailers and is great on cross-country trips.
Bought the Silhouette becasue is was the biggest minivan on the market. Could not afford the Honda or Toyota. Gave America a chance the van has preformed Great. Drove from So Cal to Minnesota each year and has great power in the mountians. And a 500 mile range on the road. She floats nice at 75 mph. Very comfortable seats w/ leather. Had dealer problems......Brake issues and intake manifold gasket......Would I guy buy it again......Yep, but from a different dealer.....
We bought our Silhouette off a lease in 2000. We are lucky that we bought the extended warranty because it has been in and out of the shop constantly for a variety of electrical problems. Last spring on a trip back from Florida the engine threw a ball bearing into the cylinder. We had to tow it from GA to IN. We just paid it off this week and the engine started acting up just like it did in GA. We are going to get rid of it as soon as possible!
I never thought that I would consider being a mini-van owner. But the dealer let us take it out for the day, and I was very impressed with the drivability of the van, very good throttle response. I really enjoyed driving the van, it practically drives itself. I have three kids, and they love the seating arrangements, its very comfortable.
I guess the tip-off to why I shouldn't have bought this stems back to the day I test drove it. The day I looked at buying it, fluid was leaking from the power steering unit. He really wanted to sell it, so he had that fixed and then I shelled out $14k for it. It performed with reasonable reliability over the first few years, though phantom noises from the engine and misfires were common. But a broken camshaft at 90k forced a $4500 engine rebuild, to be followed by a rebuilt transmission at 95k, followed by another engine overhaul at 123k - now at 141k the engine just seized. So, I would say, with certainty, though it's been a decent car overall, mechanically, this van is terrible.