Used 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette Minivan

1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette
List price range
1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette


  • All the right standard equipment, fun to drive, available eight-passenger seating.


  • Uncomfortable rear seats (for adults, at least), interior fit and finish, poor offset crash test history.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

After years of unsuccessfully peddling a huge four-wheeled version of the plastic Dustbuster found in your hall closet, Oldsmobile went back to the drawing board and introduced a fresh, conservative, steel-bodied, fun-to-drive minivan to market in 1997. Did we actually say "fun to drive?'' Yes. Available in four trim levels and three bodystyles, the Silhouette is indeed one minivan today's consumers need to consider.

Just why is this Oldsmobile so good? Because you name the convenience, and Olds has thought of it. Want a sliding driver-side door? You can get one here. Wish that passenger-side sliding door was power operated? Oldsmobile has you covered. Want leather? A CD player? Separate audio controls for rear passengers? Traction control? A powerful V6? How about easy to unload seats that can be configured in a variety of ways? It's all here, depending on the bodystyle and trim level you select. There's even a TV/VCR for rear seat passengers to enjoy.

Silhouette is available in four flavors (all with dual sliding doors standard): GS rides on the regular wheelbase while GL and GLS get the extended length (120-inch) wheelbase as does the Premiere Edition, which is actually a gussied-up GLS with touring suspension and rear-mounted air inflator. All Silhouettes are front-wheel drive, powered by a 185-horsepower 3.4-liter V6 (up five ponies from '98) mated to an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. Dual airbags, side airbags, antilock brakes and fog lamps are standard, and for '99 GM adds heated outside mirrors and its PASSKEY III anti-theft system.

GS models (with a 112-inch wheelbase) come with air-conditioning, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, power seats, windows and door locks, power passenger-side door, keyless entry, overhead console and dual lighted visor vanity mirrors. (Rear wiper, rooftop luggage carrier, deep-tint glass and AM/FM stereo cassette are standard on all models.) Options include traction control, alloy wheels, integrated child seats, leather upholstery, CD player and eight-passenger seating.

The GL model gets you the longer, 120-inch wheelbase, but costs you the power seats and passenger-side door, remote entry, overhead console and vanity mirrors. If you need the long wheelbase with all the bells and whistles, then go for the GLS, which adds a touring suspension package, traction control, 15-inch alloy wheels, rear A/C, heat and audio controls, leather seating and steering-wheel mounted radio controls to the GS standard equipment roster.

A new model appeared in the spring of 1998. Called the Premiere Edition, it comes with nearly every goodie standard, including a combination television and video cassette player for rear seat passengers. The only available options on the Premiere Edition are a towing package, OnStar communications, an engine block heater and a new gold package.

We've driven the Silhouette and came away quite impressed. These well-equipped minivans are smooth and powerful. Thanks to excellent road feel provided by precise steering and easily modulated brakes, they are actually fun to drive which can't be said about some of today's best-selling makes. Our complaints are limited to uncomfortable rear seating and a noticeable amount of cheap-looking plastic inside the cabin.

As you've probably guessed, we like the Oldsmobile Silhouette, and find its exterior styling to be the most attractive of GM's trio of sister minivans.

1999 Highlights

Olds is headlining its Premiere Edition, a loaded-up model that debuted in mid-'98 with a standard integrated video entertainment system in back. But other news for 1999 includes a horsepower and torque increase for Silhouette's 3.4-liter V6, plus the addition of a theft-deterrent system and heated outside rearview mirrors as standard equipment. And if four new exterior colors (Sky, Ruby, Silvermist and Cypress) weren't enough, then consider the availability of a new Gold Package (but only if you must).

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Very Pleased
We bought our totally loaded Oldsmobile Silhouette GL new. It has everything a GLS has except leather. We've put 80,000 plus miles on it and we can't complain. It's been extremely reliable and economical. We've had to replace tires and the coil packs failed at around 60,000 miles. The intake gasket was replaced under warranty as a recall. Everything else has worked just fine. I changed the front brake pads myself at around 40,000 miles. The rears were done just recently. She's due for shocks and another set of tires, both of which are reasonable in my opinion. She's never left us stranded or even made as much as a hiccup while on the road. I've just done oil changes and regular maintenance for 80,000 miles and almost 7 years.
Not Pleased
This piece of junk is the last GM product that will ever darken my driveway. I have 39,000 miles on my Oldsmobile Silhouette and just outside of the 3-year waranty period it dropped the transmission. After doing some research I found that this was a fairly common problem caused by a known defect in one of the solenoids in the transmission. GM provided no assistance and it cost me $3,500 to get repaired. Run don't walk from this thing.
buyer beward
I have owned this van for almost 4 years. During that time the power sliding door stopped working, the driver's side power window does not work properly. The passenger side seat belt has been replaced twice because it keeps shredding. We no longer have interior lights because of an electrical problem, which the dealership says is not their problem.
Best Vehicle I've Owned
It seems many owners haven't had as much luck as I have. My van has over 100,000 miles on it, and I bought it new. Only had one major repair- manifold leak at 50K -$900. Never stranded, had front brake pads replaced, regular oil changes, transmission system flush and MUST use BP gas or it will have injector problems where it runs rough, chugs and the engine light goes on. Since I have been using BP gas, haven't had an issue in 5 years. (Dealer told me I had to replace all the injectors at $1500! -- not true at all - just changed the gas after reading a newspaper article.) Still runs great, still on original battery. Best car I've owned in 30 years.
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Features & Specs

16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
185 hp @ 5200 rpm
16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
185 hp @ 5200 rpm
16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
185 hp @ 5200 rpm
16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
185 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette Minivan features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
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 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette
Used 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette Minivan Overview

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Find a used Oldsmobile Silhouette for sale - 5 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $16,182.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Oldsmobile for sale - 1 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $10,439.

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Should I lease or buy a 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette?

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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