Oldsmobile Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.14/5 Average
1,710 Total Reviews
Make Overview:

At the dawn of the automobile, Oldsmobile was there. Owned by General Motors, Oldsmobile was the most senior domestic marque and one of the oldest automobile brands in the world, with a run that spanned some 107 years.

Ransom E. Olds was born in Ohio, but moved to Lansing, Michigan, to work in his father's machine shop. His experiences there helped whet his appetite for all things automotive, and he soon garnered enough expertise to develop a gasoline-powered vehicle. Joining forces with other partners, Olds cofounded the Olds Motor Vehicle Company in 1897. By the early 1900s, the company had introduced the nation to upscale models like the Curved Dash and had risen to become the best-selling car company in the United States.

Ransom Olds eventually left the company and it was sold to General Motors in 1908, where it became known as the Oldsmobile Division. More than ever, Oldsmobile became the brand of choice for car buyers seeking vehicles steeped in luxury and sophistication. Early models like the 1915 Model 42 Touring Roadster offered sleek lines and style aplenty. The 1918 Model 37 was its first model to offer a closed top, ensuring that the brand's well-heeled buyers had protection from the elements.

Oldsmobile had another hit in the 1920s with the Model 46, a V8-powered touring car that seated seven. The manufacturer did its part to make sure that the decade's elegance wasn't lost on its automobiles. It introduced fancy chrome-plated trim that served to raise the glamour quotient of its already eye-catching vehicles.

The '30s was a decade of innovation for the brand. The company wooed customers with its "Knee-Action" independent front suspension, an affordably priced option that served to improve ride quality. The company also offered one of the earliest automatic transmissions, freeing drivers from the rigors of the clutch with its four-speed "Hydra-matic" system.

Postwar, Oldsmobile gave consumers the Rocket 88. The car offered new levels of performance, giving the North American market its first taste of the short-stroke, overhead-valve V8. The car was adored by enthusiasts, and was chosen to serve as the pace car for the 1949 Indy 500.

The 1950s saw Olds continuing to distinguish itself as a purveyor of fine performance machines. With a name inspired by the Lockheed Starfire fighter plane, its 1953 Starfire show car offered a fiberglass body, a stylishly low beltline and most importantly, a 200-horsepower engine. The car was one of the first to display a wraparound windshield, and in the years following, many other manufacturers adopted this styling cue.

Oldsmobile's innovations continued into the 1960s. The manufacturer was the first since the 1930s Cord to taste success with a front-wheel-drive vehicle, in the form of its sporty Toronado. The '70s saw Olds breaking new ground in the area of safety. In 1974, it introduced a Toronado equipped with a driver-side airbag; Olds was the first domestic automaker to offer this feature. Around this time, the company's Cutlass had also become one of America's favorite cars.

Less successful was the company's effort to get on board with diesel technology. In 1978, Oldsmobile introduced a 5.7-liter V8 diesel engine as a response to that decade's fuel crisis; the engine was meant to appeal to buyers desperate to save money at the pump. Rising diesel prices and the unreliability of the engines caused the program to suffer, and Oldsmobile was eventually forced to terminate its efforts on this front.

In the '80s, Oldsmobile left its competitors in the dust when its Aerotech — piloted by noted racecar driver A.J. Foyt — set a closed-course world speed record of 257 mph. The company continued to have a huge hit with its Cutlass; the model spent much of the decade atop the sales charts.

The '90s saw Oldsmobile's introduction of Guidestar, the first onboard navigation system combining mapping and satellite positioning. The company made history yet again when its race-modified Aurora V8 won the Indy 500, making Olds the first manufacturer to pace and win the race in the same year.

By the dawn of the new millennium, Oldsmobile's sales were in a rut. The brand's identity had suffered over the years due to parts-sharing and rebadging within the GM camp. GM ultimately decided to pull the plug, and the last Oldsmobile rolled off the assembly line in model-year 2004.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 1,710.00
  • Go alero - 2001 Oldsmobile Alero
    By -

    Bought my alero 5 years ago at 230k it's at 250k now and going strong good solid car

  • 2 different ones, 2 results - 2003 Oldsmobile Silhouette
    By -

    Both me and my roommate had a 03 one each. first the good news. Mine made it to 230k and very rarely had a major problem beyond having a tranny rebuild in the mid 100k range. Everything still worked at the end besides the fuel gauge that stopped working for the last 20k miles or so. At 230k part of the tranny cracked open while driving (normally and during winter)and all the fluid came out. Its was running perfectly with no problems besides the fuel gauge but decided not worth a rebuild. Bad news- roommate had same year van just with less options. hers was constantly having things go wrong and replaced(roughly 6k spent on repairs over 4 years), and it only had 140k on it. Someone sawed off her converter and went to get an estimate and found out also needed new break lines so she scrapped it. So weird same year 1 was excellent and made it way over 200k and 1 had tons of problems and 140k

  • One of the best I have ever owned. - 2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue
    By -

    This was my mothers car. I went with her to pick it out new. I recommended all the maintenance to my parents. I now have the car. Although not a perfect car, still has been a pleasure to own. Only things wrong were crank sensors, water pump, window regulators, exhaust leak and a CV boot went bad. Only problem is that you have to take it to a Cadillac dealer for any engine problems like the water pump or buy a water pump from the dealer. Most of these cars have the short star v6 Cadillac engines that are a little finicky but otherwise solid and smooth ru ning. Call me a old man. I do not care, this car is a gem.

  • Pretty fast and reliable little car. - 2004 Oldsmobile Alero
    By -

    Ive had my Alero for 2 years and have only had a few problems with the cooling system and window regulator, other than that its a pretty good little car and can show up my friends cars pretty easily. mine has 257,xxx miles on it and still going strong, trans isnt doing the best but what can you expect from a stock 4t40e trans wit 257,xxx miles on it. The exterior is pretty good looking too, i would say in my opinion that it looks better than its Pontiac counterpart the Grand Am, with its aggressively styled front end.

  • good car - 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue
    By -

    my grandmother has a 2000 oldsmobile intrgue with 155515 kilmoters at this time most exensive thing she has done on it are all new struts

  • Terrible vehicle not reliable at all - 2007 Oldsmobile Silhouette
    By -

    This vehicle stays broke more than anything else especially dealing with the motor of overheating, this is a terrible vehicle to have. Save money and time and less headaches. Motor has a defect, over heating the vehicles or a silhouette, Montana and a Vengeance they have all the same motor and over heating problems highly recommended do not buy unless you plan on staying on the side of the road broke down.

  • Outstanding. - 2004 Oldsmobile Bravada
    By -

    Ive got a loaded 03 Bravada that Ive had since Jan 2003 and has 35k miles on it. Not once has it been in for repairs (only scheduled maintenance). Wonderful SUV to drive and own!!

  • I liked it so much - 2002 Oldsmobile Aurora
    By -

    I bought a used 2001 and liked it so much, I wanted a brand new one. The 2001 was a 4.0 and the 2002 is a 3.0. I really like the style of this car. I had a Cutlass and I really liked it, too. They made a big mistake when they got rid of the Cutlass. People ask me all the time "what kind of car is this?" Its not the best on mileage and it doesnt have the pick up that the 4.0 has. The DIC is the best and I like the radio info, also. The only thing I regret is the light color of the interior. I wish it was black. Ill keep it for a while. I dont think the resell value is the best.

  • Do not buy this car! - 2000 Oldsmobile Alero
    By -

    This car is mediocre at best. I have had numberous problems with this car. In the 3 years I have owned this car, I have replaced the brakes 5 times, the cruise quit working, the middle overhead light pops out and falls out on occasion, the upholstry on the dash has begun to pull up, both of the electric front windows have broke twice, the right front sun visor clip broke and my blinkers quit working. I definitely would not recommend purchasing this vehicle.

  • Built in problems - 2002 Oldsmobile Silhouette
    By -

    Ou Oldsmobile Silhouette Premiere had 10,400 miles on it when we purchased it, but at 30,000 things started to fail. First the AC condenser leaked freon, then had to have rear brakes replaced owing to the shop said was a rock between the pad and rotor (not a warrantee item). Last, the head gaskets started to leak at less than 39,000 miles (a $1,700 job). After 50 plus years as a GM owner, things are going wrong that I never experienced with other cars. I am losing faith in the GM brand, owing, chiefly, to GM refusing to quit using the same cheap gaskets for the last 10- 12 years that I am aware of.

Great Deals Near You
  • Loading cars...

Selected Edmunds.com visitor vehicle reviews

Edmunds.com Visitor Vehicle Ratings and Reviews are the property of Edmunds.com, and may not be reproduced or distributed without the consent of Edmunds.com. Edmunds© is a trademark of Edmunds.com, Inc. Edmunds.com, Inc. is not affiliated with this website or app.

Powered By Edmunds

× Estimated monthly payments based on 3.9% APR, 60 month financing, and 20% down payment. Tax, tags, title, administration fees, and license fees are not included in price or payment. Subject to approved buyer credit. Actual purchase terms may vary.

Payment calculations are sourced by EveryAuto.com and may not reflect actual dealer financing terms.

Send Us Feedback ×

Locating Vehicles In Your Area