The Oldsmobile Cutlassis a four-door five-passenger compact car. The first Oldsmobile Cutlass arrived on the market in 1961 where it quickly became an icon on the road. This name became well known over the next 36 years and was attached to many different vehicles. This name became a household name giving it an excellent branding as well as making it one of the most popular nameplates in the industry. The problem with so many vehicles having the Cutlass name meant a lot of confusion for the consumer. In the 1980s alone, there were four vehicles with the Cutlass name – the Cutlass Calais compact, the midsize Cutlass Ciera, the Cutlass Cruiser station wagon and the Cutlass Supreme personal luxury car. The Cutlass evolved through five generations of development. The first generation car was from initial introduction in 1964 to 1967. Second generation lasted from 1968 -1972. The third generation went on from 1973-1977. The fourth generation lasted from 1978 to 1981. The sixth generation went from 1982 to the end in 1996. In 1997, the Oldsmobile Cutlass was revived one last time for a more trendy version replacing the Oldsmobile Ciera. This vehicle was only available in the US. It came in Oldsmobile’s lineup in between the Oldsmobile Achieva and the Oldsmobile Alero.
It is built on GM’s N-body platform with a new front frame cradle and suspension mounts. The developers added in rack and pinion steering and the four-wheel independent suspension with MacPherson struts and front and rear stabilizer bars. The exterior design is unique with the side doors having body-colored cladding, new front grill look, arrow style headlamps and smooth redesigned headline.
Under the hood of this last Oldsmobile Cutlass is either a 2.4 L four cylinder engine or a 3.1 L V6 engine. Both are matched up with a four-speed automatic overdrive transmission. It had a 15.2 gallon tank. The EPA fuel economy rating for this this 1998 model with the 2.4 L engine is 20 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway for a combined rating of 24 mpg. With the 3.1 L V6 engine, the fuel economy is 17 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway for a combined rating of 21 mpg.
The interior of the Cutlass is roomy and comfortable with easy to use instruments and convenient accessories. The shorter wheelbase suggests that the Cutlass belongs in the compact class with its sister the Oldsmobile Achieva. However, when you consider the spacious interior it’s easy to see that the vehicle better fits in the mid-size category.
Oldsmobile Cutlass Features and Options
The base Oldsmobile Cutlass model comes standard with many features that made the driving experience more comfortable. Some of the features are air conditioning, cushy front bucket seats with armrests, a spacious glove compartment, many small cubbyholes through the interior, analog instruments with a tachometer, a nice audio system and a tilt steering wheel. Step up to the GLS and there is additional a full complement of power accessories for windows and doors. There is a power driver’s seat, split-folding rear seat back, remote keyless entry, fog lamps, aluminum 15-inch wheels, and a stereo cassette deck.
Oldsmobile Cutlass Safety
The safety features for the Oldsmobile Cutlass are plentiful. Standard for both models are child safety door locks, power door locks, driver airbag, passenger airbag, daytime running lights, anti-lock brakes. The four-wheel ABS front brakes are disc brakes and the rear are drum brakes. Optional equipment for this vehicle included a cassette player, CD player, a multi-level adjustable power driver’s seat, manual sunroom and alloy wheels.