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1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Sedan

4dr Sedan Series I - R7B

Starting at | Starting at 0 MPG City - 0 MPG Highway

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  • $17,665 original MSRP

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Printable Version

1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Sedan

Printable Version

1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Sedan

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1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

Although the sales performance of General Motors' GM-10 cars - the Oldsmobile Cut-lass Supreme, Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Re-gal - hasn't been the success the company may have hoped for, these midsize front-drive sedans and coupes do represent an attractive blend of roominess, comfort, performance and value.

Thanks to Oldsmobile's value pricing programs, this has been particularly true of the Cutlass Supreme - and it's truer still with the Supreme's updates for 1995.

When we mention the Supreme, Grand Prix and Regal in the same breath, we don't mean to suggest that they're identical cars with different emblems. Although the basic unibody structure and layout are the same, each car has its own exterior, its own suspension package and its own character.

Consistent with Pontiac's overall marketing strategy, the Grand Prix is the sportiest of the bunch. The Regal emphasizes traditional comfort and the Cutlass Supreme takes an international approach. The latter's ride and handling qualities are comparable with the Grand Prix's, but its exterior styling is more subdued.

Walkaround

All the GM-10 cars fall into the upper range of the broad and ill-defined midsize class, and their general dimensions are essentially the same. However, the Cutlass Supreme is the only member of the GM-10 family that's available as a convertible.

To put a finer point on dimensional definition, the Cutlass Supreme sedan is a little bigger than the Mercury Sable, one of its key competitors. It's also several inches longer than the Honda Accord, the new Chrysler Cirrus and the Toyota Camry, and several inches shorter than the redesigned Chevy Lumina.

As a result of Oldsmobile's efforts to simplify pricing, the Cutlass Supreme coupes and sedans will all be SL models, with two trim levels: Series I (base) and Series II. Prices start at $17,995 for the Series I coupe and sedan; $18,995 for the better-equipped Series II cars.

The series designations don't apply to the Cutlass Supreme convertible, which starts at $24,895.

The standard engine in all three body styles is GM's 3.1-liter 3100 V6, which was extensively redesigned last year. The standard transmission is one of GM's latest computer-controlled 4-speed automatics.

All Cutlass Supremes are essentially package deals - there aren't many free-standing options - which makes shopping easier. The short list of add-ons includes two audio system upgrades, steering-wheel touch switches for radio and climate controls (Series II models only), an engine block heater and a much more powerful 3.4-liter V6 engine.

Our test car was a Series II Cutlass Supreme coupe, powered by the 3.4-liter V6, which added $1223 to the bottom line. All the GM-10 cars made their market debut in 1988 as coupes, and we think the Cutlass Supreme looks best in this body style.

Interior Features

Although the Cutlass Supreme and its cousins are only two years from a complete redesign, GM made a pretty big investment in this car's interior for 1995 - and it shows to good effect.

The greatest improvement is the long-overdue addition of a passenger airbag to the Cutlass Supreme's inventory of passive safety features. Adding that second airbag has allowed Oldsmobile to replace the Cutlass Supreme's passive seat belt setup.

This marginal system was designed to meet federal passive safety regulations without the added expense of airbags. The old system had its outboard anchors in the doors, rather than the central roof pillar, which limited effectiveness.

The new system fastens conventional three-point belts with adjustable upper anchors up front and is a much better arrangement.

Better also applies to the new instrument panel. The major instruments, which are analog dials, are grouped under a curved cowling that creates more of a command-center impression than the old panel. It's much more attractive and also a little easier to take in at a glance.

We do wish the climate controls had been redesigned along with the rest of the layout. The small buttons and sliders are difficult to adjust when the car is moving.

Another Cutlass Supreme strong suit is interior roominess. This is a particularly appealing trait in a moderately sporty coupe because rear-seat roominess is usually conspicuous by its absence in vehicles of this type.

Then there's the issue of standard equipment - what you get for your basic-model money. In a Cutlass Supreme, basic is far from basic. Series I coupes and sedans include anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, power mirrors/locks/windows, an AM/FM/cassette sound system, cruise control, tilt steering, full carpeting, map pockets and 16-in. alloy wheels.

Roominess and luxury features equate pretty closely with comfort in any car, and the Cutlass Supreme measures up very well on this index.

Driving Impressions

No one would ever characterize the Cutlass Supreme as a sports car, but its all-around ride and handling traits strike a surprisingly good balance between comfort and agility.

Our coupe did a nice job of damping out the small bumps that register as irritations in many sporty cars. In fact, we were pleasantly surprised by its overall ride quality, because the suspension settings convey an initial impression of firmness.

Firmness usually goes hand in hand with good control - less body roll in hard cornering, less front-end dive during hard braking - and our Cutlass Supreme gave a good account of itself in this area without rattling the teeth of the occupants.

Although the variable-assist, rack-and-pinion power steering could provide a little better road feel, we think that this car's ability to respond to quick maneuvers is better than average, and higher on the fun-to-drive scale than we anticipated.

We were also favorably impressed by our test car's bucket seats, which provided a good range of adjustability as well as an attractive appearance. Although there could be a little more side bolstering to help keep the driver centered in hard cornering, we think most occupants will find the comfort level just fine.

Our only criticism here is that the front seatbacks don't lock into position, which means the passenger seatback could flop forward during hard braking when you're driving solo.

Our test car's optional 3.4-liter V6 provided real urgency to forward progress when we wanted it. Although the Taurus SHO V6 offers more horsepower at high speed than our test car's engine, the 3.4 V6 has excellent punch at low- and midrange speeds, as well as impressive giddy-up for passing.

There's a certain amount of noise that goes with hard acceleration on the Cutlass Supreme, but we don't think most drivers will find it annoying. It just lets you know there's a lot of power going to work for you.

Although we regard more power as a plus, we should add here that the standard 3.1-liter V6 also delivers pretty good performance. The optional 3.4-liter V6 unquestionably makes the Cutlass Supreme more exhilarating to drive, but we don't think anyone will feel short-changed, performancewise, with a basic Series I model.

Summary

The Cutlass Supreme will provide a nice surprise for most first-time drivers. It's an appealing blend of comfortable ride, sharp handling and subdued good looks.

With the changes for '95, it's up to date in terms of safety features, and the redesigned instrument panel improves both appearance and functionality.

And the high comfort/convenience content that goes with Oldsmobile's value packaging makes the Cutlass Supreme a midsize bargain.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$17,995
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Price as tested (MSRP)
$20,218
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Printable Version

1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Sedan

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Fog Lamps Std
Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Sedan

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