31st Dec 2008, 08:42
I have to agree with the previous two respondents -- my 1993 Olds 88 Royale has hands-down been one of the best cars I've ever owned. The 3800 Northstar engine hauls this car effortlessly and the ride is very smooth and comfortable. I've got over 200k miles on mine and I don't think it's going to give up the ghost any time soon, despite the fact that it has hauled enough lumber and hardware and countless bags of block and cement to build our three decks -- fitting 8-foot boards in this car is child's play, which is why I haven't traded it in for a pickup. It's more than a shame that Olds is gone now because they had a winner with this car. You, my friend, either got a bad one or you're not talking about a 1993 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight Royale.
31st Dec 2008, 12:00
I think this, along with the Park Ave (same car) are very good cars. The engines run for a very long time without much trouble.
I drove a '91 Park Ave for awhile and it definitely had its pros and cons. It was very roomy and comfortable. Fuel economy was outstanding for such a big car. Very attractive. Very smooth and quiet cruising on the highway.
My complaints are that the steering, brakes, and suspension were awful. The steering had no road feel and was inconsistent, which made taking 90-degree turns a bit of a challenge because I was always misjudging the steering. The brakes were very soggy and spongy and didn't feel strong enough.
Mine had the Dynaride suspension, which is supposed to be superior, but it was not. It was very floaty on the highway, yet was jittery feeling on smooth pavement around town. It bottomed out ridiculously easily. I had to slow to a crawl over the railroad tracks downtown otherwise, BANG! The self-leveling rear shocks were embarrassingly goofy. People would get in the back seat, and several minutes later you could hear a loud electric motor kick in to self level the shocks.
Lastly, the interior was a disaster of a design. Beside looking horribly cheap, the controls and warning lights were scattered all across the dash all the way to the center, where they are out of the driver's sight and reach. The dash in the Olds 88 is a MUCH better design.
If you are a laid back kind of driver who just wants something big, smooth, and quiet, these are great cars. If you like the responsive driving characteristics of european cars, you will most likely hate these big Olds/Buicks. I like something smooth, roomy, and quiet like these cars offer, but with a tight, responsive steering, brakes, and handling, which these cars don't offer. These cars strike me as trying to imitate luxury, but don't quite reach it and instead come off a sloppy imitation.
I will say though that for big, V6 powered cars, they are fantastic on gas and quite dependable. If I wanted a nice family sedan, I'd buy one of these over a Taurus, Lumina, Camry, or Accord in a heartbeat. Except for the lack of driving character, they offer the reliability, comfort, and fuel economy I want.
2nd May 2010, 22:03
I have owned this car for 7 years. It has 187000kms on it. This has been a great car to me, but beware of GM dealer maintained vehicles. Dealer rust proofing inferior. Dealer maintenance also inferior. Problems with water pump, had to rebuild tranny at 94000km, paint peeling, and electrical system problems. It's funny; my father has a 1992 with 250000km and it has had very little problems.