1990 Oldsmobile 98 Regency 3.8 V6 from North America


Nice car, but why so much ugly trim?


Not a whole lot. Just needed a new pan seal, along with a fluid & filter change for the transmission. This stuff is to be expected of a 15 year old car. Other than routine maintenance, this car has been pretty good.

General Comments:

My grandparents gave me this car when my Subaru Justy died on me, and they bought a new car. Very comfortable car all the way around, with lots of room. Needless to say, it was a HUGE step up (My Justy didn't have power steering or brakes, no a/c and a manual transmission). One thing I don't understand is why is there so much chrome on this car? I mean, I always thought Oldsmobile was a sportier car with a touch of class. The chrome just looks positively gaudy inside and out, and the interior woodgrain looks like it came straight off the side of a microwave oven. Performance is good, as the 3800 motor has plenty of power, and enough torque to move this car right along. Fuel economy is excellent also. This car also has those stupid opera lights on the sides. If it wasn't for all the ugliness of the interior and exterior (seats, trim, hood ornament, woodgrain, chrome) this car would be perfect.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 28th March, 2005

28th Mar 2005, 20:40

Opera lights are awesome!They went well with that style of car. I don't think a CTS, however, will look good with them.

24th Oct 2008, 04:05

I have a 1990 Olds Regency 98 purchased brand new November 1990. It is white 4-door sedan with sapphire blue interior. It has 113,000 original miles. The car has been very well-maintained.

Recently had problem with engine idling too fast and rough and not decelerating as it should. Problem was finally diagnosed and fixed. Thermostat needed to be replaced. Car is running nice and smooth and quiet and decelerating as it should again thanks to a great service department.

Car has 2 very minor and small dents I hope to have to have taken out some day. Otherwise car is in near mint condition. I had clear coat applied to finish when first purchased. I apply a renewer coat once or twice a year. In between it is easy-as-pie to keep clean by just hosing off.

I enjoy its clean, sleek classic styling and subtle luxury. They don't make them like they use to.

1990 Oldsmobile 98 Touring Sedan 3.8L V6 from North America


Great car - reliable, comfortable, great handling and timeless styling!


Alternator (twice) at 120,000 & 148,000 miles.

Passenger side steering stabilizer shaft bushing at 141,000 miles.

Horn relay (stuck on).

Remote key-less entry key fob (plastic cracked).

Headliner (old one started to fall down) at 120,000 miles.

Retrofitted air conditioning refrigerant from R11 (no longer readily available) to R134A at 144,000 miles, as AC system needed to be recharged, and this was a good time to change refrigerant to the much less expensive type.

Rest of repairs were routine and mostly preventative, such as; oil changes, tires, battery, front wheel alignment, brake work and filter changes.

General Comments:

Unbelievable reliability for a 14 year old car with 145,000 miles!

Second alternator failing was result of using a rebuilt unit when original alternator failed. Better to stick with new - pricey, but worth it.

Paint finish still in great shape.

1990 was the first year of clear coat paint, and my color is white, which probably explains the long lasting finish.

Hardly any rust. Only rust so far is underneath trunk lid near rear edge seam. Minor touch up and cleaning the weep holes out fixed that.

Cassette player (factory Del-co Bose) stopped working, and self amplified Bose speakers sometimes have high pitched squealing sound (a common problem I heard with Bose audio of this vintage - various internet repair shops will fix, but at over $100 per each speaker).

The Touring Sedan is a rare Oldsmobile model that most people don't know about. The car came with virtually every option available at the time, including anti-lock brakes, a great trip computer, 10 way power seats, all leather, auto leveling shocks, remote key-less entry, power trunk pull down, real wood in the dash, etc. Only two options were the Bose stereo and sunroof. For some reason, a driver's side airbag was not offered on this model, yet Oldsmobile was selling this as on option on the regular 88 and 98 models. My guess is that the stereo and heating / AC controls on the steering wheel prevented use of an air bag, so therefore Olds didn't offer that option.

Car handles great - tight, little lean in turns and quick. Totally different than the boat-like ride typical of the large GM sedans. For whatever reason, this model didn't sell too well - only about 3000 were made each year from 1987 to 1990 - probably due to the high price at the time, along with fact that in that high price range, buyers probably expected a higher performance engine and a European nameplate to brag about.

Styling is timeless - most people have no clue that my car is over 14 years old! The Touring Sedan trim eliminates most of the chrome trim and fluff that makes a car look cluttered and old looking.

Only a few minor problems: When gas is less than a quarter tank full - when taking sweeping right hand turns (such as entering onto a highway) - the engine suddenly lacks power and takes several seconds to kick in. (I heard others have had this same problem too). Easy fix is simply to fill up when down to a quarter tank. Also, the front armrests are not attached to the doors too well - plastic brackets tend to crack. Plus the armrests should have been padded.

If this car were still made today, I'd buy it again!

I expect to easily get 250,000 miles out of this car, as confirmed by postings on various Internet sites.

Gas mileage for a full size sedan like this is pretty good - 19 to 20 MPG in town and 28 to 30 on the highway.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 5th October, 2004

18th Oct 2004, 08:00

I wrote the above comment. My mistake, I thought you bought yours new, until I re-read your review. Anyway, I still wish you the best of luck with your 98 touring sedan.

27th Nov 2004, 17:48

I also have an Oldsmobile Touring Sedan. Mine is a 1989 model, and I ordered it brand new. At the time, I was in my late 20's, and an Olds Touring Sedan was not the typical car a person of my age would purchase. But my friends were sure impressed when they saw it!

I've never kept another car this long, but this one is definitely a keeper. I've only put about 85,000 miles on it since new, and have had the same problems others mentioned. I've gone through a couple of alternators, the Bose stereo needs to be repaired, the power antenna has been rebuilt, the power Astroroof relay went out, a new headliner had to be installed (old one came unglued), etc.

I'm surprised Olds didn't sell a ton of these, everyone who's driven mine or taken a ride in it couldn't believe it was an Oldsmobile. Now that Olds is gone, it's become even more special to me.

These cars have quite a following among the original owners who purchased them new, as well as the people who are just discovering them today. I know several people who could afford to purchase any car they wanted, yet they continue to drive their 1988-1990 era Touring Sedan or Ninety-Eight, just because they love them so much.

Quite a nice legacy for a car that hasn't been built in over a decade, I think.