1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera Cruiser, International 3.8 Liter V6 from North America


A car that has well served our family of eight. It has helped us save money and will remain with us


This car has been an absolute testament to the enduring qualities that were offered to the American car buyers of the late 1980's.

Nothing but regular maintenance, a few fuses, and a new headliner after about 20 years.

General Comments:

This car was initially purchased by my father in 1988. He had honorably served our country for 27 years, and bought it as a retirement gift during my senior year of high school.

Once my wife and I were on kid number two, we bought the Cutlass Ciera Cruiser International Wagon from my father at a price that was around $4,000.

It's a true beauty to behold. The Buick 3.8 liter V6 is perfectly mated to the wagon, and we haven't received so much as a hiccup from the moment we got it to the present day.

Mileage is around the low to mid 20's. I should mention that we wash it every two weeks, and wax it at least twice as year.

A few things have helped us over the years. First off, I walk to my work as an elementary school principal. So this car serves as our lone set of wheels. As our family grew, we were fortunate enough to have a school playground and a neighborhood park for our kids. We also have plenty of activities at a church that we can walk to, so the car is only used a few times a week.

As I earlier mentioned, this car is an International series and it comes with nice wood panels that, in my opinion, should have remained common place. If it weren't for the Godless crybabies and communists who run our mainstream media, I am sure that this style of wagon would have remained common.

The truth is that wagons and minivans from that time were perfectly good vehicles for the average family, and we ought to discourage others from buying all these rolling blimps that now pass as family vehicles. Fast food junk. Lousy noise that people pretend is music. Drinking $3 coffee in a car? Not us. Not ever.

None of that garbage has entered into our home or our automobile. I believe this lack of abuse to our family and property has helped our lifestyle last at a much lower cost and expense versus the average American family. It's sad, but we need to stop wasting so much in this society.

I will also tell you that our kids are all healthy and virtuous, and we look forward to the day when we have dozens of grandchildren who will carry on the goodness that comes with good habits and stewardship. This Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera wagon is a testament to our beliefs in putting family first, and heading off dangers at the earliest opportunity.

Everything still works well on the Olds wagon. I do change the oil once a year and there is a nearby auto repair shop whose owner is also a poker buddy on Sunday nights.

The ride is comfortable and functional. I believe this car will last us another 10 years, and we look forward to passing it onto the third generation.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th July, 2013

29th Jul 2013, 13:14

Great review of a great car. My family had a Chevy Celebrity, which is pretty much the same car; it had over 300000 miles when sold, and was still running strong and not burning oil. Should have never sold that car!

30th Jul 2013, 20:09

Thank you.

It's always a pleasure to hear a compliment about a car. The Olds can still pull about 30 miles per gallon on the highway as long as the entire family isn't riding in it.

I wish a replacement was out there. $30,000 would be way too much for a good car, and it's hard to find a traditional wagon of any type these days.

Go find yourself another nice Celebrity. If you find a wagon, let me know.

31st Jul 2013, 11:29

It isn't easy to find these old wagons with the 3.8 liter - a lot of them have the 2.8, the 3.1, or the 3.3 liter engines. All of those are good (the 3.1 being the least good), but none are quite as nice as the 3.8.

If you could do without the wagon option, a slightly larger family car with the 3.8 would be the Buick LeSabre/Park Avenue or Olds Delta 88/98 in the 1988-1993 range. All of these are going to be getting a lot harder to find as time goes by, and nothing made since is as durable, trouble free or cheap to run.

1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme SL 2.8 ltr V6 from North America


Best damn beater I ever had


Rear struts don't seem to last long.

General Comments:

My wife and I just can't kill this car. It has been the most reliable car we have ever had. Got it as a gift (the giver paid $1100.00). Put about $3000.00 in regular maintenance and repairs (brakes, plugs, wires, EGR, etc.) over the years. Regular scheduled maintenance sure pays off. Have never replaced the CV joints.

I would buy another one in a heartbeat.

Excellent fuel economy and drivability. It has NEVER left us stranded. We put on about 120 km per day commuting from out of town.

Feed it Chevron Supreme, and it runs like new.

Getting close to 1/2 a million miles now! Wow!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th August, 2010

14th Aug 2013, 19:37

I love the Olds Ciera. I had a 1986 Cutlass Brougham, which had the 2.8 litre. I couldn't believe how comfortable the car felt while going down the road. It had over 200,000km, and when I changed the oil every 5000km, it was still very clean. The exterior was light blue with a black vinyl roof, and the seats were a blue velour; just a beautiful car. Like new chrome spoke wheels. Because of no room for it, I gave away a beautiful car. What I would give to have another. It's hard to beat eighties Oldsmobiles.

3rd Jan 2015, 00:34

Well I just visited a car dealership for the first time in nearly 20 years, and boy did I want to throw up after looking at all the overpriced garbage out there today.

Not a single vehicle I saw at the Buick dealership could be given a simple oil change. Not one!

To get enough space for our family, we were limited to riding in two cars. Nothing could seat eight. What seated seven was over $40,000, and all that was offered were a bunch of chrome-ridden oversized mastodons that looked downright chintzy in person. Whoever is designing the front grilles of these cars today must be having hand-to-hand combat with an army of accountants.

We're up to 287,000 miles on the wagon now. A few minor suspension issues have been the only major issue of note since I last responded here. Those issues were only about $300 to fix, and we're still sticking with Michelins regardless of how long this wagon lasts.

If the right version of this vehicle comes around, we'll probably take it and use this one as a parts car for the foreseeable future. I have no desire to take part in the rampant lying and financial nastiness of the new car market, now that I have seen in person how poor of a value they have become compared to what's out there today.