1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue GL 3.8L V6 from North America


Plenty of power, excellent handling, but troublesome and not too comfortable


Every power window has quit working at least once.

Power window switches on all 4 doors pop out of the door randomly (usually after a bump in the road).

Has the infamous flickering lights problem, though not as bad as some others have had.

Electronic climate control system replaced once (original one never displayed correct outside temp, and eventually quit working entirely). Replacement one still displays incorrect outside temp, and after only a few months is already acting just like the old one did shortly before it died.

AC/Heater fan motor died at 40k miles.

Power steering pump locked up shortly thereafter.

Water pump went out at 60k miles, causing the engine to overheat (shut off before any damage was done) - for about a month prior the car always smelled like coolant, even though there were no visible signs of a leak. Dealer took over 2 hours to send a tow.

"Cup holder" in the center console has broken 6 or 7 times now... gave up on ever fixing it again.

Vinyl trim on all 4 doors has been peeling off and bubbling for 2 years.

Brakes have never felt "right" - they almost feel like manual brakes, and actually quit working once while parking (dealer says they can't find anything wrong) - front rotors warp easily as well. The ABS has kicked in unexpectedly several times while doing normal stops, and usually causes the car to pull hard to one side (this is on a dry surface!).

Had to have the oil pan gasket and front main seal replaced at 50k miles (was leaving a small puddle of oil on the ground overnight) - still leaking, though now it's just a drop or two overnight.

Transmission tends to "hunt" between 3rd and 4th around 35-50 mph. Also recently started jolting very hard when the lockup torque converter kicks in, and occasionally the torque converter refuses to unlock, stalling the engine when coming to a stop (this has only happened 2 or 3 times now).

CD changer has all, but quit working - when it does work, it usually jams while changing CD's.

Bass/treble/fader/balance knobs on factory stereo broke about a year ago.

The leather interior is a joke - both front seats have already cracked in various places, and the car has always been garaged.

Headlight housings have also become hazy, more translucent than clear.

The "100k bumper to bumper extended warranty" sold to us was a joke. Not only was it a real hassle to get anything covered, the company backing the warranty went out of business, and the dealership has changed ownership since then as well.

General Comments:

On the plus side, this car has a lot of power for a car its size, especially out of the 3.8L OHV V6 that was designed decades ago.

The car handles like it's on rails, and I credit its excellent handling to saving my life once already - car pulled off the shoulder in front of me on a highway with no warning, then stopped in my lane - I was doing about 65-70, and managed to maneuver around that car without losing control (only had about 100 feet to respond, if that). The car did get up on 2 wheels during this, but didn't spin out or flip. Didn't have room to change lanes, as cars were next to me.

This thing is horribly uncomfortable for road trips - whoever designed the seats needs to be shot.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th November, 2002

30th Jun 2003, 22:35

The above review was excellent. I have experienced ninety percent of the problems discussed in this review. My 1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue has a lot of power, great handling, and has been very reliable. However, almost every single interior accessory has broken at least once. All of the power windows have broken ever since I hit around 85,000 miles. Two of them broke on the same day.

Anyway, I thought the review was perfect. Great car if you care about how it runs. Horrible if you want to rely on the little knick knacks inside it.

1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue GL 3.8L OHV V6 from North America


If you must, please buy it USED


No start condition fixed by replacement of battery and starter ($400 parts plus labor). Obnoxious rattle in back seat area fixed by replacement of rear suspension trailing arm, $50 part plus labor. (The bushing had worn out and snapped the bolt!) Power windows randomly inoperative, not fixed. (also, windows stick to weatherstripping!) Fuel gauge suddenly inoperative, I'm not bothering to fix it because I know it won't be cheap. I'll be fine using the trip clock to know when it's time to fill up... I hope. Many other random gremlins that seem to fix themselves as quickly as they appear, making repairs annoyingly difficult and/or impossible.

General Comments:

GM should be ashamed of themselves selling this car for $25,000. I bought mine 3 years old for $12,000 (does this depreciation tell us anything?) and now, for a 4 year old car I still feel slighted. (Further loss of value has left the worth of the car at $3,000 under any kind of retail, making it impossible to get out of this car without substantial fiduciary distress!) The car is a nice drive; handles well, accelerates superbly, and is definitely well thought out as far as that goes. (More than 20 mpg would be nice in the city though, esp. from a V6! The Taurus can do it!) The engine and drivetrain are beyond reproach. The interior, while nicely laid out, is put together cheaply, many seams and corners look crooked or misaligned. Seat comfort is good, and general driving manners are predictable and pleasing. For the money, I would opt for the Grand Prix GT, same wonderful drivetrain, but much quieter, smoother and far more solid. If you must buy an Intrigue, do not buy a 1998 (MANY bugs attributed to this first year model), and be sure to buy it used. It will depreciate anyway, you might as well benefit from it somehow.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd August, 2002

5th May 2005, 06:20

Hi, I own a 1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue, it is a nice car, but lately things just seem to keep going wrong. I bought it used at 90,000 miles, and at 107,000 miles I had to replace the starter. I have also replaced the brake pads twice, back seat seat belt is stuck, I've also had some suspension problems, and now when I hit 40 miles per hour it jerks. My advice don't buy this car, it's costing me more to fix it than it's worth.