1991 Oldsmobile Toronado Coupe 3.8 V6 from North America


Seriously classy and smooth highway cruiser


Dashboard problems (gages would spike and drop rapidly, heat would turn on randomly, interior lights would turn on and off, etc.) when taken out of storage in 2005 with 45000 miles. My dad took it to the shop and they replaced the alternator, and body computer.

At 95000 miles, transmission problems. When you came to a complete stop, the car would shift to 3rd gear. Also same problems as before, only now it was hard to keep running. Replaced the main and body computers (located behind the glove box).

At 160,000 miles both cooling fans go bad.

General Comments:

My grandfather bought this car from his copilot with 20,000 miles back in 1993. He used the car for summer cruising to his cabin in northern Michigan from Detroit. Always kept up on maintenance and never had a problem was stored in garage with car cover in the winter. When he died in 2001 the car was put into storage. Sat until 2005, in 2005 me and my dad bought the car from my grandma with 40,000 miles on it. My dad drove it for 2 years until the transmission problems parked it. I got the car with 95,000 miles and fixed the trans. I used the car to move to Tennessee from Michigan.

It has made the 700 mile trip about ten times now. the Toronado is a great highway cruiser, so comfortable to drive and good gas mileage (29 highway), the plush leather interior and unique exterior styling push this car into a new category of classy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th May, 2009

1991 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo 3.8 V6 from North America


A future classic from the 90's



Lower front seats are cracked due to leather drying out.

Dash is cracked in a couple of areas from sun damage.

Carpet is faded a bit.


When first purchased, car was in need of a repaint, due to clearcoat beginning to peel on roof.

Clearcoat on wheels was beginning to deteriorate.


Two wheel bearings have needed replacement- $75 apiece.

Front shocks replaced for $80 a side.

Driver's side window tends to 'hang up' in a spot when going up.


Water pump replaced- $25.

Oil pump replaced.

Fuel pressure regulator replaced- $75.

Fuel pump replaced- $75.

Camshaft position sensor and button replaced- $20.

Crankshaft position sensor replaced- $20.

Idle air control solenoid replaced- $80.

All coil packs, plugs, wires replaced- $150.

Accessory belt replaced- $30.

General Comments:

As you can tell, I have replaced a few parts on this car since I first purchased it. I take this car on road trips often, and it has been dead reliable, from day one. It has only let me sit one time, due to an incorrect water pump pulley that was installed by a previous owner. The pulley was for a C code 3.8 V6, and this car has an L code 3.8 V6.

The Buick derived series 1 3.8 V6 is a highly reliable, smooth engine, with years of development since the early days when it was first released 40 years ago. Like any engine, it has a few quirks. With the later series 1 V6,the water pump, and accessory belt should both be replaced every 30,000 miles. This was an inherent design flaw that resulted in the series 2 V6 having the accesories repositioned, and the belt routed differently.

This car turns almost as many heads as my 67 MGB, and Datsun 240Z. It is a comfortable highway cruiser, and although not fast, can hold it's own from stoplight to stoplight, and on the highway.

The interior is typical early 90's GM, with modular styling (read, blue plastic everywhere) and doesn't seem to fit well with the exterior. Nonetheless, some tasteful window tint, a dashmat, and some nice seat leather seat cushions can have you back into business in the interior asthetics department.

When purchasing a Trofeo, watch out for:

Miles over 150k. If they are, inquire about the fuel system, and what has been replaced. Look for fuel pump, regulator, and possibly injectors to be due for a change.

Interior. My car didn't fare too well in this area, as the last owner used it as more of point A to point B transportation, and didn't take good care of the car. If you don't have cracks in your seats, be sure to use a GOOD leather restorative on them before you start using the car. Good would not include Armor-All.

Suspension. Watch out for bad self-leveling suspensions. They can drain your wallet if they go bad, and drain your pocketbook to have it fixed.

Electronics. So many gizmos, so much to go wrong. Watch out for a bad IPC (instrument panel cluster), this can cause all of your gauges to die, except for the tachometer, or speedometer, I don't remember which. If you have lumbar supports, check out and make sure the bags in the seats inflate/deflate, or you'll be looking for a seat control module, a NLA (no longer available) GM part.

Body. Grab the wheels, and give them a good shake. If they feel a bit loose, and you are sure that the wheel is bolted/torqued properly onto the car, look at a wheel bearing/hub replacement. Check the front shocks with a one/two bounce. Bounce the front of the car a couple of times, it should rebound, and stop. Anymore than that, and you are looking at new shocks.

Headlight covers. I see these broken all the time. Make sure that they work, and that if you do purchase the car, you keep all of the moving parts WELL LUBRICATED. You should hardly be able to hear them go up and down when inside the car, with the engine off and the windows up. If you do, grease those things.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th March, 2006

30th Mar 2006, 21:16

Does yours have the touch-screen driver information center?

1st Apr 2006, 16:34

I'm sorry, I forgot to mention that. It does not have the VIC (Vehicle Information Center) unit. At the time I bought the car, I had my choice between the two units, as there were two cars for sale. I went for the one without, as I did some checking around, and new/functioning VIC units aren't exactly being sold at your local WalMart!