Premium sporty/performance car; Built in USA
  • 2-door coupe
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $1,700*


1990 Oldsmobile Trofeo


1991 Oldsmobile Toronado


1991 Oldsmobile Toronado interior


1992 Oldsmobile Toronado


1992 Oldsmobile Toronado interior

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Antilock brakes
  • Quietness
  • Steering/handling (Trofeo)
Cons:
  • Entry/exit
  • Fuel economy
  • Rear-seat room

If you’re in the market for an older coupe, you get pleasing performance and a boatload of features. As long as you don’t need space for four people or a full load of luggage, either model ranks as a comfortable and competent touring machine.

Overview

For 1990, Oldsmobile’s luxury coupe got new body panels that added more than a foot of overall length. That stretch increased trunk space by 2.5 cubic feet, but interior dimensions were unchanged. Also new was a driver-side airbag. Close relatives included the Buick Riviera and the Cadillac Eldorado.The sole powertrain consisted of GM’s 3.8-liter V6 and a 4-speed automatic transmission. Antilock braking was optional. A sporty Trofeo edition, introduced in 1987, carried leather bucket seats and an FE3 sport suspension, as well as an optional video Visual Information Center. That system included a small video screen in the center of the dashboard.

Yearly Updates

1991 Toronado/Trofeo
An improved 3.8-liter V6 engine with 170 horsepower went into the 1991 models. The Toronado’s automatic transmission also was improved, adopting electronic controls. Antilock brakes now were standard on the Toronado as well as the Trofeo. Steering-wheel controls for the stereo and climate system became standard on Trofeo, and optional on the Toronado.
1992 Toronado/Trofeo
Virtually unchanged this year, Oldsmobile’s personal-luxury coupe continued in both Toronado and sportier Trofeo trim.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Sole powertrain was a 3.8-liter V6 engine, driving a 4-speed automatic transmission. For 1991, though, the V6 engine was fortified, gaining five horsepower, and a new automatic transmission contained electronic controls.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/231
Engine HP 165-170
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 210-220
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

18/27

18.3

Road Test

Oldsmobile’s 3.8-liter V6 engine provides sufficient pickup. The improved engine and transmission for 1991 did not produce a big boost in acceleration potential, but they combined to deliver power in a smoother, more timely fashion. Unlike the earlier transmission, the 1991-92 unit does not constantly shift in and out of overdrive. Fuel economy is about average for the class.

Toronado is reasonably agile and responsive, but expect ample body roll in turns. The firmer suspension in a Trofeo improves cornering ability, at the expense of ride comfort. Standard 4-wheel disc brakes work well.

Gadgets galore provide all the comfort and convenience expected in cars of this caliber, but the Trofeo’s available Visual Information Center complicates stereo and climate-system controls. We recommend looking for a Trofeo without that system.

Rear-seat room is modest. Only two adults fit reasonably in the back seat, and they might lack sufficient head room to sit upright. Worse yet, the back seat is too firm and poorly shaped. Wide, heavy doors can be a hassle when parking in tight spots. Visibility can be a problem, both over-the-shoulder and directly rearward, due to thick rear roof pillars. Cargo space isn’t the greatest.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 2
20%
Cargo Room - 2
20%

Other

Value - 4
40%

Total: 45

Specifications

2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.0 200.3 72.8 53.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
15.8 18.8 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.8 37.8 43.0 35.7
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A 2-door coupe

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Dashboard lights
Description: Occasionally the gauges on the instrument cluster do not work properly (except the tachometer) until the engine is warm. (1990)
Engine noise
Description: A rattling noise on cold startups could be due to oil-pump starvation and cavitation in the automatic transmission. Accoding to GM, this will not harm the transmission. (1991-92)
Engine noise
Description: Bearing knock was common due to too much clearance on the number-one main bearing. (1992)
Battery
Description: Battery may go dead overnight on cars with electronic level control (1990-92)

Recall History

1990
Description: Cable may disengage from transaxle’s floor-shift control so driver might be unable to determine which gear is engaged, resulting in unexpected movement.
1990-92
Description: Front outer shoulder-belt web can become stuck in its retractor.
1992
Description: Intermediate shaft to steering-rack pinch bolt may be missing on some cars; disengagement produces loss of steering control.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.