Midsize car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $2,000*

1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera 4-door sedan

1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera 4-door sedan

1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera 4-door wagon

1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera S interior

1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera SL 4-door wagon

  • Acceleration (V6 engine)
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Quietness
  • Acceleration (4-cylinder)
  • Ride

Much to the confusion of many, including product planners at Oldsmobile, the conservatively styled Cutlass Ciera constantly outsold the sleek and aerodynamic Cutlass Supreme. The Ciera prevailed, primarily because it still offers good utility as both a sedan and wagon, and could be reasonably equipped for as much as $4000 less than comparable midsize domestic and import models.


First introduced in 1982, the venerable Cutlass Ciera was similar to the Buick Century, Pontiac 6000, and Chevrolet Celebrity. It was originally available in 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan, and 4-door wagon body styles. For 1990, the Ciera featured two trim levels for the 2-door (S and sporty International Series); four trim levels for the 4-door (base, S, SL, and International Series); plus two versions of the Cruiser wagon (S and SL). The base engine was a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. A 3.3-liter V6 providing 160 horsepower came standard on SL and I-series models, but was optional on others. A three-speed automatic was standard, while a 4-speed OD automatic could be ordered for the V6.

Yearly Updates

1991 Cutlass Ciera
The Ciera returned for its 10th season without the sporty International Series models, leaving three trim levels: base, S, and SL.
1992 Cutlass Ciera
The 2-door body style bites the dust this year, as does the base sedan. Oldsmobile’s Cutlass Ciera and Cutlass Cruiser wagon are little changed otherwise.
1993 Cutlass Ciera
For 1993, a driver-side airbag becomes available for the first time–standard on the SL and optional on the S. The underpowered 110-horsepower 4-cylinder is dropped, leaving the 160-horsepower V6 as the only powerplant.
1994 Cutlass Ciera
A driver-side airbag and antilock brakes are new standard features on all versions of the Cutlass Ciera sedan and Cruiser station wagon. Two new engines and a new automatic transmission are also provided. The new base engine is a 120-horsepower, 2.2-liter 4-cylinder, paired with a 3-speed automatic. Standard on the wagon and optional on the sedan is a new 160-horsepower 3.1-liter V6, replacing the previous 3.3-liter unit. A 4-speed automatic is the only gearbox for the V6.
1995 Cutlass Ciera
The Ciera undergoes further consolidation of features. Instead of an S model, an SL trim level is the only available model for both the sedan and station wagon.
1996 Cutlass Ciera
The car that just won’t die returns for a 15th season as a 6-passenger 4-door sedan and 8-passenger station wagon. Few changes are made in anticipation of a replacement model for 1997.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

The base engine in 1990 was a 2.5-liter throttle-body fuel-injected 4-cylinder, providing 110 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 135 pound-feet at 3200 rpm. The optional 3.3-liter overhead valve V6 provided 160 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 185 pound-feet of torque at 2000 rpm. The V6 came standard on SL and I-series models, but was optional on all others. A 3-speed automatic was standard with both engines, while a 4-speed OD automatic could be ordered for the V6. Over the past 10 years the Ciera has generally provided a modest 2.2-liter or 2.5-liter four-cylinder for its base models and an optional 3.1-liter or 3.3-liter V6 for the higher-priced trim levels.

ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/151
Engine HP 110
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 135
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
3-speed automatic



ohv I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.2/133
Engine HP 120
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 130
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
3-speed automatic


ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.1/191
Engine HP 160
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 185
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.3/204
Engine HP 160
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 185
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic

Road Test

It’s best to avoid the 4-cylinder models if possible. While they provide good economy, they simply can’t provide adequate power for a car of this size and weight. You may save some, but are always penalized with puny performance. The V6 versions are much smoother and more satisfying, providing ample torque for both off-the-line acceleration and highway passing.

When compared to the Supreme, or competitors like the Ford Taurus and Buick Regal, the Ciera’s suspension is much softer. While some prefer this softer ride, it bounces over wavy roads and doesn’t absorb rough pavement well. It also doesn’t corner as well as the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, which provide better grip and handle turns with much greater ease. On the positive side, the Ciera is a pleasant and quiet family car with plenty of interior and cargo room.


Model Tested: 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera 3.1-liter

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.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 4
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 5
Room/Comfort Front - 6
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
Cargo Room - 4


Value - 6

Total: 50


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
104.9 190.3 69.5 54.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
15.8 16.6 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.6 38.3 42.1 35.8
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
104.9 194.4 69.5 54.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
74.4 16.5 8
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.6 38.9 42.1 34.7
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1995 Cutlass Ciera 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

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


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

Collision 77
Injury 70
Theft 63

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: 4T60E transmissions may drop out of drive while cruising, shift erratically, have no third or fourth gear, or no second and third gear because of a bad ground connection for the shift solenoids. (1994)
Automatic transmission
Description: Model TH-125 or 440-T4 automatic transmissions may shift late or not upshift at all. The problem is a stuck throttle valve inside the transmission. (1990-94)
Cold-starting problems
Description: A tick or rattle when the engine is started cold may be due to too much wrist-pin-to-piston clearance. New piston and pin sets will be replaced under warranty if the customer complains of the noise. (1994-95)
Engine noise
Description: Bearing knock was common on many V6 engines due to too much clearance on the number-one main bearing. (1992-93)
Engine noise
Description: A rattling noise from the engine when the car is started after sitting is often caused by automatic transmission-pump starvation, or a sticking pressure-regulator valve. According to GM, no damage occurs and it does not have a fix for the problem. (1994-95)
Steering noise
Description: The upper bearing mount in the steering column can get loose and cause a snapping or clicking. A new bearing spring and turn-signal cancel cam should fix the problem. (1994-96)
Transaxle leak
Description: The right front-axle seal at the automatic transaxle is prone to leak and GM issued a revised seal to correct the problem. (1992-94)
Valve cover leaks
Description: The plastic valve covers on the 3.1-liter engine were prone to leaks and should be replaced with redesigned aluminum valve covers. (1994-95)

Recall History

1990 w/Kelsey-Hayes steel wheels
Description: Cracks may develop in wheel mounting surface; if severe, wheel could separate from car.
1990-91 w/six-way power seats or power recliner
Description: Short circuit could set seats on fire.
Description: Rear-outboard seatbelt anchorages may not withstand required load; in collision, metal may tear and allow anchor to separate from body.
1992 wagon
Description: Remote-entry module may have a fault that causes actuation of interior lamps, door locks, and/or release of tailgate.
Description: Right-front brake hose on some cars is improperly manufactured.
1994 w/3.1-liter V6
Description: If primary accelerator control spring fails, backup spring will not return throttle to closed position.
Description: Improperly tightened spindle nut can cause premature wheel-bearing failure.
Description: Water can cause short circuit in power-lock assembly.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


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.