Large car; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,100 – $1,700*

1992 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser

1991 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser

1991 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser interior

  • Acceleration
  • Cargo room
  • Passenger room
  • Trailer-towing capability
  • Fuel economy
  • size and weight

For most shoppers, a minivan or a smaller front-drive station wagon would be a wiser choice than a big wagon like the Custom Cruiser. Those who still value full-size, traditional rear-drive wagons might take a look, however, since only three hung on into the early 1990s–all from General Motors. Oldsmobile’s version fits right between the Caprice and Estate in price and features.


Oldsmobile gave its last remaining rear-drive model, the full-size Custom Cruiser station wagon, a swoopy new shape for 1991. It was the first major restyling since the model had been downsized, way back in 1977.

Chevrolet and Buick also restyled their wagons this year, and continued to offer sedans built on the same chassis. Olds, on the other hand, issued only the station wagon. Offered in a single trim level, the Custom Cruiser differed from the Buick Estate and Chevrolet Caprice wagons mainly in front/rear styling and instrument-panel design.

A new fuel-injected, Chevrolet-designed 5.0-liter V8 engine went beneath the hood, producing 170 horsepower and replacing the prior generation’s 140-horsepower carbureted V8. A 4-speed automatic was the sole transmission. Antilock brakes and a heavy-duty suspension were standard.

Like the related Buick Roadmaster Estate, the Custom Cruiser had a standard “vista roof,” which consisted of a fixed sunroof with dark tinted glass over the middle bench seat. Custom Cruisers also featured an adjustable roof luggage rack. The 2-way tailgate swung down or opened to the left, and its glass rear window flipped up separately.

Although the new wagon’s 115.9-inch wheelbase was the same as before, it measured 2.8 inches shorter overall, stretching to 217.5 inches. Oldsmobile claimed that the interior was roomier. With middle and rear seats folded, the cargo area could hold a 4×8-foot sheet of plywood–the usual measure for such spaces.

A driver’s airbag was standard in the redesigned interior, mounted in a tilt steering wheel. Eight-passenger seating was standard, with 3-place front and middle seats plus a 2-place third-row bench.

Yearly Updates

1992 Custom Cruiser
A larger optional V8 engine became available for 1992, just before Oldsmobile’s full-size wagon faded away. The 5.7-liter V8 developed 180 horsepower. With an optional Towing Package, a Custom Cruiser could now haul up to 5000 pounds. Also new this year were a solar reflecting windshield and a manual-mode selector for the optional automatic climate-control system.


longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

Designed by Chevrolet, the 5.0-liter V8 engine developed 170 horsepower and drove a 4-speed automatic transmission.

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.0/305
Engine HP 170
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 255
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic


Road Test

Even with the new fuel-injected V8 engine, a Custom Cruiser could be counted on to guzzle plenty of gasoline, especially around town. Oldsmobile and the other GM divisions aimed their wagons at families who did not want a van, but sought plenty of passenger and cargo room, as well as trailer-towing brawn. Those attributes come at the price of fuel economy.

Acceleration with the 5.0-liter base engine is acceptable, but the 5.7-liter V8 offered for 1992 is especially desirable for those who tow or carry heavy loads.

A firmer suspension on this final big-wagon model reduces bouncing on wavy roads and body roll around corners. Still, this is one sizable rear-drive boat, so while the ride is fairly well-controlled, don’t expect agile maneuverability.

A full set of circular analog gauges, including a tachometer, replaced the old horizontal speedometer, assuring easier reading. The stereo is mounted dead center at the top of the dashboard, with climate controls positioned directly below and all controls easy to reach while driving. All four side doors have map pockets, while the glovebox is bigger than before and supplemented by a storage pouch on the dashboard. Additional storage bins and cubbyholes are available in the rear cargo area.


Model Tested: 1992 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser

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 - 3
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 4
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 5
Room/Comfort Front - 5
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
Cargo Room - 7


Value - 5

Total: 51


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
115.9 217.5 79.7 60.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
91.9 22.0 8
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.7 39.6 42.2 38.0
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

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

Side Impact Test

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


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

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

Trouble Spots

Cruise control
Description: The cruise control will fail to stay engaged or operate intermittently if the center high-mount stop lamp (CHMSL) is burned out. (1992)
Oil consumption and exhaust smoke
Description: Oil consumption and blue smoke from the exhaust, especially when cold, is due to faulty valve-stem seals on V8 engines. (1991)
Description: A fusible link for the generator (alternator) corrodes inside its insulation causing the battery to go dead and the generator output to be too high or low. (1990)
Description: The secondary hood latch rusts making it hard to close the hood fully. The company will replace the latch regardless of time, mileage, or ownership. (1991-92)
Fuel economy
Description: Poor (V8) engine performance and fuel economy may be misdiagnosed as a problem with the computer-control system when the actual problem is poor connections in the wiring harness’ female terminals. (1992)
Description: The five-mile-per-hour bumpers may not survive an impact because the energy-absorbing foam cracks, breaks, and falls out. (1990-92)

Recall History

Description: Shoulder-belt guide-loop plastic covering may crack and expose the steel subplate, which, in the event of a crash, could cut the safetybelt webbing.
Description: Secondary hood-latch assemblies can corrode, causing high latch-release effort and possibly preventing hood from latching properly.
Description: Antilock brake system modulator can corrode and leak fluid from front brake circuit.

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.

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