Premium midsize car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,500 – $2,800*


1995 Oldsmobile Aurora


1995 Oldsmobile Aurora


1995 Oldsmobile Aurora interior


1996 Oldsmobile Aurora


1997 Oldsmobile Aurora

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Antilock brakes
  • Passenger room
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Fuel economy
  • Rear visibility (1995)
  • Wind noise

Carrying Oldsmobile a big step forward, Aurora is competitive with Japanese and European sedans that cost thousands more when new. We recommend that you give it a trial run if you’re shopping in the luxury-sedan league.

Overview

On sale in the spring of 1994 as an early ’95 model, Oldsmobile’s new luxury sedan was built on a new front-drive chassis shared with the Buick Riviera coupe. Oldsmobile essentially created the Aurora from scratch, borrowing no parts from other models except the audio systems. Aurora’s only engine was a 250-horsepower 4.0-liter V8 with dual-overhead camshafts. It teamed with an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission that incorporated Performance and Normal shift modes. Only a single model was offered. Standard equipment included dual airbags, antilock 4-wheel disc brakes, and traction control with an on/off switch.

Yearly Updates

1996 Aurora
Daytime running lights were installed in 1996 Auroras, and Oldsmobile claimed to have eliminated the distortion in the rear window, which had produced many complaints.
1997 Aurora
An electronic compass was incorporated into the inside rearview mirror this year. The right-hand outside mirror now tilted down when the car was put into reverse, allowing the driver to see the curb edge. An in-dash CD player joined the optional Bose sound system, and a 12-disc CD player could be ordered with the Bose setup.
1998 Aurora
For ’98, Oldsmobile modified the suspension and steering to provide a more comfortable ride and better low-speed steering feel. Also new was an optional satellite navigation system/cellular phone called OnStar.
1999 Aurora
Changes for ’99 included daytime running lights, automatic level-control suspension, and a power down-reverse passenger-side mirror. Aurora production continued through the year, but no 2000 model was offered. A redesigned 2001 model debuted early in 2000.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Auroras had only one powertrain: a dual-overhead-cam 4.0-liter V8 engine, driving a 4-speed automatic transmission. A variation of this engine is used in the Indy Racing League and has powered the Indy 500 winner two years running.

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.0/244
Engine HP 250
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/26

20.3

Road Test

Although the engine will not snap anyone’s head back at takeoff, it delivers brisk acceleration and ample passing power. A test Aurora accelerated to 60 mph in a swift 8.2 seconds. The transmission shifts so smoothly, you’ll seldom notice anything happening. Gas mileage is slightly better than expected: We averaged 20.3 mpg, but premium gasoline is required.

Road noise is noticeable, but not excessive. However, wind noise has been prominent around the side windows on Auroras that have been tested. Ride control is commendable at high speeds. Optional V-rated tires make the ride noticeably stiffer, however. With either tires, an Aurora offers sporty handling, displaying only minimal body roll in turns and excellent grip.

The Aurora’s roomy interior has ample space for four adults. Controls are easy to reach and clearly labeled; analog gauges large and easy to read in a well-designed dashboard. Luggage space is ample, with a long, flat trunk floor, though the opening is too small to load bulky objects.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1996 Oldsmobile Aurora

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 - 7
70%
Fuel Economy - 3
30%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 6
60%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
40%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 6
60%

Total: 53

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
113.8 205.4 74.4 55.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.1 20.0 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.4 36.9 42.6 38.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Aurora 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
60%
Front Passenger Injury - 3
60%

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 89
Injury 50
Theft 64

Trouble Spots

Brake noise
Description: The brakes make noise due to a problem with the rotors for which there are replacements. (1997)
Keyless entry
Description: The keyless remote has a rather short range and can be corrected with a new module. (1996-97)
Mirrors
Description: The automatic parking-assist outside mirrors may point too high. (1997)
Poor transmission shift
Description: The transmission-cooler hose gets twisted near the radiator, preventing the transmission from shifting into forward or reverse. (1997-99)
Seat
Description: The front seat does not heat, requiring replacement of the heating element in the seat or back cushions. (1995-99)
Vehicle noise
Description: A problem with the power brake-booster check valve causes a noise from the dashboard. (1995-97)
Headlights
Description: Metal shavings from the headlight switch get stuck in the grease, which can complete the circuit and leave the lights on continuously requiring switch replacement. (1997)
Battery
Description: The floor pan rusts due to the battery venting or an overflow of acid. (1995-99)
Electrical problem
Description: The door locks may quit working and the instrument-panel fuse may blow due to a short circuit caused by a bolt inside either front door chafing the wiring harness. (1995)
Electrical problem
Description: The plugs on some aftermarket devices will short out the accessory outlet or cigarette lighter blowing the fuse. (1995-99)
Check-engine light
Description: A variety of malfunction codes tripping the check engine light may result from corrosion of the engine ground stud. (1995)

Recall History

1995
Description: Rear shoulder belt(s) do not retract.
1995-97
Description: On 4.8L engines, the fuel rail assembly may be faulty, causing it to crack and permit leaks. Dealers will inspect and replace affected parts.
1996
Description: Damaged capacitor may cause failure of “Key in the Ignition” and driver seatbelt-unbuckled warnings, and other functions.
1999
Description: Incorrect brake-caliper assembly, brake pads, and caliper-mounting bracket might be installed.
1999
Description: Brake-booster to pedal-assembly nuts may be loose.

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.