Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera
|Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera|
|Also called||Oldsmobile Ciera
Oldsmobile Cutlass (Ciera) Cruiser
|Assembly||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Framingham, Massachusetts, United States
Doraville, Georgia, United States
Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec, Canada
Fremont, California, United States
Ramos Arizpe, Mexico
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe
5-door station wagon
|Layout||Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive|
|Engine||2.2 L 122 I4
2.5 L Tech IV I4
2.8 L LE2 V6
2.8 L Gen II V6
3.0 L LK9 V6
3.1 L Gen II V6
3.3 L LG7 V6
3.8 L LG3 V6
4.3 L LT7 Diesel V6
|Transmission||GM TH-125C 3-speed automatic
GM 440-T4 4-speed automatic
GM 4T60-E 4-speed automatic
|Wheelbase||104.9 in (2,664 mm)|
|Length||190.3 in (4,834 mm)|
|Width||69.5 in (1,765 mm)|
|Height||54.1 in (1,374 mm)|
|Successor||Oldsmobile Cutlass (U.S. only)|
It shared the front-wheel drive A platform with the similar Buick Century, Pontiac 6000 and Chevrolet Celebrity; both Oldsmobile and Chevrolet considered using the Celebrity name, which had originally been used by Oldsmobile in the 1960s. Available body styles included a 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan, and the Cutlass (Ciera) Cruiser station wagon. The Cutlass Ciera shared the Cutlass nameplate with the smaller Cutlass Calais and the larger Cutlass Supreme. It shared the same engines and certain interior features with the Buick Century.
During its run, the Cutlass Ciera was Oldsmobile's best-selling model. The car enjoyed many factory specialty models including the Holiday coupe, GT, pace car, and International models - the latter of which had a stock body kit.
Production began September 28, 1981 at Doraville Assembly in Georgia for the 1982 model year. In 1984, the Cutlass Cruiser station wagon model moved to the Cutlass Ciera's platform; previously, the nameplate used the rear wheel drive G-body. The Cutlass Ciera came in two trim levels: the base and Brougham //. The base models came with a 2.5 L 4-cylinder Tech IV (Pontiac Iron Duke) engine, bench seats, and cloth interior. The Brougham came with a 2.8 L V6 engine, a 3.8 L Buick V6 engine, and/or a 4.3 L Oldsmobile Diesel V6 engine; plush interior with vinyl accents, leather handlebars on the interior door panels, and power windows. The diesel engine, which had been converted from gasoline, proved a reliability disaster and in any case, rapidly dropping gas prices in the mid-1980s meant that fuel economy was no longer a selling point. For 1985, the Cutlass Ciera received its first facelift with a new grille, sleeker headlamps, and new taillights. For 1986, the Cutlass Ciera's grille had expanded ventilation sections than the similar 1985 model. Additionally, the coupe received a new, more rounded roofline that was not shared with the other A-body models. For 1987, the Cutlass Ciera was facelifted again with a new grille, and the steering wheel had the Oldsmobile logo moved from the right to the very center, and the 2.8 L LE2 V6 engine was dropped. For 1988, the Cutlass Ciera received composite headlamps (Some late 1987 models had composite headlamps as well) and introduced the new International Series models, and was also the final year for the Brougham. The International Series included the emblem with the flags of various countries below the nameplate (see below for exemplar) and was available in all three bodystyles, and came equipped with a standard Buick V6 engine, a 4-speed automatic transmission, a dual exhaust system, front captain's chairs, and standard power windows.
Between 1983 and 1986, 814 Cutlass Ciera convertibles were made by Hess & Eisenhardt/Car Craft.
|1982–1986||2.5 L (151 in³) Tech IV I4||92 hp (69 kW)||135 lb·ft (183 N·m)|
|1987–1988||2.5 L (151 in³) Tech IV I4||98 hp (73 kW)||135 lb·ft (183 N·m)|
|1982–1986||2.8 L (173 in³) LE2 V6||112 hp (84 kW)||130 lb·ft (180 N·m)|
|1982–1985||3.0 L (181 in³) LK9 V6|
|1982–1985||4.3 L (262 in³) Oldsmobile diesel V6||85 hp (63 kW)||165 lb·ft (224 N·m)|
|1984–1985||3.8 L (231 in³) Buick V6||125 hp (93 kW)||195 lb·ft (264 N·m)|
|1986–1988||3.8 L (231 in³) Buick V6||150 hp (112 kW)||200 lb·ft (270 N·m)|
- base: 1982–1988
- Brougham: 1982–1988
- Holiday Coupe: 1984–1985
- ES: 1984–1986
- LS: 1984–1986
- GT: 1986–1987
- S: 1987
- SL: 1987–1988
- International Series: 1988
The Cutlass Ciera was updated for 1989, with the sedan receiving a modern roofline (similar to the coupe), and revised bodyside moldings. Hood ornaments were gone, as the new model featured less chrome trim than before in an effort to appear more up-to-date as a competitor to Ford's successful Taurus. Rear seat shoulder belts were added. Both coupe and sedan models wore updated rear-end treatments (the 1989/1990 taillights were Oldsmobile-themed — squared with a center emblem, and 1991 to 1996 models held a three horizontal-sectioned taillight lens). For 1990, the front seat belts were moved from the B-pillars to the doors. This would also be the last year for the 'International Series'. The changes for 1991 included a new instrument cluster with a trip odometer and an engine temperature gauge. For 1992, the coupe was dropped, and the line-up included only sedans and wagons in 'S' or 'SL' designations. The wagon now had some internal competition in the form of the new Oldsmobile Silhouette minivan (itself based on the Cutlass Ciera's A-platform), offering buyers a choice of traditional station wagon or a multi-configurable minivan. Despite the all-new Olds Achieva and Delta 88 models for 1992, Cutlass Ciera (now a decade old) was still Oldsmobile's best-selling model line, with over 132,000 sedans and an additional 7,793 wagons produced this year. For 1993, the 2.5 L Tech IV engine was replaced by the 2.2 L OHV engine with a 3-speed automatic transmission.
In 1994, the 'SL' designation was dropped. The 'Cutlass Ciera S', available in sedan or wagon form, featured a driver airbag as standard equipment, along with anti-lock brakes, adjustable steering column, electric rear-window defogger, automatic door locks, and delay wipers. The 3.1 litre engine with a 4-speed automatic transmission came standard on the wagon, optional on the sedan. For 1995, the 'SL' designation returned in place of the 'S'. The 1995 Cutlass Ciera SL featured a new shift interlock system that required stepping on the brake pedal before moving the gear shift out of park. 1996, the final model year, the 'Cutlass' nomenclature was dropped and the car was now known simply as the 'Ciera SL', which continued to be available in 'Series I' or 'Series II' equipment levels. The chrome "Oldsmobile" badge above the driver's headlight was deleted. During this time, Oldsmobile attempted to revamp itself as a European-styled upscale make with new products such as the Aurora, but the Cutlass Ciera's continued strong sales proved almost an embarrassment due to its dated design and perceived image as an "old man's car". On the other hand, because the tooling for the A-body platform had long since been monetized, GM was guaranteed a profit off each Cutlass Ciera and Buick Century sold. In addition, build quality and reliability of the cars was extremely good by this point. In the Persian Gulf, these were popular cars and are still to be seen in traffic.
Production of the Ciera ended on August 30, 1996. It was replaced in the U.S. by the N-body 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass, also built at the Oklahoma plant. Sales of this Ciera replacement peaked at 53,438 in 1998 and it was discontinued in 1999.
|1989–1992||2.5 L (151 in³) Tech IV I4||110 hp (82 kW)||135 lb·ft (183 N·m)|
|1989||2.8 L (173 in³) LB6 V6||150 hp (112 kW)||172 lb·ft (233 N·m)|
|1989–1993||3.3 L (204 in³) Buick V6||160 hp (119 kW)||185 lb·ft (251 N·m)|
|1994–1996||3.1 L (191 in³) L82 V6||160 hp (119 kW)||185 lb·ft (251 N·m)|
|1993||2.2 L (134 in³) 2200 I4||110 hp (82 kW)||130 lb·ft (176 N·m)|
|1994–1996||2.2 L (134 in³) 2200 I4||120 hp (89 kW)||140 lb·ft (190 N·m)|
The trim levels for the 1989-1995 Cutlass Ciera and 1996 Ciera are in order of price position.
- Sedan (1989–1996)
- base: 1989–1991
- Special Edition: 1994
- S: 1990–1994
- SL: 1989–1994
- SL Series I: 1995–1996
- SL Series II: 1995–1996
- International Series: 1989–1990
- Coupe (1989–1991)
- base: 1989
- S: 1990–1991
- SL: 1989
- International Series: 1989–1990
- Cruiser Wagon (1989–1996)
- base: 1989
- Special Edition: 1994
- S: 1990–1994
- SL: 1989–1996
Awards and Accolades
The Cutlass Ciera consistently ranked among the highest rated vehicles by J.D. Power and Associates; it was ranked the "Best in Price Class" on July 30, 1992 and the "Top-Ranked American-Made Car" on May 28, 1992. It was also named "Safe Car of the Year" by Prevention Magazine on March 6, 1992.
A 1987 model appears as the major vehicle used by the main antagonists in the film Fargo, although interiors of older models prior to the mandate of a driver side airbag were used to fit in with the theme of the movie.
- Witzenburg, Gary. (April 1984). "The Name Game". Motor Trend: 82.
- Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1982. Ward's Communications, Inc. 1982.
- Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1997. Ward's Communications, Inc. 1997. p. 105.
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