1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette

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1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette Review

An eight-seater with all the right standard equipment.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette minivan provides a fresh, fun-to-drive, conservative vehicle with three different body styles and four trim packages available. Oldsmobile obviously put a lot of thought and consideration into the design of this vehicle, making sure to include every possible convenience available in different models and trim packages. Also, with a decent 18/25 mpg city/highway, the cost of driving this minivan does not break the bank.

The Range

Body Styles: minivan
Engines: 3.4-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Oldsmobile Silhouette GL, Oldsmobile Silhouette GS, Oldsmobile Silhouette GLS, Oldsmobile Silhouette Premiere Edition

What's New

Oldsmobile is updating its Premier Edition for 1999 with the addition of a rear entertainment center. However, drivers will appreciate increased horsepower and torque, along with a theft deterrent system and heated rearview outside mirrors. Four new colors are also available, as well as a gold package for those who want the stand out gold striping and emblems.


The Silhouette’s exterior varies slightly from model to model. All have standard monotone paint, window grid antennas, body-colored moldings and grill trim, and four doors. Foglights, dual power remote mirrors, a roof rack, and rear step bumper come standard on all models. The GL has a steel body, while the other three have fully galvanized steel bodies. The GL and GS have steel wheels, while the GLS and the Premier Edition have silver alloy wheels. The Silhouette Premier Edition has touring suspension, while the other models have regular suspension tuning.


The Silhouette’s interior has many basics, such as power front and rear windows, analog instrumentation, front and rear map reading lights, cargo lights, day-night rearview mirrors, bucket seats, and tilt-wheel steering. Driver and passengers both have lumbar support and armrests in all models, with 50-50 split bench seats in the third row. All sub-models have an AM/FM stereo with standard cassette player with a CD player with four speakers available as an option. Rear audio seat controls are optional. Interior differences vary by model and include such features as steering wheel and rear seat controls for the radio on the GLS and Premiere Edition. Rear air-conditioning with separate controls is standard on the GLS and Premier edition, as are under seat ducts. A key fob remote trunk release is standard on the GS, GLS, and Premier Edition. The GL and GS have plastic/vinyl steering wheel materials, while the GLS and Premier Edition models have leather. Seating varies as well. The Silhouette GL and GS both seat seven passengers, while the GLS and Premier Edition only seat six. The GL has a six-way front driver direction seat control while the other three models have four-way power controls. The same goes for the front passenger controls. Rear passengers have 60/40-split benches in the GL and GS, while the GLS and Premier Edition have captain seats. Leather is available on the GLs and Premier edition, while the seats in the GL and GS are cloth.

Performance & Handling

Amazingly, the Silhouette is a powerful and smooth driving van. The road feel is comfortable, thanks to the precise steering and modulated brakes. This is one passenger van that is fun to drive. The Premier Edition has a touring suspension, which adds to the drivability factor while the other sub-models have a regular tuned suspension.


All Silhouette models have driver and passenger front-impact air bags, anti-lock brakes, and an ignition disabling ability. Height adjustable safety belts are common, as are daytime running lights and halogen headlights. A key fob entry is standard on all models except the GL, but it is available on the GL as an option. Rear child safety locks are standard on all models. The GL has an illuminated entry, panic alarm, power door locks, and content-theft deterrent alarm system available; however, these are standard with the power doors locks being two-stage on the GS, the GLS, and the Premier Edition. All models received the same ratings in the NSTSA crash tests: three stars in the front passenger crash test, four stars in the front drivers test, five in the rear side seat, and five in the front side seat. IIHS crash test data ranged from ?poor? to ?marginal,? with only the head restraints being ?acceptable.?

EPA Fuel Economy

Oldsmobile Silhouette: 18/25 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Room for up to eight passengers
  • Quality standard equipment

You Won't Like

  • Not enough room in the rear seats for adults
  • Poor finish detail on the interior
  • Bad history in crash tests

Sum Up

An eight-seater with all the right standard equipment.

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