Until the Aurora came along, the Ninety Eight had been the top-line Oldsmobile sedan since 1941.
More traditional and conservative in image than the Eighty-Eight, the Ninety-Eight nonetheless shared virtually all of its mechanical components and exterior body panels. While the Ninety-Eight's position at the top of the Oldsmobile heap was confused by the midyear introduction of the Aurora sport-luxury sedan, there were still plenty of buyers for a more traditional-looking car than the futuristic Aurora.
A major interior redesign was given to the Ninety Eight this model year.
The Ninety-Eight remained largely unchanged for 1995. The standard 3.8-liter V6 was uprated to 205 hp and 230 ft.-lb. of torque, making the supercharged version of that engine (which used to make 50 extra horsepower and now only made 20) something of a hard sell.
One major change was the elimination of the base Regency model as part of Oldsmobile's simplified pricing strategy, leaving only the Regency Elite in dealer's showrooms. However, there were two trim levels available, Elite I and II, the main differences being an electronic instrument cluster, auto-dim mirrors and traction control on the Elite II. Interior appointments included a split-bench front seat, power of course, room for three more in back and electrochromic rearview mirror with compass.
Also new for this year was a "flash-to-pass" feature on the headlights, permitting the driver to flash the low beams by pulling back on the turn signal stalk. There was a storage console overhead, and the rear seatbelts had comfort guides to permit shorter adults and children to wear the belts in a safer, more comfortable manner.
The Ninety Eight continues as a high-content luxury sedan, occupying a niche somewhere between the Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car. Another competitor is its Buick cousin, the Park Avenue. If the model's full name—Ninety Eight Regency Elite—sounds like something out of the early 1950s, it's because Oldsmobile aims this car at older buyers with a taste for traditional full-size sedans. Acknowledging this group's penchant for plushness over performance, Oldsmobile has deleted the optional supercharged V6 engine from the line.
There aren't many changes from 1995, because, Oldsmobile says it's a "mature, fully developed model that consistently scores high levels of customer satisfaction." That doesn't mean the Ninety Eight is behind the times. Front-wheel drive, electronically controlled automatic transmission, antilock brakes and dual airbags bring this venerable nameplate up to par in technology and safety. Despite having a 4-word name, Ninety Eight also has two trim levels named Series I and Series II. Both feature standard dual-zone climate control, leather seating trim, 8-speaker cassette sound system with power antenna and power windows, mirrors and door locks.
Series II adds all-speed traction control, heated autodimming driver's-side mirror, power trunk pull-down, memory controls for the mirrors and driver's seat and cornering lamps. A power sunroof is available for Series II, but not Series I, models.
As of December 17, 1993:
- $26,170 (1994 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight)
- $24,670 (1994 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Special Edition)
As of mid-1994:
- $26,060 (1995 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Series I)
- $27,160 (1995 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Series II)
As of August 1, 1995:
- $26,565 (1995 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Series I)
- $27,665 (1995 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Series II)
- $28,160 (1996 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Series I)
- $29,260 (1996 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Series II)
- $625 (1994 models)
- $635 (1995 models)
- $640 (1996 models)