1987 Cutlass Ciera Cruiser


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Aug 4, 2006
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Waukesha, WI
The Cutlass Cruiser wagon is the ideal choice for families who are looking for space and fuel economy. Even with the larger 3.8L V6, the Cutlass Cruiser is rated at 18mpg city/ 27 highway. The ride is comfortable, and in city driving the suspension is tight and bumps are well absorbed, without the ride being harsh. On the highway, the ride is smooth, although there is a tendancy for the front and rear of the vehicle to bob, also known as "Eldorado Syndrome". While not annoying or nauseating, it is interesting to expierence. The seats are soft and accomodating, with good leg support, although taller drivers may not have ample protection from the head restraint, even when it is fully extended. The cruise control is simple to use, and the speed can be changed in 1mph incriments. The HVAC system works well, even in high heat and humidity, and the blower is stong at higher speeds and nearly silent at its lowest setting. The gauge cluser is easy to read, although the oil pressure needle has a tendacy to "bounce", and the tachometer will not stay at 0 when the vehicle is shut off. It is nothing to be concerned about, the interesting quirks of the gauges are expained in the owners manual. Rear seat occupants are treated with adaquate legroom, although the center position can become tiring during long drives. Both front seats are equipped with ashtrays in the seatbacks for the rear seat occupants. The only real drawback to the rear seating area is that the windows only go down halfway, to protect children from falling out. With the rear seats folded, there is ample cargo room, and there is a sizable hidden storage compartment under a flip-up panel in the rearmost floor. The spare tire storage area does not intrude too much into the cargo area, and there is pleanty of room to gain access to the rear through the lift glass even more when the gate is opened. Power is smooth and abundant, with first gear pulling to 45 mph under WOT. There is some shudder from the torque converter when speeding up from a steady cruising speed, although this may be due to the relatively low miles on the drivetrain. The steering is accurate and there is very little play, and the brakes work well, although they are quite firm. The big draw is the ELC system for the rear suspension. Normally, as weight is added to the back of a wagon, the rear will sag, and this will also happen with age. The ELC system elimiates this problem, via an air compressor and air-charged shocks. When weight is added to the vehicle, a pivot arm activates the compressor to turn on, filling the shocks and leveling the vehicle. The system will only operate within its limits, so some sag is to be expected with excessively heavy loads. The ELC compressor is quiet, although it can be heard with the radio off, and it will automatically turn on 3-5 minutes after the vehicle is shut off to keep the shocks filled. Overall, the Cutlass Cruiser is a great vehicle for long-distance drives or for families, and parking is manageable, along with the fuel bill.

Vehicle: 1987 Cutlass Cruiser Brghm.
Drivetrain: 2.5L I-4 (Tech IV) EFI, (optional) 2.8L V6 EFI, (optional) 3.8L SFI V6. FWD 4-speed automatic w/ lockup torque converter. 2.84 final ratio.
Base MSRP: (1987) $12,095
As-tested MSRP: (1987) $17,411
EPA Est. Fuel economy: 18 City / 27 Highway
Final assembly location: Framingham, MA, USA.

Standard Equipment:

2.5L I-4 EFI eng.
Pwr steering & brakes
Front wheel drive
Side window defogger
Convenience group
Deluxe steering wheel
Delco-GM AM radio
Headlamp-on warning
Color-keyed seatbelts
Lamp-stop-high center mounted
Mldings- roof drip, belt reveal, rocker pnl, whl openings, hood center with stand-up ornament
Seat, divided bench with dual controls
Split folding rear seatbacks
Deluxe wheel discs
Tires-P185/75R14 BW ST-BLT Rad, all season.

As-tested options:

Seats, 45/45 split front bench
Door locks, power
Tailgate lock release-power
Windows, soft-ray tinted
Windows, power side
Paneling, wood grain vinyl
Wiper system, pulse
Window defogger, electric rear
Window air deflector, rear
Air conditioner, 4-season
Mirrors, color-coordnated drivers side, remote control
Console w/ floor shift
Leveling system, automatic electric
Cruise control, electric
Transmission, auto/overdrive
Steering wheel- leather wrapped
Steering wheel, tilt-away
Wheel discs, simulated wire/lock
Tires-P195/75R14 SBR WW
Radio Delco-GM, ETR AM/FM stereo with seek& scan, auto reverse cassette & dig. display clock- dual RR speakers w/ ext range.
Insturment panel cluster Rallye, incl. tachometer, trip odometer, voltmeter, temperature & oil pressure gauges.
Antenna, power front fdr.
Luggage carrier, roof (chrome)
Popular option package
Comfort group option, incl seat adj 6-way power div seat or 6-way power bucket seat, driver side. Frt & rear floor mats and custom leather trim
Burgandy met. paint