The Oldsmobile Silhouette is a minivan that was produced by Oldsmobile from 1990 to 2004. It was the successor to the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser and was based on the General Motors U platform. The Oldsmobile Silhouette was discontinued in 2004. It was replaced by the Buick Terraza.
Oldsmobile Silhouette Overview
The Oldsmobile Silhouette was a minivan produced under the Oldsmobile division of General Motors. Introduced in 1990 and produced until 2004, the Silhouette was part of GM’s lineup of minivans alongside its corporate siblings, the Chevrolet Lumina APV (later replaced by the Venture) and the Pontiac Trans Sport (later called the Montana).
The first generation of the Silhouette (and its siblings) was characterized by its futuristic and distinctive “dustbuster” design, named so due to its resemblance to the handheld vacuum cleaner. The steeply raked windshield and long nose made it stand out from other minivans of the era. One of the selling points was its luxury-oriented interior, distinguishing the Silhouette from its Chevrolet and Pontiac counterparts. The Silhouette was often marketed as the “Cadillac of minivans,” boasting features like leather seating and air suspension in some models.
Over its lifespan, the Silhouette had various engine options, most commonly V6 configurations. The transmissions were typically automatic, suited for family-oriented driving. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Silhouette and its siblings faced scrutiny over safety concerns, particularly in offset crash tests. However, the models did see improvements in safety equipment and ratings over the years.
The Silhouette underwent a redesign for its second generation, starting in 1997. The radical “dustbuster” design was toned down for a more conventional minivan appearance, and there was an overall improvement in build quality and features. General Motors decided to phase out the Oldsmobile brand in the early 2000s, with the brand ceasing production in 2004. The Silhouette also ended its run that year. Its cousins, the Chevrolet Venture and Pontiac Montana, continued for a bit longer.