2001 Aurora New Car Test Drive
Oldsmobile has successfully shed its early '90's image of stodginess with its recent Intrigue and Alero sedans, which are capable and handsome. Now the company aims to do the same with its luxury car flagship, the Aurora. Since its introduction in 1994, Aurora has not kept up with the profit trend set by hot-selling luxury sedans from Lincoln, BMW and Audi. So Oldsmobile skipped the 2000 model year for the Aurora, and introduced a newer, smaller model as a 2001. It went on sale February 2000.
Lately, each time General Motors has redesigned one of its half-dozen big luxury sedans, the cars have made leaps in the quality of their driveability. The new monster Cadillac DeVille, the flaunty Pontiac Bonneville, and the demure Buick LeSabre all run swiftly and competently. We mention all of these GM cars because they share the fourth-generation G-body platform with this new Aurora. Yet none of these cars looks the same, and none drives the same. Aurora boasts its own smooth, high revving V8 and V6 engines.
The new Aurora is notably more nimble than Buick's LeSabre and Cadillac's DeVille, and it feels smaller and lighter on its feet than the Pontiac Bonneville.
Two models are available: 3.5L ($30,130), 4.0L ($34,305).
Offering two models is a departure from the original Aurora, which was conceived as a fully equipped showcase of high-tech gadgets to go along with its complex and standard-setting rigid body construction. This time around, Aurora is available as a lower-priced 3.5L, which comes with a smaller engine and smaller tires. The V6-powered 3.5L gives buyers the choice of whether they want traction control, automatic air conditioning, passenger-side power seat, and a few other electro-goodies that come standard on the more expensive 4.0L.
Both models offer more options, such as the chrome wheels, Diamond White metallic paint, a premium stereo system, and the power moonroof that came on our test car. All of this can shoot the price of an Aurora up to nearly $38,000.