2001 Intrigue New Car Test Drive
The 1995 Aurora seemed to herald a new direction at Oldsmobile, with more innovative style, more European driving dynamics, and very little of the tired old this is the way we've always done it attitude. When the mid-size Intrigue replaced the hoary old Cutlass a few years later, it was clear that the essence of Aurora was permeating the whole fleet. Intrigue even looked like a little Aurora.
Intrigue is not just smooth and comfortable, attractive and expressive; it is arguably the best of the General Motors sedans in this class. More importantly, it is an enjoyable car, and more than capable of holding its own against such mighty mid-size imports as the Toyota Camry V6.
Intrigue's own twin-cam V6 delivers lots of power for quick passes on two-lane roads. The Intrigue provides quick, accurate steering, agile handling, excellent high-speed stability and a nice ride quality on bumpy roads. A handsome interior, available in tasteful leather, features well-designed climate controls. The Intrigue seats four people comfortably, or its rear seats can be folded down to make room for a lot of luggage.
Three trim levels are available: GX, GL and GLS. All are four-door, five-passenger sedans. All Intrigues are equipped with a 3.5-liter double overhead-cam V6 (phased in during the 1999 model year), mated to a four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.
Intrigues come well equipped. The base GX includes air conditioning, AM/FM/cassette stereo and power windows, mirrors and door locks for $22,395. Tone-on-tone seat fabric has been added for 2001, providing an even more luxurious look; and the previously optional air filtration system is now included in the cost of admission. It features a replaceable air filter and should prove a boon to hay-fever sufferers.
Intrigue GL models, which will start at $24,150, include dual automatic climate controls and a premium AM/FM/cassette stereo with six speakers. GLS models, which start at $26,515, are equipped with leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a CD stereo and GM's OnStar communications system.
Our test GL came with optional leather seating ($995) and a premium Bose sound system ($500) with an amplifier, eight speakers, and a CD changer.