2001 Silhouette New Car Test Drive
Silhouette prices look steep compared to those of other minivans, but please note that the Silhouette lineup does not include any four-cylinder or short-wheelbase models to keep the price of admission low. Every Silhouette is V6-powered. Every one, by accepted minivan standards, is an extended-wheelbase model. And even the most basic GL packs a long list of luxury equipment that most other minivans offer only as options, or not at all. If you're shopping for the absolute lowest-priced transport for the soccer team, you should probably look elsewhere. Silhouette is designed for a different kind of buyer, one who understands that interior space, efficiency, and versatility are desirable traits in a luxury vehicle.
The highly refined Silhouette handles so well, it is actually fun to hustle one down a challenging road. Yet with its long wheelbase, Silhouette seats seven comfortably and comes with thoughtful interior touches that make trips with kids go easier. The Premiere Edition even features a state-of-the-art video entertainment system.
Oldsmobile Silhouette is available in three models: GL, GLS and Premiere. The GL retails for $26,290, while the loaded GLS goes for $30,425. In fact, the GLS is so well-equipped that there isn't much more for the flagship Premiere ($33,225) to add, beyond a well-integrated video entertainment system for rear-seat passengers that is not available on the other models. Premiere also adds heated front seats (a boon for chilly mornings or lower back pain; they are optional on GLS), GM's new ultrasonic Parking Aid (optional on GL and GLS), and dedicated mid-row stereo speakers with their own separate controls. The only remaining options for the Premiere buyer to consider are third-row captain's chairs for $60, a gold trim package for $150, and a $100 towing package that increases pulling capability from 2000 to 3500 pounds. Northerners will appreciate an engine heater that adds a mere $35.
The firmer-riding Touring suspension with automatic load-leveling, once exclusive to the Premiere, is now standard on all Silhouettes, as is GM's OnStar communications system. In fact, nearly two dozen items have been added to the standard-equipment list for 2001.