2003 Bravada New Car Test Drive
The Oldsmobile Bravada is the most luxurious of three new midsize SUVs from General Motors. As the Oldsmobile marketers like to say, if there's an Aurora in your garage, a Bravada would make a perfect stablemate. Two dinosaurs. Each may be technically innovative, handsome, and a truly fine vehicle (the Bravada is more than that), but that doesn't guarantee survival. Two days after the press introduction of the Bravada, GM announced that it would be putting Oldsmobile down, after a 103-year run. To assuage any concerns about service, Oldsmobile is, for a limited time, offering a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty on its new vehicles.
Redesigned from the ground up, the Bravada is an engineering knockout. By its progressive design, this vehicle has already made GM history. Dinosaur indeed. The Bravada makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee look like the dinosaur.
Only one trim level of the Bravada is available, although it comes either with Oldsmobile's SmartTrak all-wheel-drive system or with (standard) two-wheel drive.
It's a four-door and seats five passengers. (A longer wheelbase version seating seven passengers will come later in the year.) It uses GM's powerful new Vortec 4200 inline six-cylinder engine with a tried-and-true four-speed electronic transmission, and comes standard with an air-bladder rear suspension system for a more luxurious ride and improved towing.
Standard equipment includes plush perforated leather seats, abundant interior wood with polished nickel trim, rear seat climate and audio controls (with wireless headphones), and the OnStar security and information system, which allows hands-free cellphone communication to advisors on a 24-hour basis.
Options include a six-disc in-dash CD changer or premium Bose sound system, heated memory seats, mirror-mounted turn signals, a cargo cover and net, rain-sensing wipers, sunroof, and a small tape recorder called Travel Note, which allows you to record phone numbers if you're taking them over your own cellphone. Also available is a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, with a seven-inch flip-down screen and wireless headphones.