2001 Oldsmobile Bravada

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2001 Oldsmobile Bravada Review

A full-size SUV that, despite some positives, feels like a holdover from a decade earlier.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada is part of a trio of General Motors SUVs that also includes the Chevrolet Blazer and the GMC Jimmy. The trio last received a major refresh in 1998. At that time, it was outfitted with its own distinct grille, headlights, and bumper trim. It is the most luxury-minded of the trio and comes with a wide array of standard and optional features. While it is indeed luxurious, it lacks the genuine off-road capability of many competing models. But Oldsmobile is entirely aware of this, so their marketing touts it as a big, luxurious SUV that was designed primarily for on-road use. While there is much to like, its price tag can be somewhat prohibitive. Many of the standard features can also be found on the more affordable GMC Jimmy and Chevy Blazer.

The Range

Body Styles: full-size SUV
Engines: 4.3-liter Vortec V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Oldsmobile Bravada

What's New

The 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada is in its final model year. Despite plans to discontinue the model, it introduces a few changes, including a new factory-installed OnStar system, an eight-way power passenger seat, and memory control for the driver seat. There is also a new option group available that includes a towing package, OnStar, and white-letter tires. The understated Sage Green has been offered as a new exterior color choice.

Exterior

The 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada features exterior styling that’s very much in line with its corporate cousins, the GMC Jimmy and the Chevy Blazer. However, unlike the Jimmy and the Blazer, it's available solely as a four-door model and features a rear liftgate with a rear window that can be opened independently.

Interior

The 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada is capable of seating up to five passengers. The two front seats are buckets while there is a three-place bench in the rear. The bench seating can be folded to expand cargo capacity to a maximum of 74 cubic feet. There is also a new optional rubberized cargo tray that can fit into the rear area. The tray contains a number of partitions that help prevent cargo shifting. It sports a stylish, leather-lined interior, and some of the most comfortable seats buyers will find in the SUV market segment. Available options include an OnStar communication system, a sound system by Bose, a six-CD changer, satellite radio, steering wheel mounted climate controls, heated seating, and a power sunroof. The interior also features leather-lined seats as well as controls and gauges that are well laid out and easy to use. There is also the option for a high-quality Bose sound system.

Performance & Handling

The 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada has a 4.3-liter, Vortec V-6 engine under the hood. It is rated at 190 horsepower and mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. It notably features SmartTrack, an all-wheel-drive system that engages as needed for traction and has a good four-wheel disc brake system that makes for excellent stopping ability. However, the brake pedal has something of a mushy feel. Unfortunately, like the Jimmy and the Blazer, it features slow, numb steering that diminishes its handling ability. The Bravada is outfitted with a new on-road vapor recovery system, which prevents vapors from escaping into the atmosphere while the engine is running. Unfortunately, there is no V-8 option available.

Safety

Standard safety features for the 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada include four-wheel ABS, child seat anchors, and an anti-theft alarm system. In passenger side impact tests conducted by the NHTSA, it receives four out of five stars, while in driver side impact it received three stars. In side impact front and rear tests, it receives perfect five-star ratings. However, it receives a lowest rating of ""poor"" in frontal offset impact tests conducted by the IIHS.

EPA Fuel Economy

Oldsmobile Bravada: 14/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Good AWD system
  • Well-mannered on-road performance
  • Transmission shifts crisply
  • Seats are comfortable
  • Nice array of standard and optional features

You Won't Like

  • More capable on-road than off
  • Very noisy when driven off-road
  • Interior utilizes low-grade materials
  • A bit pricey compared to other models
  • Platform seems dated

Sum Up

A full-size SUV that, despite some positives, feels like a holdover from a decade earlier.

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