- The Washington Times - Friday, December 14, 2001

Two standout things can be said about the 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada:

It's superior to every other sport utility vehicle built by General Motors. It's rolling down the road to extinction because of GM's plan to eliminate the Oldsmobile division.

But, for now, the Bravada is another one of those vehicles that causes people to realize that, yes, Detroit can turn out some really good machines.

The Bravada, available in two- and all-wheel-drive versions, drives very easily and rides very comfortably with the extra touches expected of an upscale vehicle.

The test vehicle, with a $35,377 price tag that put it at the upper end of the Bravada's scale, lacked little in the way of performance, thanks to GM's 4.2-liter, six-cylinder engine's 270-horsepower rating. It gave no reason to question GM's claim of 275 foot-pounds of torque, being one of those vehicles that just feels like it's going to surmount off-road obstacles, assuming some intrepid buyer actually takes one beyond where the pavement ends.

For 2002, the Bravada grows about 6 inches in wheelbase, with its overall length going to 191.6 inches. It is classified as a midsize "special purpose" vehicle, but there's plenty of room for five adults and up to 80 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat folded.

At no time did the Bravada feel particularly susceptible to external forces, maintaining its composure over small potholes.

As for the comfort level, simply look at the list of standard amenities, which includes wood-and-leather trim, dual-zone climate control and CD/cassette players with rear-seat controls.

Nice? Absolutely, and GM, it should be noted, has moved to enhance the Bravada's appeal by giving it and all other Olds vehicles five-year, 60,000-mile warranties. But whether that will offset the division's planned demise is questionable. But if you like lame ducks, you could easily love this one.

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