Posts Tagged ‘Smart’

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Test Drive: 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada (GMT330)

On December 7, 2011, I test drove a 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada at Esquivel Auto depot in San Bernardino, California. This Bravada has a white exterior with a black leather interior. It has 104,000 miles and the asking price is $4,500. The engine under the hood is the L35 Vortec 4300, a 4.3 liter V6 that produces 190 horsepower @ 4,400 rpm, and 250 lb-ft of torque @ 2,800 rpm. The transmission is a four speed automatic. The Bravada has a standard all wheel drive system, and includes a Smart Trak system that goes from rear wheel drive to all wheel drive when the rear wheels detect slipping in wet or icy conditions. It was one of the most popular features of the Oldsmobile Bravada. As you can see, it is exactly identical to the Chevrolet Blazer and the GMC Jimmy. The Bravada is not as common, but it came with more standard features than the other two. There were also upscale models of the Blazer and the Jimmy on the GMT330 platform. They were called the Chevrolet Trailblazer, and the GMC Envoy. There were such SUVs before the GMT360 platform Trailblazer and Envoy that you know of (2002-2008). The GMT330 Bravada is pretty much the same as the GMT330 Trailblazer and Envoy. The GMT360 Oldsmobile Bravada was in production from 2002-2004. It came to an end when the Oldsmobile brand was abolished in 2004. That same year, there was also a last 500 edition of the Bravada, which is in reference to being one of the last 500 Oldsmobiles produced. Now, let’s continue on with the test drive. I came to the dealer to look at the Bravada, and a 2000 Cadillac Escalade. The salesman let me drive both cars without going along. It’s always a plus for any test drive. I drove the Bravada first, and then the Escalade. The exterior was in fair condition with some scratches and dents around the body. The interior was somewhat dusty, but the leather seats were in good shape. When I go into the Bravada, I noticed a few things that were wrong. The passenger side mirror lense was broken, and the rearview mirror on the windshield was missing. It’s a huge inconvenience when looking to change lanes or backing up. The windshield also has a vertical crack closer to the driver’s side. I started the car and then turned on the air conditioning. When I did, tons of dirt just blew in my face, getting into my eyes. It wasn’t too bad, but just unexpected. The radio and speakers were fine, and I was able to adjust the driver’s seat with no problem. When I was driving it, it felt smaller than a full size pickup, but bigger than a midsize car. The visibility was not bad either. When changing lanes to the right, I had no choice but to look over my shoulder because of the broken passenger mirror. I compared the Bravada to the Escalade that I drove in regards to power and acceleration. The Bravada is quicker than the Escalade. The Bravada was not fast, but the acceleration was fair. The handling was about average for a vehicle its size, and is better than that of the Escalade’s. This Oldsmobile Bravada was a good vehicle to drive; however, I wouldn’t buy this particular Bravada. The main reason why I wouldn’t is because of the two mirrors. The passenger side mirror needs to be fixed prior to putting the car up for sale. The same goes for the rear view mirror on the windshield. This car is not in the poorest condition that I have seen from a car at a dealer, but anything that is broken or missing needs to be replaced. I checked on Kelley Blue Book to see if the asking price is right. The suggested retail was $7,274 in excellent condition. I then looked at fair condition from private party value and it was $4,624. The $4,500 asking price was for one of its craigslist ads. On the dealer’s website however, they are asking $4,999. In that case, with the mirrors fixed, $4500 is a good price for this vehicle. Overall, the Oldsmobile Bravada is a nice suv, but not the best one. Some could consider it kind of pointless since you can get a Blazer or Jimmy with the same features for less. Bravadas are indeed rare finds.Basically, if you want a small SUV with an Oldsmobile badge, this vehicle would be perfect for you.

Pictures taken by Esquivel Auto Depot