Bravada is back after taking off the 1995 model year. Olds, you may recall,was going to team up with Isuzu to offer an all-new sport ute for 1995 to replace the Olds-badged version of the Chevrolet Blazer it had been offering. When the value of the yen swelled against the dollar, Olds called the deal offand was stuck without an Olds-badged Isuzu or Blazer.Now, for 1996, Olds again has a version of the Blazer to call its own with grille, taillamp and plastic body cladding to set it apart. To further differentiate Bravada from Blazer, the Bravada comes only one way--fully equipped. It offers as standard four doors; full-time all-wheel-drive (all four wheels engage when the system detects slippage at one wheel) without any buttons to push or levers to pull; four-wheel ABS; driver-side air bag; 4.3-liter, V-6 with 4-speed automatic; variable-ratio power steering; 15-inch aluminum wheels; full-size spare (underneath); leathertrim; reclining buckets; power driver's seat; and center console storage with dual cupholders upfront and cupholders with slots for handles in each door in the rear. Also, luggage rack, AM/FM stereo with cassette, air conditioning, cruise control, power door locks, power mirrors, fog lamps, tilt wheel, tinted glass,daytime running lamps, floor mats, side-window defoggers, rear-window defogger, power windows, retractable cargo cover, dual power outlets in the dash and towing hooks. One clever item you won't find in other sport-utes is the "Rock Box" named for Olds general manager John Rock. This is a large, lightweight plastic tray similar to the bed liner you see on pickup trucks that fills the floor of the cargo hold. This tray keeps items from being tossed about or spilled on the carpet. As clever as the Rock Box is, Bravada has some faults, one being the absence of a passenger-side air bag until 1998, another being that the 4.3-liter V-6 can pass anything but a gas station. The 16-m.p.g. city/21-m.p.g. highway rating won't take you far from a fuel pump. On the plus side, add only $490 for freight to the $29,505 base price and you're $5 on this side of $30,000 with no need for options.
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