Oldsmobile takes a four-door Chevrolet Blazer/GMC Jimmy, loads it with comfort and convenience features, makes 4WD standard and calls it Bravada. Similar in concept to GMC's luxury-oriented Envoy model, Bravada's key difference is in its 4WD system. Called SmartTrack, it automatically switches between 2WD and 4WD as needed. On the Envoy, the Autotrac 4WD does the same but can be locked out or locked into a low setting for off-roading.
Like its GMC twin, the Bravada is only available with four doors. It comes with front leather bucket seats. The rear bench seat splits 60/40 to provide flexible cargo space; with the rear seat up, the Bravada seats five. As one might expect from a high-end SUV, this model comes complete with all the convenience bells and whistles standard, including a HomeLink overhead transmitter. This can be programmed on up to three frequencies for use as a garage-door opener, entry door locks and so on.
Consumers have a choice on both two- and four-door models of either a liftgate that swings up or a tailgate that drops down. With either, the rear window opens separately and flips up. The spare tire is stored beneath the rear of the vehicle, which has advantages over other options but makes tire changes more awkward.
Under the Hood
The Bravada is available with only one choice of engine: a 190-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6. This 12-valve engine is the same offered standard on many GM SUVs, including the GMC Envoy and the Chevrolet Blazer.
An automatic transmission is standard. The SmartTrack system senses the need for 2WD or 4WD and automatically switches between the two.