First saw an 01-03 Aurora in my town and said, that's my next car. Never could've imagined the cult following it has, well build quality and competitive nature of the line, or that it was, ahem, an Ol...
First saw an 01-03 Aurora in my town and said, that's my next car. Never could've imagined the cult following it has, well build quality and competitive nature of the line, or that it was, ahem, an Oldsmobile - and a flagship of the line at that.
I have owned this car (4.0 version) for over 4 years and bought it with 40k miles. Made two 6-hour drives to buy it. It now has 60k. It has every option including the Bose sound system, high-end rims, and gold package. I've driven it heavily in suburban areas and on the highway. With regular maintenance and the exception of a split intake boot that was replaced, this car is the best automobile I've ever owned and perhaps the best car ever made. The Northstar 250-hp V8 was made exclusively for Oldsmobile by Cadillac and that paired with the 4-speed 4T80-E automatic transmission makes for an incredible ride. It's luxurious, remarkably spacious considering it's only a full-size sedan, and from my experience, makes those who like foreign high-end autos drool. The ride quality is unparalleled and could easily cause you to never want to stop driving. The transmission shifts are, as old marketing materials indicate, velvet smooth. The amenities - Bose sound system (optional), CD changer, heated seats, DIC, rain-sensing wipers with auto headlight on with wipers, front and rear fog lights, dual zone climate control, and more - are something reminiscent of a mid to late 2000s automobile and beyond. The ride quality with the auto leveling suspension is amazing. Passengers are ultra comfortable. Power is unparalleled. Driving in snow is so easy.
This car was so advanced for its time it's astounding GM didn't keep going with the line or at least absorb it fully into another GM line. I do see some of its styling cues and early technology advances in other successive GM cars but nothing to the magnitude of the Aurora.
Research indicates the Aurora 01-03 platform was originally designed as a four-door Eighty-Eight successor called the Antares but had to be fitted into an Aurora design quickly after Buick dropped its Riviera development plans and financial trouble found Oldsmobile. It's no wonder I saw this car as the perfect successor to my 87 Delta 88 Royale Brougham. And the nice thing is unlike today's high-end autos, the Aurora came standard with almost everything. Only certain wheels, Bose sound system, and gold package were optional.
Prior generation was notably similar if not better in some respects. Was shocked to learn the first generation Aurora's unibody construction broke GM's testing machine, that it had to be tested with a larger frame crusher used for truck frames, and that it exceeded federal standards for passenger cars by two times.
It makes me sad that Oldsmobile has ceased operations when they had such a remarkable flagship car for so many years. Audi, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes Benz, and others can only wish they had the quality of this American-made car.
I wish GM would wake up and start producing this line again. I would buy a new Aurora in a heartbeat.