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2002 Oldsmobile Bravada

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$1,612 — $6,364 USED
3
Photos
Sport Utility
5 Seats
18-19 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
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2002 Oldsmobile Bravada Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
As expected, Oldsmobile occupies the luxury end of GM’s trio of new midsize sport utility vehicles, each of which debuted in spring 2001 as early 2002 models. The Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy are the other two family members. Although the Oldsmobile brand is leaving the GM fold, corporate executives insist that the new Bravada will run the usual production cycle, marketed for the next few years. Still, it will be the last new Oldsmobile model before the oldest name in the American auto industry bites the dust.

Rivals include the Mercury Mountaineer, Infiniti QX4 and Nissan Pathfinder. All three new GM midsize SUVs result from a “ground-up build” rather than a mere restyling, according to Tom Wallace, GM’s vehicle line executive for its Midsize Truck Group. Among the highlights is a surprisingly different engine — not a V-6 or V-8 as in competitive SUVs, but rather a 4.2-liter, all-aluminum inline-six-cylinder that cranks out 270 horsepower. GM claims it is the strongest engine in its class, developed because an “inline-six is inherently balanced,” said Ron Koctoa, chief engineer for GM’s Inline Engines group.

GM claims a 260 percent increase in the engine’s torsional rigidity. Unlike Chevrolet’s TrailBlazer, which has conventional coil springs, the Bravada has an electronically controlled air suspension that aims toward a cushier ride. New rack-and-pinion steering yields a 36.4-foot turning circle, claimed to be the tightest in the midsize SUV league.

E...

Vehicle Overview
As expected, Oldsmobile occupies the luxury end of GM’s trio of new midsize sport utility vehicles, each of which debuted in spring 2001 as early 2002 models. The Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy are the other two family members. Although the Oldsmobile brand is leaving the GM fold, corporate executives insist that the new Bravada will run the usual production cycle, marketed for the next few years. Still, it will be the last new Oldsmobile model before the oldest name in the American auto industry bites the dust.

Rivals include the Mercury Mountaineer, Infiniti QX4 and Nissan Pathfinder. All three new GM midsize SUVs result from a “ground-up build” rather than a mere restyling, according to Tom Wallace, GM’s vehicle line executive for its Midsize Truck Group. Among the highlights is a surprisingly different engine — not a V-6 or V-8 as in competitive SUVs, but rather a 4.2-liter, all-aluminum inline-six-cylinder that cranks out 270 horsepower. GM claims it is the strongest engine in its class, developed because an “inline-six is inherently balanced,” said Ron Koctoa, chief engineer for GM’s Inline Engines group.

GM claims a 260 percent increase in the engine’s torsional rigidity. Unlike Chevrolet’s TrailBlazer, which has conventional coil springs, the Bravada has an electronically controlled air suspension that aims toward a cushier ride. New rack-and-pinion steering yields a 36.4-foot turning circle, claimed to be the tightest in the midsize SUV league.

Exterior
Borrowing its basic styling theme from the Aurora sedan, the Bravada has a characteristic flute shape that spans the SUV’s bodyside. At 113 inches, the wheelbase is 6 inches longer than that of the prior Bravada. Its track width (the distance between wheels) also has grown. All three GM models share roofs, tailgates and front doors, but most body components are unique to the Bravada. Both 16- and 17-inch tires are available.

Interior
Seating for five occupants is standard. Luxury appointments include leather upholstery and GM’s OnStar communication system. Standard equipment includes a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel, automatic programmable power locks, pulse-type wipers, CD and cassette players, remote keyless entry and a theft-deterrent system. A backseat entertainment system with a DVD player is available, and a TravelNote recorder and rain-sensing wipers are among the few other available options.

Under the Hood
A four-speed automatic is the sole transmission, which teams with the new 270-hp, 4.2-liter inline-six-cylinder engine. This is the first Bravada to be offered with two-wheel drive, but SmartTrak automatic all-wheel drive also is available. A new IntelliStart feature prevents the starter from engaging unless the engine is stopped.

Safety
All-disc antilock brakes, seat-mounted side-impact airbags and dual-stage front airbags are standard. Bumpers sit 2 inches lower than usual, which makes the Bravada more equally level with passenger cars in a collision. Each bumper can withstand a 5-mph collision, whereas many light trucks are rated for only 2.5-mph impacts.

Driving Impressions
Whether you’re looking at passing power, cushioned ride comfort or competent handling prowess, the Bravada looks like a strong challenger for the Mountaineer and other upscale midsize SUVs. Thanks to its air suspension, the ride is noticeably softer in the Bravada than in the coil-sprung TrailBlazer, without a significant sacrifice in handling quality. Seats are less firm than those in the TrailBlazer, which contributes to a more luxurious ride experience. Despite short bottoms, the seats are quite comfortable, with ample legroom for all occupants. The driver information center makes it easy to change preferences for automatic door locking and other conveniences.

Performance also is a serious strong point. When tromping on the gas, few drivers are likely to realize that the source of power is an inline-six rather than a V-8. Even when motoring up mountain grades, little strain is evident as the 270-hp engine takes its task in stride. Engine sounds are barely discernible, except when pushed really hard, and road noise also is minimal.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.1
15 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.3)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.1)
Value For The Money
(4.3)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Best vehicle I've owned.

by Ekforme from La Crete, AB on July 15, 2019

Loved the way it carried - good weight. Does not sway easily. Comfortable for long distances. Liked the air suspension, interior air. Featured enough room. Changed the computer after about 7ish years,... Read full review

(3.0)

Great vehicle, untill it rusted through,stranded m

by J. A. DeWitt. Homeless now Colorado Springs from Colorado Springs , Co on May 25, 2019

I love it. . I now live in it. I can't afford to have the frame welded. Lost job. Is this a factory reject ? Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada has not been tested.

Latest 2002 Bravada Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Bravada received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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