Oldsmobile Bravada

Essentially a Chevrolet S10-Blazer wearing a tuxedo, Bravada came equipped with GM's full-time 4WD system, known as "Smart Trak." However, the Bravada was not being touted as an off-road vehicle, so no off-road suspension package was offered. Under the hood sat a 160-horsepower 4.3-liter V6, paired with a 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission. Four-wheel antilock brakes were standard, as were leather upholstery and a host of power accessories.

1995 model year hiatus

In 1996, after a year off, Olds rejoined the sport-utility race with an updated Bravada. The 1996 Bravada shared its basic design and 190-horsepower, 4.3-liter V6 engine with Chevrolet and GMC.

The hiatus was caused by softer-than-expected sales, coupled with the fact that the division's top brass were working on a deal that would've seen a revised/rebadged Isuzu Trooper serve as donor platform for a successor vehicle. When that program fell through, Olds opted to base its Gen II Bravada on the new and vastly improved Blazer/Jimmy platform introduced for '95.

At the time, an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic was the only transmission offered, with a console-mounted gearshift lever. Exterior trim was unique to Oldsmobile, and Bravadas came with standard leather upholstery and wood interior accents. Oldsmobile offered only a 4-door 4x4 model. Bravadas also featured a standard permanently engaged 4-wheel-drive system, called SmartTrak. Standard equipment included a driver-side airbag, antilock brakes, and air conditioning.

2002 Redesign

In 2002, Oldsmobile's version of the redesigned General Motors midsize SUVs shared a new body-on-frame platform with the 2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy.

Only the windshield, front doors, roof, rear liftgate, headliner, close out panels, rear panel trim and carpet crossed vehicle lines. The 2002 Bravada had its own styling inside and out and rode on a 6-inch longer wheelbase than before, with a body longer, wider, and taller by five inches.

GM's other new SUVs did not have independent rear suspension, though Bravada used rear air suspension in place of coil springs.

For the first time, Oldsmobile became the lead dog with a new GM platform, instead of taking the leftovers and rebadging them.

With an inherently smooth inline six-cylinder developing comparable horsepower and torque of a V8, Bravada owners were able to pull the family travel trailer while getting decent fuel economy.

Final 500 Bravadas

The last 500 Bravadas were produced as "Final 500" special editions, each featuring custom seat embroidering and exterior badging inspired by vintage Oldsmobile logos, dark cherry metallic paint, unique chrome alloy wheels, and a medallion featuring that particular Bravada's production number, ranging from 1 to 500.

The last Bravada, the number 500, rolled off the assembly line in January 2004. The closing of the last factory that manufactured the trucks was the subject of a 2009 HBO documentary - “The Last Truck: Closing of a G.M. Plant”.

Bravada Gallery

  • 1994 Bravada at Autoshow
  • 1992 Bravada
  • First Gen Bravada
  • First Gen Bravada
  • 1993-1994 Bravada Gold Package Wheels
  • 1996 Bravada
  • 1996 Bravada
  • 2nd Gen Bravada Drawing
  • 1998 Bravada X-Scape Concept
  • 1996-97 Bravada Interior
  • 1999-2001 Bravada Interior
  • 2002 Bravada Interior
  • Bravada Smarttrak Ad
  • 1998 Bravada
  • Custom made Bravada
  • GM Family
  • Third Gen Bravada
  • Third Gen Bravada
  • Bravada Cutaway
  • 2004 Bravada Info Card
  • Bravada Pace Car
  • Bravada Pace Car
  • Bravada Pace Car
  • Final 500 Bravada

Production: 1991-2004
Generations: 3

Platform: GMT330 / GMT360
Related Cars: Chevrolet Blazer, GMC Jimmy, Chevrolet S-10, GMC Sonoma, Chevrolet SSR, Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Saab 9-7X

Predecessor: Chevrolet Blazer, GMC Jimmy
Successor: Buick Rainier, Saab 9-7X

Bravada Yearbook

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1996 Oldsmobile Bravada1996

1996 Oldsmobile Bravada Interior1996

1998 Oldsmobile Bravada1998

1998 Oldsmobile Bravada Interior1998

1999 Oldsmobile Bravada1999

2000 Oldsmobile Bravada2000

2001 Oldsmobile Bravada2001

2002 Oldsmobile Bravada2002

2002 Oldsmobile Bravada2002