A fully loaded, ultra lush version of the 4 door Blazer/Jimmy was the Oldsmobile Bravada introduced in 1991. A mid-size luxury sport utility vehicle, the Bravada was bore the retired Oldsmobile marque of General Motors. The first generation was offered from 1991 until 1994 and the body style was a 4-door SUV built on the GMT330 platform. The engine was a 4.3 L Vortex 4300 V6, had a wheelbase of 107.0 inches, an overall length of 178.9 inches, had a width of 5.2 inches and had a height of 65.5 inches.
The Bravada was the first truck-based vehicle that was offered by Oldsmobile since the 1920s, and by the time of production, was a U.S. only vehicle. The Bravada was only available with 'Smart Trak' all-wheel drive, unlike its close relatives, as well as all-wheel drive, power equipment, leather upholstery, and the 4.3 L Z-code engine. At the center of the Smart Trak system was the Borg Warner automatic transmission 4472 transfer case which offered 65% rear and 35% front torque with more to the front when it slips. Also standard features were anti-lock brakes and remote keyless entry.
In 1992 a horsepower boost to 200 was added to the 4.3 L V6 engine. In this same year the Bravada's instrument panel was updated and it now differed greatly from its siblings. The following year an overhead console was added and featured a compass, reading lights and temperature. Also new for 1993, an optional Gold package was available with gold exterior badging and special gold aluminum wheels and this version continued to be produced through the 1994 model year.
The second generation of the Bravada was introduced in 1996 until 2001 and was also built on the GMT330 platform and had a wheelbase of 107.0 inches. The Bravada was updated later than other models, and no 1995 models were produced. Less box shaped than its predecessor, the 1996 and 1997 models had an all new shape. Standard features were daytime running lamps and a driver's airbag. The inside was styled much like the exterior with clean sharp shapes rather than ridges and squares.
Another update of the Bravada occurred from 1998 until 2001, the ‘Smart Trak' system now featured the computer controlled NP-136 transfer case which worked more like a traction control. Only when wheel slip is detected the ‘Smart Trak' kicks into AWD while the Bravada was now run RWD in normal operations.
Inside the Bravada the interior was updated and now included heated seats, dual airbags and an all new front fascia which included the new Aurora inspired Oldsmobile logo. In 1999, OnStar was available as a cell phone unit which later became integrated into the rearview mirror in 2001 with available features like virtual advisor and hands-free calling. Also for this year a Bose sound system was available and the engine was redesigned in 2000 though the output remained the same. Also available for 2000 was the Platinum Edition with a new two-tone exterior. In 2001 this second generation was phased out to get ready for the new GMT360 Bravada.
The third generation of the Oldsmobile Bravada was introduced from 2002 until 2004. The engine was a 4.2 L Vortec I6 with a wheelbase of 113.0 inches, a length of 191.8 inches, a width of 75.4 inches and had a height of 74.5 inches. This third generation model was only offered in Canada.
On February 2001 the all new Bravada hit showrooms and the third generation promised to be the best. This model holds the distinction of being the both the first GMT360 truck introduced along with being the last new Oldsmobile model. It featured the new 270 hp Atlas I6 engine much like the Chevy Trailblazer and GMC Envoy. For the first time, rear-wheel drive was offered making it the first rear wheel drive Oldsmobile since the '92 Custom Cruiser. This generation was the only GMT360 product that didn't have a V8 and it was the only Oldsmobile with a straight-6 engine.
In 2004 the production of the Bravada ended with the demise of the Oldsmobile marque. The ‘Final 500' Bravada's were produced as special editions that featured custom seat embroidering and exterior badging inspired by vintage Oldsmobile logos, special chrome alloy wheels, dark cherry metallic paint and a medallion that featured that particular Bravada's production number running from 1 to 500. In January 2004, the final Bravada, number 500 rolled off the assembly line.
From 2004 until 2007 the Bravada bodyshell continued to be used by its joint replacements for the Buick Rainier, and from 2005 until 2009 by the Saab -7X which remained in production until December 2008.By Jessica Donaldson