What's New for 2000
All Intrigues get restyled six-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels in either silver argent paint or chrome, and the option of adding Oldsmobile's Precision Control System (PCS). The full-function traction-control unit that's standard on the GL and GLS is now available on the GX. Retained accessory power becomes standard, and GL buyers can opt for the revised heated seats on the GLS.
Since being introduced in the 1998 model year, the Intrigue has played a key role in helping Oldsmobile redefine its struggling brand identity. Aimed squarely at the imports, Intrigue features a functional sedan design inside and out that delivers a minimum of glitz and a maximum of ergonomic operation. Providing space for five adults, the Intrigue offers appreciably more interior room than its major competitors, yet without the bulky exterior size or hefty curb weight.
Built off a rigid structural backbone, Olds gave its midsize front-driver four-wheel independent suspension, disc brakes and ABS. The GX is a fully equipped base model, while moving up to the GL nets extras such as a dual-zone air conditioner, fog lamps, keyless entry and upgraded mirrors, seats and sound system. The GLS pops for top-of-the-line items such as leather, fake wood trim, CD player and the like. Need more pizzazz? The gold exterior badge package and special Sterling (as in silver) Edition model offered in mid-'99 remain available for 2000.
All Intrigues are now powered by GM's new, 24-valve 3.5-liter V6 (based on the Aurora V8) that sends a torquey 215 horsepower through a smooth-shifting four-speed electronically controlled transaxle. New this year is the optional PCS driver control system that uses sensors to measure the speed of each wheel as well as steering and yaw angles. If a panic stop, quick swerve or slick pavement forces the car into a skid, the system hydraulically adjusts the individual ABS unit(s) needed to bring the car back under control.
Driving the Intrigue feels much more like driving an import than an Olds. Speed-sensitive steering offers good feedback, and the brake pedal is easy to modulate. Seats are comfy and supportive. While the car is fairly big, it doesn't feel like it from the driver's seat, thanks to responsive handling and good visibility. Understated styling provides strong family ties to the flagship Aurora in the headlights, front fascia and rear quarters. And Intrigue's twin-cam V6 not only provides stout acceleration and good fuel economy, but it does so without the need for premium fuel, unlike many other performance-oriented V6 powerplants in this class.
Pricing is in line with the Toyota Camry LE and XLE V6, the Nissan Maxima SE and GLE, and the Mercury Sable LS. Offering style, room and power, the Oldsmobile Intrigue is one sedan priced in the mid-20s that shoppers should have on their must-drive list.