What's New for 2001
The Intrigue receives only minor changes for 2001, including two new exterior colors and a standard air filtration system. The OnStar driver assistance system is now standard on GLS models while Precision Control System equipped models receive exterior "PCS" badging.
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 tight space for five adults, the Intrigue offers acceptable interior room without abulky 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 a now standard OnStar vehicle assistance system, leather, fake wood trim, and a CD player. Need more pizzazz? The gold exterior badge package and special Sterling (as in silver) Edition model offered in 2000 remain available for 2001. All models receive a standard air filtration system for 2001.
All Intrigues are now powered by GM's 24-valve 3.5-liter V6 (based on the Aurora V8) that sends a torquey 215 horsepower through a four-speed electronically controlled transaxle. Last year the Intrigue debuted the 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 more like driving an import thana typical Oldsmobile. 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. Hoever, the speed-sensitive steering can be rather schizophrenic when its ratio and weighting change in mid corner. 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 at least test drive when searching for their next family sedan.