Used 2002 Oldsmobile Aurora Review

Edmunds expert review

The best soon-to-be-discontinued sedan on the market.

What's new for 2002

A navigation radio supplements the OnStar system for easy-to-follow driving directions. Three new exterior colors debut along with chrome exhaust tips.

Vehicle overview

Introduced just last year as an all-new 2001 model, the Aurora was one of Oldsmobile's best chances for staying afloat. With a shapely, slimmed-down exterior and two solid powerplants available under the hood, the Aurora was one of the most well-rounded sedans to come out of GM in quite a while. Of course, by now, you probably know that the bean counters took over and permanently ended the Aurora's hopes of ever becoming a best-seller, but lucky for you it makes for a good chance to get a great deal on a solid American sedan.

One reason for the Aurora's initial popularity when it debuted seven years ago was its stout powerplant. The second-generation model continues that philosophy by giving buyers a choice of either a solid 215-horsepower V6, or an even healthier 250-hp 4.0-liter V8. Both engines route their power through a four-speed automatic transmission that delivers smooth upshifts and quick downshifts.

Standard four-wheel-disc brakes with ABS provide the stopping power while a speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering system offers a well-connected feel for the road. Auroras equipped with the V6 get 16-inch Goodyear performance tires, while V8-equipped models get upgraded to 17-inch Michelins. A Precision Control System (read: traction and stability control) keeps V8-equipped Auroras traveling the straight and narrow during inclement weather or when it senses an imminent loss of control.

Like most sedans in its class, the Aurora features a luxurious two-tone leather interior with real walnut trim and chrome accents. Driver-oriented with a beautifully swept arc of a control panel, the cabin includes a 27-function Driver Information Center and a straightforward control layout with minimal dashboard clutter. Front- and side-impact airbags are standard for both the driver and front passenger in addition to the OnStar communications system that will alert a 24-hour response center in the event of an airbag deployment.

As Oldsmobile dealers begin to wind down their operations, you can expect to negotiate a very favorable deal on their remaining Auroras. With continued warranty and parts service through GM, buying an Oldsmobile isn't the dicey proposition it might seem to be. So if you're looking for a sleek, luxurious American sedan and would like to get a great deal in the process, drop by a remaining Olds dealer and check out the Aurora. You might find yourself driving home in a piece of American history.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.