Used 1999 Oldsmobile Bravada

1999 Oldsmobile Bravada
List price range

Pros

  • All-wheel drive, comfy seats, well-equipped, great stereo.

Cons

  • On-road demeanor, rattles and squeaks apparent off road.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

After a one year hiatus, the Oldsmobile Bravada returned for the 1996 model year, based on the same platform that serves as the basis for the Chevrolet Blazer and the GMC Jimmy. We said we doubted Oldsmobile would find many buyers for the Bravada, partly because of myriad choices in the luxo-SUV market, and partly because we didn't think the Bravada was worth the price of admission over similarly equipped Chevy Blazers and GMC Jimmys. Sales didn't meet expectations that first year, but nearly doubled during 1997. Still, Oldsmobile would like to be moving twice as many Bravadas. So last year, Bravada got a freshening both inside and out.

The Bravada should do well for 1999 because it's a nice truck. No tacky fender flares and no dopey, two-tone paint schemes here. The interior is swathed in leather and offers one of the most comfortable driver seats we've encountered in an SUV. The sound system is outstanding. Controls are easy to see and use (though they still look and feel somewhat cheap). Bravada's SmartTrak all-wheel drive system makes finding grip in a variety of road conditions carefree. Best of all, this is one speedy, fun-to-drive truck that can easily swallow a full-size dryer. Truly, the Bravada is what a luxury compact sport/utility is all about.

As an upscale Oldsmobile, the Bravada comes loaded with nearly every conceivable option. That's a good thing, too, with the quickly expanding luxury sport/ute arena overflowing with entries, even from Lincoln and Infinitimakers not known for building truck products. But this may not be your best choice to go bounding down a dusty trail. Oldsmobile makes no bones about designing Bravada to be an on-road SUV.

Is the Bravada worth the price of admission over the Blazer and the Jimmy? Well, the front seats and the SmartTrak all-wheel drive system are exclusive to the Olds, but otherwise not much differentiates the Bravada from its corporate twins. In fact, most of the standard equipment on the Bravada is available on the Chevy or the GMC, with an end result that is less expensive than the Oldsmobile.

Few options are available on the Bravada. Buyers can order a 5000-pound towing package, an engine block heater, a Bose premium sound system, a six-disc CD changer located in the console, redundant radio and climate controls for the steering wheel, heated seats, white-letter 235/70R-15 all-season tires, a power sunroof, and the obligatory gold trim package. Cloth seats are a no-charge replacement for the standard leather hides. A new option package puts together five features: the optional tires and heavy-duty towing package, plus a driver-side memory seat, power passenger seat, and electrochromic outside rearview mirrors (inside electrochromic rearview mirror is standard).

Styling is pretty much identical to the Chevy Blazer and GMC Jimmy. The Bravada gets a unique grille and headlamp treatment, bumper trim and body cladding. The overall effect distances the Olds far enough away from its corporate siblings to make it look and feel unique in a world populated by look-alike Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ford Explorers. A 4.3-liter Vortec V6 engine that makes 190 horsepower propels the Bravada's four wheels. Though strong, we find the V6 a strange choice when the Jeep and the Ford can be equipped with a V8 engine. The Explorer-based Mercury Mountaineer also has all-wheel drive, like the Bravada, along with V8 power. Four-wheel disc brakes provide very good stopping ability, though we could do without the mushy feel to the brake pedal.

The original Bravada, which competed in a market populated by few luxury-oriented SUVs, never sold very well. It was based on aging technology, and buyers saw through the first-generation Bravada quicker than they did the ill-fated Cadillac Cimarron. Oldsmobile has come up with quite an enticing package with the second-generation Bravada. However, the luxury/ute market is becoming saturated with a number of very trucks, which will inevitably push down demand for any particular model. We also think that aging, affluent Boomers are going to tire of climbing in and out of these things, depositing their aching legs and backs into the seats of the Cadillacs, BMWs and Acuras that they're currently trading like baseball cards for the more rugged, SUV image.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1999 Oldsmobile Bravada.

I Love my Bravada
Tom Pulmano, 3/30/2010
I bought my Bravada in 2004 with about 84000 miles and now she has 158,000 on the clock. Over the past 5 years I have had to put some money into her but nothing that I would consider outside the ordinary maintenance. Luckily I have a personnel mechanic that has made many repairs to the vehicle at @ 40% less than what it would cost at a dealer. Every time I want to trade her in the vehicle gives me this soulful look and I give in and hang on to her a little bit longer. I am very attached to this car but I know some day we will have to part ways. I would like to hold on to her until she reaches her 200K birthday.
1999 Olds Bravada.... Still love it!
pinsey, 6/28/2011
I bought this vehicle back in 2004. I have 110,000 miles on it. Heated seats, sunroof, leather interior, all the upgrades imaginable. I have never gotten tired of that beautiful burgundy color., stereo... the works! It is the most comfortable vehicle our family has ever owned. Still drives great. Very minimal problems compared to cars of the past. One of the best purchases we've ever made. This was my first SUV. I could never go back to driving a regular sedan. We're seniors now. We like it better than our new Mazda 3.
Missing My Bravada!
pinsey, 5/24/2014
My Bravada was a 1999. I bought it in 2003 and just sold it with only 125,000 miles on it. Now, I wish I would've held onto it. But, we have two other vehicles to drive, and one had to be sold. My 1999 Bravada was the best. I must have loaded over 1,000 bags of groceries, and 800 bags of soil and mulch over the years. Transported furniture and plants, and never had one problem. Loved the heated seats and AWD, especially here in Minnesota with our rough winters. When I bought the car it only had 27,000 miles on it. Loved the sunroof and leather seats. Great car. Wish they still made them. Miss "Oldsmobile".
99 Bravada
LJohnson, 6/11/2003
I look forward to going anywhere in my Olds. It has decent pickup on the freeway. Ride is smooth for a SUV. Fuel economy is okay (it helps to look at my overhead computer, ie, instant gas mileage) if I keep my foot light. Styling is one of a kind. I have every option available. Perfect!
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Features & Specs

MPG
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
190 hp @ 4400 rpm
See all Used 1999 Oldsmobile Bravada features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Poor

More about the 1999 Oldsmobile Bravada
Used 1999 Oldsmobile Bravada Overview

The Used 1999 Oldsmobile Bravada is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include , and 4dr SUV AWD.

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