The Oldsmobile Bravada was the first truck-based automobile produced by the marquee since 1920s. There were actually two different vehicle models bearing the Bravada name—the GMT330 (considered as the first and second generations of Bravada) and the GMT360 (third generation Bravada). The first two generations were exclusively sold in the U.S. while the third generation was able to enter the Canadian market.
1991 - 1994: First generation Bravada (GMT330)
Outfitted with the “Smart Trak” system, the first Oldsmobile Bravada was introduced in the market as an all-wheel-drive vehicle. It was powered by the 4.3 L W-code engine and outfitted with antilock brakes, remote keyless entry, and power equipment. For the 1992 model year, the 4.3L V-6 engine received a horsepower boost, making it capable of cranking out 200 horses. The ‘92 Bravada also got a redesigned instrument panel.
A year after, an overhead console featuring compass, temperature, and reading lights was added. The transmission of the ’93 Bravada was also outfitted with electronic shift control. Another new for the 1993 model year was the optional Gold package, offering special gold aluminum wheels as well as gold exterior badge. The new 1994 Special Edition model came with gold trims. All ’94 Bravadas received guard beams for the doors as well as softened shock absorbers that significantly improved the suspension performance.
1996 - 2001: Second generation (GMT330)
The redesigned 1996 Bravadas were less boxy and easily identifiable from the Blazer and Jimmy with their premium alloy wheels as well as the body-colored split grille. The interior was also modified and driver’s airbag and daytime running lamps were added as standard safety features.
The 1997 Bravadas have better stopping ability as drum brakes were replaced with rear disc brakes. For 1998, Bravada was made capable of running in rear-wheel-drive in normal driving conditions and shift to all-wheel drive as soon as wheel slip is detected. The 1999 model year was marked by the addition of a standard anti-theft alarm system. The driver-side airbag was also redesigned to improve the driver’s view of the instruments.
For 2001 model year, the OnStar communications system became a factory-installed option. This was the last year the GMT330 was produced to make way for the GMT360 Bravada.
2002 - 2004: Third generation Bravada (GMT360)
The third generation Bravada took pride in being the first GMT360 truck to be publicly introduced and the last new Oldsmobile model produced before the marquee’s retirement. This generation of Bravada also holds the distinction of being the first rear-wheel-drive Oldsmobile since the 1992 Custom Cruiser and the first Olds to be outfitted with a straight-6 engine since the 1978 Omega. It was also the only Bravada to get into the Canadian market.
Production of Bravada was stopped along with the marquee’s demise in 2004. The “Final 500” special edition Bravadas rolled off the assembly line with a medallion bearing their production number, from 1 to 500. The last or number 500 Bravada came out of the factory on January 12, 2004.