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Oldsmobile Aurora



  • sinatra2sinatra2 Posts: 65
    The only time I ever pick up an auto mag is in the Doctors office. I have not purchased one in years. Usually the best reviews are from owners. That is why forums such as this are so valuable if you are thinking of a particular car. The best way to test drive (that is if you are in a major center) is to rent one for the weekend.. well worth it even if it does not have all the options you want. You can get a general feel for the car and have a few hours to examine for quality. Not only that you can put it through the paces .... taking it to the limit without worring about blowing a gasket.

  • nne3jxcnne3jxc Posts: 134
    You have a point regarding using them for reviews of "normal" cars.
    But on the other hand, a Road & Track or Car & Driver review is the closest most of us will ever come to getting behind the wheel of a half million dollar Ferrari, or some other incredibly priced example of automotive lore.
    (Can you believe that they are actually PAID to drive cars like that? Man, I'm in the wrong job.)
  • sinatra2sinatra2 Posts: 65 I didn't pay to drive a Farrari.I guess I meant was auto mags are great for "fantasy trips" yet if you are buying I would rather rely on my own or the forum's (such as this one) objective opinion rather than some paid off and highly influenced journalist.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    So much depends on what you are looking for in a car. I have subscriptions to a few of the magazines and generally most of the writers like sports cars best. I think this bias has made the "sports sedan" the ideal. The BMW 3/5 series sedans are the standard for sports sedans. FWDs just do not handle quite a well, but in poor driving conditions (ice/snow) I like FWD.
  • mcclearyflmcclearyfl Posts: 149
    There was a captivating article in the London Times this weekend. One of the Times' motoring correspondents explained why he and his peers rarely panned outright any vehicle. The expose was written with tongue firmly in his cheek, but there appears to be much merit in his claim that automobile reviewers are actually rather poorly paid (certainly in the UK), and rely on manufacturers to provide them with what little pleasure their meager salaries would otherwise not provide! This includes trips to exotic locales to test exotic and not-so-exotic models (automobile models, that is). Why bite the hand that feeds you ?

    Of course writers are not the only ones to be less than candid about a vehicle's failings. As a past member of the Maserati fraternity I am only too well aware that almost any reference to the many inadequacies of those cars will result in an outpouring of protest in the discussion groups.

  • mcclearyflmcclearyfl Posts: 149
    fjk57702 hits the nail on the head by stating that the gold standard for most writers is the BMW 3- or 5- series. These are very competent rear wheel drive sports sedans, but they suffer from many disadvantages that are very obvious to people who buy other brands.

    With this mindset how can these writers possibly appreciate a large American car such as the Aurora? Fortunately we do!

  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    Actually, Car & Driver, in a comparison test (some time ago now), had a DTS which did not do well as a "sports sedan", but they said that it was a great highway car and handled much better than Cadillacs of older vintage. I thought that they went out of their way to point out that the Cadillac was a very good car, just not a sports sedan.

    Automobile (sometime back now) did a test of the Seville and Deville (DTS). They said that it was as good or better than an S-class Mercedes.

    The Aurora has made it into a number of comparison test too, but always with the sports sedans from europe. As a result it has not fared well with the much smaller cars.

    The differences in handling may not be much. I owned an 84 Corvette that I picked up used. It handled very nicely on a good (new) highway, but on poorer highways the ride was rough and you had to really work to keep the car on the road. I sold it and then later on picked up a used 86 Corvette (with the Z51 suspension package, which the 84 did not have). This car was much softer riding and did not handle quite as well. This not to say that the 86 handled bad. On less than perfect roads it was much easier to drive. The tuned port injected engine had a lot more performance than the 84's throttle body injectors.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    Wow. So many great points from a lot of different people that all support each other. Interesting.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    The Aurora was a great replacement car for the Olds 98/Olds Touring Sedan/Toronado. It was also a Buick Electra T-type replacement. I really think that Oldsmobile/GM marketing was not sure where they wanted to go with Oldsmobile. They wanted a "new direction" and so the Aurora did not have the Oldsmobile name on the outside of the car anywhere. I think they were thinking that they would rename the division or move it into Saturn or something. Or perhaps they thought making the Aurora a "mysterious car" would help sales.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    Yes, that is certainly what happened. I think somebody could probably write a book about Olds failing and how it is one of the biggest corporate blunders of all time. Just MHO, but Olds had a much better line-up than Pontiac, Buick, and Chevy. Much better, and they still fall. I guess a lot has to do with marketing. GM is clueless how to sell their cars. The previous "Toyota Aurora" stories give a hint. Most people I deal with have no idea who makes the Aurora - still.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    I went over to the library to see if I could find an ad for the 1995 Aurora. I remember seeing ads in various magazines, but don't remember details. Anyway I found an ad for the Aurora as well as the Riviera. Perhaps the details are very telling. There is a picture of the car (in both ads). In large print the Aurora ad says "Aurora". In the fine print there is the usual stuff and says that the Aurora is made by Oldsmobile. But you have to read the ad to find that out. The Riviera ad has in large print "Riviera by Buick". There is no difficulty finding out that the pictured car is a Buick.

    I think that both of these cars sold very well during the 1995 model year. But I think that the Aurora connection to Oldsmobile was downplayed and may well have resulted in the misconception that Aurora's are some other car (toyota/lexus/infinity ...)
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    Thanks. The Intrigue too. That 3.5 V6 is pretty impressive. That has to be one of the flattest torque curves I've seen. It seems to produce close to it's max 230 lb-ft everywhere. Great engine. Yet I don't remember this being mentioned. I do remember these weird Intrigue commercials with some alien like humanoid looking it over. Hokey stuff like that doesn't do it for me. You gotta convey the facts. Tell the public why your engine, interior, styling, whatever - is better. Show it in action.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    The Intrigue ad that I remember was a TV commercial where the Intrigue is racing a train. I don't really recall any more details though. The 3.5 was a nice engine but the 3800's torque curve is also very flat. It doesn't last quite as long as the 3.5's so there is a little more horse power in the 3.5's. The new 3.6 is going to be a much better engine. I think they should have combined Olds with Saturn somehow. They probably needed to get rid of some of the Oldsmobile dealers though.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    I agree that's what they needed to do. If you look at the Classic, there is a "family resemblance" to the older Saturns (i.e. front end/headlights). Saturn would have then had a minivan (Silhoutte), SUV (Bravada), a decent mid-size car (Intrigue), plus a high-end car (Aurora). I think GM had too much invested in the Saturn name/franchise, plus was too afraid/gunshy on the Olds name, that they would have/should have moved the Olds models to Saturn. Makes sense to me, but no. Biggest problem I have with Richard Wagoner's tenure at GM (killing Olds completely)...

  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    The 3.5 is quite torquey. Funny how that point is missed when comparing it to other sedans. Only the lack of peak power is noted. I was reading an article in Road & Track about the Alpina Z8. They noted how it is the first Alpina to make less power than the BMW version, but that it has a much broader, fuller torque curve. They went to a great deal of effort to explain how that is actually of benefit 95% of the time. What I don't understand it how it suddenly isn't even a factor when talking about an Accord that makes 240 hp and barely 210 lb-ft of torque (at over 5 grand). One would think the more pedestrian the car (an Alpina Z8 is hardly a grocery-getter), the more this idea of useable torque would apply... Again, maybe I just don't get it.

    You all have some very interesting points. It is true that auto mags are good for the thrillers about twin-turbo Corvettes and million dollar Ferraris.

    Interesting about the Aurora ads too. I'm sure back in 1994 there were a reasonable amount of them, but what about subsequent years? I'd bet even by 1996 they dropped off a bit, though I don't really recall. I do know that I can only recall seeing one single ad for the new 2001 Aurora in Motor Trend. In fact, I specifically remember seeing it because the styling was exciting, and I'd always thought the classic Aurora was pretty cool. I was a pretty avid car mag reader then too (back then I read every article of MT, C&D, and R&T). I can't recall ever seeing a television commercial. I don't count those sorry "people are still buying Oldsmobiles, so apparently it isn't as stupid as it seems" ads because they are soo terrible and don't focus on any particular product. What the heck were they thinking with the "wonder why you see so many Oldsmobiles on the road?" commercials that showed the Bravada and Aurora? I bet most people were seeing them for the first time in that commercial...
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    The new 3.6 liter V6 will have 252 ft-lbs of torque at peak with 90% (or more) from 1600 to 5800 RPM's. The would be 225 ft-lbs, nearly as much as the 3.5's peak torque.

    Most people do not know what torque is, they also don't know what horsepower is either, but understand that more horsepower should mean better performance. Except that it does not always mean that. For example, I think that the 2.8 liter BMW 3-series would out perform the 3.2 liter C-class Mercedes. This new 3.6 should be an interesting engine. How the CTS performs will be a good indication of how good the engine really is.
  • nne3jxcnne3jxc Posts: 134
    Anyone see the specs for the just introduced Mazda RX-8? Holy Cats! 1.3L of Rotary displacement giving the horsepower of an Aurora (250) and 160Lb Ft of torque. Plus real nice styling and -- wow! -- those fold-away "suicide" 3rd and 4th doors.
    Look here if you haven't seen it:
    Mazda RX-8

    I don't think I'll trade the Aurora for one, but I might "pretend" and take one for a spin....
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    I briefly glanced through an article that included this car. I don't think you can compare it to a piston type engine. Apples and oranges.

    They can rev extremely high. That HP comes at some nose-bleed high rpm and still no torque at probably some very high rpm as well. But it's still impressive for that little engine.

    I still say that where and when the power is available is as important if not more important than peak numbers.

    My only question is why make it only 1.3 liters??? Is a 3 or 4 liter rotary prohibitive for some reason?? I have no idea. There must be some reason or else we would see 500 HP rotary engines all over. Time for one of you gear head experts to check in here with some info about rotary engines.
  • larryfllarryfl Posts: 214
    While I'm certainly no expert on the subject, I did own an early '80 RX7 for a while.

    At the risk of being busted by the "off topic police"... my early 7 did have a mediocre accel until about 4K RPMs when it hit neck-snapping momentum until redline. I think the later models enjoyed a flatter power curve. It's also extremely easy to over rev those engines (no up/down piston movement) and they're equipped w/ a buzzer if you do hit the redline.

    Finally, the phenomenal power to size ratio is one of their advantages. Small under hood area and much less weight.

    That's all. We now return you to you're regularly scheduled Aurora board....
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Well, I took my car in for the emissions recall. Just a PCM reprogram. I'll have to see if that misfire has gone away. I suspect that was part of the catalyst warm-up process. Maybe enough people complained about it that they figured just easier to fix.

    Anyway, they had a Final 500 there. I parked near it so I could make a solid judgement of the color. It was cloudy and drizzling, though, so not much sun. My car looked substantially lighter in color than the CE. It looked really dark and brown. Like a reddish brown. I like my color much better.

    I've mentioned in the past my car shifts just slightly firmly. Well, it was smooth as silk on the way home. I had noticed in the past that after the first dealer (I went to a different one this time) had "scanned" the computer, that the shifting was smooth again. I then suggested to them that they reprogram the PCM because perhaps it wasn't dealing with the "learning" properly. They just ignored me. I'll see if it starts to come back now that the PCM has actually been reprogrammed. It wasn't a big deal, though.

    While I was waiting, I noticed they keep all the sales-staff training videos out. I asked if they minded if I watched one. I watched like a 20 minute presentation on the 2002 Aurora. They also had 1999, 2001, and 2003. Plus a comparo video for 2001. Man, would I love to have those in my library...
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