1994 Oldsmobile Bravada Vortec 4.3 OHV V6 from North America


One of the 2 best SUVs of the early 90's


1st Gen. models are notorious for repetitive EGR valve failure. I've had to replace mine twice already. They build up too much carbon in the intake plenum which leads to the EGR valve clogging. Cheap to diagnose and repair. ~$150.

They are also notorious for heater core failure. I've replaced mine once. Mildly expensive to repair. ~$800.

Brake cylinders leaked and were replaced. Mildly expensive. ~$600.

All fuel injectors required replacement. Expensive. ~1000.

The 1st and 2nd gear transmission hydraulics needed repair. Cheap to repair. ~$150.

I've heard of many others experiencing failure of the electronic dash display. Although mine has never required repair, to do so can be expensive depending on the problem.

Various parts of the truck loosen as it ages; much more so than other vehicles. Easily remedied, but requires monitoring at regular maintenance intervals.

General Comments:

I've owned most of the SUVs made in the 90's and can honestly say that the 1994 Oldsmobile Bravada and the 1991-92 Jeep Cherokee Limited were the two best midsized SUVs to own in the early 90's. They're second only to each other in a few respects.

- The argument for the Cherokee -

The engine will last forever. Both trucks have great longevity, though.

The Jeep weighs ~1000 pounds lighter than the Bravada.

The Jeep can out accelerate the Bravada (in 2wd high only).

The Jeep's engine is slightly easier to work on than the Bravada.

The Jeep's leather seats are more comfortable, and both are power, unlike the Bravada.

The Jeep also has a power antenna, unlike the Bravada. It breaks routinely, however.

The Jeep also has a 4WD low selector. The Bravada has AWD. Both have their advantages, but the Bravada has a limit to the intensity of offroading it can do.

The Jeep has better interior controls than the Bravada

The Jeep has a better alternator than the Bravada.

The Jeep has skidplates, unlike the Bravada.

The Jeep has slightly better ground clearance.

The Jeep has a rear hatch. The Bravada has a tailgate.

The Jeep has a litte bit smoother of a ride than the Bravada. The Bravada is built on a truck chassis, and a littler stiffer.

The Jeep is very solid. Parts of the Bravada tend to get loose over time, but are easily remedied.

- The argument for the Bravada -

The Bravada's engine makes 10 more HP and 40 more ft.lbs/torque than the Jeep.

The Bravada is better suited to towing than the Jeep, especially with the factory towing package upgrade. However, both do it well.

The Bravada has a better performing transmission.

The Bravada will out accelerate the Jeep if it's in 4WD.

The Bravada gets 1 more MPG city and 3 more mpg highway than the Jeep.

The Bravada's engine is much quieter. Both have good sound insulation.

The Bravada's engine seems to leak much less over time.

The Bravada has standard AWD and LSD.

The Bravada's electronic dash display is more attractive than the Jeep's dash display.

The Bravada has more interior room.

The Bravada's keyless entry used a radio technology instead of the infrared technology used by Jeep. It breaks less often and can be used from far away, and can be replaced more readily if lost.

The Bravada's seats fold forward more efficiently to make more useable space.

The Bravada has a wider rear seat than the Jeep.

The Bravada has a much better stock stereo system.

- Conclusion -

I'd have to give both the same rating overall.

The Bravada is better for the family looking for a safe, stylish, powerful SUV that's easier on the gas and has all of the interior amenites of a luxury car.

The Cherokee Limited is better for the active single person or small family that enjoys the outdoors, but values some of the finer things as well, and wants something tough, but not necessarily as utilitarian looking as the stereotypical off road vehicle.

Both trucks served me very well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th January, 2005

20th Jan 2005, 00:46

I'd add that the Oldsmobile has a lot more style than the Jeep too. It's a dressed up Blazer, but stands out a lot more because of that. Personally, even when I look at vehicles over ten years old I still pay attention to style though as the other viewer noted condition is important. They go hand in hand for me. Good review.

1994 Oldsmobile Bravada 4.6 from North America




The heater core leaks, and the fuel pump is going out!

General Comments:

This is one cushy ride as it sports that olds luxury! powerful for a 6 and drives like a dream with the all wheel drive! roomy for us long leger's too!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd October, 2004

1st Mar 2005, 10:10

Hi, I have an 1994 Olds Bravada and I have had problems also. I am getting ready to replace the heater core for the 2nd time, but mainly I have had EGR problems. I have owned it since it was 1 1/2 yrs old. It came from a recovery lot because it was in a flood in Texas when the vehicle was only 6 months old.

If you don't think that it is the fuel pump, check into the EGR valve. I have had to replace mine and also have it cleaned periodically because it gets clogged up. My mechanic said it is a common problem with this motor. The car will start acting like it wants to stall and you have to keep one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake at red lights. Most of the time the check engine light will come on, but some times it doesn't. My mechanic usually charges about $20.00 to clean it so I pretty much just live with the problem.

20th Jun 2005, 19:10

I just bought a 92 Bravada. I got it cheap because the EGR (exhaust gas recirculating) valve was plugged, and the vehicle wasn't running well, a common problem. Have your mechanic install a gasket with a screen to help keep the EGR from getting plugged if it happens to you.

The problems with fuel pump failures is common on GM products, I've had the same problem on my Berreta, Astro, and Safari. Three suggestions here. One: the fuel pump is submersible, mounted inside the gas tank. The gasoline actually acts a coolant for the pump. Never let your tank get below the redline on the gage if you can help it. Two: buy replacement pumps with a life time warranty and keep your receipts. Three: In high humidity areas (esp. in winter) keep the tank at least half full at all times. This will reduce the amount of water contamination from condensation. My daddy always said "it cost the same to fill the top half of the tank as the bottom half"

26th Sep 2007, 22:20

My 94 bravada won't start right on the first key turn all of the time can anyone tell me why?

20th Dec 2007, 00:24

Most likely bad fuel pressure regulator, or bad cpi unit.