2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue Reviews

2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue GL 3.5L V6 twin cam from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2014
Engine and transmission 3.5L V6 twin cam Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired178000 kilometres
Most recent distance230000 kilometres
Previous carBuick LeSabre


I feel like I'm in a race car when I'm behind the wheel!


I have problems faulting the car itself for these problems, and instead place most of the blame on the previous owners. I bought this car used in a private sale for $2000, and the exterior and interior were in decent shape. The only complaint I had was that the gas consumption was absolutely ridiculous at approximately 7 km/L, and that was mostly highway!

Two weeks after purchasing the car, the check engine light came on. After scanning the computer, my mechanic got a code for the secondary air pump. But he also said that this vehicle hadn't had a tune up in years, which would explain the heavy gas consumption. After a tune-up and oil change, and a couple of fuel injections I put in myself, the car had exceptionally better gas mileage. A round trip from Newmarket to Niagara Falls, and the driving in between, only cost me $47, which was better than the Kia Rio rental I had before for the trip.

Alas, the engine light came on after a few weeks; again it was the air pump code. After taking the part out and testing it, it didn't work. With labour, replacement was $140. The muffler also was going at the time, so I replaced that at the same time, bringing the grand total of that whole repair to $350.

Then about a month later, light came back on for the secondary air pump again. By this time I was beyond frustrated with the car. After testing the air pump, there were no problems. The problem was with the relay between the air pump and the car, stemming back to the main CPU. Another $400.

In between the 'check engine' conundrum, my rear passenger tire blew out on the highway. The previous owners did not replace the tires when they needed to, since the tread was laughable. I was hoping for the set to last me until I had to put snows on. Another $250 for a set.

Front passenger rotor also went shortly after, and you need to replace both, not just one. Another $200.

Then, the engine light came back on. This time for 'emission' issues related to an oxygen sensor. The shop must have felt really sorry for us since they spent a long time on the car just trying to get a diagnosis (almost a whole day just diagnosing). The good news was that it wasn't an oxygen sensor. The bad news was that it was something more expensive (not even a surprise at this point!); an engine cylinder diaphragm. He also said the gas cap needed replacing, so I got an OEM AC Delco one to be on the safe side. $500.

On the bright side, this has been the last issue I've had with the car so far. My mechanic even said all of the engine issues can stem back to the fact that the secondary air pump needed to be replaced for a long time, and was instead neglected.

General Comments:

As I said before, the previous owners neglected basic care, which I think led to the mechanical issues I had. At the time, the only indication I had was that there were dog scratches on the exterior paint and a paint stain on one of the leather seats in the car. This car is a Final 500 edition, so you figure they would have taken some care to keep it looking somewhat nice.

I absolutely love this car, even with all of the money I had to put into it within the first few months I owned it. Even with the mechanical issues, the car has never once broken down on me, unless you want to count the blown tire.

Since resolving the fiasco involving the engine light, I've just had to pay for oil changes, tune-ups and snow tires, something all car owners have to do.

It is easily the most comfortable car I've ever driven, and the heated seats are an asset for cold Canadian winters. Leg room and ceiling room could be improved for taller passengers.

The car is very fast, has tons of pickup and handles like a new car, which is surprising for its age. Its tight steering has already saved my life when driving on the highway during a bad winter storm. You will not have trouble passing anyone on the road with this engine either; again, surprising given the age. This engine costs a lot in repairs due to its rarity (I believe it's also only on select models of the Aurora), but it is impressive when you're actually out driving it.

The car looks attractive and sharp with the W-body, and even more so with the Final 500 add-ons. Overall, a fantastic car if you have the patience to work out its kinks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2014

9th Jan 2014, 09:11

"I believe it's also only on select models of the Aurora"

- That was for the 2001 & 2002 model years.

9th Jan 2014, 22:37

"He also said the gas cap needed replacing, so I got an OEM AC Delco one to be on the safe side. $500."


10th Jan 2014, 16:50

Well yeah, but there was also the "engine cylinder diaphragm" -- you know how expensive those are...

15th Jan 2014, 19:51

OP here. It was for the diaphragm repairs mainly. The gas cap was $30. $500 for everything.

18th Feb 2014, 09:09

I still would like to know what an "engine diaphragm" is.

2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue GL 3.5 from North America

Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 3.5 Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.5 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance165000 miles
Previous carFord Crown Victoria


Where can I start? The car was reliable for the 1st 40,000 miles, then all Hell broke loose. Crank sensor, mass air flow sensor, transmission at 50,000, water pump, power steering pump, both rear window regulators (although we never used the rear seat or windows). All regular service was done at the dealership at the recommended intervals.

My wife loved the styling and insisted we keep it much longer than I wanted. I was never comfortable in the front seats and found it to be the most uncomfortable car (large or small) I've ever ridden in.

This one car has sworn me away from GM, and I will never buy another GM product.

General Comments:

Pure junk from day one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th November, 2009

30th Nov 2009, 21:51

You got 165000 miles out of this car, be happy, and feel lucky about that.

8th Mar 2013, 19:34

Anyone who complains about getting 160,000 miles out of it, ought to have their head read, and saying that GM doesn't make a good car is not true; they make just as good a car, if not better than most oriental makes of cars, because the Japanese are getting just as careless as the big three in North America. It's time for them to re-evaluate their employees and engineers in designing better, more reliable vehicles, and not over think the plumbing as they have been doing in the past. The more complicated you make something, the harder it is to service, and more expensive to repair. This is spiraling right out of proportion, due to greed by all the car makers in the whole world...

Average review marks: 8.1 / 10, based on 16 reviews