Last post on Jan 18, 2013 at 6:07 PM
You are in the Oldsmobile Intrigue
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Oldsmobile Intrigue, Sedan
#8200 of 12345 Intrigue Gaffes
Oct 27, 2002 (5:19 pm)
The Autobahn package and suspension/steering problems of the 98's and 99's really doomed any chance at success the Intrigue had. Burdened with the Oldsmobile name and the reputation of GM cars in general as bad as they were in 1998, they needed to have a launch much closer to perfect than they did. Instead the model was a complete failure for GM and Oldsmobile. If the Intrigue was not such a disaster, maybe Olds would still be around but we'll never know. It reminds me of the first comparison contest Edmunds had where the Intrigue would have beat the Accord, except some possible reliability issues showed up.
Hopefully GM comes back with stronger models such as the new Malibu, and a minivan better than the Odyssey/Sienna/Magicwagon (that can get an award for something other than fuel economy!).
Oh and maybe a replacement for the Cavalier? A friend who knows very little about cars but won't drive imports traded in his newlywed's 3 year old Civic for a Cavalier last year. The salesperson was shocked, asked him WHY???????!!!!
Oct 27, 2002 (5:30 pm)
I never knew the Intrigue to be a "complete disaster", but I guess it must have done quite badly, especially being doomed with the Oldsmobile name.
Traded a Civic for a Cavalier? What, was that guy on drugs?! I'm not even a Civic fan, a Cavalier is just that bad....
Oct 27, 2002 (9:34 pm)
The Intrigue as a car was not a complete disaster. First year sales were strong and it was pulling in the highest number of important numbers in the entire GM lineup. Marketing from that point just stunk (X-files???) I realize a few people had some bad experiences, but Intrigue reliability was good enough for it to succeed and the automotive press loved the car (rare for a GM product).
As for the Impala, I drove a rented one for a week or so and came away feeling that it was a very 'comfortable' car, but not a very good driving machine. The 3.4L V6 is way underpowered, but I'm sure the 3.8 does the job nicely. The base suspension is very soft and the car feels very big, although steering was unexpectedly nice. It was very roomy and comfy inside, good for perhaps older folks but not quite my cup of tea.
I don't know what earlier Intrigues were like, but this car is VERY quiet. I can't get over how much quieter it is than the Alero and Malibu's I drove. I wasn't really expecting that aspect. I know I have the upgraded suspension, but it is just right--not too harsh but certainely well grounded. I'm still learning the car but I'm very impressed so far. One thing I will say is that the Intrigue seems to be less likely to roll than the other GM cars, I've driven (like pick up speed when going downhill), it seems to what to know what the driver wants to do. Its a little harder feeling gas pedal, but once you start it it feels tremendously powerful, but in a much different way than the 3.8.
#8203 of 12345 Impalas , Intrigues and 300Ms
Oct 28, 2002 (3:56 am)
Next time you get in a 300M put it in drive and put your foot on the brake as if you were sitting at a stoplight.
The whole car will have a slight but noticeable vibration.
Try that in the intrigue with the 3.5L and you will feel nothing.
Base Impala has very smooth ride and somewhat floaty. 3.4L is a little underpowered but is actually slightly smoother than 3.8L because it is a 60 degree design which is inherently smoohter in V6 form.
I have the LS which has the Sport suspension. Not floaty at all, almost as good as the intrigue in the corners. Has a little impact harshness over the small bumps but not as much as the intrigue which could be harsh over certain types of raods.
Impala has been more reliable for me than my intrigue. I think overall the Impala is better put together and less troublesome. I have a much better dealer also. Impala has a stiffer body structure. Coupled with the slightly softer suspension tuning there are fewer body creaks.
All 2001 and later wbody cars got additional rear wheelwell liners. This greatly reduced road noise and the rumbling sound emanting from the rear of the car.
Oct 28, 2002 (4:06 am)
The Intrigue wasn't called "Cutlass" when it debuted in 1998 because there was a car already called "Cutlass". The Malibu twin. I guess they could have called the Malibu twin the Cutlass Ciera, and the Intrigue the Cutlass Supreme, but I imagine they were trying to move away from that (though I still think the Cutlass Supreme convertible with the 3.4 DOHC is a cool car).
I imagine the 3.5 wasn't ready because they didn't just want to make a 6-cylinder version of the current Northstar/Aurora. The 3.5 incorporated a lot of changes that eventually went into the Northstar/Aurora for 2000/2001. I would guess they could have debuted it earlier with it like the old Northstar but with less compression, but I think the engine probably turned out better because they waited (heck, the lack of spark plug wires is worth it). But that's just an opinion. I have no idea if that's why it took so long.
#8205 of 12345 Intrigue was not a failure
Oct 28, 2002 (5:26 am)
People saying Intrigue was a failure are wrong. The car is still one of the best premium sedans on the road. Intrigues problems stem mostly from poor marketing. Lets face it, people still ask me every so often who makes the Intrigue. The car was simply not in peoples mind when they went car shopping. It was this forum and a Motor Trend review that got me interested, though I do vaguely remember the mysterious X-files campaign if I think about it.
No the car was not right when it came out and no it was not called Cutlass (thankfully), but over all the car was good. A better made car with the 3.5L would have got it off to a better start, but lets face it, it's marketing that sells cars initially and Olds didn't have it for Intrigue. Even the Alero ads were much better and the car still sells well considering the division is dead.
Oct 28, 2002 (5:29 am)
Cavalier is fine. No it's nothing stellar, but it's cheap and reliable. We had a leased 99 that we gave up in the spring and it had zero issues through the lease, just gas and oil changes. This year the car has the Ecotec under the hood so at least it has a decent engine now. A replacement is long over due though.
Oct 28, 2002 (5:35 am)
It was a failure in sales, I was not referring to the car itself. I wouldn't own one if I thought that! Ads aside, name aside. Lets face it they had to practically give Intrigues away with incentives and it still didn't sell well after 98. I think earlier Cutlass Supremes did a LOT better in sales, but ofcourse the last Cutlass Supreme was around WAY too long, by what 5 years? I guess you could say that about most GM cars in that era.
Oct 28, 2002 (5:40 am)
True I suppose.
Noticed when I was at the dealer for an oil change that they had no new Intrigues left on the lot, just one used 99. Very sad.
#8209 of 12345 Failure/incentives
Oct 28, 2002 (5:41 am)
I guess the positive side of it is alot of us here got a lot of car for the money.