I haven’t done a “GM Bad Idea” segment in a while. This is not because GM has stopped having bad ideas. On the contrary, I have seen several new Cadillac XTSs on the road, and there’s absolutely no way they were purchased by anyone who didn’t receive an enormous GM incentive.
But I’m not here to knock the Cadillac XTS. That can be done in a future column. Instead, I’m going to call out another bad idea from our friends at General Motors: the Oldsmobile Aurora.
You may remember the original Aurora. It’s the car that resembles a rather large, windswept sand dune. It also had no grille, apparently under the theory that: it worked for the Ford Taurus in 1986, so it’ll work for us today.
Of course, it didn’t really work for GM in 1995, largely because buyers looked at it and thought: Hmm. That Oldsmobile looks different. Too bad it’s still an Oldsmobile. Then they instead purchased an Acura, or a Lexus, neither of which had yet made the swap from “normal-looking car” to “we must have a corporate grille and by God, it will be pointy.”
The Aurora was just as strange inside, by virtue of being one of those 1990s cars (and there were quite a few) that had an air vent on the door. It also had a dash that was curved towards the driver, though the material quality was such that most drivers probably wished it was a little further away.
We all know what happened to the Aurora: despite GM’s best intentions, the second-generation model was completely boring, and – eventually – the brand shut down for good. That was probably one of GM’s few good ideas. Still, I will always remember the Aurora fondly, provided I don’t think about it too hard.