Premium large car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,800 – $3,200*


1993 Cadillac Fleetwood


1993 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Sedan


1996 Cadillac Fleetwood


1993 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Sedan interior


1994 Cadillac Fleetwood engine

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Antilock brakes
  • Interior noise levels
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Trailer-towing capability
Cons:
  • Fuel economy
  • Size and weight
  • Rear visibility

Quite a few traditional-type shoppers regret the fact that Cadillac stopped making these big rear-drive sedans. If you tow a trailer and travel cross-country, a Fleetwood just might be your best practical choice.

Overview

Renamed Fleetwood in a restyle for 1993, this big traditional rear-drive sedan gained dual airbags and four inches in length. More-rounded than the old Brougham, the mid 1990s Fleetwood was built on the same platform used by the Buick Roadmaster and Chevrolet Caprice. In this case, though, the chassis was stretched five inches for a 121.5-inch wheelbase. At 225 inches overall, Fleetwood was the longest production car built in the U.S. Initial Fleetwoods held a 185-horsepower V8, with 4-speed automatic transmission. Standard traction control and antilock brakes made this rear-drive sedan an all-weather vehicle. Dual airbags were installed, and head room grew an inch in the rear, leg room 2.7 inches.

Yearly Updates

1994 Fleetwood
Tucking a Corvette-derived LT1 engine under the hood of a Fleetwood gave this traditional-size sedan a new personality. A new transmission with electronic controls helped take full advantage of the extra power. An optional trailer-towing package increased capacity to 7000 pounds.
1995 Fleetwood
Traction control added an on-off switch. New platinum-tipped spark plugs were installed, along with transmission fluid that was intended to last 100,000 miles. Outside mirrors grew larger, sat farther forward, and incorporated a new foldaway feature.
1996 Fleetwood
The final season for the traditional-size, rear-drive sedan, changes were few. A folding center armrest for the front seat included storage for cassettes and CDs, and dual cupholders.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

Initial Fleetwoods were powered by a version of GM’s venerable 5.7-liter V8, developing 185 horsepower. A 4-speed automatic with hydraulic controls was the only transmission. A massive power boost (to 260 horsepower) came for ’94, courtesy of a Corvette-based V8 engine. Also 5.7 liters in displacement, the LT1 engine used sequential fuel injection and drove a new 4-speed automatic transmission that featured electronic controls.

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.7/350
Engine HP 185
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 300
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

16/25

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.7/350
Engine HP 260
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 330-335
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/26

14.8

Road Test

“Fleet” is definitely the word for the 1994-96 Fleetwood, with its Corvette-derived engine. With that powerplant on tap, you get swift takeoffs, as well as vigorous passing–which takes only a little more pressure on the gas pedal. Cadillac claimed that 0-60 mph acceleration took just 8.5 seconds–two seconds faster than the 1993 model. Fuel economy is no bargain; we averaged only 14.8 mpg.

Fleetwood suspensions are firmer than those in a Caprice or Roadmaster, so you don’t get the pillowy-soft ride that characterized big Cadillacs of the more distant past. Sure, it filters out fewer bumps, but the massive sedan also wallows less and has better control in turns than its GM siblings. Even so, body lean is excessive and the undeniably soft suspension allows lots of bouncing on wavy roads. Steering is firmer too, for improved road feel. Traction control is a definite “plus.” When actuated, it pushes back gently on the gas pedal, and an indicator light illuminates.

Inside, three can sit across, front or rear, but those in the middle won’t have much leg room. Adults can stretch their legs at outboard positions. Front seats are “split-frame” design, in which the lower cushion adjusts independently of the backrest. Base-model seat cushions seem firmer and no less comfortable than the multi-adjustable seats in the costlier Brougham. Back seats are nothing short of cavernous, but the cushion lacks thigh support. Drivers face an uncluttered dashboard layout. A huge trunk holds several suitcases.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 7
70%
Fuel Economy - 2
20%
Ride Quality - 8
80%
Steering/Handling - 5
50%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 6
60%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 63

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
121.5 225.0 78.0 57.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
21.1 23.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.7 39.1 42.5 43.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1995 Fleetwood 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 123
Injury 61
Theft 110

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: 700-R4 automatic transmissions may shift late or not upshift at all. The problem is a stuck throttle valve inside the transmission. (1993)
Steering noise
Description: The upper bearing mount in the steering column can get loose and cause a snapping or clicking, requiring a new bearing spring and turn-signal cancel cam, which the manufacturer will warranty. (1994-96)

Recall History

1993
Description: Passenger-side airbag in a few cars could experience an inflator ignition delay in an accident; delayed deployment could increase risk of injury.
1994
Description: Oil-cooler inlet hose may be too close to steering gear, causing chafing; could result in leakage and fire.
1994
Description: On small number of cars, paint between wheel and brake rotor/drum can cause lug nut to loosen.
1994
Description: Fuel-tank strap fasteners can detach, eventually allowing tank to sag.
1994-95
Description: At low temperatures, throttle return spring could fail.
1994-95
Description: Lower ball joint on a few cars sent to Guam and Puerto Rico can separate.
1995
Description: Improperly adjusted transmission linkage may permit shifting from “Park” position with ignition key removed.
1995-96
Description: Wheel lug nuts were not tightened to the proper specification. This could result in wheel loss.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.