Premium sporty/performance car; Built in Italy, USA
  • 2-door convertible
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $3,200 – $6,700*


1993 Cadillac Allante


1990 Cadillac Allante


1993 Cadillac Allante interior


1990 Cadillac Allante


1991 Cadillac Allante

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Antilock brakes
  • Handling
Cons:
  • Fuel economy
  • Price

On the whole, this Cadillac amounted to too little car and insufficient prestige, for a lot of money. Never strong sellers, Allantes were faulted from the start for their high prices. Secondhand models aren’t priced so prohibitively, but they’re still no bargains. With the Northstar engine, new suspension and other refinements for 1993, the Allante’s price did not seem as unreasonable.

Overview

Cadillac had launched the front-drive Allante for the 1987 model year, to plenty of fanfare, as the company’s most expensive model. Body and interior design for Cadillac’s first 2-seat model was created by Pininfarina, in Italy, but the V8/automatic drivetrain was strictly American. Bodies were produced at a facility near Turin, Italy, then loaded onto special jet planes and flown to Detroit. Once there, driveline and underbody components were installed.

Allante was a full convertible, with integral folding soft top and detachable aluminum hardtop. Aluminum was used for the hood and trunk lid while the unit body/frame structure employed galvanized steel. The Allante’s wheelbase measured 8.4 inches shorter than an Eldorado’s, but the 2-seater shared its basic fully independent suspension. An all-disc power brake system with Bosch antilocking was standard.

Initial Allantes had used a 4.1-liter V8 engine and 4-speed automatic transmission. By 1990, a 200-horsepower, 4.5-liter V8 was the motive source, also with automatic only. Traction control was new for 1990, using sensors for the antilock brakes to detect wheel slip during acceleration or steady cruising. When either front wheel began to slip, the system applied braking force to that wheel. If both front wheels were slipping, enough braking action was applied on both sides to optimize traction.

A lower-priced Allante became available with only the folding convertible top. That one cost $51,500, whereas the Allante with twin tops stickered for $57,813–far beyond other Cadillac prices. A driver’s airbag went into the 1990 models, and electronically controlled shock absorbers were retuned to improve ride quality. The standard sound system now included both a cassette and a CD player. Primary rival was the Mercedes-Benz 560SL, also a 2-seater.

Yearly Updates

1991 Allante
The standard Delco-Bose Gold Series sound system earned an upgrade to 200-watt output this year. Under the hood, Cadillac switched to platinum-tipped spark plug for long life. A new second-generation speed-dependent damping system was supposed to provide shorter reaction times to adjust suspension firmness, based on vehicle speed.
1992 Allante
Virtually no change was evident in the 1992 Allantes.
1993 Allante
Major changes went beneath the hood of the 1993 model, which went on sale in January 1992. Cadillac installed its 4.6-liter Northstar V8 engine, which also went into the ’93 Eldorado and Seville. The new dual-overhead-cam V8 made 95 more horsepower than its overhead-valve predecessor and drove a new electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission. A new traction control system could simultaneously apply the brakes or shut down engine cylinders, to minimize front-tire spin. It worked at any speed. Previous traction control had acted upon braking only, and was inactive above about 30 mph.
A new Road Sensing Suspension had sensors at each wheel, to “read” the road by measuring wheel position and body motion, automatically adjusting suspension damping. The system reacted in fractions of a second and replaced a simpler Speed Dependent Damping system that switched among three firmness settings according to vehicle speed. The rear suspension was redesigned and new all-season tires were rated to 155 mph. Also new were one-piece door glass, redesigned seats, an eight-speaker audio system, and a new console module with a dual fold-out cupholder. Despite the many improvements, Cadillac’s 2-seater faded away after the ’93 model year.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Through the 1992 model year, Allantes were equipped with a 4.5-liter overhead-valve V8 engine, making 200 horsepower. Cadillac installed a new Northstar twin-cam (32-valve) V8 into the 1993 model. All Allantes had a 4-speed automatic transmission, which gained electronic controls for 1993.

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.5/273
Engine HP 200
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 270
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

15/22

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/279
Engine HP 295
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 290
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

14/21

Road Test

Performance, handling/roadholding, elegant Italian styling, and an abundant load of standard features are the main attributes of Cadillac’s costly 2-seater. Allante’s 4.5-liter V8 engine delivers brisk acceleration, but with too much noise and a rather crude nature–out of place in a car that cost so much when new. The ride in early models is on the firm side, partly because of the 2-seater’s wide, stiff, high-performance tires. Ride comfort improved in 1991, with the refinements to the automatic suspension-damping system. In road tests at the time, that suspension always seemed to be in the correct mode, though the ride could still turn rough over bad pavement.

Acceleration got a notable boost in 1993 with the new Northstar engine. Cadillac claimed the ’93 Allante could reach 60 mph in under six seconds, and the car actually did feel muscle-car quick. The smooth Northstar V8 launches the roadster smartly and pulls strongly well past 100 mph. Some drivers might ask for more immediate response to throttle inputs in the 25-55 mph range, but the electronic automatic does its part with quick, unobtrusive shifts.

The ’93 Road Sensing Suspension balances ride comfort with stability and adroit control in even the most demanding driving. The one-piece door glass introduced for that final year allowed the side mirrors to be placed father forward for greatly improved visibility. Wider new seats in final models don’t support as well in fast turns, but they’re softer and more comfortable for more body shapes.

Nice touches in late models included the “metaphoric” power seat control and nifty four-way power lumbar adjustment. Drawbacks, even for the final models, included the lack of a power top, and too many lookalike dashboard buttons. Allantes improved considerably after their 1987 debut, but body rigidity lags behind that of a Mercedes-Benz SL convertible.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1993 Cadillac Allante

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 - 8
80%
Fuel Economy - 2
20%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 7
70%
Quietness - 3
30%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 0
00%
Cargo Room - 2
20%

Other

Value - 3
30%

Total: 39

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
99.4 178.7 73.4 51.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.2 23.0 2
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.0 43.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A 2-door convertible

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 N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Cold-starting problems
Description: Hard starting when cold due to fuel injection system pressure bleed-down. (1993)
Oil leak
Description: Oil leaks at the filter adapter on 4.6L Northstar engine. (1993)
Vehicle noise
Description: Gas tank makes sloshing sound because of the lack of baffles. (1993)
Convertible top
Description: Numerous problems with convertible tops including: will not latch properly due to problems with strikers (1990-93), rear interior lamp falls out (1990-91), boot-well seal falls out (1990-91), stowage cover rattles (1990-93), roof bows rattle (1990-93), rear bow is hard to latch due to problems with the quarter glass (1990-92), and fabric wears due to rubbing while stowed (1990-92).

Recall History

1993
Description: If air-conditioner compressor-clutch assembly contacts auxiliary engine oil-cooler hose, the hose may wear through, allowing engine oil to leak in engine compartment.

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.