Large car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,100 – $6,200*


1994 Chevrolet Caprice Classic 4-door sedan


1991 Chevrolet Caprice 4-door wagon


1994 Chevrolet Impala SS


1996 Chevrolet Caprice Classic interior


1994 Chevrolet Impala SS engine

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Antilock brakes
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Trailer towing capability
Cons:
  • Fuel economy
  • Ride/handling/roadholding (Caprice w/base suspension)
  • Steering feel (Caprice)
  • Wind noise

GM’s front-drive full-size sedans (Buick LeSabre, Olds Eighty Eight, Pontiac Bonneville) handle better and consume less fuel, but can’t match Caprice’s towing ability.

Overview

Introduced as an early ’91 model, the full-size Chevrolet wore a new aero look atop its elderly rear-drive chassis. Sedans arrived in April 1990 in standard and upscale Classic trim; a station wagon followed that fall. Wagons are similar to the Buick Roadmaster and Olds Custom Cruiser. Bigger than prior Caprices, the ’90s edition got antilock brakes and a driver-side airbag. Outboard rear occupants gained 3-point seatbelts. Six-passenger seating was standard in wagons, or an optional rear-facing third seat increased capacity to eight. Wagons included a roof rack, rear wiper/washer, and a tailgate that swung out or down. A sporty LTZ, added at midyear, offered a sports suspension and wider tires.

Yearly Updates

1992 Caprice/Impala SS
A larger optional V8 engine became available for Caprice wagons, which came in a single model. Speedometers now read to 100 mph, and a tilt wheel was standard.
1993 Caprice/Impala SS
Rear wheelwells on Caprice sedans lost their “fender-skirt” look, turning instead to rounded wheel openings. Taillamps and rear trim were new, and rear track width grew by 1.6 inches. Both sedans now were known as Caprice Classics, in base or step-up LS trim. A larger (5.7-liter) V8, developing 180 horsepower, went into the performance-oriented LTZ sedan, and was optional in wagons.
1994 Caprice/Impala SS
A passenger-side airbag joined the one on the driver’s side. Not one, but two new engines replaced their ’93 predecessors: a 4.3-liter V8, and a high-performance 5.7-liter derived from the Corvette’s LT1 V8. Later in the model year, an aggressively styled, performance-oriented Impala SS joined up, carrying that toned-down LT1 V8 and police-type suspension. Caprices got a redesigned dashboard with digital speedometer, and an electronic automatic transmission replaced the hydraulically controlled unit.
1995 Caprice/Impala SS
Caprice sedans adopted the rear roof pillar introduced in ’94 on the Impala SS. That performance-oriented Impala SS now came in three colors, not just black. Seats were reshaped, foldaway mirrors added.
1996 Caprice/Impala SS
The gearshift lever in the Impala SS moved from the steering column to the console. An analog speedometer replaced the digital unit, and a tachometer was installed. Production of both models halted during 1996.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

Only one powertrain was available for the ’91 Caprice: Chevrolet’s 5.0-liter fuel-injected V8, sending its 170 horsepower to a 4-speed automatic transmission. A 5.7-liter V8, optional in 1992-93 wagons (standard in ’93 LTZ sedan), produced only 10 more horsepower than the 5.0, but 45 more pound-feet of torque–just right to haul heavy loads and tow big trailers. For 1994, a 4.3-liter V8 replaced the 5.0-liter, hooked to a new electronically controlled transmission and making 200 horsepower. At the same time, a potent new 260-horsepower version of the 5.7-liter V8 became optional–an evolution of the LT1 engine in Corvettes. That V8 was standard in the Impala SS. For its final year (1996), torque output on the LT1-based engine peaked at lower engine speed.

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.0/305
Engine HP 170
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 255
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/26

16.0

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.7/350
Engine HP 180
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) 4.3/265
Engine HP 200
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 235-245
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

18/26

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

17/26

17.0

Road Test

Despite the new look for 1991, not much changed in this full-size sedan and wagon. Caprice’s traditional soft ride is distressingly bouncy and floaty with the base suspension. Qualifying as virtually aquatic, the car leans way over in turns and wallows over wavy roads. Loose, vague steering impairs quick maneuvers. An optional F41 Ride/Handling suspension offers a slightly more assured feel, without much comfort loss. The sporty LTZ sedan option drew praise, and its stiffer suspension tightens handling considerably. The entertaining Impala SS of 1994-96 offers quite a secure feel on the road, leaning little in curves, its big tires grasping the pavement tenaciously. Wagon suspensions are firmer than those in sedans.

The 5.0-liter V8 is understressed and quiet, with good low-end torque for easy merging/passing as well as brisk getaways. Still, it doesn’t respond quickly to sharp jabs at the gas pedal. Gas mileage is nothing to boast about, either: We averaged only 16 mpg in a ’91 sedan. A 5.7-liter V8 is quicker without guzzling much more fuel. The Corvette-based V8 introduced in 1994 is swifter yet, and none of the V8s demand premium gasoline.

Mechanical noise while cruising is low, but wind roars constantly around the thick side pillars, detracting from the quiet ride. A Caprice is roomy, soft, and plush; though the bulky transmission tunnel robs leg room from center passengers, front and rear. The trunk is sizable. Controls are logical. Antilock braking is a welcome addition, but the nose dives too much in hard stops.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1994 Chevrolet Caprice Classic sedan w/LT1 engine

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 - 3
30%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 6
60%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 55

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
115.9 214.1 77.5 55.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
20.4 23.1 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.2 37.4 42.2 39.5
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
115.9 217.3 79.6 60.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
92.7 21.0 8
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.6 39.4 42.2 38.0
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1995 Caprice 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 2
40%

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 83
Injury 60
Theft 68

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: TH-700-R4 automatic transmissions may shift late or not upshift at all. The problem is a stuck throttle valve inside the transmission. (1991-93)
Engine noise
Description: The exhaust valves on the 4.3- or 5.7-liter engines may not get enough lubrication causing a variety of noises. Usually, the same engine consumes excess oil because the valve-guide seals on the exhaust valves are bad and have to be replaced. (1994-96)
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. (1994-96)

Recall History

1991
Description: Shoulder-belt guide-loop plastic covering may crack and expose the steel subplate; in a crash, seatbelt webbing can be cut.
1991-92
Description: Secondary hood-latch assembly can corrode.
1991-96 police/taxi
Description: Rear lower control arm can crack.
1992
Description: Antilock brake-system modulator can corrode and leak fluid; may reduce brake effectiveness and increase stopping distance.
1992 w/special-order 4.3-liter engine
Description: Engine-mounted fuel-feed and return pipes on some cars may fracture.
1994
Description: Oil-cooler inlet hose may be too close to steering gear, causing chafing that 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 Capri w/speed control system
Description: The speed control deactivation switch may, under certain conditions, leak internally and then overheat, smoke, or burn. This could result in an underhood fire. Dealers will install a fused wiring harness.
1994-95
Description: At low temperatures, throttle return spring could fail due to excess friction.
1994-95
Description: Lower ball joint on a few cars sent to Guam and Puerto Rico can separate (also applies to 1995-96 police/taxi/limo).
1995
Description: Improperly adjusted transmission linkage may permit shifting from “Park” position with ignition key removed.
1995-96 station wagon
Description: Airbag caution label and roof-rack caution label were incorrectly installed on same side of sunvisor.
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.