Premium midsize car; Built in USA
  • 2-door coupe
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,400 – $5,600*


1993 Cadillac Eldorado Sport Coupe


1992 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe


1996 Cadillac Eldorado


1994 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe


1994 Cadillac Eldorado Northstar engine

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Standard antilock brakes
  • Traction control (later models)
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Climate controls (early models)
  • Fuel economy
  • Rear visibility

In any guise, these are Cadillac’s best premium coupes in a long while–excellent, expertly assembled, domestically built rivals to such imports as the Lexus SC 300/400, and competitive with Lincoln’s Mark VIII. A solid structure completes this excellent package, giving the sizable coupe a unified feel, worthy of its price and status.

Overview

Despite similarities in their powertrain and structure, the latest Eldorado coupe’s identity leans away from that of the Seville sedan. Eldorados turned to traditional elegance in this generation, whereas Seville adopted a European flair. The two cars share no body panels. Eldos measured nearly 11 inches longer than their predecessors, but that growth yielded only a modest rise in interior space. Antilock braking and a driver’s airbag were standard. Formerly on the glitzy side, the cabin of this version is understated and functional. Rounded dashboard forms are highlighted by Zebrano wood inserts that extend midway into the doors. A new sport interior option could replace the standard digital instrumentation with analog gauges. Touring Coupes sported monochrome paint, with a firmer suspension and an exclusive interior featuring extra wood.

Yearly Updates

1993 Eldorado
Dual airbags went into Eldorados, but the biggest ’93 news was the 32-valve, 4.6-liter Northstar V8 engine, rated 295 horsepower in the Touring Coupe. A 270-horse version went into the new Sport Coupe, while basic Eldorados stuck with the original 4.9-liter engine. Speed-sensitive steering entered both models, and rear suspensions were redesigned. A new automatic transmission programmed its shifts electronically, according to the driver’s style. Touring Coupes also gained revised traction control, which held back engine power as well as applying the brakes. A new Road Sensing Suspension used computer-monitored sensors to
adjust ride firmness. Base models got a speed-sensitive suspension instead.
1994 Eldorado
The 270-horsepower Northstar V8 that debuted a year earlier now served as the base engine. All models now had traction control and a Road Sensing Suspension, though that suspension had softer settings in base models.
1995 Eldorado
Both engines gained five horsepower for ’95. Cadillac launched its Integrated Chassis Control System for improved handling/braking. Electronic controls for the Road Sensing Suspension were revised to consider steering angle. Eldos wore new grilles.
1996 Eldorado
Touring Coupes got a new dashboard with bigger analog gauges, plus new climate and stereo controls placed higher on the center console. Base Eldos kept the former dashboard.
1997 Eldorado
New standard features on the 1997 Eldorados included Cadillac’s Stabilitrack emergency traction system and Rainsense automatic wiper system.
1998 Eldorado
Other than new audio systems on base models, Eldorado sees no changes.
1999 Eldorado
Standard on ETC models and optional on the base was Cadillac’s Road Sensing Suspension with the StabiliTrak antiskid system. Also new were optional massaging front seats on the ETC.
2000 Eldorado
GM’s OnStar communications system is made standard on all Eldos. Other changes include standard leather trim on the ESC and the deletion of massaging front seats from the ETC option list.
2001 Eldorado
The only significant change for 2001 was the addition of a rear-seat trunk pass-through on base Eldorados.
2002 Eldorado
Production of this slow-selling V8 luxury coupe ended in April 2002, with retail supplies exhausted by late May. Cadillac marked the occasion with a commemorative Collector Series (ECS) model with special emblems, plus colors and exhaust note intended to mimic those of the original 1953 Eldorado. It had 275 hp and a 4-speed automatic transmission, along with a standard antiskid system.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

A 4.9-liter, 200-horsepower V8 fed an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic in the basic ’92 Eldorado. That engine continued into ’93, but the Touring Coupe adopted a 32-valve, 4.6-liter Northstar V8, rated 295 horsepower. A 270-horsepower version of the Northstar went into the Sport Coupe. Because that engine reached peak power at lower rpm and yielded an extra 10 pound-feet of torque, it was considered a better choice for around-town driving. The Sport Performance package also used a shorter (3.11:1) final-drive ratio. For ’94, the original V8 was gone, and Northstars powered all Eldorados. Horsepower ratings for both engines rose by five in 1995, and the Touring Coupe’s V8 gained a bit of torque.

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.9/300
Engine HP 200
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 275
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

16/25

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/279
Engine HP 270-275
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 300
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/26

18.0

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/279
Engine HP 295-300
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 290-295
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/26

16.0

Road Test

Despite the car’s weight, Eldo acceleration is brisk with the original 4.9-liter engine. Dropping in one of the Northstar engines turns performance from brisk to nearly blistering–especially in Touring Coupe form. Cadillac claimed that both Northstar engines yielded 0-60 mph acceleration of 7.5 seconds, or nearly two seconds quicker than the base V8. No engine is economical. We averaged 16 mpg in a Touring Coupe and 18 mpg in a Northstar-engined base coupe.

Computer Command Ride, which adjusts according to speed, delivers a secure road feel. Unlike prior Eldorados, this one does not bob or wallow over dips and around corners. Steering is precise, and the car is stable at speed and in curves. With a firmer suspension and new touring tires, the Touring Coupe is quieter and more supple than before.

Rear space is okay–generous for a coupe–but the rear seatback is too reclined for total comfort. Huge rear pillars impair the over-the-shoulder view. The large trunk has a usable shape. Buttons for heat and air conditioning are hidden behind the steering wheel. That flaw was corrected on 1996 Touring Coupes, but base coupes kept the former layout. Front bucket seats lack some lumbar bolstering, but are otherwise supportive.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2002 Cadillac Eldorado ESC

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 - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 2
20%

Total: 50

Specifications

2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.0 200.2 75.5 54.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
15.3 20.0 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.4 38.3 42.6 36.0
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Eldorado 2-door coupe

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 97
Injury 62
Theft 177

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: 4T60E transmissions may drop out of drive while cruising, shift erratically, or have no second, third, or fourth gear because of a bad ground connection for the shift solenoids. Poor grounds also allow wrong gear starts. (1992-93)
Automatic transmission
Description: 440-T4 automatic transmissions may shift late or not upshift at all. The problem is a stuck throttle valve inside the transmission. (1992)
Engine knock
Description: Engine knock, especially when cold, may be due to carbon buildup in combustion chambers. (2000-01)
Engine noise
Description: A rattling noise at startup is often caused by automatic-transmission pump starvation or cavitation, or a sticking pressure-regulator valve. (1992-93)
Oil leak
Description: Beware rear main seal leaks on Northstar engine. (1996-99)
Oil pump
Description: Low oil pressure may result from debris caught in Northstar engine oil pump pressure relief valve. (1993-94)
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)
Transaxle leak
Description: The right front axle seal at the automatic transaxle is prone to leak and GM issued a revised seal to correct the problem. (1992-93)

Recall History

1992
Description: Intermediate shaft to steering-rack lower-coupling pinch bolt may be missing on some cars; disengagement produces loss of steering control.
1993 w/4.6-liter engine
Description: Fuel feed and return lines to fuel-injection system could work loose, causing fuel leakage in engine compartment that could result in fire.
1993-94 w/4.6-liter V8
Description: If air conditioner compressor-clutch assembly contacts auxiliary engine oil-cooler hose, that hose may wear through, allowing leakage that could result in fire.
1994
Description: Throttle cable can disengage and interfere with cam mechanism.
1995
Description: Inadvertent airbag deployment could occur, due to water intrusion.
1995-97
Description: The fuel line tubing on certain vehicles may crack causing fuel leakage. Dealers will inspect and replace affected parts.
1996
Description: Analog instrument cluster on some cars could have internal short circuit disrupting Pass-Key system, causing failure of gauges and most telltale indicators, and possible no-start condition; panel could go black while driving.
1997
Description: Brake/traction-control module can cause antilock system to cycle in non-ABS braking; could increase stopping distance.
1998
Description: Misrouted canister purge evaporative emissions harness could interfere with cruise control and throttle linkage, preventing return to closed throttle position.
2000
Description: Inner tie-rod nuts on some cars are loose and can result in separation of tie rod, which can cause unexpected steering input.

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.