Biggest difference is the Northstar engine in the 93's. Lots of opinion here - some love em, some hate em.
Seats no longer recaro's. More body flex. Brakes less sensitive to maintenance issues. If you go for a 93, look for a V4J car, signals a midyear change that brought with it a different transmission common to other cars and therefore less expensive to repair if necessary.
Search this forum and others - there's a lot of info
I went with the 93 - last year, Northstar (makes it a real muscle car with almost 100 more HP), other slight changes. Will cost more than a comparative 93.
When I was shopping for my Allante, I targeted 91 & 92 model years due to reliability of the engine and the other reasons cited above. Most of the power advantages of the N* are at a speed that I never drove the car. The 93s are the easiest to find because more 93s were sold than any other year. (I believe 92 had the smallest build number.) As picah65 noted, 93s command a price premium. But, I think I think that premium is misplaced.
I've found several nice 91, 92, and 93s for sale. I am really torn, what are the confirmed problems with the Northstar engine? I don't know much about either the Northstar or the 4.5 other than one is a DOHC and the other is an OHV.
Automobile(s): 2004 Cadillac SRX V8 AWD, 1989 Cadillac Allanté: Pearl White
Re: 92 vs 93
look up headgaskets on this forum. oddly enough, i dont hear about as many allantes with headgasket problems as i do other cadillacs, probably because allante owners know their cars are rare to start with and possibly take better care of them?
I believe that there is more in the way of stories of problems with the digital dashes than actual problems. Also, the fix in most cases is not that expensive if we look at the cost of repairs in general. I had the digital dash in a 1991 Buick Reatta go out and had it fixed for about $150 if I remember correctly. The digital is so much cooler and fits the technological platform of this car so much better than the analog.
As far as the Northstar, go for a latter VIN number, maintain the car properly, and have fun. Do not let it overheat.
You should be aware, based on personal experience, I am able to report that the Recaro seats in the '92 look far better than the offerings of '93. At the same time they become uncomfortably hard after an hour + of driving.
The N* engine did exhibit problems when first introduced. They have been long worked out by now, even in the actual/original engines found in the 93.
Btw I am surprised that no one mentioned the brakes of the 87-92 they are very dangrus , they fail without warning and if you don't crash the car when it fails it will cost you a lot of money to fix it, a master cylinder is way over $1000.00, when my 89 brakes failed without warning I was lucky that no cars where present cause it went right trough the intersection. I now own a 93 that does not have that horrible braking system, when I went to visit johnny monzo's shop in nj he had several crashed allantes that the brakes failed. I say the 93 is so much better then the earlier ones