: sell me on a fleetwood



djradiorick
04-18-07, 10:18 PM
I am looking to get my first cadillac and am pretty much set on a 99 deville or a 96 fleetwood brougham. The size and look of the fleetwood is very attractive but the fact that it has to be a few years older is my main concern. can anybody compare these features of the two cars:

drivability (how much boatier does the fleetwood feel)?

engine (fleetwoods LT1 vs northstar)......is the 260 vs 275hp a huge deal?

interior comfort?

gas mileage? (how much worse is the fleetwood)

anything else?

96Fleetwood
04-18-07, 10:29 PM
I had the opportunity to own my 1996 Fleetwood and a 1999 Deville Concours at the same time for 3 months.

I liked the creature comforts of the 1999 Concours.. but the maintenance costs are a nightmare. Front struts for the Northstar powered vehicle = $632.00

Front shocks for the Fleetwood= $120.00 for top of the line Bilsteins

The size of the Concours made it easier to maneuver and the brakes were more responsive due to the 4 wheel disc, but the Fleetwood can be made to do the job just as good.

I do like the shifter on the floor in the Concours, but it is not a big sacrifice.

So all in all, I would pick the Fleetwood over a Northstar powered Deville.

Why? Because for the money you will be spending on a '99 ($5,000-$9,000), you can get a very clean 1996 Fleetwood that will be more reliable, cheaper to insure, and cheaper to maintain.

Gas mileage: When my Fleetwood was stock I could get 16.5 mpg in the city. With the Concours, I got 17 mpg at best... so no real difference.

Just my .02$

Goodluck!:thumbsup:

Old Fleetwood
04-18-07, 10:37 PM
Not to mention which car would be a chick magnet.
If you're interested in that kind of thing, of course.
My money would be on the Fleetwood. 10 to 1.:thumbsup:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-18-07, 11:01 PM
I've never owned a Fleetwood, or the deVille like you're looking at, but I've test driven many of both, and I can tell ya the Fleetwood would float a lot more than a deVille on the highway. But that's easily remedied, the aftermarket suspension parts for the F bodies will fit on the Fleetwoods so after spending little time and money, your Fleetwood will be handling like you'd never imagine a 4500 lb car could!

Engine: Stock for stock, a 275hp DeVille will walk away from the 260hp Fleetwood on the highway due to the fact the deVille is about 400-500 lbs lighter, and the Northstar's real power comes into effect on the highway, due to the nature of the DOHC engine. But around town, my money is on the LT1 Fleetwood in a drag race, the powerband is at a much lower RPM, much more usable power, tons of torque at idle to about 4000 rpm. Also for what it's worth, the LT1 is much easier to maintain/repair and the costs of ownership will be much lower for the LT1.

Interior comfort....probably the Fleetwood.


Overall, the DeVille is more advanced and modern, but that can be a bad thing when things start breaking and you gotta fix or replace those complicated, expensive parts. The Fleetwood isn't as modern as the deVille, nor is it as complicated and gadget laden, but there aren't as many things to go bad and the electronics used are very proven and troublefree.

My verdict: The Fleetwood, preferably a Brougham.

z06bigbird
04-18-07, 11:04 PM
Go with Fleecewood. Biggest problem with Fleecewood is that the water pump can leak water right on the distributor. If it damages distrib, big $$. Tires are 15", under $80 generally.

That is only expensive potential repair. Solution: Stop as soon as you smell water, as water pumps generally start leaking slowly.

Sedan de Ville. Northstar is a powerful engine, but it has several potential problems:

1. Starter is under intake manifold. Mechanics charge several hours labor. Should not have to worry about starter for 100k miles or so.

2. Some Northstars (esp prior to 2000) had a major oil leak problem. Only the dealer could fix. Oil would pour out of one side of block. Block came in 3 pieces, and seals initially were bad. GM took several years to figure out a solution. Newer cars are ok. Before you buy, climb under car and look carefully for leaks.

3. Northstar has 2 fan belts. There is an $11 fan belt near radiator on driver's side. Most mechanics and owners do not know that it exists. It will eventually break, and now you have a cooked engine. $6k. That is why you see so many SDVs needing engines. When early engines cooked, (prior to 2000), the head bolts pulled up thru the block and stripped the holes. GM has a digital $1500 tool to assist in the repair, and most repair shops do not have that.

Tires for SDV are 16". Over $100.

My opinion: go with 95 or 96 Fleecewood. Those two years use regular gas not hi-test.

Ed

Lord Cadillac
04-19-07, 10:49 AM
I owned a 1995 Fleetwood Brougham and a 2000 DeVille DTS. The DeVille has a much more "current' interior. It looks "new". The Fleetwood looks dated. But this was my only issue with the Fleetwood.. I actually preferred the boatier feel - but as mentioned above, the suspension can be tightened up. However, my passengers loved the soft ride. And, they really loved the roominess..

If I had a choice, I'd take my 95 Fleetwood Brougham back over my 2000 DeVille DTS.

cadydaddy
04-19-07, 12:01 PM
I just bought a 94 fleetwood and I have only put 50 miles on it but prefer it to my buddys 97 deville, only thing I dont care for so far on my fleetwood, is when the sun is setting it is almost impossible to see the display in direct sunlight. only complaint so far.

Also, what do you want, RWD or FWD, full frame or unibody? I wanted the former of the two.

caddycruiser
04-19-07, 12:08 PM
My opinion: go with 95 or 96 Fleecewood. Those two years use regular gas not hi-test.

Ed

Yet again, as I said before, you have some wrong information here--no '93-96 Fleetwood ever was made for anything higher than 87 octane, and there's NO difference between a '94 and a '95/96 in that regard either.
---------

Specific to this topic, what everyone has said so far is exactly on target. A Deville is a bit smaller and has a few more toys inside, but in every other regard, a Fleetwood is a more reliable, less complex, and a LOT more easily moddable of a car. Stock form, a nice and gentle rider with great power, and from that point there's just an endless array of suspension, gears, wheels, exhaust, etc. changes that can transform one to whatever you prefer.

rlyons
04-19-07, 01:42 PM
Well I bought my 93 Fleetwood and left three days later on a trip from Florida to Oregon and back non-stop each way. Not one problem, not even a drop of oil used and the best ride I ever had in a car. I have owned Devilles before and in fact sold my last one a year ago and there is no comparison between the two in my opinion. The Northstar engine is a maintinance nightmare in my opinion and the Fleetwood engine is tried and true. Just my opinion anyway.

Adam
04-21-07, 08:44 PM
Fleetwood is the way to go. A lot more comfortable than the Deville. I think the only thing the Deville has on the Fleetwood is the newer looking interior. As far as speed... LT1 has a ton of aftermarket for it. So yeah, a Deville can beat stock for stock but a few mods and you'll eat a Deville. Good luck.

cadillacmike68
04-21-07, 10:03 PM
I have a 1995 Fleetwood, have had it for over 7 years now. I'm looking to get a 1999 DeVille but only after I find a 1992 Brougham with a 5.7, tow package leather seats and factory CD player.

I'll try to not repeat what's already been said.

They both look similar from a distance. The Fletwood is much bigger up close however and it has the flared front fenders and the big chrome front and rear bumpers.

Front seat comfort would be very similar, with the DeVille actually having MORE front leg room because the FWD allows a flat front floor foot rest area. The Brougham has a rise on the outsides to accomodate the frame, and this makes for an uneven front floor. This is noticable on long drives, I know because my primary car before the Fleetwood was a 1992 LeSabre which has the same basic chassis as the 92-99 DeVilles and that car had a nice wide front floor.

Electronics such as trip computer, mirror compass, Bose sound system were not available on the Fleetwoods, although the factory CD player is nice.

City gas mileage sucks with the Fleetwood, but highway mileage is decent. lead footed driving with either car however will really eat up gas. Nothhstars BEFORE 2000 required premium fuel. The 93-96 Fleetwoods use regular.

You can do a lot of maintenance yourself on the Fleetwood, not possible on the Northstar equipped DeVilles.

If you get a Fleetwood get a 94-96. They have the 260HP LT1. All 96 and up DeVilles have the Northstar (2 types 275HP and 300HP). Prior to that only DeVille concours had the Northstar in 1994 and 1995 only. I would stay away from the 4.9L V8 in most 95 and earlier DeVilles - low power and possible problems with coolant and oil mixing because of the head design if the car wasn't maintained properly.

The Fleetwood can be equipped to tow 7,500 pounds. Try that in a DeVille!!! I tow my boat with my Fleetwood.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-21-07, 10:20 PM
I would stay away from the 4.9L V8 in most 95 and earlier DeVilles - low power and possible problems with coolant and oil mixing because of the head design if the car wasn't maintained properly.



That's a pretty rare problem in the 4.9s, those have a much better reputation for reliability than the Northstars, especially the pre 2000 models. While the 4.9 deVille isn't as fast as a Northstar deVille, it's no slouch. Better low end torque and an overall more muscular feeling are the main attributes of the 4.9 over the 4.6. It may be rated at only 200hp, but due to the large amount of torque, that's readily available at a wide range of engine speeds, especially in the low end, make this feel much more lively than the 200hp rating would suggest.

cadillacmike68
04-21-07, 10:36 PM
As I said, if the car wasn't maintained properly. The problem - which is head gasket failure because of aluminum in the casting developing a porosity problem - is much more prevalent in the 4.1L and a bit more in the 4.5L V8s, but it is satill a possibility in the 4.9Ls especially if the coolant wasn't flushed regurlarly and the little GM cooling system tabs were not added at each coolant change. NorthStars require the tabs as well and even ,y Fleetwood manual and the CTS manual specify 2 tabs at each coolant change...

I still prefer the NorthStar especially since the 2000 and later run on regular fuel.

I want to get a RWD NorthStar but they are sooo expensive! :crybaby:

cadillacmike68
04-21-07, 10:36 PM
As I said, if the car wasn't maintained properly. The problem - which is head gasket failure because of aluminum in the casting developing a porosity problem - is much more prevalent in the 4.1L and a bit more in the 4.5L V8s, but it is still a possibility in the 4.9Ls especially if the coolant wasn't flushed regurlarly and the little GM cooling system tabs were not added at each coolant change. NorthStars require the tabs as well and even my Fleetwood manual and the CTS manual specify 2 tabs at each coolant change...

I still prefer the NorthStar especially since the 2000 and later run on regular fuel.

I want to get a RWD NorthStar but they are sooo expensive! :crybaby: