: Test drove a '93 Fleetwood Brougham!



I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-29-07, 05:31 PM
A pleasant highway cruiser


Well it's about damn time! I've been trying to test drive one of these last gen D-Bodies forever and I finally found one, granted it wasn't an LT1 but I still got a good idea of what a 93-96 Brougham is like.

The one I test drove was a special "Arizona Edition" that was a dealer made special edition from a big dealer in Arizona somewhere, the salesman didn't specify which one.

Exterior Design: 8.5/10
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/60.jpg
The 93-96 Fleetwood is a very handsome, stately automobile. The design just screams class and dignity...like a Rolls. Although I wasn't too fond of the vogue tires, wheels and cloth top that came with the "Arizona Edition" package. I don't think it's as handsome as the 90-92 Broughams, but those are probably the best looking Caddys ever IMO, but IMO the Fleetwood is better looking than the Caprice and Roadmasters from similar years, especially the Caprices.


Interior Design: 7.5/10
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/60-5.jpg
Nothing exciting here, just simplicity by the boatload (pun intended). The overall design isn't real interesting like the 92-97 Seville or 92-02 Eldorado, but it's nice, simple and built well. The dash is wide and deep, and the vertical face is very tall...all in all the dash is huge, but all the buttons are easily accessible and the instument cluster is right in front of you and easily read. Overall, the interior had a quality feel to it, much better than my Roadmaster, or any of the Caprices I've driven at work, or even better than that '94 FWB I looked at a year ago. The overall fit and finish felt as good as my deVille, which is very good considering it's going on 15 years now.

Seating: 8.5/10.
The seats weren't as cushy soft as the seats in my deVille, but they were still soft, especially the backseat. It seemed as though the front seat's bottom cushion was softer than the backrest, but all in all it was a comfortable seat, probably more comfortable over long distances than the seats in my car. The leather was a high quality too, durable yet soft, much better than the leather used in my Roadmaster, but not as soft as the leather used in the '99 ETC or '93 STS I drove. The seats were heated, and mine was on, but in the 10 minutes I was driving it, I didn't feel it get hot.

Engine: 8.5/10
The L05 TBI 350 is a torque monster, you never have to go more than 1/2 throttle in normal driving. I didn't go WOT at all because the salesman was riding shotgun, but in normal driving, it was able to push this 4500lb car around like it was nothing. The engine was smooth and eerily quiet too, much better than my 4.9. The 350 is amazingly reliable and durable too, and it can't be beat in those respects. I just wish it was a bit quicker, but an additional 75hp would be able to take care of that! :cool2:

Tranny: 8/10
This 4L60-E (or was it not electronically controlled yet?) was a smooth shifting, quiet tranny that I have utmost confidence in. For whatever reason, the 1-2 shift was always firm, no matter how much throttle you give it, but the salesguy said that was normal for these old ones with the 350.

Steering: 7/10
The steering felt a bit more sloppy and vague than the steering in my deVille, but I suppose that's expected considering the car. The steering did have more feel than the older style Broughams though and the wheel felt better in your hands.

Suspension: 9/10
If you want a car that's as smooth as possible, this is probably your best bet out there, other than the Town Car, but I'd rather not have air springs. This was incredibly smooth, whether going over expansion joints along the highway, or entering the street from a parking lot. It's very smooth, but not too smooth where's it's totally isolated like that '77 Town Car I drove...that was just scary. The other nice thing about this car's suspension is how simple it is and how you can make it sportier if you so desire. That's the brilliance of the D-Bodies! But if you're going for a car that's "fun to drive", corners well and is very responsive, this isn't up your alley. This is a more modern take on your stereotypical "land yacht" Cadillac. I'd have to say it felt a little big for me, but that's easily changeable.

Radio: 8.5/10:
I didn't listen to it much, but from what I heard, it was clear and crisp, much better than the speakers in my '92, which are getting crackly with age and stuff. Also this one had the optional CD/Cassette player.

Electronic Goodies: 6/10:
This has about the bare minimum of electronic goodies to be a Cadillac, if it didn't have the Electronic Climate Control it would be about the same as a Caprice or base Roadmaster. But that simplicity can be nice too though, less stuff to go bad. Oddly enough, I didn't mind the digital dash...it's kinda neat to have the digital dash, it's a bit of a change, but I wish it had more instrumentation..fuel guage and speedo just doesn't cut it for me. But again, that's easily fixable. I do like how the Broughams have heated seats standard, along with three way lumbar (only in '93 I think) and power reclining seats.

Overall: 86/100:
I like em, but I'd have to do somethings to make them more "me", like firming up the suspension and steering a bit to make it feel more confident and less floaty, but I could also live with it stock and take pride in practically driving a barcalounger down the highway. I think, for right now, the positives (reliability, aftermarket, great exterior design) out weigh the negatives (size, possible bad fuel consumption, lack of electronic goodies and instrumentation). I'm still considering one, but it's gotta be an LT1 model, preferably a '95 and in the right color combo, with the right mileage. But it's tough though, they're very rare cars to find and ones that meet my criteria are even tougher to find. So basically, I'd like to have one, but not as much as I'd like to own a nice 96-02 ETC, but the Brougham would be the smarter purchase at my age.

To Sum It Up:
This car is a very soft riding highway cruiser that's very comfortable and amazingly reliable, yet you're reminded of the overall size when you're looking down that super long dash and hood (the hood ornament seems 6-7 feet out there) and it must be very cumbersome when you're in tight city traffic.



This one had 114k on it, and they wanted $7991 for it. I think it's a bit overpriced, but I'm not in the market right now, I just went to look at that one because it's so rare to find any of these for sale.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-29-07, 05:40 PM
Some more pics:
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/60-1.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/60-2.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/60-3.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/60-4.jpg

Lord Cadillac
01-29-07, 05:44 PM
This is an awesome review.. I have to move this to the Reviews section. Thank you!

caddycruiser
01-29-07, 06:41 PM
PERFECT review, and spot on with my assessment of our (okay, I'm finally getting used to it--DAD's) '93.

Build quality and finish overall is quite good, though still nothing to rave about, and I think the '93 feels just a tad better screwed together than my '95, but I do imagine things.

Seats are relatively soft, but also nicely firm (read: nowhere near disgusting Town Car frame up butt mush, at least the new one I was in once), AND the rear seat in the '93 has a VERY soft cushion that you sink into more, versus the very firm cushion in the '95 that's a lot more supportive. Interesting change, and one that I liked.

Further, the 350 TBI is an absolute torque monster, and extremely quiet, right on. My LT1 feels "zingier" and can run stronger up top, but around town the '93 is definitely meatier and shifts better (at least in our 2). The '93s steering and suspension are also quite squishy, but I think more because of wear in ours, THOUGH I do have some marketing materials from Cadillac that mention "improved on center feel" for 1994, so something small must have still been retuned the next year.

All in all, and again, PERFECT review, and that says something coming from an owner of a car almost identical to that one in a lot of ways, for well over 3 years now:thumbsup:

And glad to see you finally drove one, and have a better real impression now too!

P.S., Oh, and yes, I still scare myself zigging either around town and trying to park.

Benzilla
01-29-07, 07:10 PM
Thanks for the review. I'm torn between getting a '95 Fleetwood or a '99 Suburban for my next daily driver, I like the Fleetwood better, but I need four wheel drive and space more.

That white cloth top would drive me crazy! If it's perfectly clean it would be nice looking, I guess, but it's hard enough keeping a dark brown one clean, you have no idea. I don't care for the wheels either, but vogues do look good on there with the right wheels IMO.

caddycruiser
01-29-07, 07:28 PM
That white cloth top would drive me crazy! If it's perfectly clean it would be nice looking, I guess, but it's hard enough keeping a dark brown one clean, you have no idea.

That's what I thought when he first said it. I have a hard enough time keeping a slick white vinyl top from getting nasty sitting out in the elements, let along cloth--that'd have to be an indoor car only, away from the elements. Like a big white napkin, and cloth tops always fray at the seams and start falling off after time anyway, without fail.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-29-07, 07:29 PM
I didn't like the cloth top, nor did I really like the whole "arizona package" just gimme a regular LT1 Brougham and I'd be happy!

UNCLLUIE
01-29-07, 07:37 PM
Great review! made me miss my 93 Big Red Boat.

Take the car for what it is. It's not a sports car. Good power, absolutely fantastic long road trip car, and believe it or not, a GREAT NYC commuter car. The drive down 57th street to my job was always nice and stress-free. When I traded it for an ETC, I actually took it the new car to the dealer to find out if there was a problem with the suspension. Much much firmer ride. THe steel bumpers on the FWB were good to intimidate other drivers who were making rude lane changes, and a little "park by ear" never did any damage much bettter than the "automatic" parking feature on the new Lexus!

96Fleetwood
01-29-07, 08:53 PM
Guess what? Most of the negative aspects you had with the car can be taken care of with readily found and competitively priced aftermarket performance goodies!! :lildevil:

caddycruiser
01-29-07, 09:13 PM
Guess what? Most of the negative aspects you had with the car can be taken care of with readily found and competitively priced aftermarket performance goodies!! :lildevil:

Exactly, and I think he covered it:



Overall: 86/100:
I like em, but I'd have to do somethings to make them more "me", like firming up the suspension and steering a bit to make it feel more confident and less floaty, but I could also live with it stock and take pride in practically driving a barcalounger down the highway.

Only strange thing to me is this is coming from a person who proclaimed to like the sometimes excess float of some Town Cars and overall pillow persona, but now that he's experienced a typical FE1 suspended Fleetwood has "seen the light". :)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-29-07, 09:53 PM
Only strange thing to me is this is coming from a person who proclaimed to like the sometimes excess float of some Town Cars and overall pillow persona, but now that he's experienced a typical FE1 suspended Fleetwood has "seen the light". :)

Yeah, but it's funny, now I much prefer the firmer, more european ride that the Sevilles and Eldorados have. I like the FE1's ride too, but not as quite as much. From what I remember, this FE1 had more of a floaty/ bouncy ride than my Roadmaster did, but that had the trailer towing package. That didn't ride firm like that '93 STS did, but it wasn't a floater like this or a Town Car. I'd have to drive a Fleetwood with the other (FE2?) suspension to see how I like that. Otherwise, I can't imagine what it would be like to drive a battle cruiser like this with a really firm aftermarket suspension...


A few more things:
-Sorry I didn't have any vids. I brought my camera just in case, but the salesguy was riding shotgun, and that wouldn't be liked.

-Compared to this big heavy beast, everything else feels skimpy and thin, even full sized SUV's. The Brougham is a real car, and not much else out there can compare with the feeling you get driving them, save for Rolls and Bentleys and maybe some of the older Benzes. This car reeks of quality and substance, even if the build quality is nothing to brag about.

-Derek, yes, this backseat was really really soft, and it seemed like you sat real close to the floor, which is a bit different than my Roadmaster, which having a higher backseat cushion.

-I remember that '94 FWB I looked at last year having much firmer front seats, but they were cloth. The salesguy said Cadillac's leather seats have more give though, as they put an additional cushion in the cloth seats.

-The overall build quality on this one was tons better than that '94, or my Roadmaster. The door panels and faux wood trim weren't loose on this one, they were as tight as can be.

-Derek, could you send me the link you have to that road test of the '93 Brougham from Motor Trend? Thanks!

96Fleetwood
01-29-07, 10:01 PM
Only strange thing to me is this is coming from a person who proclaimed to like the sometimes excess float of some Town Cars and overall pillow persona, but now that he's experienced a typical FE1 suspended Fleetwood has "seen the light". :)

Wow, I missed that part. My Fleetwood bone stock rode so much better than my '93 Town Car.. :bonkers:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-29-07, 10:07 PM
Wow, I missed that part. My Fleetwood bone stock rode so much better than my '93 Town Car.. :bonkers:

Whaddya mean "better"? Less floaty? More Controlled? Softer?

When my best friend and I test drove a '94 Town Car back in the summer of '05, he complained that the ride was too soft and too floaty and it made him seasick.

Old Fleetwood
01-29-07, 10:09 PM
Wonderful review but I'm beginning to wonder if I got a "ringer."
>I still haven't found the build specs and will have to call Detroit to find out if it came with H-D suspension since my 1995 FWB is NOT floaty and I've been very impressed at how I've been able to throw it around in the twisties. That's why I've wondered why so many have said the cars don't corner.
>I've heard complaints about rattles and squeaks and fit and finish. Not here! What did I get? I have a copy of the original title; it came from TX, not too far from the Arlington plant, so it wasn't some guy who was part of the GM organization as far as I can figure so the car wasn't specially prepared. Besides, the car was traded for a LEXUS! I doubt the guy would have been a GM employee and done that!
>I will admit I am scared $#itless to even THINK of trying to parallel park this Fleetwood! My '79 Cordoba wasn't that bad, even though it seemed to have a hood long enough to land a Beechcraft Bonanza!
But to get back to the critique - - - it was excellent in its thoroughness. Consumer Distorts should do so good! :thumbsup:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-29-07, 10:09 PM
bump again.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-29-07, 10:10 PM
Oh, by the way, thanks for the positive reviews!

96Fleetwood
01-29-07, 10:28 PM
Yes, the Town Car had less steering feel and was more "floaty."

As for parallel parking.. I have become an expert. Then again I learned how to drive on a 1970 Coupe Deville Convertible :thumbsup:

Benzilla
01-29-07, 10:41 PM
I used to have a few harder riding cars, but now it's Cadillac all the way. My '79 is the cushiest. I love swinging it into a corner using my pinky finger and having to hang onto something as the suspension compresses and high profile tires lean in, sending the 4,000 pound boat into a huge leaning plow. When I go over a railroad track I get a feeling similar to being on a see-saw - front, back, front, back, front, back, level. And I always get a kick from going slowly over a speed bump. With most cars it's just up, then down. With this it's up, down then bounce, bounce. It's like a pillow, you can't feel anything.

Parallel parking also scares the hell out of me, wide whitewalls and no rear vision don't mix well.

I'll stop now.

bicentennialcadillac
01-29-07, 11:05 PM
I used to have a few harder riding cars, but now it's Cadillac all the way. My '79 is the cushiest. I love swinging it into a corner using my pinky finger and having to hang onto something as the suspension compresses and high profile tires lean in, sending the 4,000 pound boat into a huge leaning plow. When I go over a railroad track I get a feeling similar to being on a see-saw - front, back, front, back, front, back, level. And I always get a kick from going slowly over a speed bump. With most cars it's just up, then down. With this it's up, down then bounce, bounce. It's like a pillow, you can't feel anything.

I agree completely.

caddycruiser
01-30-07, 07:00 AM
Chad, here you go, the complete list:

http://s26.photobucket.com/albums/c101/caddycruiser/Car%20Articles/

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-30-07, 09:06 AM
One more thing about that Fleetwood:

-It had a built in radar detector that was installed when new. I don't know if you can see it in the picture, but the display for the radar detector is right above the speedometer, hidden below the dashline. The detector had radars in the front and rear of the car. Sadly, I didn't think to pop the hood or trunk to see them. :/

caddycruiser
01-30-07, 02:54 PM
One more thing about that Fleetwood:

-It had a built in radar detector that was installed when new. I don't know if you can see it in the picture, but the display for the radar detector is right above the speedometer, hidden below the dashline. The detector had radars in the front and rear of the car. Sadly, I didn't think to pop the hood or trunk to see them. :/

Wow, that sounds very cool, and I wondered what that was!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
06-20-07, 07:57 PM
Haha, we got a '93 Brougham in yesterday at work for a pretty odd repair (owner drove over something on the road, punctured a small hole in the oil pan) and I got to drive it a bit around the lot today and run it thru the wash.

It was in great shape, triple navy blue, leather interior, fully loaded, VERY good shape, 195k miles. Looking at it, I thought it was no higher than ~70,000 miles.

Here's a few notes...

-Great seats, not as soft as the seats in my '92, but a bit more supportive and probably more comfortable in the long run.

- feels more tanklike, higher dashboard/beltline, longer and deeper windshield, long dash, feels like you're sitting "in" the car more, rather than on top of it.

-Build quality, like the other '93 I drove, is as good or better than my '92, and miles better than the Roadmaster I had.

-Pretty good leather quality, much better than my Roadmaster's, softer, more supple. From what I remember, it felt softer and more supple than the leather used in deVilles of my vintage. But not as soft/supple as the "Nuance" leather used in the Northstar Cadillacs and Escalades.

-Transmission shifts quite firm and decesive. I thought this was kinda weird in that other '93 I drove, but I guess it's the norm for these. The throttle responce in the L05 350 isn't as quite as good as it is in my 4.9, but that's probably because it's TBI v. my PFI, and FWIW, it didn't seem to have the massive amounts of off idle torque that the 4.9 does, but that might just be because this one had 195k on it.

-Steering is noticeably lighter than the steering on my '92, and from what I can remember, quite a bit lighter than the steering on my Roadmaster. But it seems a bit firmer than the steering on the older style Broughams, and the 93-96 has a thicker, more comfortable wheel.

-Car was overall much more quiet than my '92, especially at idle. You can hear and feel the 4.9 at idle, the 350 is silent and practically unnoticeable. The car overall just felt more isolated and silent. I was surprised at how quiet the HVAC system was, it was almost silent, no matter if it was on High.

96Fleetwood
06-20-07, 08:36 PM
Don't forget.. the car you drove has almost 200,000 miles! Of course the seats won't be as supple and the leather will be tight.

I need to make it to the National event next year so I can let you ride in my car.. the leather in my car is one of the softest I have ever sat in... and after taking my car on three 13 plus hour trips.. the most comfortable.'

Good review though, and a true testament to the longevity of these cars. 200K and it still impressed you!!! :thumbsup:

96Fleetwood
06-21-07, 07:55 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v448/boilrmkr/Car%20Shows/SS%20Nats%2007/ISSCA2007Small140.jpg


My 87,000 mile mint condition interior :thumbsup:

Cadillacboy
06-21-07, 10:33 AM
Nice !
AS I recall, front seats with the driver memory are 6 ways but Seville/Deville is more than this .So, do you think it's a handicape ?
Otherwise did you said , "I wish those seats had ajusted 10 ways and up "

96Fleetwood
06-21-07, 11:19 AM
Actually the seats in my Brougham are 10 way adjustable :thumbsup: .. with memory, power recline, lumbar, and heat.

Cadillacboy
06-21-07, 11:35 AM
Great !
I assume you changed your seats then ;)

96Fleetwood
06-21-07, 11:41 AM
Great !
I assume you changed your seats then ;)

Actually you are right.. the literature states 6 way adjustable.. however I included all the seat functions to get my 10.. oh well, no complaints here. I drove from Miami to Virginia in 1 day and my butt and back still had feeling :highfive:

Cadillacboy
06-21-07, 01:58 PM
Actually you are right.. the literature states 6 way adjustable.. however I included all the seat functions to get my 10.. oh well, no complaints here. I drove from Miami to Virginia in 1 day and my butt and back still had feeling :highfive:

Great,if you're happy I will be happy too :bouncy:
Thanks for your inputs :highfive:

z06bigbird
06-21-07, 04:59 PM
Keep in mind that that is a $3500 car. It looks very clean, but the wholesaler probably gave $2000 for it. Gas prices have killed sales of those cars.

Local Caddy dealer had a 90 or 91 Fleecewood B with 6700 miles on it. No mistake. He held out for $10,000 and got it. Black with gray leather, vogues, etc. Came from rich area of town. Elderly couple.

95s and 96s with low miles are selling for $6000. Some people will pay more, but keep in mind that that car is simply and old car. It will not appreciate over time.

I am not knocking it, because I have my eye on a white 96 Fleecewood B with 20k miles on it. If I really needed/wanted it, I would pay $6k. If i had to sell it, I would have a hard time gettting that kind of money back.

Nice to dream about, though.

Watch out for water pump dropping on distributor. Expensive repair.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
06-21-07, 07:45 PM
This wasn't for sale, it was a customer's car. If it was for sale, I'd probably be seriously considering buying it. I forgot how much softer they are than my deVille, and that's not a firm car by any stance. I'd go over a bump and it'd just sorta bounce and wallow for a bit longer than my '92 does, and it's nowhere near as "controlled" but that's not a bad thing...by any means. It's the way GM intended it, but I suppose the shocks might be worn out a tad, but idk, the owner took VERY good care of it and probably kept up on all his maintenance to a T.

And actually, the waterpump is close to the distributor on the 94-96 Fleetwoods, with the LT1. On the TBI 350, used only on the newer style in '93, the distributor is on the top, in the center, on the back. Very easy access.

96Fleetwood
06-21-07, 08:43 PM
I am not knocking it, because I have my eye on a white 96 Fleecewood B with 20k miles on it. If I really needed/wanted it, I would pay $6k. If i had to sell it, I would have a hard time gettting that kind of money back.

Goodluck with that buddy.. Just sold my other 1996 Fleetwood with 60K original miles for $7,800 in ONE day.

I would pay $10K for that 1996 with 20K miles.

Don't know what you have been looking at, but nice and clean Fleetwoods with low mileage bring $5-14K on eBay.

jey
08-09-08, 08:42 PM
When I go over a railroad track I get a feeling similar to being on a see-saw - front, back, front, back, front, back, level. And I always get a kick from going slowly over a speed bump. With most cars it's just up, then down. With this it's up, down then bounce, bounce. It's like a pillow, you can't feel anything.

Sorry for bumping a year-old thread, but I am curious as to our final verdict on how much bouncing a 93 Fleetwood should have. I was told in an auto maintenance class that if it bounces 3 times or more it's time for new struts. Mine will bounce about 3 times if I go over a significant dip on the highway or speedbump.

kevm14
08-11-08, 09:59 AM
It shouldn't bounce too much. A little bit but not out of control. I replaced all of my shocks with AC Delco (Rockauto). The fronts were their best premium gas shocks and the rears were the air shocks (not the OEM ones, the more universal ones that you have to plumb yourself) and I think the ride is right on for the spring rate. My car had 73k at the time and the shocks were pretty marginal, if that helps.

jey
09-04-08, 10:49 AM
Obviously I needed a woman's opinion - not someone who drives hot rods all day :lol: My wife rode in the Fleetwood and she said there's a low more wallowing than there used to be. Looked at the FSM last night and struts look like an easy swap for these body on frame cars. Time to get the one tool it requires and order some Bilsteins! :)