Cadillac Reviews Discussion, Test drove a '93 Fleetwood Brougham! in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; A pleasant highway cruiser
Well it's about damn time! I've been trying to test drive one of these last gen ...
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.