True that new cars have more bells and whistles, but many of these don't necessarily add weight to the car. Many similar accessories that are on our 80s Cadillacs, weigh much less today than they did 20 years ago (e.g. power window motors). The majority of the increase in many of today's cars can be seen in the underbody and overall "body in white" raw vehicle (the vehicle prior to trim, engine installation, etc.).
New cars have much better crumple zones than our 80s Cadillacs and the unibodys are much stronger in torsion and bending. People (and car magazines) continually ask auto makers to produce more rigid bodies that can handle today's very powerful engines while delivering excellent handling. Think about it: it's quite tough to produce a 300 hp front-driver that doesn't torque steer all over the place. Heavier mounts, control arms, drive axles, transmissions, etc. must be engineered to handle all this power.
All this being said, I really wish automakers would put a renewed focus on trimming weight, like they did in the 1980s. Ford (eek! I said Ford) once calculated that they could improve mileage on their Explorer by 1mpg for each 150 lbs. they dropped off of the vehicle. Why is there not a focus on this initiative now?
Anyway, back to the topic...I really loved my 91 CDV with the 4.9. That engine was just a joy to drive around town...it just had so much low end torque. The 4T60E transmission was also smooth as silk.
I acquired a 87' Sedan Deville back in September, with only 80,000 miles on it.
And now it currently has 81,5XX miles on her, and still purrs like new, and it's in excellent shape.
Currently she doesn't have any major issues, other then needing new motor mounts, and a oil change coming up soon. ;-)
Other then that, she is a beauty to drive and the HT4100 is hell of a crusier, and being underpowered?
She get the job done for me, if i wanted a fast car i would have brought a Mustang. haha