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1996 Cadillac Eldorado Review
A new take on an American classic.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The Cadillac Eldorado helped to keep the automaker from fading away with a redesign in 1992. In that time, there have been some small changes to the platform that include the introduction of the Northstar V-8. It continues to use this powertrain to produce good acceleration and the ability to cruise easily. It's leading Cadillac’s new era but has been struggling to gain widespread acceptance, and it sees very little in the way of updates this year. A new color is available for both the interior and exterior, while a new road-sensing suspension has been put in the Touring Coupe to help give the premium version a better, more consistent ride.
Engines: 4.6-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Cadillac Eldorado, Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe
The 1996 Cadillac Eldorado receives some minor updates. The Touring Coupe gets and updated road-sensing suspension as well as an automatic windshield wiper system. The interior is also updated with larger gauges, and both models get new seats and audio systems as well as a new exterior and interior color.
The 1996 Cadillac Eldorado stands out as being an angular vehicle in a world where most cars are headed towards rounded-off lumps. The only exterior change has been new wheels on the Touring version. The rear end is wide and muscular while the front end is tapering towards the grille. Much of the trim is body color with chrome being optional, and the large b-pillars at the rear are quite noticeable.
The 1996 Cadillac Eldorado is well appointed, if not showing its age and demographic aim. There’s a lot of leather and wood, and the plastic that's used looks solid and not at all cheap. The seats have been improved to be more comfortable and provide better support. The dashboard is nicely laid out, ergonomically sound and simple. Power locks and windows come standard as do power mirrors. The large triangular rear pillars put large blind spots to the driver and passenger rear.
Performance & Handling
The 1996 Cadillac Eldorado gets an impressive Northstar V-8 underneath the hood, which put out 275 horsepower. It's strong enough to even make the four-speed automatic transmission seem like a good choice, although the driving purist would love to have a five-speed manual mated with this engine. The Northstar also gets it off the line quickly, accelerating up to 60 mpg in less than eight seconds. It handles decently for a luxury coupe, and the new suspension works well at sensing road conditions and adjusting to produce an even, consistent ride. Standard four-wheel anti-lock brakes bring the beefy coupe to a halt in a short distance.
The 1996 Cadillac Eldorado comes with loads of standard safety equipment, which include driver and passenger front airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes and daytime running lights. Traction control is also standard, and the updated chassis and steering systems add additional safety measures. The stability enhancement found that's part of the new ICCS in the Touring model would automatically assist the driver when skidding is detected. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave stars out of five in regards to driver and passenger front impact protection.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Unique design
- Powerful engine
You Won't Like
- Front-wheel drive does a disservice to the engine
- Too many blind spots
A new take on an American classic.
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