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1993 Cadillac Allante

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1993 Cadillac Allante
Available in 1 styles:  Alante 2dr Coupe shown
Asking Price Range
Estimated MPG

14 city / 21 hwy

Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 2 of 5
1993 Cadillac Allante 4.2 6
$ 3,881-30,857
August 28, 1992
THE CADILLAC people called me on an off day. I was in the office, mind you, but was mentally "off" -- a mood reflected by the barely pressed khaki pants and the go-with-anything blue shirt and red tie I wore to work.

The Cadillac folks wanted to do lunch at a fancy downtown hotel. Didn't matter if I wasn't wearing a coat, they said. Got something we want to show you.

On display was a white 1993 Cadillac Allante convertible, which didn't look much different from the first Allante introduced in 1987. I was beginning to feel underwhelmed, until the Cadillac officials popped the hood.

Yo! Underneath was the 290-horsepower, 32-valve, Northstar V-8 engine. It's Cadillac's first completely new engine in a decade. That alone was reason for celebration. But one of the Cadillac people was saying something about keeping the car for a week or so.

It turned out to be one of the best off days I ever had.

Background: The Allante was introduced in 1987 as a wannabe Mercedes-Benz S-class convertible, although the Cadillac people didn't describe it that way. They preferred to call it "America's only luxury two-seat roadster."

But behind all of that "America's only" stuff was a transparent yearning to be European. Problem was, the Allante didn't quite make it. It was a good car, alright. But Americans found it difficult to accept a Cadillac with a $50,000-plus sticker. Likewise, it turned out not to matter much that the car's body was, as the Cadillac publicists loved to say, "Italian-crafted by Pininfarina." Folks kept buying the German-crafted S-class convertibles by Mercedes-Benz.

But with the Allante's marvelous new engine -- and all of the new things that come with it -- the Mercedes-Benz convertibles are getting some real American competition, even though the new Allante also comes with a big price increase over the older model.

Complaints: The Allante's troublesome convertible top has been improved, both in terms of material composition and operation. But the thing is still a bit of a pain to handle. You've got to press a power button to detach the front of the roof. But the rest of the operation is a series of sometimes confusing manual steps. That's goofy. Cadillac needs to make the thing either all manual or all power as long as they just make it simple!

The dashboard still resembles the cockpit of a high-tech fighter plane. Wrong image. Folks who get behind the wheel of this car are going to party, not to war.

Praise: One of the best-driving luxury convertibles, foreign or domestic, anywhere at any price. That Northstar V-8 is so darned quiet, it's unbelievable. With the top down, all you hear and feel is wind. Driver's-side air bag is standard, as are four-wheel anti-lock brakes and traction control.

The basic brakes -- the power-assisted, four-wheel-discs used in normal stopping -- are larger and stronger. The new 4T80-E electronically controlled auto matic transmission in the Allante puts comparable transmissions in Mercedes-Benz and Lexus to shame. Bottom line: The new, front-wheel-drive Allante -- which also comes with a 16.3-cubic foot trunk -- kicks tailpipe all over the place.

Head-turning quotient: Ear-to-ear smiles from folks on the street. Grimaces from other drivers who pulled up alongside of the Allante thinking it was just another funny-named Cadillac with no street guts. The Allante moves from stop so quickly and quietly, it literally leaves other cars standing in the dust.

Ride, acceleration and handling: Triple aces, hands down. Kudos to the suspension system, which prevents the car from bottoming out even on super bumpy and pot-holed streets.

Sound system: Eight-speaker, 100-watt AM/FM stereo radio, cassette and compact disc by GM/Delco/Bose. Excellent.

Mileage: Poor. Barely 19 per gallon (23-gallon tank, estimated 417-mile range on usable volume of premium unleaded), combined cit -highway, light cargo and driver only.

Price: Base price is $61,675, including a $1,700 federal gas-guzzler tax. Dealer invoice price is $53,159. Price as tested is, ahem, $66,038, including $3,168 in federal luxury taxes and $1,195 in options. There are no destination charges on this one.

Purse-strings note: Cadillac is attempting to soften the Allante's steep price with the Allante Assurance Plan, which includes seven-year/100,000-mile coverage on all major and many minor components. Feel better?

    Expert Reviews 2 of 5

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