1990 Cadillac DeVille

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Asking Price Range
$4–$9,500
Estimated MPG

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Expert Reviews

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chicagotribune.com
To fully appreciate the 1990 Cadillac sedan DeVille requires two test drives-one of the DeVille, the other of the Brougham.

After a few days with the DeVille, pack your gasoline credit card and take to the roadway in the Cadillac Brougham sedan to compare how far luxury has come-or, that is, gone.

DeVille is the front-wheel-drive luxury sedan of the early `90s at Cadillac. Brougham is the rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan that`s sold in the `90s but is a carryover from the `60s when excess bordering on absurdity was the norm.

We test drove both `90 luxury sedans and concluded:

- DeVille is a sailboat, Brougham a yacht.

- DeVille slips into those tight parking spaces; Brougham takes two because they`re small.

- DeVille glides into turns with only a trace of lean from its trim body; Brougham lumbers into the turn and swings wide as the laws of physics and the rule about weight in motion tending to stay that way take hold.

- DeVille has a peppy 4.5-liter, 180-horsepower, fuel-injected, V-8 engine that powers you from the light and past the filling station. Brougham has a 5-liter, 140-h.p., carbureted, V-8 or optional and peppier 5.7-liter, 175-h.p., fuel-injected, V-8 engine that powers you from the light to the next filling station, where you have to pause to replenish the tank.

- The DeVille is EPA rated at 16 miles per gallon city/25 m.p.g. highway, the Brougham at 14 m.p.g. city/21 m.p.g. highway. The Brougham carries an $850 gas-guzzler tax. The tax applies to cars with combined city and highway mileage of less than 22 m.p.g.

The DeVille doesn`t outdo the Brougham in every category. Though DeVille gives rear-seat occupants enough room to cross legs without touching the front-seat and to have a conversation without the front-seat passengers joining in, so does the Brougham. Also, DeVille`s trunk will hold a couple sets of golf clubs, but ditto for Brougham.

The Brougham has a couple of advantages over the DeVille. Though both have antilock brakes, they`re standard in the Brougham and a $925 option in DeVille. When it comes to towing, the Brougham will pull the big boat, DeVille brings up the dinghy.

DeVille is the one you want to drive a second time while Brougham is the one you tip your hat to out of respect for the elderly. DeVille offers smooth but firm ride and handling, more than abundant room and comfort, a back seat that vies for space with stretch limos and a 4.5-liter V-8 with the punch lacking in the old 4.1-liter V-8.

Basically, DeVille is jeans, Brougham furs. DeVille is practical, Brougham pretentious.

DeVille has grown from its mid-1980s downsizing. In the 1989 model year, the wheelbase grew 3 inches to 113.8 inches and length was extended 2.5 inches to 205.6 inches.

Brougham is much larger, built on a 121.5-inch wheelbase and 221 inches long overall. How big is that? Try parallel parking, and you`ll know. Brougham is the largest domestic car on the market.

Base price on the DeVille $27,540, the Brougham $28,250.

In addition to antilock brakes, standard equipment in the Brougham includes air conditioning; power brakes and steering; power windows/door/ seats, puncture-sealing, steel-belted, whitewall, radial tires; AM/FM stereo with cassette and digital clock; rear-window defogger; padded vinyl roof; cruise control; tilt and telescoping wheel; digital outside temperature display; and a cupholder that pops out of the center armrest.

The car we drove included leather seats for $560, compact disc player addition to the radio for $296 and a day/night mirror for $80 plus an option package for $1,243 with such goodies as remote fuel filler door release, illuminated vanity mirrors, twilight sentinel that automatically adjusts lights and rear-seat reading lamps. The 5.7-liter V-8 is part of an optional $549 trailer towing package.

The stic er read $31,433 plus $550 for freight.

DeVille comes with everything the Brougham does plus independent four- wheel suspension, all-season radials, onboard computer diagnostics and a digital fuel data system to tell you how many gallons remain in the tank.

It included a $961 option package that included the same items as the Broughams special option load plus floor mats and a trunk mat. Leather seats ran $560, cast aluminum wheels $480, electriclear windshield that eliminated early morning frost very quickly for $250 and electric rear window defogger for $195.

The sticker ran $32,433 plus $550 for freight.



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