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Expert Reviews 1 of 2
By Jim Flammang
April 15, 2002
Vehicle Overview How much longer Cadillacs slow-selling front-drive luxury coupe can last in the lineup is an open question, with no reliable answer thus far. General Motors has not confirmed whether a reworked Eldorado lies in the future, or if its name used by Cadillac since 1953 might be transferred to some new model. The handwriting seemed to be on the wall several years back, when Cadillac redesigned the Seville sedan but left its companion Eldorado coupe alone.
Sales in 2000 dropped to 13,289 coupes, from 15,255 units the year before. Except for an extended oil-change and filter-change interval, little is new for 2002. As before, the Eldorado comes in basic and Touring Coupe form, with two different Northstar V-8 engines.
Exterior The Eldorado exhibits a traditional formal profile. Wide rear roof pillars help give it a classic theme, but they also impair the drivers rear visibility. The Eldorado Touring Coupe (ETC) distinguishes itself from the base Eldorado Sport Coupe (ESC) by virtue of its monochromatic exterior and seven-spoke aluminum wheels. Both versions ride a 108-inch wheelbase and measure 200.6 inches long overall, 75.5 inches wide and 53.6 inches high. Both models ride 16-inch tires on alloy wheels, and the Touring Coupe includes a Continuously Variable Road Sensing Suspension.
Interior Officially set up with seating for five occupants, the Eldorado will fit four adults more comfortably in its opulent cockpit a common situation these days, especially in two-door vehicles. Climbing into the rear seat demands some agility, and the coupes wide doors require a lot of room on the side to open fully. Inside, the Touring Coupe has a different dashboard than the base model, with more conveniently positioned controls and a more stylish look overall.
In either form, Eldorados are loaded with standard equipment, including leather upholstery, eight-way power front bucket seats, heated power mirrors, wood interior trim and wiper-activated headlights. The Touring Coupe adds a Bose cassette/CD player, 12-way power heated front seats, power lumbar adjustment, rain-sensing wipers, a tilt-down right-hand mirror for parking and a Memory Package.
GMs satellite-based OnStar communication system includes two premium services: Personal Calling, which permits hands-free, voice-activated calls without a separate cellular phone contract; and Virtual Advisor, a voice-activated system that provides such Internet-based information as news, sports scores, stock quotes and weather reports.
Under the Hood Both Eldorado models use Cadillacs familiar 4.6-liter Northstar V-8 engine. In the Sport Coupe, it develops 275 horsepower, while the Touring Coupes power plant cranks out 300 hp. Both engines run on regular unleaded gasoline, but premium is recommended for best performance. A four-speed automatic is the sole transmission offered.
Safety Antilock brakes are standard, and side-impact airbags are not available. Cadillacs StabiliTrak electronic stability system is standard on the ETC and optional on the ESC.