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Expert Reviews 1 of 3
By Richard Truett
April 15, 1993
In the Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, it is likely that a final chapter in automotive history has been written. At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this year, Cadillac General Manager John O. Grettenberger said the new
Fleetwood Brougham is likely the last full-size Cadillac the General Motors luxury car division will build. Grettenberger said Cadillac ''will always have a six-passenger car'' but not one the size of the Fleetwood Brougham, a behemoth of an
automobile. How big and heavy is it? The Fleetwood Brougham is more than 6 feet longer than a Mazda Miata. In fact, it's the longest regular production car in 1993. And with four averaged-size adults on board, the Fleetwood would weigh as much as
three Geo Metros. For Cadillac, the Fleetwood Brougham is a last nod to the '60s, a time when soft was supreme, big was beautiful and chrome was cool. PERFORMANCE Cadillac uses a standard GM power plant to motivate the 4,400-pound Fleetwood
Brougham. It's a fuel-injected 5.7-liter V-8 that makes 185-horsepower. This is basically the same engine that's used in the Chevrolet Caprice LTZ and the Buick Roadmaster. In fact, underneath the Fleetwood Brougham you will find basically the same
car as the Chevy and Buick. The big Brougham offers reasonable performance. It is engineered for older drivers, who presumably don't want or need the high-horsepower, neck-snapping performance of a Seville STS with its advanced Northstar V-8 engine.
As with the Caprice and Roadmaster, the Fleetwood comes with a smooth-shifting, four-speed automatic transmission that is computer controlled. For all practical purposes, the Fleetwood's drivetrain is unremarkable. It is as smooth as one would expect of a
Cadillac, and it gets the job done without fuss. Fuel mileage, however, is astounding for such a big car. I got 18 mpg in city driving and 25 mpg on the highway. HANDLING Cadillac made the Fleetwood's suspension system extremely soft - so soft, in
fact, that I found the car to be physicaly tiring to drive for long periods of time. You have to do more in the driver's seat to control it. For instance, you find yourself slowing for curves and turns that most cars can breeze through without
requiring so much as a second thought from the driver. However, on the highway the Fleetwood rides as smooth and as comfortably as a jetliner. There is very little sensation of tires rolling across pavement. As with giant Cadillacs of the '60s,
this one also can be steered with one finger because the wheel takes so little effort to turn. The anti-lock disc/drum brakes also were unremarkable. They did the job and nothing more. FIT AND FINISH The interior of the Fleetwood Brougham can
be described as big, well lighted, soft, plush, functional and - if you find fake wood offensive - a little tacky. Cadillac has outfitted the Brougham wit
h dual air bags, a feature you can't get in the Chevy and Buick versions. The air bags required a complete redesign of the dash, the top of which now seems as wide as your average-sized picnic table. The bright blue electronic gauges are easy on
the eyes and nicely styled. Our test car was equipped with leather bench seats that were extremely soft and comfortable. I don't think I have ever seen a car with so many seat electric adjustments as the Brougham. The front seats - heated and
equipped with a memory feature - moved in six directions and came with inflatable three-position lumbar supports. It seemed as if most anybody could find a way to get comfortable. The rear seats were just as fine as ones in front. Three adults are
easily can sit comfortably in the back. If you've always wanted to drive the biggest car on the road and if you like a plush interior and an ultra soft ride, the Cadillac's Fleetwood Brougham is just the ticket. Tr
ett's tip: If you like a big car with a soft ride, you won't fine one bigger or softer tha n the new Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham.