Subtle styling differences give revamped Cadillac Seville completely different look. The all-new Cadillac Seville is a car on a mission.Refined and improved, the Seville's revamping may be seen as evolutionary, but for Cadillac, it represents so much more. With its flagship, Cadillac intends to recapture its legendary title as Standard of the World. With the Seville, General Motors' luxury division is taking on the great marques of Europe and Japan. Cadillac plans to sell 20 percent of its new Sevilles overseas within five years, going up against the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, BMW, Jaguar, Audi, Volvo and Infiniti. To do so, Caddy has tweaked the Seville into a luxury craft with a distinctly American twist - part grand-touring car and part hot rod. Its exterior has been refined and enhanced, still recognizable but completely different. The interior has been transformed with a more international look, reminiscent of Audi and Lexus. As part of its worldwide appeal, a percentage of Sevilles will be equipped with right-hand drive to lure English and Japanese drivers. Seville, which in 1992 redefined the image of American luxury sedans, retains its spirited 32-valve Northstar engine, attached to a "smart" electronic transmission. It also keeps its balanced handling, enhanced with electronics that improve traction and prevent skidding. A major improvement is Seville's use of the well-engineered chassis from the Oldsmobile Aurora and Buick Riviera, boosting structural rigidity by half, making for better handling and more solid road feel. The Stabilitrac system, an electronic tour de force that employs a tiny tuning fork to detect skidding movements, makes the Seville shamefully easy to drive. Go into a turn a little too hot? The system judiciously will back off the gas and apply the brake to the appropriate wheel, turning your ham-fisted technique into a ballet of control. Sliding on a slick surface? Stabilitrac will work overtime to keep you on the straight and narrow. Of course, the laws of physics still apply, but the handling system, coupled with anti-lock brakes and traction control, can save your hide in a variety of circumstances. Seville manages to push its 300 horsepower through the front wheels without undue fuss, another testimony to good engineering and electronics. There is a fair amount of torque steer under hard acceleration, trying to pull you off track if you don't compensate. In normal driving, you'd never notice which end of the car was doing the motivating. What you will notice is that the Seville can get up, delivering impressive acceleration with a throaty roar. The Northstar V-8 continues to be great. There are two Seville models, a lower-priced SLS geared for comfort with a 275-horse engine, and the more-athletic STS that we tested. Either sedan is quieter, more solid and better handling than the last model. The cabin is tastefully designed, with handsome wood accents and well-placed controls and accessories. The gauges are very nice, bright and well-defined. The front seats have trick bolsters that automatically adjust to match the human occupant. Amazing stuff, but rather gimmicky. Now, let's pay homage to a truly great stereo system. The Delco-Bose setup will crank Motley Crue, or quietly capture the tonal qualities of Chopin. If this car never left the driveway, the stereo would make it all worthwhile. The '98 Seville is slightly shorter than the last model, but the interior is especially roomy and the trunk is cavernous. The rear seat is much more substantial and more comfortable. Our test car was a pre-production model, so there were a few loose bits. And the electronic seat memory was haunted by gremlins so that you never knew what sort of weird configuration you'd end up with. So how does Seville stack up against the upscale competition from across the pond? Pretty well, really. Without abandoning its Cadillac va lues, i t manages to cut a world-class figure as it heads out to face the challenge. 1998 Cadillac Seville Vehicle type: Five-passenger, four-door sedan, front-wheel drive. Base price: $46,995. Price as tested: $48,000 (est). Engine: 4.6-liter V-8, 300 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, 295 pounds-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. Transmission: Four-speed automatic. Curb weight: 4,000 pounds. Length: 200.8 inches. EPA fuel economy: 17 mpg city, 26 mpg highway. Highs: Powerful engine. Great handling. Fabulous stereo. Lows: Gimmicky seats. Torque steer. Electronic glitches.
|Tom Strongman||KansasCity.com||May 3, 2001|
|Paul Dean||Los Angeles Times||June 26, 1998|
|Warren Brown||washingtonpost.com||April 17, 1998|
|Tony Swan||Detroit Newspapers||March 26, 1998|
|Anita And Paul Lienert||The Detroit News||March 11, 1998|
|Bob Golfen||AZCentral.com||December 20, 1997|
|Tony Swan||Detroit Newspapers||November 6, 1997|
|George Moore||IndyStar.com||October 5, 1997|
|Jim Mateja||chicagotribune.com||September 28, 1997|
|Anita Lienert||The Detroit News||September 3, 1997|
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