Versus the competiton:
Continuing on the topic of cars from the folks at Chevrolet, we tested the 1994 Caprice Classic. The exterior was finished in a lush, dark cherry metallic, which meant no one hailed our vehicle for a ride to the train station at night. The Caprice is as attractive in dark colors as it is ugly when it is dressed in yellow and has a fare meter on the dash.
Recently we drove the Roadmaster, the Buick version of the full-size, rear-wheel-drive Caprice. Like the Roadmaster, the Caprice was equipped with alimited-slip differential ($250). As with the Roadmaster, we experienced bad weather in the Caprice.
Unlike the Roadmaster’s rear end, however, the Caprice’s stayed in its own lane when we accelerated, made turns or took corners on snow-covered roads. Limited-slip performed well in the Caprice, and handling was stable, while it was dicey in the Roadmaster. Give credit to the ride-and-handling suspension ($49) as well.
For 1994 the 5-liter V-8 is replaced with a 4.3-liter V-6 that produces 200horsepower, 30 more than the old 5-liter. The V-6 sure felt like a small-blockV-8 under the hood. The EPA mileage rating is a respectable 18 m.p.g. city/26 highway with the standard four-speed automatic transmission.
Caprice offers a complete package: lots of room and comfort; very good rideand handling; above-average fuel economy; and standard four-wheel, anti-lock brakes and dual air bags.
The base price is $18,995. Our test car added cloth seats at $223; trunk cargo net at $30 (perhaps a $29 markup for what looks like a grocery bag); rear-window defogger at $170; pin-striping at $61 (a bigger markup than for the grocery bag); deluxe wheel covers at $70 (no comment); upgraded whitewall tires at $176; upgraded AM-FM stereo with digital clock and compact-disc player at $256; and an option package consisting of all the power goodies-fromseats to windows to mirrors-at $1,607. With a $575 freight charge, the stickertopped $22,000.