The Cadillac Eldorado is one of the most instantly recognizable and long-running luxury cars available. Both two- and four-door Eldorados have been offered over the line's nearly 50 year history with a range of options, including convertible tops; over time, the Eldorado's design began to mirror the look and function of the related Buick Riviera. While the Eldorado was a popular vehicle from the 1950s through the 1980s, it gradually lost favor with customers and production ended in 2002.
Buyers can still find eighth generation Cadillac Eldorados for sale and the model still provides significant power, luxury, and dependability. The 1998-2002 models had a 4.6L 275 hp V8 engine with a four-speed automatic overdrive transmission. They could seat five and had decent, if not exceptional, fuel economy: estimates averaged at about 17 mpg in city and 26 mpg on the highway. Later Eldorados were very trimmed and scaled back compared to their early iterations.
When the Eldorado was introduced, it was General Motors' styling leader with wraparound windshields and a large body for a convertible. Its price gradually dropped as the body was refined and tailfins were added in the late 1950s, which gave the car a unique look still prized by classic car collectors. The vehicle received an overhaul and front-wheel drive in 1967 and slight revisions until a new, trimmer Eldorado was introduced in the early 1980s that is most reminiscent of modern models of the car.
The newer Eldorados were only available in a 2-door coupe. Various luxury features are offered, since the Eldorado is still a luxury car; these include heated seats, power windows, and a leather interior, all of which are fairly popular with the Eldorado's owners. A CD player and automatic changer is also available with newer Eldorados, as is GM's popular OnStar service. Power lock doors and power seats are also standard on the 2001 Eldorado, which was the last easily affordable model before the line was retired.
Over the years, the Eldorado has been fairly dependable, although engine and transmission issues did appear in the late 1980s. The 1999 model is probably the most dependable recent Eldorado. J.D. Power and Associates awarded the car a Number One Brand for Sales Satisfaction. Consumer reviews also indicate reliability and great safety ratings, partially because of the historically large size of the Eldorado. Buyers usually purchase the Eldorado because of its distinctive look and emphasis on a luxurious, smooth ride. Over the years, the Eldorado has been a flagship model for GM and one of their best success stories, even when other Cadillacs and GM products were losing popularity with consumers
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