14th Sep 2015, 20:05

My dad redid the leather seats in his last Town Car once for 3k. It was upgraded and was like being on your favorite plush living room sofa. He bought new and loved these size cars.

No matter what car, the latest topics on here are all over the board. A luxury car full size sedan buyer wants whisper quiet, high road isolation, good power, roomy stretched out comfort and loaded with amenities. We have taken many family 500 plus mile trips cruise, sat at or slightly above the limit and simply changed seats. Get out and we're not tired whatsoever at our destination. If cars need maintenance, they go to the dealership where they were bought. You pay the bill and leave. Get corrected and checked out for the next long road trip.

Full size luxury buyers may typically be found in the late 40s up that want luxury and comfort. And maybe a bit of prestige. They may not be buying trucks, Prius, or Rancheros, but are spending twice or more the amount of these vehicles. A lot of people also buy Audis, Mercedes and BMW higher end models for the exact same reasoning.

A 76 Buick LeSabre was more of a middle class car in its day. A step up would certainly be a new Riviera. Or a Toronado or Bonneville. Or go all the way to a Cadillac or Lincoln.

I was driving in 1976. And had a long history with my parents' models before and after. Back then, if you owned a big car, you usually bought another. Gas was creeping up, but status and luxury were why people liked them. Pay a premium, expect the same in return. Nowadays there is more mixed ownership. Large new cars back then were daily drivers. If you drove one and then drove a small car, it was not pleasurable. I don't think engine durability matters as much as the ride then and now. My 2 cents from driving in 1976. And riding in many of these size vehicles for as long as I can remember.

14th Sep 2015, 20:57

I didn't know that conversion vans and 4-door pick-ups were in the same class as full-size CARS.

I appreciate the wake up call, thank you.

14th Sep 2015, 21:50

Trucks, vans, SUVs, etc, are no substitute for a big car. They ride and handle just awfully.

15th Sep 2015, 01:18

"Sorry but the interiors in cars back in the 70s were not that great in general"

Like an "American" '76 Cadillac Fleetwood with pillow top seats, cut pile carpeting, rear footrests and vanity mirrors for example?

15th Sep 2015, 09:58

It was natural progression to go from a Cadillac to a high top conversion van for us. High end seating, and a great ride.

I wonder how many people in here have even owned a full size luxury car? And in fact had a license in 1976?

Big Cadillacs and Lincolns were more of a straight line car. They floated on the pavement. Cornering wasn't their strong suit.

Even today many have Escalades or had Navigators. You are in the luxury segment. We also have bought crossovers and I like the Audi Q5. Honestly who knows what car a 1976 Buick LeSabre owner may be driving today unless they comment. I know what I bought, and have owned luxury sedans. If I drive a luxury model today, not everyone seems interested. It seems a logical progression if someone buys a Prius and a Volt. But does that matter, even if it has better seats to a full size luxury buyer? You can never duplicate the ride of a full size luxury car, looking out over a long expansive hood. Driving my top of the line Fleetwood also had opulence, elegance and perhaps the prestige factor. It's more of an emotional level, owning one during an era when life wasn't as fast paced. They were an achievement of hard work and success.

We had a friend that owned a TV and record shop that bought a full size Buick vs a Cadillac. He was afraid of what the customers would think, flaunting his success. And maybe even appearing expensive in our town. Nowadays it doesn't matter. But I guess it's time to hear more about frames vs buying motivations from the past.

15th Sep 2015, 15:53

"Like an "American" '76 Cadillac Fleetwood with pillow top seats, cut pile carpeting, rear footrests and vanity mirrors for example?"

Yes. Great example. If I want a car with a nice interior, I don't want what amounts to an overly-stuffed couch. Most people want to get a road feel for their cars. The idea back then was to simply have people wallow around on big pillow-like suspensions.

Now - I am sure I will get some response discussing the "good ole days" and how everything was surely better in every way back then, but I've heard that same song and dance before.

15th Sep 2015, 18:37

Honestly, why comment at all if you are content with a mini car today. I have owned a LeSabre and get it.

15th Sep 2015, 21:20

I would rather have a "pillow-like suspension" as opposed to feeling every imperfection in the road.

15th Sep 2015, 22:43

Trade in the old Volt in for a luxury 2016 model then. For a new upcoming Cadillac high performance CTS-V 640 HP. I'm sure you will get your desired handling with performance and luxury seating. Corvette owners can park their exact same engined Z06 next to it.

Wonder why a new Corvette owner also buys a new luxury performance Cadillac? This is a natural for the baby boomers who are heavy consumers of luxury models. Or are we back to 1976, pre Volt?

16th Sep 2015, 15:59

This conversation wouldn't be complete without mention of the infamous Corvette. Why would I want to trade a Volt for a Cadillac? I can go for months without filling it up and it costs peanuts to charge. Two totally different, totally unrelated cars.

Now back to the "floaty ride" commentary. Those were the kinds of cars Buicks and Cadillacs used to make, because their primary buyers were often retirees whom had always gotten cars with those kinds of suspensions. But a car maker can only make that kind of business plan work for so long, because obviously the customer base will eventually dry up.

A good comparison might be beer, whereas back in the 50s the beer of choice was watered down swill in the form of lagers and so on, and that was ALL that was sold, but now there's 6,000 microbreweries selling all kinds of IPAs, Belgian quads, Saisons and Grand Crus. Sure - older folks might still love their watered down beer, but times change, and with it too the companies whom provide those desires.

16th Sep 2015, 17:39

The luxury amenities and power options in a '98 Avalon are about the same that you would find in a late '70s loaded Buick or Oldsmobile.

It's the unnecessary options that were put into vehicles in the last 10 years are what will take their toll on somebody's wallet. There are a lot more now than there were in 1998.

Some Avalons even came with bench seat and column shift. Why, I don't know. You can barely fit five in an Avalon with comfort, let alone six.

16th Sep 2015, 19:06

Luxury cars are typically an affluent purchase. In other words someone on a beer budget is on a champagne budget review. It's doubtful that you are going to purchase one based on your comments.

We currently own 5 cars at the moment. Some cars since 1969 were very good and some so so. We have likely owned close to 100. Taking into consideration the test drives, as well as other family member's cars, we have a good handle on ride quality.

I question how someone likes the ride quality of El Caminos. The factory air shocks are not comfortable. The review is on a LeSabre. I consider this a moderate level car. I owned one in my younger period of driving. Since I actually owned one, I can comment first hand. I'm not someone that hadn't been born yet, let alone driven or owned one. It is a family sedan. It has room. It has great trunk space.

In all fairness I have not driven a Volt. I am certain I can stop by and test drive one out of fairness with my comments. It's for my own satisfaction. If I can get the ride quality out of an abbreviated wheelbase, I will be the first to comment. If I have equal shoulder room and seating comfort, ditto on that. If I can fit my family in it as well, as well as luggage. I am skeptical, but it's worth it, if only to see if it's accurate. I will post an update shortly. I owned a LeSabre, so it will be an interesting comparison.