1981 Cadillac Deville Reviews

1981 Cadillac Deville De Ville Brougham 4.1 V8 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1994
Most recent year of ownership1996
Engine and transmission 4.1 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired134000 miles
Most recent distance176000 miles
Previous carLincoln Mark IV

Summary:

A surprisingly economical and tough glitz cruiser

Faults:

This car was very strange because even though almost everything was broken on it, it ran reliably for two years.

Even the engine had a knock, and the self-leveling suspension wasn't working. The air condition and electronically controlled ventilation system were working according to the position of the moon and stars above, the electrical system was a zoo of gremlins, and a dead rat was mummified in the engine compartment, as I found out one day. Yet, it ran all very well.

General Comments:

The car was surprisingly economical, giving me about 28-30 mpg at all times.

It was underpowered, but the ride quality was good, and I came to like the combination of flashy looks and good economy a lot.

The interior illumination was 100% Hollywood and made getting into the car at night a festive event.

Overall, a good one would certainly be worth keeping.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th February, 2005

1981 Cadillac Deville Coup 368 6.0 litre from North America

Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 368 6.0 litre Semi-Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired83000 miles
Most recent distance105000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Impala

Summary:

An outstanding achievement for Cadillac in 1981

Faults:

The valve train and most of the oil galleries were plugged with sludge due to failure to change the oil. 14 16 valve push rods needed to be replaced as they were plugged solid. All valve lifters were replaced as well along with the camshaft. Timing components such as timing chain and gears were also replaced.

The water pump and radiator was replace just as insurance.

The lower end (oil pan) was checked for damage and none was found. The main and rod bearings were like new with very little wear. The oil pickup screen was also replaced.

The headliner was replaced due to factory glue failure.

General Comments:

The 368 (8-6-4) is the last of the cast iron blocks Cadillac produced. With proper maintenance, this engine will last forever. Most people complain about being underpowered, and this is true. But, once you get this baby up to cruising speed, she'll shift into 4 cylinder operation and give you 23 MPG all day long.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2003

1981 Cadillac Deville Coupe 6.0 V-8 with 8-6-4 system from North America

Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership1997
Engine and transmission 6.0 V-8 with 8-6-4 system Automatic
Performance marks 1 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired100000 miles
Most recent distance130000 miles

Summary:

A tough, well built luxury cruiser

Faults:

The water pump failed and needed to be replaced. This was inexpensive and easy to do myself.

The air conditioning system didn't work. I never had this fixed though I later discovered that the fix would have been easy had I any knowledge of auto mechanics at the time.

Had a spark plug oil fouling problem which eventually cured itself for unknown reasons.

Trunk pulldown motor was wearing down when the car was sold.

The headliner was also sagging badly.

General Comments:

This car was built like a tank. I have no doubt that it is one of the most noble cars I will ever drive. It underwent a lot of abuse from previous owners including infrequent (if ever) fluid changes. Car still ran fine at 130,000 miles when I sold it.

Cadillac's notorious boatlike handling was not missing from this vehicle. It suffered from severe body roll in hard cornering, and pitched badly under acceleration and braking.

The 6 liter engine was torquey enough to haul the car around at a decent pace, but produced a neolithic specific output of 23hp per liter. This was no doubt mostly due to the archaic emission controls which strangled the engine. This hampered acceleration greatly.

The 8-6-4 cylinder deactivation system performed very well. This is apparently rare, and the system was plagued by problems in most cars which were so equipped. The system shut down the right amount of cylinders at the right times, and helped noticeably with fuel economy.

This car's features combined to make the driving experience incredibly comfortable. Leather covered most surfaces of the car. The front and rear bench seats were huge. The car had power everything imaginable. The 8-6-4 system, cruise control, and trip computer were well ahead of their time.

Overall, very well suited to its purpose as a luxury cruiser. I miss that car, but I don't miss how slow it was.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th August, 2001

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 3 reviews