1981 Cadillac Seville Elegante 5.7 diesel from North America


I love it, and hope to keep it till I die


- Cruise doesn't work.

- Power seat on passenger side quit working.

General Comments:

This car is in near perfect shape. It runs great, gets approx 28-30 MPG and rides like a dream. No it doesn't have "put you in your seat" power, but as much as I like driving it, I'm in no hurry. I get compliments all the time on it.

Yes, it has the diesel, but I was looking exactly for the diesel engine. They got a bad reputation (deservedly so), but the later replacements were better (engine replaced in 1989), and with better quality diesel fuel, this car had had no issues with the engine since 89.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st September, 2010

1981 Cadillac Seville Elegante 5.7L diesel from North America


I love this car, and hope to keep it till I die


I bought the car about a month ago. It needs the antenna replaced, cruise didn't work, all lift supports needed replaced. After buying it, the passenger side power seat stopped working. No other issues with the car.

General Comments:

I have looked long and hard for a nice condition Cadillac diesel (being a diesel freak).

I know about the engine issues when they first came out. I also know the replacement engines of the late 80s resolved those issues. This car had its engine replaced in 1989, and has had no engine issues since.

It is sooooo pretty, luxurious and in great condition, obviously garage kept and winter stored (which I will continue to do). Very comfortable ride (like floating on air) and gets 34MPG on the highway, great for such a boat of a car.

Yes, it is true the acceleration is not great, but compared to other diesels I own and have owned, it's not bad either. The one thing you need to remember is it weighs 2 tons, so braking... well, it doesn't stop on a dime.

I have priced many of the parts I may have to replace, and find that parts for this year car are generally low (surprising for a Cadillac).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 30th June, 2010

1981 Cadillac Seville 4 dr. 6.0 liter V8-6-4 from North America


A nice car, but always something going wrong


Transmission had a bad leak, failed totally at 159 000 Km.

Rear brake calipers would not adjust properly.

Severely rusted body, especially around wind shield, frame rusted away near back of car.

Brake lines rusted through, fuel lines rusted, gas tank rusted out.

Wires for power windows broke inside conduit between door frame and door.

Could not eliminate vibration from front end of car.

Gear shift linkage wore out making selecting a gear difficult.

Rapid wear of tires, despite having wheels aligned properly.

Replaced power window switches, power door lock switches.

Driver's seat clunked.

Difficult to keep warm inside in winter.

General Comments:

It is hard to say if the problems experienced were due to the manufacturer or the previous owner, although the car had a lot of rust for its age, especially on the chassis.

When it worked, it was a great car to drive, but it was frequently in for repair.

There was plenty of room for front and rear passengers, ride was a bit hard for a luxury car, but it did handle nicely. Great highway cruiser, but very hard on gas.

This car had the engine that would automatically shut off two or four cylinders or run on all eight, depending on the speed and driving conditions. This feature actually worked quite well and the car could hold highway speed on only 4 cylinders. You could not feel the cylinders cut in or out, this feature was certainly well engineered.

It was a beautiful car, nicely styled, great dashboard and interior. Things just kept on going wrong, and luckily I could fix the car myself and was able to get a few years of use out of it. Unfortunately, the body had rusted heavily, and by the time the transmission gave out, the car was not worth repairing.

Performance from the engine was adequate, but for a six liter, I would have expected a lot more power.

The electronics and computer operated systems did not have any trouble.

I would consider another one for a frame up restoration.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th February, 2004

1981 Cadillac Seville Elegante V8-6-4 6liters from North America


It was a good luck!


The transmission gasket leaked, had to replace it.

Had to change a tire too because of a flat.

The transmission wasn't shifting right (i.e. the engine would run freely for 2-3 seconds when shifting gears), the shift point has been adjusted and it run fines since.

General Comments:

The V8-6-4 is now working again after the shift point of the transmission has been fixed. It offers decent performance for the size of the car. Handles pretty well.

You feel like you were in the living room, very comfy, lots of space either in front or in rear seats.

The car is almost in mint condition and won't see any winter, no idea how many it saw, but no rust on the body, almost none under the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th October, 2002

5th Dec 2004, 00:07

My '82 seville is a 350 diesel engined version, and it is damn slow. However, I bought it because it was a diesel and it will get 30mpg- about double what I am led to believe the petrol engined ones average. I miss the performance of a big petrol V8 but fuel prices were becoming an issue. whereas you can run a diesel engine on cooking oil!