1986 Chevrolet Caprice Reviews - Page 2 of 5

1986 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Brougham 305 5.0L from North America

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 305 5.0L Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired133000 miles
Most recent distance172000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Monte Carlo


Truly more comfortable than a Benz of the same era


Engine needs rebuild, knocks often under load, very sludgy inside as well.

New exhaust.

Steering linkage.



Radio repaired.

Headliner drooped.

Needs shocks.

Air conditioning needs overhaul.

Brake like rusted through.

General Comments:

General comments?

Having recently driven an 85 and 86 S-class Mercedes, a 420 and 560 sel I can truly say that the Caprice is more comfortable. It is definitely a simpler car, which may be part of its charm, but the seats are much more plush, armrest better positioned, the car rides smoother and is easier to control. I might add the blind spots are less as well. The seats in the MB are rather hard and unsupportive. The ride isn't as confident and noticably smooth either. The MB feels more solidly constructed, but just not as enjoyable to drive.

The ride on this car is unreal, it's so smooth it doesn't even feel like a regular spring and shock suspension, it feels like it has air ride or something. It's hard to believe it's built on a platform designed 30 years ago and can ride that well. It can handle surprisingly well also. With a rear sway bar and a larger front one I'm sure it'd be better still.

Performance is good, but with a 350 it'd be perfect. The 305, which I believe was only produced by GM to meet CAFE emissions standards struggles in overdrive, especially on grades, however it does remarkably well with fuel economy.

Mine has a very annoying knock under load or ascending a hill, it could be bad fuel or detonation, I've yet to find the cause. The motor has had some shoddy repairs done to it in the past which may be one cause. At any rate I'd prefer to simply put in a mild 350, keeping the fuel mileage, but increasing performance. A car like this deserves a motor just as good. No wonder Chevrolet sold millions in the late 70's. A real winner of a car.

Very reliable and easy to service as well. It's really much like an improved 1960's car, being built the same way, body on frame, V8, RWD, etc, but with refinements and engineering improvements that were added and learned over the years. Much more of an effort was made to prevent rust than on GM cars built before the Caprice.

I would never trade my Caprice or any b-body for it's competitors of the same era. I can only imagine what a full-size Cadillac must be like being a close relative!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th May, 2007

5th Oct 2008, 20:29

A great review on a fantastic car. I'd have bought a 1989 Caprice brand new if I'd been around then.

13th Jan 2012, 11:44

Got a 86 Caprice Classic and love it too. Great car, and gets better mileage than my 04 Suzuki.

14th Jan 2012, 23:44

"A real winner of a car."

I'm a Ford fan, but I agree with your comment.

15th Jan 2012, 11:46

I've owned a 98 Crown Victoria since I was 19. Now 23, and while not long by any measure, loving real cars my whole life, I would say the Caprice is the Crown Vic's equal. But my favorite is the 77-85 B body Delta 88. However, I would like to commend Ford for producing a real car such as the Panther cars well into 2011. On the other hand, I am pissed at Ford for neglecting these cars while making fat cat profits from them.

Anyway, long live the Caprice, Vic and all the body-on-frame RWD car masterpieces!

15th Jan 2012, 13:47

FORD for cheapness. GM for value. CHRYSLER for engineering.

1986 Chevrolet Caprice 4.3 from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership1985
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 4.3 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired110000 kilometres
Most recent distance198000 kilometres
Previous carChevrolet Fiero


Generally was a very good car and was still running reasonably well when I sold it


Fuel line failure circa 195000 kilometres (with major fuel leakage).

Suspension problems (springs/shocks) at 100000 kilometres.

Some rust (quarter panel)

Paint problems (fading)

Started to use some oil after 100000 kilometres

General Comments:

Generally reliable.

Huge trunk.

Comfortable bench seats.

Quiet and comfortable ride.

Lots of room in front and back seats.

Powerful heating, air conditioning and window clearing.

Sufficient power for highway driving and passing.

Vague power steering.

Radio problems.

Mediocre gas mileage even with the 6 cylinder engine.

Transmission was a bit temperamental (slow to up shift) but I did not invest in a repair.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th August, 2006

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 19 reviews