1994 Chevrolet Caprice Reviews

1994 Chevrolet Caprice LS 4.3 from North America

Model year1994
Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 4.3 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired50000 miles
Most recent distance120000 miles
Previous carChrysler Intrepid

Summary:

She's a big girl, but she's light on her feet!

Faults:

In the seven years I have owned this car, the following repairs have been completed:

Regular maintenance:

Tires, brakes, spark plugs, O2 sensor.

Major repairs:

A/C compressor.

Alternator.

Tie rod ends.

Shocks.

General Comments:

This has been a great car. It has never left me stranded. The engine runs well, and returns wonderful gas mileage for a vehicle this large. Highway mileage is 26 mpg.

It is a very comfortable ride on the highway. We've driven 22 hours straight to Florida several times with no trouble.

Sure, the car isn't a road rocket, but you have to know that going in. The LT derived 4.3 engine is well engineered, except for the Optispark issue on some engines. This issue affects the 5.7 as well.

I keep the oil changed every 3 months. It never uses any oil between changes. Everything still works; power windows, A/C, radio, power seats, rear window defrost etc.

Towing capacity is 5000 Lbs; unheard of today for a car. I pull a 19 foot boat with it, and have no trouble at all.

I love the car, and would definitely buy another.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th January, 2012

29th Jan 2012, 20:36

The Caprice is superior to the Intrepid.

30th Jan 2012, 18:04

This generation Caprice is my dream car, especially the 1996 Caprice SS.

5th Jul 2013, 11:36

I'm the original poster... Bad news... my son was in an accident with my Caprice. He was T-boned by a Toyota Camry. The good news is he walked away from the accident, the car saved his life. The Caprice really wasn't damaged that badly compared to the crumpled mess of the Camry. The bad news is the car was a write off, as was the Camry. I paid $5000 for this car 8 years ago and the insurance company gave me $4000 for the write off; not a bad deal for all that driving. I loved that car, so I have since found another 1994 Caprice to replace it with; same engine, same color. How lucky is that!

7th Feb 2014, 08:38

Great. Don't let your son drive this one though.

1994 Chevrolet Caprice 4.3 V8 from North America

Model year1994
Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 4.3 V8 Automatic
Distance when acquired92000 miles
Most recent distance165000 miles
Previous carOldsmobile Century

Summary:

My second favorite used car purchase in the last 30 years

Faults:

Normal maintenance. Brakes, tires, exhaust.

Also, it had problems with the front end - bearings, tie rod ends and ball joints. Also needed a rear axle on the passenger side.

General Comments:

All in all, it has been a reliable car. The engine runs like a top and the transmission has held up.

It was originally a detective's car, so most systems are the performance package and are slightly more expensive for parts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th September, 2010

1st Oct 2010, 22:49

A "detective's car" with the 4.3 liter engine?

Apparently they never needed to chase anybody down.

2nd Feb 2012, 16:34

I'm sorry, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the 4.3 a V-6, not a V-8? Just curious, thanks!!

3rd Feb 2012, 12:01

Yes, I believe they put the 6 in the base Caprices, with the other options being a 305, 307, and 350.

5th Feb 2012, 06:09

Both wrong. GM made a 4.3 liter V6, but it was only used in trucks and vans. The 4.3 liter in the reviewer's car was the L99 V8, standard only in the 1994-96 Caprice. The optional engine was the LT1 5.7 liter V8, which was standard in the Caprice wagon, as well as all models of the Buick Roadmaster and Cadillac Fleetwood/Brougham during those years. No V6 or 305/307 V8's were ever available in those models.

5th Feb 2012, 23:23

The 4.3 V6 was used in the Caprice from 1986 (the engine's debut) till 1990 (the last year of the boxy body).

Also the Monte Carlo used it as an optional V6 from 1986-1988.

1994 Chevrolet Caprice 4.3 from North America

Model year1994
Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 4.3 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10
Distance when acquired93000 miles
Most recent distance125000 miles
Previous carOldsmobile Cutlass

Summary:

Nice car, but nickles and dimes you

Faults:

Perhaps I purchased a lemon or somebody beat the holy crap out of it. The car ran good and looked great when I bought it.

In the couple of years that I owned it. I had to have it towed four times. Each time I was told something different had happened to drain the battery or cause the starter to not operate.

When passing another vehicle the motor would just die off and nearly stall. I still don't know what that was.

The air conditioning and heat stopped working. I found that the radiator was so full of gunk that they had to pull it to rinse and flush it all out.

Then I had to have it towed a fifth time because the main cable near the fuse box fried itself. I dumped it off on a guy at work. He has since told me that it has been the worst car ever for him. His wife is scared to even drive it.

Yeah the 4.3 and the LT1 are great engines when all is working fine. But wait until you have to replace a few engine parts. Since they are considered "higher performance" it may very well cost you several thousand dollars in a very short time.

My cousin has a Chevy pickup dead from electrical problems, my dad has a safari that runs on 5 cylinders that nobody can seem to fix. Freind at work can't keep his rear turn signal going, just another electrical problem.

Maybe they have fixed it by now, but I am scared of chevy because they seem to use cheap wiring in their vehicles.

General Comments:

The car was a great ride for the "long haul" trips. No problem with the brakes or rotors. The 4.3 engine hauls this car with relative ease.

The seats needed lumbar support, I am surprised Chevy didn't think of that.

It's a big road car that was great to drive, best steering I have ever had.

But you have to keep fixing it to stay on the road, do yourself a favor and stay away from a used caprice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st January, 2008

28th Oct 2009, 13:03

The reason the engine would stall out while trying to pass was because of the cat converters were clogged or clogging.

4th Nov 2009, 12:44

Great point about the 4.3 and the LT1 - these were much worse than the previous ordinary 305 and 350. Most attempts to 'modernize' engines over the last 30 years has made them much less reliable and durable.

5th Nov 2009, 09:08

Untrue. The LS1 motor after the LT1 is virtually bulletproof. I have a 98 motor, 365 HP, absolutely no issues. Fast, very reliable engine.

20th Sep 2010, 21:28

And the '7' engine code for the 1991-1993 350 (5.7L's) were hitting an average of 170,000 miles on our city police use. The 1994-1996 'P' code (LT1 5.7's) were PHENOMENAL with performance and being reliable. We rarely had an officer call in for mechanical assistance. Even more impressive was the gas mileage for the 5.7's of '94-'96. They're bigger engines than the Ford's 4.6L's, yet get better gas mileage, and definitely more powerful than the Ford. We had several occasions where officers were arguing over who'd drive the Caprices!

21st Sep 2010, 12:42

I drove a taxi-cab back in the late nineties, and we had mostly old Caprice and Dodge Diplomat ex-cruisers as taxis - both durable and tough as nails.

We also chatted with the cops, who were at that time having to switch over from Caprice to Crown Victoria due to GM's giving up. They all preferred the Caprice.

Interestingly, later on when my boss couldn't find any more old Caprices to buy for taxis, he didn't shift to Crown Vics. He couldn't abide Fords. Instead he switched from ex-cruisers to ex-rental cars, and within a year or so transition we went from driving big ex-cop Caprices to Plymouth Acclaims! We felt kind of castrated to be honest.

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 13 reviews