A solid car, big and safe, a few minor quirks, but if you pick out a good one, it should last
Ignition switch broke.
Drive belt squeaks.
Rear sway bar came loose.
Engine lifter ticking.
Power window issues.
Cruise control quit.
Trunk remote broke.
I've owned this car for about 18 months, it has been very reliable, fairly comfortable, economical to maintain, and performs very well under all road conditions.
I researched owner reviews before buying and would like to return the favor here, I found them very helpful. I looked for a couple months until I found a non-police, low-mileage "grampa car" that was kept up and not beat up. The police package cars have stronger drivetrains and suspensions, but are also beat hard, both by the law and by the go-fast crowd that buys them at the police auctions. I looked at a few ex-cop cars before finding mine, and they were all thrashed. I'm old and slow, and don't like breakdowns or big repair bills.
I had to do the normal things with any used car after purchase, about $500 in preventive maintenance: changed all fluids including trans, rad and rear diff; new shocks; minor rust repair; new belt.
Every 6 months the belt squeaks, but it's a $20 part and takes 2 minutes to replace.
I got too rushed turning it off once and broke the ignition tumblers; cost me a tow and a $200 switch/re-keying (electronic keys).
One back window sticks going up and has to be partly pulled up by hand.
One side of the rear sway bar lost both bolts; a neighbor noticed it, and I had the bolts on hand to replace.
Cruise control quit; the dealer charged me $100 to tell me I needed a $300 switch. I bought the switch for $25 on ebay and installed, but it didn't fix the cruise.
When I first got the car, I floored it through 2 gears and a lifter started ticking, and still ticks when cold.
The 4.3 non-positrack, non-police sedan like mine isn't meant to be hotrodded, so I just take it easy, keep the fluids clean and it has been good to me.
All the issues I just mentioned, I consider minor things, as the car always starts, drives and rides good, gets 20mpg all the time, and is cheaply repaired at my local independent mechanic shop. Forget going to the dealer, a 1995 model is "too old" for them, they don't have the computers or experience to accurately diagnose; my dealer techs look like they were in 4th grade when this car was built.
I bought this "luxury" car because I have a bad back, the roads in Maine are rough, and my old VW was beating me up bad. I grew up in the 70s and remember how soft the big old boats rode back then. This car is more modern, it has a stiffer ride than an old 70's boat, but as a result, handles curves better. The seats are firm, the foam isn't super plush, but lasts a long time. A Lincoln or Caddy might be more comfortable, but costs twice as much to buy... and repair. The Caprice is probably the best combination of durability, comfort, and safety you can find in a modern, fuel-injected, radially-tuned, ABS-type of car.
I drive slow and find the brakes and acceleration fine for my needs. I tow a boat in summer and drive through snow and ice in winter (with studs), and this heavy, RWD, V8 sedan is great for that. Especially climbing hills, with 150 lbs in the trunk, it chugs up icy hills that have FWD cars and minivans spinning out. You just have to slow down descending icy hills and in curves, but any car is like that, honestly, to be safe in winter.
One day I will get a more comfortable car on the bumps for my old bones, and the only thing I can imagine would be softer ride is a 1960's/70's boat with coil springs in the seat and rear axle. Until that time I'll probably keep the Caprice, as long as I have room in the driveway.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th October, 2011