The 1975 Cadillac Seville bowed to mixed reviews. Proportioned smartly on a 114.3-inch wheelbase, the 1975 Cadillac Seville compared favorably with German rivals for interior space.
Styling of the 1975 Cadillac Seville though clean and dignified, struck some as unimaginative. More important, it was an open secret that this "baby Cadillac" was actually a heavily reengineered version of GM's workaday X-body compact, in other words, a Chevrolet Nova. This was considered a serious deficit in the prestige class.
But the driving left little to criticize. Power came from a 350-cubic-inch V-8 built by Oldsmobile to Cadillac specifications. It included a new Bendy electronic-fuel-injection system exclusive to this model. The 1976 Cadillac Seville had 180 horsepower and weighed 1000 pounds less and was 27 inches shorter than a 1975 Cadillac DeVille.
The result was brisk, turbine like performance, with typical 0-60 mph acceleration of 10-11 seconds and a top speed of over 110 mph. Just as striking, ride quality of the 1976 Cadillac Seville was as cloudlike as buyers expected. To be sure, it didn't glide over washboard surfaces with the disdain of a big Mercedes, but it didn't cost nearly so much either.
Moreover, it was the best-handling Cadillac since the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado, and much closer in road manner to Mercedes and BMW than those makers might have admitted.
Buyers responded with enthusiasm to the 1975 Cadillac Seville. Sales totaled 43,000 in 1976, its first full model year. That was a healthy 15 percent of net Cadillac output.
The 1975 Cadillac Seville signaled that American buyers would respond to luxury in a tighter package, and made it clear that American automakers would from here on need to compete in this "international-sized" premium category.
The future was looking bright for Cadillac. Read about the 1976, 1977, and 1978 Cadillac -- and record sales figures -- on the next page.
For more information on Cadillac, see:
- Cadillac: Learn the history of America's premier luxury car, from 1930s classics to today's newest Cadillac models.
- Consumer Guide New Car Reviews and Prices: Road test results, photos, specifications, and prices for 2007 Cadillacs and hundreds of other new cars, trucks, minivans, and SUVs.
- 1960-1969 Cadillac: See how Cadillac maintained its hold on the premium market by adroitly addressing changing consumer demands.
- 1980-1989 Cadillac: America's top luxury brand was in crises in the 1980s. Learn about how it weathered the storm.