New styling and a longer wheelbase contributed to the success of the 1989 Cadillac Coupe De Ville.

1989 Cadillac

The 1989 Cadillac De Ville and 1989 Cadillac Fleetwood lines capped the 1980s with a major revamping that produced a healthy sales gain.

Again looking to the "longer-is-better" ploy, Cadillac stretched the 1989 Cadillac De Ville and 1989 Cadillac Fleetwood sedans a further 8.8 inches and lengthened wheelbase by three inches to 113.8. For various reasons, the 1988 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special adopted the rejiggered sedan platform, thus surrendering two inches in wheelbase.

Offerings expanded once more because the 1989 Cadillac Fleetwood again came as a  two-door after a two-year hiatus Along with the 1989 Cadillac De Ville coupe, the 1989 Cadillac Fleetwood coupe grew 5.9 inches longer on an unchanged wheelbase.

Styling on both the 1989 Cadillac De Ville and 1989 Cadillac Fleetwood sedan and coupe was suitably modified. Trunk space improved by some two cubic feet. And front fenders were rendered in a rust-free "nylon composite alloy" to save a little weight. Also returning (and again recalling the '50s) were rear fender skirts as standard for the 1989 Cadillac Fleetwood.

The entire 1989 Cadillac lineup offered several new options, including an airbag supplemental restraint housed in the steering-wheel hub. Also newly available was the "ElectriClear" heated windshield, complimenting the now-standard electric rear-window defroster. Among other new options was GM's clever new "PASS-Key" theft-deterrent system.

The 1989 Cadillac powertrain was unchanged, but so was performance, as weight increases averaged only 100 pounds despite the added inches.

Those inches helped boost model-year sales for the 1989 Cadillac line. Production of the 1989 Cadillac De Ville and 1989 Cadillac Fleetwood jumped nearly 26,000 units, over 17 percent, to nearly 179,000.

Next, we'll take a closer look at Cadillac's most ambitious model of the decade, the Allante.

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.
  • 1970-1979 Cadillac: See how Cadillac maintained its hold on the premium market by adroitly addressing changing consumer demands.
  • 1990-1999 Cadillac: Import competition and a stale image rock once-proud Cadillac. Here's the low-down on Cadillac's come-down.