1970-1979 Cadillac

1975 Cadillac Seville

The 1975 Cadillac Seville was much smaller -- and costlier -- than any other model in the lineup.
The 1975 Cadillac Seville was much smaller -- and costlier -- than any other model in the lineup.

The 1975 Cadillac Seville was carefully planned for the one area of the luxury market that Cadillac had yet to exploit: the quality intermediate-sized sedan typified by Mercedes-Benz.

Big-car sales slipped badly with the 1973-74 oil embargo imposed by the Middle Eastern oil-producing countries. The OPEC embargo triggered a national energy crisis.

Cadillac was hurt along with the other "gas guzzlers," but it recovered smartly by 1975, though only through an unexpected innovation.

Every 1975 Cadillac got the Eldorado's huge 500-cubic-inch V-8 (by now emissions-detuned to a measly 190 horsepower net) as standard, with one exception.

That exception marked a big departure from Cadillac tradition. It was a brand-new four-door sedan not only much smaller than anything else in the Cadillac line, but also more expensive. In fact, the only costlier '75 Caddys were the regal Cadillac 75 sedan and limousine.

This noteworthy new Cadillac arrived in the spring of 1975 was the 1975 Cadillac Seville.

The Seville badge revived a late-1950s Cadillac moniker. Cadillac had considered naming the new car "Leland," to honor its founder, but decided most buyers were too young to make that connection. "LaSalle" was also in the running, but ultimately rejected for the same reason, and because Cadillac's 1930s companion make was still felt by some to have a "loser" image.

How did buyers -- and critics -- respond to the Seville? Find out 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.