Cadillac bills its Fleetwood and companion Fleetwood Brougham as “traditional” luxury cars, which means they’re aimed at buyers who like big, rear-wheel-drive cars with conservative, upright styling. “A perennial favorite of diplomats and heads of state the world over.” Primary competition comes from the equally traditional Lincoln Town Car.
At 225.1 in., the Fleetwood is the longest production passenger car available in the United States. By comparison, the largest Mercedes-Benz sedan is some 20 in. shorter. Such size not only endows Fleetwood with the “commanding presence” that Cadillac says Fleetwood customers demand, but makes it quite functional. Passenger compartment volume measures an impressive 124.9 cu. ft., while the trunk measures a huge 21.1 cu. ft.
Underneath Fleetwood’s skin is a solid-axle rear suspension and a Chevrolet-derived 5.7-liter V8 engine making 260 horsepower and 330 ft.-lb. of torque. A 4-speed automatic transmission, antilock brakes and all-speed traction control bring this behemoth time machine into 1996 — its last year.
Inside, the Fleetwood coddles occupants with standard leather upholstery, automatic climate control with rear-seat heat ducts and a 6-speaker cassette sound system. Both models feature 6-way power adjustable front seats, while the Brougham adds articulated headrests and driver’s-seat-position memory for two drivers. An “antilockout” feature prevents the doors from locking if the owner forgets to remove the keys from the ignition.
Equipped with the optional towing package, the Fleetwood can handle up to 3175 kg (7000 pounds) — more than many sport/utility vehicles.
In its final year of production, the revisions to the Fleetwood sedan and optional Brougham package model were mainly “creature comfort” in nature.
Fleetwoods were again powered by the Gen II 5.7-liter V-8 paired with the 4L60-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission.
Final drive ratio for Fleetwood was 2.56:1 while the Brougham’s was 3.42:1.
Inside, the Fleetwood received “Electro-motor” electronic cruise control and a new center armrest with dual cupholder, coinholder and CD/cassette storage.
Fleetwood models were also prewired to accommodate the optional Dual-Mode cell phone.
Also new was a six-speaker entertainment system that could be upgraded with the factory-installed, trunk-mounted CD changer.
Again, the Fleetwood could also be ordered as the V4U Coachbuilder Limousine Package.
B9Q Funeral Coach Package, or RIP Heavy-Duty Sedan Package with heavy-duty components required for continuous commercial service.
90-degree, overhead valve V-8
Cast iron block and cylinder heads
350 cu . in. (5.7 liters)
Bore & Stroke
4.00 x 3.48 in
10.0 : 1
260 @ 5000 rpm
330 lb-ft. @ 3200 rpm
Roller hydraulic valve lifters
Sequential-port fuel injection
DEX-COOLTM long-life corrosion-inhibiting with “limp-home” engine coolant loss protection
3085 mm (121.5″)
5717 mm (225.0″)
1982 mm (78.0″)
1451 mm (57.1″)
1568 mm (61.7″)
1542 mm (60.7″)
2017 kg.(4447 lb)
588 liters (21.1 cu ft)
Fuel tank capacity
87 liters (19.2 Imp. gal) (23 US gal)
Fuel Economy City/Hwy
13.8 l/100 km – 9 l/100 km (20.4/31.2 mpg-imp) (17/26 mpg US)
Basic Warranty, Months/Distance
48/80,000 km (50,000 miles)
4L60-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic (includes torque converter clutch) with electronic shift control and altitude compensation
“Filled-for-life” Dexron® III automatic transmission fluid