2000 Cadillac Eldorado Review
ETC provides powerful persona when underway.
The Eldorado looks heavy. Its lines are clean and spare, but the high beltline, huge C-pillar, heavy-looking trunk box and small, bunker-like windows convey an impression of enormous mass. The closer you get, the bigger it seems. With a lengthy 108-inch wheelbase and overall length of 200.6 inches, it is the largest of the mass-market coupes, surpassed only by the now discontinued Lincoln Continental Mark VIII. Body-colored grille and bumpers blend handsomely into the car's form.
Officially categorized as a mid-size car, the Eldorado has class-leading volume in both the front seat and back seat. The impression created by the enormous trunk box is no illusion: The trunk provides 15 cubic feet of cargo space, far more than other mid-size coupes.
Eldorado's interior is large, elegant, and generous in appointments. For safety, dual front de-powered airbags are standard. A beautifully sleek band of fine Zebrano wood trim encircles driver and front-seat passenger. The dash is admirably simple and straightforward, with excellent analog instruments. The automatic twilight-sensing headlight system can be adjusted for sensitivity or switched off altogether.
The steering wheel has two paddles, one that controls audio volume and station selection, the other controlling the climate control's temperature and fan level. The wheel adjusts up and down, but does not telescope fore and aft.
A full multi-task trip computer is mounted on the dash above the console. It computes current cruising range, fuel efficiency, fuel used, average speed, elapsed time, battery voltage, percent of oil-life left -- in either English or metric figures. Next to this computer are remote controls for opening the trunk and fuel door. A fine Bose AM/FM/cassette/CD is standard on the ETC (optional in the base Eldorado) with a 12-disc remote changer in the trunk standard. The radio also has a radio data system that will display the station, search for particular kinds of stations or look for traffic bulletins. It can even interrupt tapes and CDs with emergency information.
The heating and air conditioning system delivers readouts for both interior and exterior ambient temperature. A toggle on the lower right allows the front passenger to select separate temperature settings. Rear-seat passengers get their own climate controls as well. Heated seats come on the ETC and they warm quickly, but we found the lower of the two settings too hot for extended periods of time. They are at their best while waiting for the engine and heating system to warm up.
Fog lights are standard, as are two front cupholders. Power outside mirrors have a handy provision that adjusts them downward to the curb when Reverse is selected, helpful when parking this large car. Our test car was furnished with the standard compass in the rearview mirror and an optional overhead garage-door opener ($107).
The Eldorado Touring Coupe's upholstery is gorgeous, glove-quality light-cream leather. The front seats have eight-way power adjustment. Lateral support is average, but the lumbar adjustment is excellent.
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