Used 1997 Cadillac Eldorado

1997 Cadillac Eldorado
List price range


  • Knife-edged styling in a world of rolling Blob-mobiles, Northstar powertrain


  • Aging design, fat blind spots, front-wheel drive robs some driving fun

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

One of the models that lured Cadillac back from the brink of becoming a laughingstock was the current edition of the Eldorado. Introduced in 1992 to critical acclaim, and then substantially improved with the introduction of the Northstar V8 in 1993, the Eldorado, and its sister car, the Seville, redefined Cadillac for the world.

However, the Eldorado hasn't been selling well. Seems the market for high-priced, traditional luxury coupes has dried up a bit during the past few years, and rumors are circulating about the death of this luxury coupe before the end of the decade. That would be too bad, because what's here is good. The Northstar V8 has been called the best production engine on the planet, and for 1997 Cadillac has improved the Eldorado. The changes aren't obvious, because exteriors haven't changed a bit, with the exception of new wheels for the ETC.

Inside, the Eldorado's interior, seemingly inspired by Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, is rich with leather and wood. Seats have been revised this year for better comfort. Audio and climate controls have been slightly altered in favor of improved ease of operation. The driver information center includes additional messages for 1997, and the number of programmable features has increased. ETC models have memory systems that recall rearview mirror positions, climate control settings, or even what CD and song the driver was listening to last. Optional on both Eldorados is the OnStar Services package, which includes a voice-activated cellular phone. With OnStar, a driver in trouble can alert emergency personnel to his exact location or get instruction if she is lost. The system can even track your Eldo if it's stolen or locate the nearest ATM. It all works beautifully, but buyers evidently balk at spending nearly forty grand for an Eldorado.

Mechanically, 1997 Eldos receive a stiffer body structure, brake enhancements that are intended to provide smoother, surer stops and better pedal feel. Also new are front suspension changes designed to isolate rough pavement, provide better handling, and smooth out the cushy ride. Base models get MagnaSteer variable effort steering gear.

The Eldorado Touring Coupe benefits from additional improvements. This year, the Integrated Chassis Control System (ICCS) includes stability enhancement and road texture detection. Stability enhancement is designed to correct skids automatically, allowing the Eldorado to respond to driver inputs quicker. Road texture detection reads the road surface, leading to better antilock brake performance on rough pavement. Also exclusive to the ETC is an extensive personalization programmable package, which contains more programmable features than found in the base Eldorado.

Lincoln's Mark VIII has been freshly restyled this year, and performance figures are nearly indistinguishable from the Eldorado, though its retro-futuristic styling themes inside and out do not appeal to us as much as the Eldo's sharper edges and richly appointed interior. Still, the Lincoln is a sheer blast to drive, with a sweet twin-cam V8 engine, rear-wheel drive, and an outstanding optional JBL sound system. The Mark VIII behaves like a luxury Mustang GT, while the Eldorado behaves like a luxury Monte Carlo Z34. Despite the Cadillac's more unique styling, we'd take the hot-to-trot Lincoln.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Cadillac Eldorado.

hadrn, 8/24/2008
My 97 Eldorado is beautiful. A Peanut butter-top on burgundy, with brand new 2008 Cadillac-Vove Rims, dipped in gold and of course brand spanking new Vove tires. I reside in Los Angeles, California, where everyone show and tell their cars, and although I'm refined my Eldorado holds its own against any fancy car, even Bentleys, in the looks department. I can't say much about my powerful motor, my Cadillac dealer takes care of that stuff, but I will comment on fuel efficiency being up to par and how well my Eldorado takes care of me when I'm out and about on the highways and by- ways.
It's a Cadillac
car_man1, 2/21/2012
My 97 ETC isn't bad. Of course what you expect for buying a used 16 yr old caddy at 126,*** Miles. New battery, wipers, new set of rims (one was cracked and I couldn't find a replacment, but got current ones from a junk yard for free off a 91 seville:).The Service Light came on for a few weeks then went off, it is a bad O2 sensor and I haven't had $$/time to fix it now. Once in a while, it has a hard WARM start, possible leaky fuel injector ( I hope!). I ordered the service manual (I advise DIY-ers to do this) and I can't wait to start seeing how my N* works. But with gas being over $4, it may become a weekend car and back to the 01 Civic LX for me.
one sweet ride
SMILEY, 10/11/2004
a stunning beauty with performance to match and fuel economy as good as many mid-sized 6 cylinder cars.
All cars have the goods and the bads.
RON, 8/2/2008
My 97 Eldorado is showroom new. I live in Palm Springs California. The car over all has been exceptional. Period. I read these other reviews and Wonder about some comments. First its not really meant to be raced. I have not replaced all these items mentioned from other reviewers. The car has always been kept in the garage. It is the Pearl color with every option. The interior looks as if it just came off the show room floor. You must always take this type of car to the Cadillac dealer. Only they have the correct tools and replacement parts. It is taken once a year for its check up. It drives as if new. It always gets 28 mpg on the highway.
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Features & Specs

15 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
275 hp @ 5600 rpm
15 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
275 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 1997 Cadillac Eldorado features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1997 Cadillac Eldorado
Used 1997 Cadillac Eldorado Overview

The Used 1997 Cadillac Eldorado is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include Touring 2dr Coupe, and 2dr Coupe.

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