Used 2002 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe Review

If you like big, V8-powered American luxury coupes, you better act fast, as the Eldorado is heading for the big parking lot in the sky.




what's new

A special Collectors' Series package marks the final 1,600 coupes to come off the assembly line as the Eldorado heads for retirement.

vehicle overview

One of the models that lured Cadillac back from the brink of becoming hopelessly behind the times 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 (along with its sister car, the Seville) helped bolster Cadillac's future. Although the Eldorado lays claim to being the best-selling prestige luxury coupe in the United States, 2002 will be its last year of production in its current form. Meanwhile, traditional luxo-coupe buyers can still enjoy the power and performance of the virtually unchanged 2002 models. Both of Cadillac's 4.6-liter Northstar V8s (the 275-horsepower version in Eldorado and the 300-horse motor in the ETC) are available to power the front wheels, and this swanky coupe enjoys certification as a low-emission vehicle (LEV) in environmentally conscious states.

Magnasteer variable-effort steering gear is standard. Optional on the base car and standard on the Touring Coupe is StabiliTrak, which includes stability enhancement and road texture detection. Stability enhancement is designed to correct skids automatically, allowing the Eldorado to respond better to driver inputs. Road texture detection reads the road surface, leading to better antilock brake performance.

The Eldorado's interior is rich with leather and wood. 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. Standard is GM's three-button OnStar system that is now integrated into the Eldo's rearview mirror, eliminating the need for a separate cellular phone. With OnStar, a driver can alert emergency personnel to an exact location or simply get travel directions. The system can even track your Eldo if it's stolen or locate the nearest ATM when you're low on cash.

To commorate the Eldorado's near fifty year existence in the Cadillac lineup, the final 1,600 units to roll off the assembly line will be designated as Eldorado Collector's Series editions. This ETC-based special edition will feature a specially tuned exhaust, two exclusive colors, 16-inch wheels, and signature wreath and crest embroidered seats.

While today's Eldorado is on the bulky side and as gizmo-laden as they come, it still has a distinctive look and a wonderful engine, especially in ETC guise. Sure, the luxury-SUV craze is killing off cars of this ilk, but we're already seeing an SUV backlash, and comfy coupes like this Caddy could lead a truck-weary market charge back to cars.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.