The Cadillac Seville was America’s answer to the rising European car imports when smaller and fuel-efficient cars became the trend during the oil crisis in the 70s. First released in 1975, the small and luxury four-door sedan continued its glory for decades before retiring in 2004. Over the years, the Seville went through a series of facelifts and upgrades that improved its drivability without losing the Cadillac feel.
1975-1979: First generation
The first-generation internationally sized Cadillac was initially based on the X-body platform used by the Chevrolet Nova, making the Seville the first Cadillac to use a platform already used on another make model. Topped with an angular design, the Seville replaced Cadillac’s trademark of bulkiness with a smaller unibody that proved to be a success in the American market. With increased sales, the Seville rolled out with different trims. The Seville Elegante was a luxury option package that initially featured a black, silver, or copper-shade two-tone exterior paint combination with matching interior seats. The Gucci Seville, on the other hand, was basically a Seville with an exterior decorated with the Gucci logo. Also, a series of Seville convertibles were released, featuring different orientations that catered to different tastes. While the Seville enjoyed its wide success, General Motors equipped the luxury sedan with the Cadillac Trip Computer that replaced the needle-type speedometer and fuel gauges.
1980-1985: Second generation
The bustle-back styling of the second-generation Seville made its appearance similar with that of the Daimlers. Though seemed to be moving retro, Seville had started the slantback trend again as its design was imitated by the seventh-generation Lincoln Continental and the sixth-generation Chrysler Imperial. New to this generation model were the memory seats, which could recall two positions at the touch of a button, and the Delco/Bose stereo cassette system, which replaced the eight-track stereo system.
1986-1991: Third generation
The much smaller third-generation Seville sported a more conservative styling that didn’t appeal much to the general public. The redesign, however, was a move to improve the luxury car’s aerodynamics and aesthetics. But despite low sales, the Seville came out with an innovative computer system called Body Computer Module/Engine Computer Module that monitored the car’s system and the engine through the electronic dashboard. A redesign for the 1988 model year was rushed as a quick fix. Also in 1988, the Seville Touring Sedan was introduced in the market.
1992-1997: Fourth generation
Cadillac divided the fourth-generation Seville into two sub-models—the Seville Luxury Sedan and the Seville Touring Sedan—that were paired with General Motors’s Northstar engines. Both sub-models were packed with a 4.9-liter engine but with different configurations that gave the Seville Luxury Sedan more torque than the Seville Touring Sedan.
1998-2004: Fifth generation
Looking like the previous-generation models, the final Seville model was the first Cadillac to run on both left- and right-hand drive forms. The overall driving experience of this luxury sedan was also improved, pushing the Seville Touring Sedan at the top of the list of most powerful front-wheel drive cars.