Cadillac Cimarron

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Cadillac Cimarron
Production 1982–1988
Class subcompact
Body Style 4 Door Sedan
Length 173.0" (1982–1984)
177.9" (1985–1988)
Width 66.3"
Height 52.0"
Wheelbase 101.2"
Weight 2524-2756 lbs
Transmission 4-speed Manual, FWD
5-speed Manual, FWD
3-Speed Automatic, FWD
Engines 1.8L (112 cid) I4 (1982)
2.0L (121 cid) I4 (1982-1986)
2.8L (173 cid) V6 (1986-1988)
Power 88-125 hp
Similar Buick Skyhawk
Chevrolet Cavalier
Oldsmobile Firenza
Pontiac J2000/Sunbird
Platform J

Conceived in a reaction to the oil shock of the late seventies and universal predictions of $ 3.00 (US-1980 Dollars) per gallon gasoline, the Cadillac Cimarron was hastily rushed into production two years ahead of its initially planned introduction date. Without the benefit of receiving the refinements and differentiation in styling that was originally intended for it, the Cadillac Cimarron was a bit of a shock to to the usual Cadillac buyer demographic accustomed to purchasing the largest and plushest land yachts produced. Featuring the first 4-cylinder Cadillac since 1914, equipped with the first manual transmission seen in a Cadillac since 1953, clearly this was a car intended for a different buyer than normally shopped at a Cadillac dealer. The Cimarron was billed as "A new kind of Cadillac for a new kind of Cadillac owner" and perhaps as an indication of the level of discomfort that marketing such a "non-Cadillac" brought the division, it was initially called "Cimarron by Cadillac" rather than the what would be the norm: Cadillac Cimarron. Though continuously refined and updated throughout its run, the Cimarron was perceived as nothing more than a tarted-up Chevrolet Cavalier and while sales were respectable and helped Cadillac comply with tightening CAFE standards, the damage that the Cimarron did to Cadillac's image as a premium brand during its run is undeniable.

See Wikicars' comprehensive Cadillac Cimarron Review.


Recent Changes/News

Mention any minor facelifts or major changes made to the vehicle here.

Styles and Major Options

Unlike it's J-body siblings, the Cimarron was available in only one body style: a 4-door sedan. Cadillac marketed the Cimarron as a competitor to the small sport sedan offerings from Audi, BMW, Volvo, Saab and Mercedes, but given it's obvious econo-car roots, it was a difficult sell. The Cimarron came standard with a host of Cadillac-style amenities that were optional or unavailable on other J body cars, exclusive metallic colors, touring suspension, aluminum alloy wheels, quad halogen sealed beam headlamps, additional sound deadening, full instrumentation, deep-pile carpeting, with leather-wrapped seating and steering wheel to name but a few of its differentiating features.

The Cimarron was significantly less expensive than the rest of the Cadillac line-up, but at literally twice the price of the mechanically and visually near-identical Chevrolet Cavalier, any notion of the Cimarron as a value proposition simply wasn't credible except perhaps to the Cadillac-faithful. Over 40% of Cimarron sales were to existing Cadillac owners, reportedly often bought as second cars "for the wife".


Cadillac Cimarron
1982 I4 1983 I4 1984 I4 1985 I4 1985 V6 1986 I4 1986 V6 1987 V6 1988 V6
$12,181 $12,215 $12,614 $12,962 $13,522 $13,128 $13,838 $15,032 $16,071
$Price1 $Price2 $Price3 $Price4 $Price5 $Price6 $Price7 $Price8 $Price9

Gas Mileage

As seen on the FuelEconomy.gov website, the City/Highway MPG averages are as follows:

1982 I4 1983 I4 1984 I4 1985 I4 1985 V6 1986 I4 1986 V6 1987 V6 1988 V6
c/h c/h c/h 22/27 18/24 19/25 16/23 18/24 18/25


Year6JG69 Sedan
1988 6,454

Engine and Transmission

Specifications, details, graphs, pictures and other information regarding the powertrain is placed in this section.


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Main Competitors

Unique Attributes

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This section should include information on the interior's design, build quality, ergonomics, space (head and legroom, front and rear), features, stowage compartments and overall comfortability and livability. Add pictures wherever applicable and keep information in a third-person point of view.


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Yearly Changes


  • All new model-
  • Car billed as "Cimarron by Cadillac", with Cadillac emblems placed on the grille and taillights, but lacking the usual "Cadillac Script" ornamentation that adorned Cadillac's other offerings.


  • A new, fuel-injected 2.0 litre 4-cylinder and close-ratio 5-speed manual transmission replaced the carbureted 1.8 of the previous year, improving power, starting and fuel economy.
  • Front-end styling was revised with a deep lower valance panel below the bumper, standard tungsten-halogen foglamps, a fine mesh grille, and a cloisonné hood medallion.
  • The Cimarron began displaying the Cadillac script badging on it's grille like the rest of Cadillac's line-up, though rear badging still stated "Cimarron by Cadillac".
  • A mid-year special edition Cimarron d'Oro ("Cimarron of gold") was introduced with almost all of Cimarron's optional equipment as standard, brightwork subdued by painting it body-color for a euro-style monochromatic look with gold-toned grille, wheels, badging and accenting inside and out. Available only in Sable Black with Saddle interior, it provided an extremely distinctive-looking top model for Cimarron buyers willing to fork over almost $ 1,000.00 for this option package.


  • For the third year in a row, the Cimarron's grille was revised, this time with a crosshatch pattern.
  • Taillights were revised and given a horizontal bias to provide a more substantial appearance to the rear quarters of the car.
  • Power retracting radio antenna replaced the fixed-mast antenna of previous years.
  • Leather and cloth combination seating became available as a deduct option which when exercised, knocked off $ 100.00 off the Cimarron's sticker price.
  • Additional interior refinements further enhanced and distanced the Cimarron from it's J-Body platform-mates.


  • The Cimarron received yet another revision to it's front end, a fairly major change that extended the Cimarron by over five inches, and gave the car a much more distinctive "Cadillac look".
  • An optional high-output fuel-injected 2.8 liter V6 coupled to a 4-speed manual transmission or 3-speed automatic transmission became available (standard on Cimarron D'Oro), which finally provided adequate power for the Cimarron to be credibly called a sport sedan. The 2.0 litre 4-cylinder remained as the base powerplant.
  • To sharpen Cimarron's handling, the front suspension was stiffened and stabilizer bars were lengthened to improve the suspension's geometry.
  • Cimarron d'Oro package offered in two colors, burgundy metallic and white.
  • Euro-style grooved body cladding in body color or silver, running the length of the car below the belt moulding was added as an option, standard in body color with the d'Oro package.
  • Full vacuum fluorescent digital instrumentation appeared on the options list, providing a high-tech look to the instrument panel.
  • 14" aluminum alloy wheels wrapped in low profile Goodyear Eagle GT tires (gold-toned and standard with the d'Oro package) became available as an option.


  • The rear end received a major re-styling with wide, wrap-around taillamps with inset winged cadillac crests that imparted a more substantial, expensive-looking appearance.
  • An optional touring suspension with gas-charged, premium shocks and struts, a thicker front anti-roll bar and stiffer springs optionally (standard on d'Oro) brought Cimarron closer to the handling dynamics offered by the premium imports Cadillac hoped to compete with.
  • Cimarron d'Oro received an exclusive, major styling revision: at its' front end a new more prominent grille, flush aero tungsten-halogen composite headlamps and wrap-around side marker lights.
  • A Delco-GM/Bose high-power, high-fidelity music system joined the available options list at a cost of $ 895.00.


  • A new 5-speed Getrag manual transmission replaced the previous years' 4-speed with the now-standard 2.8 litre V6 which also boasted improvements to it's power and efficiency.
  • Cimarron d'Oro package was dropped, and the once exclusive aero front end treatment became standard for all Cimarrons, though the bodyside cladding was an additional cost option.
  • The front suspension was further enhanced with changes to its front suspension bushings and stabilizer bar as well as revised engine mounts to further improve handling dynamics.


  • In its' final year of production, the Cimarron was further mechanically refined by the addition of a speed-density fuel control system and variable-displacement air conditioning compressor.
  • Corrosion resistance was improved by the use of galvanized steel for all body panels excepting the roof.
  • The formerly optional 14" aluminum alloy wheels became standard.
  • The formerly optional body cladding became standard.
  • The rear suspension's shock absorbers were revised to provide crisper handling.

Design quirks and oddities

Refer to any pop-culture tidbits about the vehicle in this section.


In 2000, The Cadillac Cimarron was named as "The Eighth Worst Car of the Millenium" by NPR's Car Talk radio program. [1]

In 2007, The Cadillac Cimarron was named as one of the "50 Worst Cars of All Time" by Time Magazine [2]

In 2008, Motor Trend anointed the Cadillac Cimarron as #1 in the "The Top 10 Worst Rebadges of All Time" [3]

List out notable awards that the model has recieved while in production. 'Boldface the company or organization that gives out the award, and Italicize the name of the award.

See Also


General Motors Co.

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XLR · BLS(Europe only) · Deville · Seville · Cimarron · Eldorado · Fleetwood · V16 · Type 57 · Brougham · Series 60 · Series 75 · Sixty Special · Fleetwood Brougham · Catera · Model A · Allanté · Model 30 · Eldorado Brougham · Seville Elegante · Calais · Series 62 · Eldorado Seville · Model B · Model F · Series 341 · Series 70 · Series 61 · Series 355 · 355-A · Series 63 · Type 59 · Type 61 · Type V-63 · Series 314 · Castilian · Fleetwood Eldorado · Series 67 · Series 90 · Series 72 · Series 65 · Series 85 · · · ·


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External Links

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News and References

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