Home » What A Pile The Cadillac Cimarron Was: Cold Start

What A Pile The Cadillac Cimarron Was: Cold Start

Cs Cimmeron 1
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The Cadillac Cimarron is a car that I have mostly contempt for. I feel pretty comfortable in this, because these things were, charitably, heaps. Well, that’s not really accurate: they were overpriced heaps. These slightly overdressed Chevy Cavaliers sold for the equivalent of about $41,000 today, and I can tell you, they were not worth it. What bothers me about this is I think they were part of why the concept of a luxury compact car never really caught on.

I feel qualified to throw shade at the Cimarron in part because I had a college girlfriend who had a 1982 Chevy Cavalier, which was based on the same J-body platform, had the same 85 horsepower, 1.8-liter drivetrain, the same three-speed slushbox, most of the same body panels, and the same all-encompassing blandness that made any time with that car only slightly more exciting than a book of industrial carpet samples.

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That car drove like a block of surplus cheese shoved across a sidewalk, but maybe with a little less, um, dynamism.

The Cimarron was, of course, a Cadillac and not some plebeian Chevy, but aside from badging, all that really meant was you could get the inside slathered in leather.

Cs Cimmaron 2

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What was especially galling about the Cimmaron was how Cadillac chose to market it, and what cars it chose to compare it to. Look at this:

Cs Cimmarron 3

Look at the cars it’s up against there: Audi 5000, BMW 320i, Volvo GLE, and the Saab 900S, all of which were vastly better choices than this Cavalier that shoplifted some jewelry. Also note that its referred to as “Cimarron by Cadillac” and dealers were told not to call it “Cadillac Cimarron” because of, um, I guess reasons? Who the hell knows what goes through the brilliant yet often addled mind of GM?

I’m not really sure why Cadillac wanted that comparo chart up there, because it only shows that the Cimarron got better gas mileage and had, um, leather.

Cs Cimarron 4a

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There’s some of that leather! Of course, it’s wrapped around an interior that was pretty much the exact same as the cheap-ass Cavalier, but at least you could get these with a stick shift, though I’m not sure I ever saw one without the three-speed auto. Just seeing that steering wheel is giving me some really boring flashbacks.

Sure, these things were crap, but you know what the worst crime really is? The Cimarron was boring, so deeply, unrelentingly, clinically dull. It had all the pizzaz of a manilla folder, but without the sexiness.

These things are why we don’t seem to understand the potential of premium small cars. Well, maybe the Aston-Martin Cygnet was a factor, too, but that thing was way cooler.

What a pile.

 

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Robert Runyon
Robert Runyon
26 days ago

Always reminded me of the Nova of ’76. They had a cop version, I think. Bad times In the GM garage, for sure.

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
1 month ago

Cygnet is one of the most desirable cars ever made. Change my mind

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago

> any time with that car only slightly more exciting than a book of industrial carpet samples.

> That car drove like a block of surplus cheese shoved across a sidewalk, but maybe with a little less, um, dynamism.

> Just seeing that steering wheel is giving me some really boring flashbacks.

> the pizzaz of a manilla folder, but without the sexiness.

This silliness is why I’d read the tax code if Jason went to work at the IRS.

Though it’s “pizzazz” (4 Zs) and manila (1 L) but I guess the total number of consonants is correct so you only get half a point docked.

Beceen
Beceen
1 month ago

I am pretty sure he meant pizzas in Manilla, Iowa. They must be sexy.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Beceen

Everything is sexier in Iowa.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago

Way late & no one will ever see, but, damned if I didn’t see what I presume was a Cavalier* this evening with (I assume) a JC Whitney fancy fake radiator-grill and a freaking Continental kit on the back. Made my day

(*I was looking because of this article. It may have been a Cimarron. Whatever: I salute the person still driving it!)

Last edited 1 month ago by TOSSABL
Zorn Zornelius
Zorn Zornelius
1 month ago

What happened to the concept of “lumbar support” as a motoring amenity? IIRC once power seats became more popular we used to get inflatable pillows installed in the seatbacks for our lumbar support needs.

Stronger backs? More well-designed seats in general? What gives?

El Jefe de Barbacoa
El Jefe de Barbacoa
1 month ago
Reply to  Zorn Zornelius

All 3 of my recent car purchases have lumbar support for the driver. It’s a must-have for me.

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
1 month ago
Reply to  Zorn Zornelius

What absloute stipper model are you looking at without lumbar as at least an option, if not standard?

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