1994 Chevrolet Caprice
Chevrolet has prepared a pleasant surprise for luxury-car buyers.
Many of these buyers have traditionally been willing to endure a little acceleration lag or suspension mushiness in exchange for opulent styling and abundant creature comforts. However, engineers of the 1994 Chevrolet Caprice Classic LS sedan have apparently spent time adapting some of the specifications of hot wheels such as the Z28 Camaro to the Caprice LS.
The result is an elegant, long, wide-stance luxury sedan that delivers a truly inspiring set of performance and handling characteristics.
Maybe, just maybe, you can have it all.
For an MSRP of $24,698, well under the prices of more pretentious domestic and imported luxury models, our test Caprice LS delivered all the amenities of a genuine luxury sedan plus the performance dividends borrowed from more muscular brethren.
Loads of power assists, standard dual air bags, a gorgeous leather interior, and a matchless Delco/Bose AM/FM stereo system were all included in the impressive package of standard and optional features on our test-drive Caprice LS.
Its power and responsiveness under the hood, combined with the muscle and agility of its steering/suspension system, place Chevrolet’s luxury sedan in a class by itself.
Inch after inch, our Caprice LS test vehicle made all of the sleek, rich styling statements that are de rigueur for a luxury sedan.
The gently sloping fenders, gracefully rounded body panels and aerodynamic look that have become Caprice trademarks were in ample evidence. Wire wheel covers were expected and provided. The flawless Adriatic Blue finish of our test vehicle was complemented by distinctive gold accents and vinyl/chrome bumper and side trim pieces to create the Caprice LS sedan’s impressive styling signature. The rounded chrome grille with integrated, wraparound headlight/cornering lamps that provided excellent night visibility were complemented in the rear by large, wraparound taillight/side marker assemblies.
Chevrolet has incorporated aerodynamic sleekness in every inch of the ’94 Caprice LS sedan, from the radically sloped and expansive windshield to the subtly flared rocker panels and front/rear plastic air dams.
All this contributes to the car’s elegance. After our encounter, we were left with the impression that approaching this Caprice LS wearing anything less formal than a dinner jacket might be disrespectful.
The almost sinful aroma and buttery texture of the leather interior beckoned us into the Caprice LS. The six-way power seats were genuinely cushy, yet they managed to provide excellent support. Touches of leather on the door panels, a rounded and deeply cushioned instrument panel and wood accents throughout supported our growing suspicion that the word luxury in the dictionary might now be illustrated by a photograph of the ’94 Caprice Classic LS sedan.
Conveniently positioned power assists were everywhere inside our test vehicle. Controls for the windows, door and rear window locks antenna and trunk 4d merely begin the long list. Nicely situated vehicle function gauges , instruments-including an alluring turquoise digital speedometer and a host of warning lights were all easily visible through the thickly padded steering wheel.
In a somewhat exhausting attempt to find fault, we did deem the dashmounted cupholder too small. We also wished that the spare tire in the carpeted trunk was better concealed for easier luggage storage. Needless to say, both complaints constitute small blemishes on an otherwise flawless scheme.
We brought a typical set of assumptions about luxury-car performance and handling to the test-drive portion of our evaluation: adequate but deliberate acceleration, soft but mushy ride and so on. The Caprice LS exceeded all of our expectations.
This was due in no small part to its optional 5.7-liter V8 and sport suspension, coupled with the standard four-wheel anti-lock braking system. The Caprice LS impressed us with its power, agility and smooth braking performance.
From a standing start to highway passing tests, the Caprice LS continually reminded us that the S in LS could very well stand for surprising. The big V8 and smooth four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with overdrive took us from 0 to 60 mph in a mere seven seconds-35 to 55 mph in 4.5 seconds-and we breezed through a 55 to 70 mph highway passing simulation as if we were driving a high-powered sports vehicle.
The smooth ride was everything we anticipated from a luxury automobile. The Caprice LS seemed to float over the road, isolating us from bumps, jolts and outside noises.
With the optional sport suspension, we never lost a sense of communication with the road. The Caprice LS negotiated turns with an absence of lean, rock and roll often found in a luxury car’s performance. In short, the Caprice LS wowed us with handling abilities more typically associated with a nimble, midsize sedan.
Braking tests produced pleasant and reassuring results. The four-wheel anti-lock braking system brought the vehicle to swift, sure, straight halts without lockup and with only the slightest hint of pedal pulsation.
It would be an understatement to say that the 1994 Chevrolet Caprice Classic LS sedan met our expectations for a moderately priced luxury sedan. Obviously, we just didn’t set our expectations high enough.
For starters, the exterior lines of this vehicle convey luxury and class wit i h every curve and contour.
We were even more impressed upon entering the car; the uniform excellence of the interior enables the Caprice LS to compare favorably with more expensive luxury cars.
And if we raved any more about the superb performance of this responsive and well-mannered automobile, you might begin to think we mixed in some rhetoric from a Chevy Camaro, or Corvette test drive.
Our advice: When you enter the market for a luxury sedan, treat yourself to a few very pleasant surprises and put the Caprice LS at the top of your list.