There’s an unspoken rule among us automotive journalists; that for about one-third of all jokes ever written, the original punchline could be replaced with “Cadillac Cimarron,” at no perceivable detriment to the joke. (For those less well-acquainted with GM’s history, “Pontiac Aztec” can function just as well.)
That’s what makes this retro episode of MotorWeek – recently shared by Car Scoops – so darn tasty. In it, John Davis insists that the 1983 Cadillac Cimarron “finally hits the BMW/Audi market right on the head.” Considering how universally derided the Cadillac Cimarron is today, our knowing hindsight allows us to laugh at the perverse comedy of that statement.
This MotorWeek Retro Review actually rewinds about a year in the beginning, to revisit how the show felt about the 1982 “Cimarron by Cadillac,” as it was called back then. And it’s because of the context lent by this retrospective Cimarron review that we can kind of see how MotorWeek could have come to such a conclusion in 1983; compared to the 1982 Cimarron, every car is a winner. The 1983 Cadillac Cimarron achieved better handling, braking and acceleration, from a larger 2.0-liter four-cylinder, all while boosting fuel economy (as-tested) by 10 mpg, or 50 percent.
So, yes, were you in John Davis’ shoes in 1983, it’s conceivable that you could have reached the very same conclusion: that the Cadillac Cimarron was reworked sufficiently to take on the big guns. In actuality, it was revamped just enough to be slightly better than horrendous.