QOTD: Graceful Aging of the Nineties Variety?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd graceful aging of the nineties variety

We’ve talked about the Nineties in a couple of recent QOTDs, and today we’ll do it once more. This inquiry was generated in TTAC’s Slack foyer, where Adam Tonge mused about styling from the greatest decade.

What domestic Nineties ride has aged better than all the others?

The rules for today’s game are simple, and three:

  1. All selections must be model years 1990 to 1999.
  2. Picks must be from a domestic manufacturer, even if sourced from an import (eg. Mercury Villager).
  3. Any bodystyle is eligible except for trucks.

And that’s it; the rest of the field is wide open. Let’s get you all started out right.

Here’s my pick — the third-generation Cadillac STS. It narrowly squeezes into our game with a debut in 1998. Caddy’s boxy, afterthought first-generation STS debuted as an upmarket sporting trim on the standard front-drive Seville in 1988. The more modern K-body generation bowed in 1992 in SLS (Seville Luxury Sedan) and STS (Seville Touring Sedan) guises. While the eagerly anticipated 4.6-liter Northstar was not available in the new models’ first year, Cadillac replaced the trusty 4.9-liter V8 in the STS for 1993, and the SLS in 1994.

In 1998 the SLS and STS moved to the G platform, shaving off a few inches of length. The leaner, meaner STS boasted 300 horsepower, while the SLS made do with 275. Styling was more serious, more sporty, and aimed to look substantial. It did then, and it does now. The STS receives my vote as one of the best-aging domestic cars of the Nineties (with a nod to the Regal above).

Let’s hear your selections.

[Images: Cadillac, Buick]

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  • DownUnder2014 DownUnder2014 on May 15, 2019

    The Big 'American' Three here in Australia were rather different...and the offerings were almost completely different (especially with GM). Plus Chrysler withdrew in 1981 and sold their operations to Mitsubishi. So using the 'Big Three' (Chrysler, Ford and Holden): Small Sedan: 1. The KF Laser TX-3 (the KE was better but it stopped in 1989). Medium Sedan: 1. Ford Telstar 2. Toyota Camry/Holden Apollo (XV10) Large Sedan: 1. AU Falcon (1998-2002). The styling has aged better than the VT Commodore, IMO. 2. VP Commodore (1991-93). The lightbar is pretty cool, so it edges out the VN. 3. TH/TJ Magna (1999-2002). The 3.5 V6 is rather quick in these, especially with the 5-Speed Manual. The styling has aged relatively nicely. Chrysler's lineup here consisted of one car, the Neon. It still consists of one car now, being the 300!

  • DownUnder2014 DownUnder2014 on May 15, 2019

    As for the US market: Subcompact/Compact: 1. 2G Ford Escort/Mercury Tracer 2. 1991-94 Cavalier Wagon. Mid-size: 1. Oldsmobile Aurora (both gens, sadly N*-engined, I wonder how the V6 is though) 2. 2G Taurus 3. Chrysler LH cars (they don't age well but look nice) Full-size: 1. Gonna get crucified for this one, but 1998-2011 Ford Crown Victoria 2. 1991-96 Buick Park Avenue (EU-spec though) 3. Toss up between 1992-97 CV and same era MGM...

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  • Namesakeone Actually, per the IIHS ratings, "Acceptable" is second best, not second worst. The ratings are "Good," "Acceptable," "Marginal" and "Poor."
  • Inside Looking Out "And safety was enhanced generally via new reversing lamps and turn signals fitted as standard equipment."Did not get it, turn signals were optional in 1954?
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