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...

  • DedBull How much of that debt is directly tied to their purchase of ADESA? While wholesale volumes are down, the dealer auction is still a backbone of the used automotive industry. I assume ADESA was a functional and profitable business before it's acquisition. Break it back off, with some amount of it's debt following, and start shrinking the retail side until it is stable.
  • Jon This does not seem like anything new for Oxford. In my one visit to England 10 years ago I received a random bill from the rental car agency for a ticket long after I had come home. I was driving in Oxford, made a wrong turn, and needed to turn around. The street ended at a cross street so the only way to do so was to cross over a "bus gate" which was just some lettering painted on the street. I think it was a weekend and there was no traffic, no busses around, etc. I drove over it made my u-turn and drove back down the road I was on. I did not continue on in a bus lane or cause harm or danger to anyone. One of their cameras caught my error and sent a hefty fine. After I received it I did some research and found many folks complaining of the same thing after visits to Oxford.
  • SCE to AUX Probably couldn't afford it - happens all the time.
  • MaintenanceCosts An ugly-a$s Challenger with poor equipment choices and an ugly Dealership Default color combination, not even a manual to redeem it, still no sale.
  • Cha65689852 To drive a car, you need human intelligence, not artificial intelligence.Unfortunately, these days even human brains are turning into mush thanks to addiction to smartphones and social media.