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Old 08-02-2007, 04:19 PM   #1
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Default A few thoughts on 1993 vs 2003 Bonnevilles

Brace yourself for a nice, long read...

So, after 10 years of Bonneville, hereí* a few things I like/dislike between the two cars. Iím comparing between a 1993 SSE and a 2003 SSEi. Iím not going to touch engines because one is boosted and the other isnít. Suffice it to say that there isnít much comparison there.

One thing I noticed right away is the turning radius. The 2003 will turn circles around the 93. I always hated the turning radius on the 93 Ė I think my 4-door Silverado will out-turn a 93 Bonneville. Chalk up a big Woo Hoo for the 03.

Seats. The 03 has 6 or 8-way adjustable seats. My 93 did not have the 9-way adjustable seats, and the passenger seat had very little adjustment. However, the seats in the 93 are definitely more comfortable than the 03. This is not to say the 03 seats are uncomfortable Ė I certainly didnít get a case of Monkey Butt during the 18 hour trip bringing it home Ė but even my wife noticed the difference. The 93 scores a run on front seats.

Hereí* an odd one. The resume button for the cruise control on the 2003 is too far in (toward the steering column) from the edge of the steering wheel. Michael Jordan must have designed it. And ití* probably fine for someone who can wrap his hand around a basketball like a normal person would hold a tennis ball, but for those of us with small hands, this is a bit of a nuisance. I really have to reach to hit it. Ití* just not as handy as the 93 was.

How about this one? No power antenna on the 2003. Ití* in the windshield. Not good if you have to pay for a windshield out of your own pocket, but otherwise it gets two thumbs up over the power antenna on the 93. Just one less thing to worry about or break.

Letí* talk HUD. I find the HUD easier to see and read on the 93, but the 2003 displays more information (like radio station). I still think they fell short of what a HUD can really do, though. Nevertheless, I call a draw on the two. The big, fat numbers on the 93 seemed to be brighter, but thereí* more info on the 03. Sixes on whatí* more desirable.

The 2003 seems to be a little short on cabin stash places. This may be more an issue that the 03 has a moonroof, whereas the 93 did not. I seem to miss that extra overhead console stash box more than I thought I would. I donít think Iíd trade off the moonroof though.

In the same vein as stash places, the glove box on the 03 isnít as accessible as the 93. On the 93 ití* pretty much right there in your face. Ití* down low on the dash and rather deep on the 2003. Again, not a biggie, but certainly not as easy to root around in.

You know how, on most Japanese cars, you can flip the windshield wiper blades up off the glass and theyíll stay up? My 03 does this (yay), but the 93 does not. This is actually pretty handy when youíre washing the glass or changing a blade.

Hereí* a real biggie Ė 4 wheel disc brakes. On the 2003. Disc/drums on the 93. The rear drums on the 93 needed to be adjusted frequently and the 93 was certainly underbraked. I think you can never have enough braking power, but the 2003 is head & shoulders above the 93 here.

I think the dash vents on the 2003 are better too. It seems easier to direct air right where you want it.

Iím still discovering stuff on the 2003, and Iím sure there will be things I like better on one car compared to the other. And thereí* things the 03 has that werenít available on the 93, like dual-zone climate control and mammary, er, memory seats (which are pretty cool), side air bags, so ití* not really fair to compare those items. One thing I can say about the two cars is that they are distinctly Bonnevilles. After driving the 93 for 12 years, my wife drove the 2003 and she said it felt very familiar to her. They just have a certain feel to Ďem.

Ití* not my intention to declare one car superior to the other, these are just some observations Iíve made since owning the 2003 for 4 days. So there.
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:37 PM   #2
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Great comparison for those looking to consider one generation over the other.

I'm interested to hear about the trunk button. (not the fob one either) That seems a mixed bag with the 00 owners.
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:42 PM   #3
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Interesting comparsion, I would have to agree with you on most when I test-drove (eventually turned it down) a 02 SSEi.

However one thing disturbed me the most, you said you had small hands, so are you a carnie?


One favorite feature of the 00+ is the direct air from the vents instead of the steering wheel blocking it.

How tall are you, Stan? I noticed when I test drove the 02 SSEi I could NOT see the HUD unless I slump way down in the seat
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:46 PM   #4
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Uhm...the HUD height is adjustable, Cody...
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: A few thoughts on 1993 vs 2003 Bonnevilles

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSE Motorhead
[I think the dash vents on the 2003 are better too. It seems easier to direct air right where you want it.
bettter place for an aeroforce gauge
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Old 08-02-2007, 05:08 PM   #6
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I have no complaints (for viewablility) with mine located in the cig lighter'* place, but then again I lost that function on my SSEi since I can't relocate it to where I did on my SLE (Bose amp in the way on the Ei). At least there'* another one in the armrest.
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Old 08-02-2007, 05:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dillcc
I have no complaints (for viewablility) with mine located in the cig lighter'* place, but then again I lost that function on my SSEi since I can't relocate it to where I did on my SLE (Bose amp in the way on the Ei). At least there'* another one in the armrest.
I will relocate mine down the right side of the console. Maybe even hide it behind the console side piece in the front.
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Old 08-02-2007, 05:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBoost37
I'm interested to hear about the trunk button. (not the fob one either) That seems a mixed bag with the 00 owners.
Whoa! Back up the bus! There'* a TRUNK BUTTON?! LOL
Actually, yeah, now that you mention it, the trunk button is more convenient on the door of the 93, but on the 03 I don't have to have the ignition on. So it'* a toss up for me. It is much harder to get to the trunk button from the driver seat on the 2003. But if you have the fob, why do you need to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuelforthesoul1999
Interesting comparsion, I would have to agree with you on most when I test-drove (eventually turned it down) a 02 SSEi.
Yeah, just keep in mind that what I said is merely opinion and should be treated as such.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuelforthesoul1999
However one thing disturbed me the most, you said you had small hands, so are you a carnie?
Hey. We carnies are the salt of the earth. Just ask Homer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuelforthesoul1999
How tall are you, Stan? I noticed when I test drove the 02 SSEi I could NOT see the HUD unless I slump way down in the seat
You've probably seen me already, but didn't know it. I was in a movie - maybe you've seen it - I was representin' the Lollipop Guild to Judy Garland (she was such a sweetheart, I just wish she hadn't treated us like kids). I'm the one in the middle...
I'm 5'8" or so, when my back allows me to straighten up completely, so I'm rather on the short side. However, my father in law is 6'3" and the HUD (which, as mentioned above, is adjustable ) works for him.
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:13 PM   #9
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I would have to agree on 99% of the things you talked about, especially the seats. My daughters father has a 1995 Ei and the seats are far more comfortable than my 02.
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:33 PM   #10
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Well Stan, I pretty much agree with you on everything when I compare my '03 to the '94. Even the HUD. When I drove the 03 back home from New Hampshire, I definitely noticed the difference in SIZE of the numbers in the HUD. I drove the 94 a few days ago and was already used to the smaller numbers on the 03 that seeing the HUD on the 94 after a week of not driving it was a "culture shock" already.

I do prefer the 94 HUD in regards to the size and the image itself. On the 03 it'* not only smaller but it seems a bit 'distorted' for lack of a better word. But it'* smaller because the 03 HUD has the radio/CD track and disc number which I LOVE. Having the 12 disc changer in the trunk and not having to look at the radio to see what'* on is a nice thing.

Another thing I agree with you on is the cruise control lever. I have big hands but the lever still is not as easily accessible as the 94. I don't use the resume feature though.

I must add that the ride quality is much better on the 03 too. It'* much more comfortable and refined, yet the handling is awesome and firm.

Another improvement is the stereo system including the placement of the speakers.

I love the extra options not available on earlier years; 4 wheel discs, improved center console storage unit, heated seats, etc.
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