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Is Cadillac's Image Dying and Does Anyone Care?

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  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,363
    Now please compare sales percent trends globally to see who is winning the car wars! It will be interesting to see in a down year who has the most market sahre of the high end global manufacturers.

    Regards,
    OW
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476


    Replying to: circlew (Mar 07, 2008 10:52 pm)
    Actually, the only German luxury cars that aren't entirely luxury cruisers would be the entry-level ones (335i, A4, etc) or M-Series/AMG variants. The S-Class and 5 and 7-Series sedans are no more spirited in their dynamics than a Lucerne or DeVille.


    If you really believe that then you have obviously never driven a 5 series or a 7 series.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Yes, the Caddy has way more quality and durability than those German yachts!

    I agree completely! I just would rather drive than lounge! It's worth the extra cash to fix it every week for the pure driving enjoyment.

    Some get everything from Cadillac and some don't!


    Lucky for you Caddy makes models for you that are no longer the old US mainstream lounge riders. The CTS and the STS offer the same ride and handling characteristics of the Geman imports.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,363
    I liked the last generation STS. When I attended the 2005 NYAS I sat in an STS then a 7 series. Somehow the 7 felt magical and the Caddy quite ordinary.

    Besides, the STS is history anyway. The CTS is the only car with performance potential that might carry on. Who knows? They might discontinue just as I am warming to the fact that they are finally making a decent model.

    I'll take a Corvette fo the weekend, though.

    Regards,
    OW
  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    I don't have to drive the premium German cars; I let others do the driving for me. For example, here's what C/D says about the BMW 6 and 7-Series:
    The 6-Series:
    "2007 BMW 650i - An Above Average Driving Machine, But Not Really the Ultimate."
    "Not as impressive as its skidpad performance is the way the 650i feels when driven hard. The clutch and the shifter are Jenny Craig-lite, almost too much so for a few of our test drivers, and as perfectly matched to the smooth 4.8-liter V-8 as golden sponge cake is to light, creamy filling. But when the road starts turning, things get flabby."
    "A 53/47 front-to-rear weight distribution is less balanced than most Bavarians parked in our lot, and despite its high lateral limits, the 650i's chassis isn't as talkative as others from BMW. Pushed past 8/10ths on a rough road, the 650i is scary. Suspension movements get frantic, and the slightly numb steering refuses to tell the driver exactly what the front tires are doing to keep things planted and pointed down the road."
    "Driven fast, the 650i feels every fraction of its 73-inch width and 190-inch length. A hope and a prayer might do the trick, but the most reassuring way to handle this coupe in the twisties is to dial the speedo down a few notches, and that's not something we like to say or do."
    The 7-Series:
    "Which brings us to the 750i's downside... It is so adept at quickly covering ground... and so quiet, smooth, and compliant doing so that the experience has become more numbing than involving. Whereas the previous-generation 7 was the big-sedan epitome of creating a driver-to-machine relationship, the current-generation car... is proficient at taking the driver to new performance levels without the driver's really feeling as if he were part of the process. ...But it seems that a BMW should drive more like a BMW and not like an extremely capable, extremely quick Lexus."
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,363
    ...every car has it's issues.

    Edmunds take on the 7:

    Even though it tends toward the esoteric, the current BMW 7 Series has proven quite popular, largely because of its superb driving experience. Here BMW has applied its arsenal of technology to great advantage, as features like self-stiffening antiroll bars, self-leveling air springs and adaptive shock absorbers work together to keep the big sedan stable when driven hard. In addition, all 7s have BMW's trademark steering feel, such that the driver feels an unquantifiable connection to the car.


    Here is another from "The Truth About Cars"

    The 750i is a bit like a newly retired boxer; it's not quite as sharp as it was, but it's still a Hell of a lot sharper than anyone but world heavyweight contenders. BMW needs to recognize what the brand's supposed to be and build a Club Sport 7-Series– if only to prove a point. (Remember: ultimate driving came first, luxury clocked-in later.) The Boys from Bavaria should lower the 7's suspension, fatten-up those wheels, slot in a six-speed manual, lose the iDrive, ditch the sound deadening, amp-up the exhaust and away we go.

    That is why BMW teamed with Alpina to create the B7 which will toast everything in it's class...again, if you like driving.

    No car is perfect just better in a particular category.

    In the end, you buy what you like. As far as the standard for luxury, it is really in your own mind.

    Regards,
    OW

    Regards,
    OW
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,134

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,363
    image

    Regards,
    OW
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Does the new CTS come in any colors other than red and silver? Those seem to be the only two that ever get tested. I was kinda hoping they'd get the AWD version.

    As for the BMW, it's not bad either but those wheels look better on the S2000 CR. :P
  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    What's an interesting observation is that the STS was never meant to compete with the 7-Series/S-Class, yet auto journalists still make the comparison.
    The CTS was never meant to compete with premium sedans like the 5-Series or Infiniti M45, but auto jpurnalists are still comparing the two.
    In fact, Car and Driver recently compared the 2008 CTS to the 2008 Infiniti M45, a car in a higher class. Regardless of price, guess which car Car and Driver picked? THe more expensive Infiniti?
    Nope! The Cadillac CTS! Only a brand that can rightly be called the "Standard of the World" can do that...
    Car and Driver: 2008 Standard of the World beats the 2008 Infiniti M45.

    .
  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    EVEN WITH PICTURES CLEARLY SHOWING A GORGEOUS RED CADILLAC AND AN CHEAP, UGLY TAXI YOU STILL PREFER THE TAXI! WHY???

    What's interesting to note is the Forum Moderator posted the pic of that Caddy not just a regular Joe on this message board.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,067
    No Thanks. I'll take the Cadillac.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,363
    I just like to drive. The CTS is getting better but still needs to grow (read refine)!

    Regards,
    OW
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,363
    Your very welcome. You can have it.

    Regards,
    OW
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    If they keep slipping and don't turn it around then maybe caddy or someone else will take the lead but it hasn't happened yet.

    I think Infiniti will get there first; they're pretty close already. It should be interesting to see what they do for the M50, and what if anything Cadillac does for a CTS V8.
  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    Just go drive a 535i sometime and then maybe you will understand a little better."

    You might have made the same comment about the 328i or be even closer to the point with the 1-Series.

    As with all BMW products, their most economical is always also the funnest to drive, but the 7-Series is the best car.

    I don't care what you and circlew says, driving dynamics suitable for a small, agile, fun-to-drive car with "Stunning chassis, superb reflexes, telepathic steering" and the other goofy adjectives Car and Driver magazine throws at small cars that are nimble and economical do not make the luxury sport sedan. This is why the CTS is beating the BMW 3-Series; the world is tired of small, nimble, fun-to-drive cars dressed in goofy adjectives by the press -- cars that don't cut it when real sport and real luxury and substance is brought into the equation.

    Fall in love with silly journalism like, "The BMW has steering that's so precise, the steering rack seems wrapped in fine silk imported from China" all you want, but in the end, you'll be paying off a $499 lease on a car that's considered basic transportation for taxi fleets elsewhere on the globe.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,363
    I fell in love with the drive. I love paying extra for the top of the line everything!

    Regards,
    OW
  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    THere's no way an E-Class (read: European taxi, which is this):

    image

    Can touch this:

    image
  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    "I fell in love with the drive. I love paying extra for the top of the line everything!"

    Actually it's not BMW that's "top of the line", it's Honda and the Civic si that's top of the line. And witht he Civic, you don't have to pay extra!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    There's also no E-class sold in the spec of that (eight year old?) taxi on this continent...

    And there are a lot more E-class in that Caddy spec than the Caddy itself desired by buyers in every corner of the world...
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,363
    I like BMW over Honda. It's World Class Everything. Sorry to keep bursting your bubble. My GM brainwashing days are over and the Caddy second rate cars were a big part of my reality.

    Regards,
    OW
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,144
    ...I can count on my Cadillacs and Buicks to get me to work. When I ask my BIL where his S-Class is, the reply is often, "It's in the shop." Heck, why spend the money on an E-Class for a taxi when you can get a Checker instead?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    The W220 S-class are the equivalent of those self-destruct Caddys from the 80s. Really, around the year 2000 for MB is equivalent to the 80s for Caddy - a few good cars, and a lot of problems.

    I don't get the taxi bashing, is it any worse than airport lots full of rental DTS? And even CTS existing in some small fleets? I don't think so. And from what I have read, the taxi drivers want the strippo E-class more than any other ride.
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    I don't get the taxi bashing, is it any worse than airport lots full of rental DTS? And even CTS existing in some small fleets? I don't think so

    I think that is exactly his point, if I'm reading right. Caddy gets KILLED here for that type of sale, yet it seems ok for MB to do it in the EU.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    I think that could be because the cars MB and others put in those European fleets are a lot different from most retail units - really only sharing a bodyshell and in some cases powertrain. From my experience, the Caddy fleet cars are very similar to the retail models sitting on the lot. One method adds some prestige to the working fleet more than it takes away from the retail lineup. Another reason might be that the Euro competition never suffered the loss of cachet experienced by Caddy, so working fleet cars don't damage the image, they only show the basic cars as being able to take abuse, while at the same time being offered in refined trim.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Most times they don't even share the drive lines with the regular retail MB and BMW models. The taxi/commercial MB and BMW models are almost always equipped with the smallest diesel engine available. But seriously what do you expect German businesses and governments to use in Germany fleet edition Malibu classics? They are going to use the vehicles built by the companies based in their area so that means BMWs, Mercs and some VWs for the smaller vehicles.
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    I don't think that most of the Caddys on the lot are strippers like their fleet counterparts. However, the 1-2 yr old Caddys on the lot are just that; program cars returned from the rental lot, and that hurts both image and resale value.

    Brit, I would EXPECT the EU to use their branded cars, just as we see plenty of Crown Vic's and Impala's doing the dirty work here.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    Exactly. And another important part is that in NA, MB and BMW have an image and a marketing direction of luxury and status and nothing else, while in the EU they are much more mainstream, with offerings as you mention - small diesels, cloth interiors, little gadgetry - the W210 could be had with a small 4 and plastic wheel covers. How the average American sees an E-class isn't the same as the average German.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Yup you could get roll up windows an a cloth interior in the S-class for a very long time in europe. You could get S320s up until what 1999 or 2001 in the US I think and the S430 up until 2006.Now Merc has gone even more top end for the S-Class as the lowest trim for the US Market is the S500 2matic. The S350 and S320 CDI are offered in the UK still but no more 4 cylinder.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    Heck, you could get a manual transmission in the S-class up through 1991, in a car with plastic wheelcovers, cloth interior, and less than posh trim, but not on this continent of course. It has been moving upmarket here for some time as you mention, no more 6cyl lowline cars. I don't know about a 4cyl S-class, but there is still a 4cyl E in the EU. All of these lowline cars sharing the same structure with V8 barges, hyper AMG models, and V12 plutocrat luxobarges. That's why the marque can get away with plain taxis and fleet specials - a competency still exists, even though the problems.
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