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Cadillac STS: Good Quality?



  • jmingjming Posts: 9
    I recently bought a 2009 STS V8 pre-certified in the north Texas area. This is my first GM product but is certainly not my first American car. As of today it has about 14,000 miles on the clock. Here is my experience so far:

    Pros: Outstanding powertrain - powerful and quiet. Decent fuel economy for a car of this size and horsepower. Comfortable interior for tall drivers & passengers (I am 6'5"). Responsive steering. Strong brakes. Good quality materials used in interior, good finish overall (but see caveats below). Styling is a matter of opinion but I find it pleasing.

    Cons: Many driver controls are too complex and confusing to use, particularly while driving. Examples: nav system, rainsense feature, multi function headlight / turn signal / cruise control stalk. Noticeable rattles in both driver and front passenger arm rest controls, as well as passenger side dashboard - absolutely unacceptable in any 2009 automobile, and certainly in one of this price category. These annoying rattles and creaks mar the otherwise decent assembly. Trunk is deceptively small given the massive look of this car's rear-end. Interior storage is almost nil other than small glovebox (swallowed by gigantic owner's manual / nav manual brick - which you will need) and undersized console. Dealer experience was un-impressive for a car at $57k MSRP.

    Overall I am happy with the car but the interior assembly is hardly up to the standards of the imports. Again, I am no American-car hater but it is what it is.
  • bunkie21bunkie21 Posts: 2
    I recently bought a 2006 STS V8. As a used car, it's a screaming deal. It replaced an '03 CTS. The CTS was also bought used. I put 65K miles on the CTS without any problems.

    The STS has no rattles and the Northstar is a real treat after the 3.2 in the CTS. We'll see about quality, but based upon my experience with the CTS I'm not that concerned.

    I agree that the nav system has issues. The user interface isn't very good and more than once, it has led me on a wild goose chase. I happen to like the rainsense wipers and the intellibeam features. The car is much quieter than the CTS and for a large car, it handles nicely. I do miss the fold-down rear seats.
  • We have a 2008 STS. Great car however, if you dont get awd you wont get around in New England without a set of snow tires. We also had a problem with the computer, the dealer reset it but could not find the cause. Blessings to you
  • I've had my 2007 STS for nearly 3 years without a single problem. Statistical data suggests the person using the term "lemon" for his STS did indeed get a very rare bad apple of the bunch. Remeber Cadillac is #1 on several customer satisfaction surveys (e.g. JD power) -- yes, even beating #2 Lexus. Ditto for quality and repair frequency. Audi, BMW & MB have far more incidents per 1,000 cars sold than Cadillac does.

    I find the powertrain on my car (320 hp V8 - 4WD), and frankly most of the car's features, superior to my last car, a 2005 Infiniti Q45. Even though the Q45's V8 had 20 more hp (340) and 18 more lb ft of torque (333 lb ft at 4000 rpm) than my STS, it was far from the sporty, fun to drive experience the STS provides. Actual 0-60 times are about 1.5 seconds better from the STS (5.7 sec), and their weights are nearly identical. Cadillac's sigma platform (CTS/STS) is far more rigid where it should be and is an entire cut above that in many of its competitors. The stereo (15 speakers, 5.1 sound, comes with Nav system) is the best I've ever heard in a car -- even trumping my uncle's $120,000 2008 MB CL550. For the price, you just can't beat the feature set and luxury + drive dynamics combo of the STS. Period. BTW. if you're looking at the 2008-2010 models, the V6 packs 302 hp with great low end torque -- according to several experts, it's so awesome that it renders the V8 a somewhat minor upgrade. GM's new High Feature V6s are the first from the Company that not only run head-to-head with the best from Japan and Europe, but in some respects is actually superior (fuel economy is not one of these respects -- so I read). The 2005-2007 V6 (255 hp/258 lb ft) is quick (7 sec 0-60) and far more than adequate. Its "numbers" are misleading, b/c the max hp and torque say far less about performance than many may think. GM's put some clever tech into the power transfer systems of these V6s. The V8 is better when you need a punch of power in the 45-75 mph range. Off the line the V8 is somewhat better, but not in a way that many drivers would likely even notice. Get the STS with Certified warranty. You'll have nearly the same time (6 years from new purchase or 100,000 miles) and coverage essentially identical to "bumper-to-bumper" with all of the "concierge" services like roadside assistance, new loaner cars to drive when yours is serviced and so on.
  • Just so you know, the Northstar V8 didn't hit showrooms until MY 1993. There is no '91 Northstar from GM. Also, the V8 used in the Lucerne is based on a 2000 update to the 300 hp (old SAE hp rules) version, with coil-on-plug ignition and roller follower valvegear for improved fuel economy and reduced emissions. Various undocumented "bug fixes" and tuning has been implemented every 2-3 years since 2000, making this one of the most tested & reliable V8s for the luxury market. Yes, it's a fairly old design, but one that is still world-class.

    Sorry to hear about your Montana. I'm sure the reliability was terrible for that model and I don't blame you for never buying GM again, but I've had great experiences with them (albeit with a 2007 STS); non-GM affiliated quality studies prove that they've come an amazingly long way with quality, reliability and fit/finish, surpassing the Japanese makes in many cases.

    The Toyota Matrix is the Toyota version of a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors, the GM part is the Pontiac Vibe. These cars were produced ont he same production line using the same quality standards & functional parts. Of course the badges & show surfaces were different. Many auto reviewers ranked the Matrix far superior to that of the Vibe (few direct comparisons, but when comparing their individual "final scores" and comments). We're all human with unavoidable biases, and this is working great for Toyota, but not so much for GM.
  • Finally, someone who "gets it." That sounds arrogant, but the facts are clear. I'm a Biomechanical Engineer working for a tier-1 safety systems supplier and find it amazing how people can be so certain when drawing conclusions regarding matters with which they have little or no training/experience. The study showing how the Matrix/Vibe (GM/Toyota JV), coming off of the same line, received different scores when consumer (and even expert) reviewers wrote about both brands. It's no surprise the Vibe recieved far worse reviews than the identical Matrix. Most of these reviews were retracted or heavily modified subsequent to their authors learning of the pair's pedigree. Bias is unavoidable! Anyway, thanks for supplying some rational thought in this sea of ignorance and anecdotes disguised as facts.
  • Anecdotal stories do seem to be all the rage even today. I am very likely going to be purchasing an 05 STS for a very good price. Frankly, I absolutely LOVE poor resale value. My last car was a 2004 Saab 9-5 Aero. I picked it up for peanuts since it probably has one of the worst resale values around. Absolutely fantastic car! It surprised me. Did it have issues? Absolutely. The thing is, dealerships, and any repair center for that matter, are not perfect. Sure, maybe they SHOULD be the experts, but often time they are not. All my Saab issues were solved by searching online forums! Repairs that were in the $500-$1K range (as quoted by dealerships) were addressed at $50 - $300. And they were fixed correctly the FIRST time because I had researched the problem and THEN went elsewhere with the suggested fix, OR often fixed it myself. If someone is LAZY about educating themselves, then frankly you WILL pay MORE and you will pay more OFTEN. Basically, just about ANY modern vehicle can be maintained well if you are willing to assume the responsibility of learning about it and its issues. There will always be outliers that are legitimate LEMONS and money pits. It happens. Just like there will be the opposite outliers which will never break in spite of an owner's ineptitude. My Saab was great until it got smashed into by an inattentive driver. The STS looks like a great vehicle which I will undoubtedly study up on further if I become an owner.
  • hypjesshypjess Posts: 1
    I am looking at a 2008 STS with 9800 miles on it. It is a a new cadillac dealer and was a GM buyback for at 8 miles they replaced pass seat cushion, replaced battery 1700 miles, replaced grill, flat tire and wiper at 2900 inflatable seat restraint pass seat suppresion modual 4200 miles, twice replaced inflatable restriant sensing and diagnostic module at 4900 miles and 6200 miles, instrument panel compartment door latch, and occupant safety wiring and connection repair 9800 miles should I stay away and what is this car worth?
  • lajimlajim Posts: 1
    I would certainly consider this vehicle if they gave me a coupla thousand bucks and a free for life gas card with it.. Realistically there are just some things that are real LEMONS.. If you don't believe it just check the produce isle at your local Publix.. My wife is currently driving a 2001 sts with 131,315 miles on it, other than a quart of mobil 1 every 1000 miles or so it is still a fine ride.. I watch it pretty closely and care for it appropriately, tires, wipers, etc but until OBAMA gets all of our problems fixed, we probably going to drive it till it quits then call AAA and tell them to drag it home and I'll make a mobile sound studio out of it(got great radio in it) Good luck on whatever you do, but seems there isnt much else that can go wrong..
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