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Is Cadillac's Image Dying and Does Anyone Care?



  • Some might say I shoul put the past 3+ deecades behind me and get over it. But as relatively recently as 1995, I bought a Nissan Maxima at the same time a hometown friend bought a Ford Taurus. My Maxima is still going strong at our second home, with 155k miles on the odometer. His Taurus had major problems in 1999 at 60k miles and he has now been through 2 more GM products since. I could afford to "retire" the Maxima to our second home and get a 2004 Acura TL as a replacement. But he couldn't afford to hand the keys of a $20k car over at 4 years and 60,000 miles and get a whopping $4k in trade. Hell, my Maxima is worth more than that today at 13 years and 155k miles.

    That's terrible.

    Kinda hard to put it in your past when you're still going thru it, don't U think?
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Know pretty well about a dozen family's......

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,075
    I absolutely love the 1979 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham in the top picture! Its 425 cid V-8 was an excellent engine for the time. I don't think it should be included as an example of a bad Cadillac or even a bad car in general. Heck, even the 1979-85 Eldo shouldn't be there although it did have some pretty crummy engines during its run. It's still a very pretty car.

    The 1993 Allante is the one to have as it has the 4.6 litre Northstar V-8.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,075
    I'm with you on that, rocky! I believe any car that costs more than my Cadillac DTS Performance is a fierocious waste of money. It already has all that I'm looking for in a luxury car and more. Heck, to get the same size car with the same features among the imports, I'd be paying $75K+ Oh well, there are plenty of dummies with more dollars than sense who are too worried about what their so-called snooty pretentious yuppie "friends" at the club think of them.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Sorry, but the Brougham and the Eldo are diesels. :sick: :cry:

    The gasoline versions of both were okay for the era, but the '69 Brougham was a better car at 10 years old, and a '59 Brougham (or whatever it was called then) was better still even at 20. I think that gradual cheapening and commodification did more to weaken Cadillac than anything else. Caddy was a walking corpse waiting to be picked off by Lexus and the Germans by 1990.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Don't knock the "dummies with more dollars than sense". They're the mother's milk of any successful luxury brand. Cadillac was top dog many years ago largely because it owned this segment of the marketplace, while Lincoln & Chrysler fought over the crumbs that fell from Cadillac's table. Cadillac's marketing execs would crawl over hot coals & broken glass to get that business away from the Germans, who own it today. As good as it is, the CTS can't bring in the dollars that GM needs unless large numbers of empty-headed yuppies can be convinced that they need this car to impress their pretentious friends.

    Do you think that any luxury franchise can survive if it attracts only car-savvy bargain hunters like you?
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    And I think anyone who buys the DTS instead of the Lucerne is wasting money. I can see that some will pay extra to get the snooty pretentious Cadillac badge though :shades:
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    In 1959 there was the Fleetwood Sixty Special and there was the Eldorado Brougham.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,075
    I've been going over that in my head every day since I bought the car on November 23rd. I could've saved a lot of money buying the nearly mechanically identical Buick Lucerne CXS. I just like the Cadillac DTS' styling that much better. Guess I was thinking with my heart instead of my head that day. Of course, if I'd have bought the Lucerne, I'd see the prettier Cadillac in the other lane and I'd be like, "Darn! I'd should've bought the Cadillac DTS instead!"
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,075
    I'd love to have a 1969 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham! One of my past girlfriends had a gorgeous mint-condition white one.

    I think the cheapening of Cadillac began with the 1971-76 generation. That was when real wood was substituted with acres of thick "plood" with Mediteranean accents, detuned engines, and general indifference to quality control. I had a 1975 Cadillac Sedan DeVille. It was a beautiful looking car, but the 1960s Cadillacs were superior to it in just about every way. I think the 1977-79 Cadillacs actually improved in quality compared to their immediate predecessors.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I don't believe you- will you prove that GM is the most reliable brand in the world?

    Not sure about the world. I know of no data from a worldwide source. And is GM the most reliable brand? I would say no. Per JD Powers Buick and Lexus are tied for number 1(3 year old vehicles). Cadillac is just below them. The other divisions are about average for reliability.

    But as we have discussed before, quality is so close now it should not matter in a buying decision. I mean the average is so close to the best that who cares?
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,075
    I was at the local Barnes & Noble and was thumbing through the latest "Consumer Reports" to see how badly they bashed my new ride and it turns out the Cadillac DTS is on their "Recommended" list. I thought for a second I was in Bizzaro World.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    My 71 Riviera had what looked like real wood trim on the doors. I am quite sure that it was plastic, but it did look nice. I think that the 71-76 models were good cars for the time. They were much too big in my opinion, I did test drive a used 73 Fleetwood sixty special. The downsized 77 Cadillacs were probably better in size and with the four door models giving up the hardtop design, were probably tighter bodies. The 70's are when interiors started the velor overstuffed cushion styles, which were overdone. Now interior decor has gone back to the 50's style - very plain and simple (too simple in the case of the first generation CTS. At least in the 50's plastic was not used.

    The engines had to meet the emission standards during the 70's. Electronic fuel injection was analog on those vehicles that had it. Digital fuel injection was developed at the end of the 70's and put into production in the early 80's. Digital fuel injection is what brought the performance back.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,661
    While I have been thinking of a used DTS (depreciates like a rock) to replace my Crown Vic, a friend just mentioned the Buick Lucerne, which was not on my radar screen...

    Is your statement true??? the Lucerne V8 simply a DTS without the status (and cost???)...good supportive seats, good multi-level lumbar supports (a must)...good highway mpg???

    I have been contemplating various SUVs for the last 3-4 years...I have finally decided that I should buy what I NEED instead of what I WANT...I need a good highway car that gets over 25 mpg highway (my Crown Vic never got over 20), and a nice comfortable car for those long rush hour drives...

    All the SUVs I thought of really get mediocre mileage on the highway, and I like the idea of a real trunk to hide my stuff...

    Now, if gas drops back to $1.50/gallon, I might reconsider, but, for now, a good highway car is what I NEED (as I wipe away my SUV tears)...

    So, you think Lucerne is a reasonable alternative to DTS???

    Thanks for your opinion (or the opinions of anyone else who cares to comment)...
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,075
    I'd take a loaded Lucerne CXS with the Northstar in lieu of a DTS. It probably would've been the smarter choice if I want to be honest with myself. You can always opt for the less expensive CX and CXL models. I'd opt for the 3.6 V-6 over the old 3.8 in that case. Both deliver excellent fuel economy, but I think the older engine might not be a match for the larger Lucerne body.

    My girlfriend's LaCrosse with the 3.8 V-6 gets phenomenal fuel economy and is the one car we drive the most.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Were any of the Corvette underpinnings used for XLR? Seems like the XLR is way better than the Allante in execution.

    It is a vette underneath. Y platform.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    You can always opt for the less expensive CX and CXL models. I'd opt for the 3.6 V-6 over the old 3.8 in that case.

    3.6 is not available in the Lucerne yet.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,661
    the 3.6 have in HP and torque???

    Having had the Crown Vic with 239 HP, about 225-240 in tork, and 20 mpg, I want something with a little more guts, which is why the DTS Northstar comes to mind...almost 300 HP, tork unknown to me, and 25 mpg highway...even if it only got 20 mpg hwy, at least I would have the HP and luxury to make up for the compromise...

    Does the Buick have a handling package similar to the performance option on the DTS???
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    3.6 in LaCrosse is 240 hp/ 225 tq
    in Enclave it is 275/251
    in CTS either 263/253 or 304/273

    The Lucerne CXS has the 275/295 northstar V8 with performance suspension. Base engine is 3.8L
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,075
    ...a smaller car, you can always go for a LaCrosse Super with the 303-hp V-8.
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