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Cadillac DTS/STS vs. Chrysler 300/300C



  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    It amuses me. ;)

    Seriously though, I do not think that the Chrysler 300/300C is a luxury car. It may compare with the Buick Lucerne, although I think that it falls somewhat short in terms of luxury. The 300 is a nice large RWD sedan, and offers a big (too big in my opinion) V8. The 300 is not a sports sedan either. For the money, the 300 is a nice RWD car. GM is going to have some RWD sedans in a few more years that may be much better. Right now I think, for the money, the CTS is a better choice if the size is not too small. The CTS's V6 is more fuel efficient, and, if you really want a sports sedan, it is a sports sedan.
  • I don't feel this forum is a waste of time for me and that's
    why I keep coming back to check. I did not choose the forum title but think it would have been better if they had narrowed the forum to Cadillac DTS VS Chrysler 300C and not included the 300, 300 limited and 300 touring models. As you mentioned the latter models are V6 engines and more comparable to the other cars you referred to in recent posts. My own preference would be a Cadillac CTS in v6 models if that were my choice versus the Chrysler 300, touring, or limited
    editions. So far as the Cadillac DTS is concerned, I like the front better than my 2004 Deville but think the side view in 2006 DTS is to plain for an upscale car. On balance the recent model Devilles hold up very well to the new DTS
    in appearance, of course that is a matter of personal taste.
    As an aside I can say that my Lincoln Town car (in Gold) turns heads all the time, it is by far the most attractive
    looking car (to me) that I have ever owned. My 98 Deville
    also in Gold being a close second, it also turned heads all the time.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    If you wanted to limit it to only the 300C, then the DTS should be limited to only the performance model. I assume that you are aware that the performance model has a higher performance engine than the base northstar along with a performance axle ratio.

    Still, even the 300C's interior is made up of too much hard plastic for a luxury car I think. Cadillac is improving their interiors, but still have a long way to go before they are worth the price tags that they have.
  • The basis for my comparison was the engines power although I have been aware of the interior, exterior quality issue. The DTS is listed by Edmunds as having 292 horsepower and 288 lbs of torque. The Chrysler 300C as stated by Edmunds has 340 Horsepower and 390 lbs of Torque. The figures for Cadillac were the upper end performance model and for Chrysler the 300C. The price of and auto is often very much a factor of the engine performance and at the above stats the Chrysler is a bargain at about $36,000 vs the DTS at over $48,000. True as you mentioned the 300C has some less expensive materials but given its' shortcomings it is a bargain at $36,000 if the build quality is going to hold up. As a final thought, I don't think the lower end Chryslers should be in this forum in that the price starts at about $ 25,000 vs $ 41000 for the low end DTS and the difference in engine size of V6 and 190 horsepower for 300 and V8 for the base DTS with 275 Horsepower.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The 300C's price range is, with options, in the $35,000 to $40,000 range. The performance Cadillac DTS starts at over $50,000, and, with options, will run upwards of $55,000. I am not sure of the fully equipped price might be on either car.

    I do understand that you have an interest in the 300C, but my point here is that the 300C's interior is not really in the luxury car class. The Cadillac's interior is much nicer I think, if short of true luxury.

    I think that this forum has run its course, with only a few Chrysler owners responding. I do think that the 300 is a much better car than the RWD Ford/Lincoln/Mercury cars, mainly because of the 300's suspension design.
  • Certainly our messages back and forth are testing the interest levels in this topic and the fact that no one else has joined us is an indicator of recent lack of interest. Hopefully there there will be interest in the future.
  • Owning both a Cadillac and Lincoln I can say that even though a larger car the Lincoln is a much better handling car than either of my Devilles (1998 and 2004). When I have driven my Devilles in the mountains I was always using brakes on steep inclines even in second gear. With my Towncar I put the car in second and it just coasts along at desired speed in cruise control without any breaking. Town car is also has a much more quiet ride than either of my two Devilles. While the Town Car was bought as a second car it has quickly become my favorite and the most enjoyable car I have ever owned. The interior materials in the Lincoln are of noticeably better quality than either Deville. I like both cars but for my purposes the Lincoln is my preference.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Engine braking on hills has more to do with overall gearing than anything else. The cruise control does not change the effective engine braking.

    Handling has to do with how the car responds to turns in the road and bumps. Mountain highways are a good test of how a car will respond. The Town Car or DeVille is not going to respond like a sports car.

    As far interior noise goes, tire designs make a big difference in sound. However, the Town Car may have more or better sound insulation than Cadillac. I would guess that the Chrysler 300 will have less sound insulation.
  • vic10vic10 Posts: 188
    Just for a change....
    This forum is interesting though I do find the comparison to be, well, strange. The two cars have really different personalities. I own a 300C. The exterior, to me, has a much more cohesive look than the DTS, and it's at least as luxurious looking as a DTS, though it does have a more aggressive design. The 300C dash is sweet, and the seats are comfortable and good looking. I don't miss the absence of wood. The console and door panels, however, don't match the lux look of the dash and it's there where it pales compared to the DTS.

    But the real difference is in the ride. The 300C borders on harsh (and the crummy Conti tires don't help). Anyone use to a Caddy ride won't like the Chrysler. Having said that, I don't think I'd want a softly sprung vehicle with the brute force of the Hemi. But Chrysler could have compromised a bit here. The electronic stability control is intrusive enough that a bit more "soft" could have been safely added. And as long as we're talking about tweaking the suspension, Chrysler could also stand to do something with the sensitivity of the front end: Very road-crown sensitive; very reactive to road imperfections--leading to steering overcorrection. Doesn't take much to end up fighting the car.

    After 2 years of driving, I still think I made the right choice for me. The design has not grown old in my eyes, nor have I tired of the power. Overall gas mileage has been 20 mpg, with a recent 750 mile trip, which included 100 miles of local driving, giving me 25 mpg. It's stayed rattle free and generally trouble far.
  • Very helpful and informative post, thank you. The comparison of 300C and DTS is relevant to me in that both cars have large powerful V8s are in the luxury category are priced somewhat close, although DTS is somewhat higher. I owned a 1997 LHS before going to Cadillac and found many similarities in the two cars although the Cadillac at that point was quite a bit ahead of that vintage and model of Chrysler. One question I would have for you as a 300C owner is would I need all that Hemi power in an area where the speed limit on 90% of the roads is 55 MPH? What is the fastest you have ever driven your 300C and how did it handle (assume you have an off road place such as a race track to drive at high speeds)? Am I correct that at the price the 300C is an incredibly good value for the package of power, beauty and amenities?
  • bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
    I decided to buy a Lincoln Town Car a an equal second car to my Cadillac DTS. Am pleased with both cars, DTS a bit more power, more advanced hi tech, higher quality exterior paint. Town Car more quiet on the road, interior more to my liking, rear wheel drive which I find desirable. I wondered if there are any folks that post here that own both a DTS and 300C and how you would describe your experiences with the DTS compared with the 300C?
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    "The 300C's price range is, with options, in the $35,000 to $40,000 range. The performance Cadillac DTS starts at over $50,000, and, with options, will run upwards of $55,000. I am not sure of the fully equipped price might be on either car."

    The performance Cadillac should be compared to the 300C SRT, not the 300C. I bought my C for $35,000 well equipped (everything except navigation). I am well pleased after 2 years of ownership. :shades:
  • bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
    I would consider the value of the 300C to be on a par with
    Cadillac DTS in the nonperformance models. I like and have owned three Devilles but only because the circumstances made the Cadillacs a better purchase at the time, same applies to my Lincoln Town Car. Whether apples and oranges or not my question was if there are people out there that own both vehicles I would be interested in knowing how they like, use and view the two vehicles. I suspect there are hundreds of people that own both vehicles in a country of close to 300 million people. Hope some folks that own both these cars will see this question and post their ownership experiences.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The performance DTS is not really much of a performance car. However, you may be thinking of the STS_V, which is a performance Cadillac. Considering value, the 300C is comparable to the top of the line Buick Lucerne, which is very similar to the DTS. But the performance Lucerne is not in the same performance range as the 300C.

    The 300C is a good, modern performance sedan based on the 50's 300 letter series car's heritage. Chrysler corp has developed an excellent RWD line up of cars. Ford, by comparison, is still making body on frame RWDs that are not really modern, but aging designs. The interesting thing is that Lincoln seems to be moving to FWD while Cadillac is moving back to RWD. Chysler has had a concept car based on the 300 that could be a basis for them building a luxury sedan (perhaps Imperial?).
  • I own a 2000 Deville DTS and just love this car. But I too had the leaky Northstar, leaving pools of oil on my garage floor. Developed quite suddenly at about 78,000 Km. The car was five years old and off warranty, but the dealer managed to pass it off as a good will repair (embarassed by relatively low mileage). This is obviously a known issue with Northstars and I was hoping that second generation (2000+) models had the "fix". But apparently not. As noted, this repair is extensive, needing removal of front end and engine. I guess I'm lucky it happened when it did, cause another six months and I would have been paying for the whole repair. As it was, I ended up paying almost a grand for a number of "incidentals". All I can say is that I hope the new ones have finally gotten this problem resolved.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    There has been no change in the FWD northstar engine since model year 2000. Engine work on the FWD northstars generally requires a lot of work to get at the engine. Even the power steering or A/C compressor is a lot of work to get to. I now have a RWD northstar in my 2007 SRX. Oil consumption seem to be very low, as it is still full after 2000 miles.
  • I have a 2005 300, not the hemi, but what I dislike about the vehicle has nothing to do with engine type. Road noise - it is the loudest car. You hear the tires on the roadway as though there is no sound proofing on the undercarridge. Very disappointing, rides like a cheap truck. In fact, I had a 1995 Dodge Ram P/U a few year prior that rode like a dream compared to this vehicle. Now, I am having electrical problems. On the last trip home the AC high blower went out twice after 2 hours of riding, then came back on each time. The passenger electric door lock stopped working, and 4 out of 6 radio speakers don't work. Read the other forum on this site, type in chysler 300 electrical and look for yourself the issues. Just think, this car in only 2 years old.
  • bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
    Thank you very much for your post. I decided on a Cadillac DTS and have had multiple electrical problems with it in addition to a defective trunk mounted brake light that had to be replaced. Not surprised about the interior noise levels in that Chrysler line has a reputation for noisy cars and they have evidently not fully addressed this issue in the 300 series.
  • tom17tom17 Posts: 134
    I went on a trip to Vegas & LA this summer. Reserved a DTS rental. When I arrived, there was a beautiful blue 300C that I tried to rent. Unfortunately the trunk is just too small. Could not fit all my stuff. The DTS had NO problem. I did sit in the 300C and the interior is also smaller. These two cars really are not in the same league. It would be nice if someone could build a full size rear drive sedan with a big interior and trunk. All of the automakers seem to feel the trunk is an afterthought. The Avalon has a smaller trunk now than before. If Chrysler had used part of the extended wheelbase 300C to expand the trunk that would have been great. I guess there is always the Magnum RT !!!
  • Owning both a 2006 DTS and 2005 Lincoln Town Car may I suggest that you try renting a Town Car next time, huge trunk very quiet excellent handling with rear wheel drive and significant improvements to the suspension in the 2003 models and after. Yes the 300C and DTS have higher power ratings but the T.C. makes up for a good part of that with a button on the shifter that downshifts into third gear effortlessly.
    The braking power in the transmission is much better in T.C. than DTS. The only down side to the T.C. is a little hessition in the downshifting when you floor the accelerator. Lincoln has moved T.C. to St. Thomas Canada plant and the 2008 T.C. is now in production. T.C. could use a little more power but for a great ride, good handling and huge trunk suggest you give it a try. I have never driven a 300C so can't offer a comparison. I was one of the
    people who suggested this forum and am still very interested. When I bought my present T.C. I told the local Chrysler dealer (is also a neighbor) that I would have loved to try a 300C but the Town car with extras such as sun roof and in dash CD stacker and under 17,000 miles was bought for a little over $23,000 where a similar 300C would have been around $36,000. My DTS was bought new and have had several electrical problems compared to my T.C. with the exception of one slightly loose door handle has been problem free.
  • dilldill Posts: 31
    I bought my DTS back in July 07. It was a Cadillac buy back car. The original owner had power steering, an electric seat problem and a broken ignition switch that had been broken on two different occasions one of those times was fixed by a tech according to the paperwork that couldn't fit the thing in the steering column and jammed the thing in there thereby breaking some of the sensors associated with it. The dealership is know as being a whore dealership that rapes customers but they are one of the few dealers in my area that sell buy back vehicles.

    They sat me down and had paperwork documenting all the cars problems and all the repairs made on the vehicle. They told me about everything, showed me documentation, I had to read all the fine print that puts them in the clear showing that I'm fully aware I am buying a buy back. I was made aware that all repairs made to make the car 100% perfect in every way had been done by GM techs and that in the life of the car if these repairs happen again, they are covered 100% free. To ensure any further problems from cropping up, I bought the extended warrantee to 100,000 miles X 6 years of ownership. The car had at the time of my purchase 13,800 miles. And the best part is I bought a $55,000 fully loaded Performance DTS with Nav and every other option including the ultra soft Tuscany Leather for $30,000 dollars. I bought it in the summer when the temps were often times in the 90's and now being early December with todays high temp about 28 degrees outside. I haven't had even so much as a hiccup of problems with the car and I don't expect there to be any problems and if by chance there are, I have the extended warrantee to cover the costs.

    I realize a factory buy back isn't for everyone. With all that being said, keep in mind that the title does say in big letters across the top that its a factory buyback. If I have no problems with the car and I show any potential buyers in the future that it is a buyback and show them all the service related to the car, especially after a number of miles from now, if these initial problems are no longer troublesome according to the service that had been performed, the designation of it being a buyback at that point is much less relevant than it might be otherwise.

    I am a believer in buybacks however, you need to consider what the problems on the car were before you take the car home. I don't know what the normal routine is of dealers when it comes to making the potential buyer aware of the past problems with the car, as far as I am concerned, if they don't tell you from the first couple minutes what was wrong with the car, and they don't show you all related documentation associated with the car regarding the repair history than do not consider the car from that dealer under any circumstances. I do not know if my experience is the experience of all who look at buy back cars but if they do not go to the extent this crappy reputation for a dealer did for me, than look elsewhere for the vehicle.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    You have piqued (peaked?) my come they were able to fix the problems on the car as a buyback, but couldn't fix it when the previous owner simply brought it in complaining of needing repair???
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    Can't wait for the new DTS to come out so it will finally be up to date and ready to compete with the S Class. This one is dated and doesn't look as good as the original (before they called it DTS). I know the new one won't be called DTS. And since when is there a Sport model. It doesn't compete with the 300C SRT8 in perfromance- not even the 300C. THere is a 50hp difference. Maybe eventually Chrysler will stop being stupid and move the beautiful 300C upmarket some. It would compete with the like of the STS well if it had a nice interior.
  • vic10vic10 Posts: 188
    I'm a '05 300C owner (36k miles) who's decided 2008 will be my Cadillac year. But can't decide between the CTS and DTS. First test drive of the CTS (15 minutes with the dealer) was concluded a longer test is necessary to really evaluate the cars. Just turned in a '08 DTS Lux III after 24 hours and 175 miles of my typical local routes. Impressions:

    Exterior styling is a wash with the 300C. I prefer the front and the flanks of the 300C but like the DTS backside better.

    Interior styling is also individual preference--I like the 300C's, especially the white dial dash which doesn't have a visibility problem--but have to say the DTS switch gear--with the exception of that ancient and awful turn signal/highbeam/washer/wiper stalk, virtually identical to ones on the cheapest Chevy--looked and felt higher quality. The soft panels on the doors were also nicer than the rubbermaid 300C, though the armrests could have been a bit wider. What could have been done better on the DTS was the center stack trim (black plastic framed by wood just looked like a job half done). And I think there are just too many "convenience" controls on the steering wheel. It's no longer intuitive and if you have to take you eyes off the road to look down at the steering wheel, well, then why not just leave the switches on the dash.

    This car had the 6-passenger seat arrangement with a column shifter. That shifter got in the way when reaching for the radio controls.

    Although there was plenty of headroom (no sunroof), I banged my head on the door frame on entering and hit the overhead console when leaning over to the glove box. Much more clearance in the 300C.

    What a great ride in the DTS. I didn't do any drag racing, nor twisty mountain Grand Prix driving mind you. But the ride felt both solid and soft with vitually no evidence of float. Control over relatively winding roads was excellent. And the DTS was noticeably quieter than the 300C. The feeling was of a more substantial car. There was some torque steer at high throttle but nothing with routine driving.sub

    For those who whine because of the "ancient" 4-speed automatic: Get over it. I neither missed the extra gear (the 300C has a 5-speed), nor the 60 hp. The engine/transmission was extremely responsive and there was more than enough power for all but really stupid driving antics. And the DTS had a nicer exhaust note.

    What I didn't like in response was a slightly oversensitive throttle, both from a stop and when coming out of a sharp turn. Not as bad as some Ford products but I still found it hard not to snap my passenger's neck. And I really missed some engine breaking when letting up on the throttle. The 300C will downshift on deceleration. There was nothing like that with the DTS. Felt more like free wheeling. Even downshifting the 3rd produced no noticeable braking. Might be an advantage for someone who tends to make jerky throttle movements, but I didn't particularly like it

    Really missed the headlight flash-to-pass feature in daytime. Really missed it.

    Didn't go through all the setups for the systems but did glance through the owners manual. You've got to be kidding with setting up the garage remote. For the 300C you select Garage Opener from the dash menu, hit Program, then press on your garage door opener and the car reads the signal and programs itself. You don't have to open up the remote and read the set of numbers etc. Setting up the tire pressure monitor seemed as complicated, but I guess you can have the dealer do that.

    And finally, for a car with only 7,000 miles, I was surprised at the number of dash rattles.

    So after this test I guess the DTS has become a car I'd "like to own" rather than a "gotta have". Haven't decided if the "I'd like" is enough to justify turning in my 300C. But I still have to do a 24 hr test of the CTS....
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Five speed transmissions are now somewhat behind the times too. As far as comparing the 300C 5 speed to the Cadillac's 4 speed, there are some considerations: you tested the base engine/axle ratio in the Cadillac.

    The 300C transmission has a 3.58:1 low gear with a 2.82:1 axle ratio
    The Cadillac has a 2.95:1 low gear and either a 3.11:1 or a 3.71:1(performance) axle ratio. So either the low gear on the Cadillac is not quite as low, or is lower. Second and third gears on the 300C are lower and higher than 2nd on the base Cadillac, while the performance Cadillac is about the same as the 300C 2nd.

    I have a six speed automatic in my SRX and I do think that it is better overall than the 4 speed was in the 2002 Seville that I had. But the basic 4 speed will do the job quite well, but I found that I had to help it along with selecting 3rd on climbing long grades. My SRX seems to be much better at picking the right gear.
  • coolrunningcoolrunning Posts: 117
    I considered buying a Caddy STS back in 2006, until I test drove a Chrysler 300C. For those who want a big, comfortable sedan either car appears to be a good choice. Parked side by side, there was no contest. The Cadillac looked old even though it was new. The 300C was so fresh it turns heads when parked. I drove both cars and decided that although the Caddy was covered with fake wood and shiny stuff inside, it did not make up for the lack of fun behind the wheel. The 300C feels and sounds so good when buzzing around town I hate to get out of the car. I highly recommend the 300C Heritage Edition in Inferno Red. The contrast between the deep metallic red paint and all the stainless and chrome make the car a real beauty. It runs as good as it looks. I have put over 20,000 miles on mine and it has never had to go to the shop for anything. I have relatives who are stuck on Cadillacs that know thier service writers by first name like a concierge at the Hyatt Regency. I don't want that kind of relationship with anyone at my dealership! The new Chryslers have a LIFETIME powertrain warranty standard. They could not afford to offer such a warranty unless the cars were as reliable as I think they are. Feature for feature, dollar for dollar the Chrysler 300C is a much better value and choice. I recommend the touch screen Navigation system combined with the Sirius MyGig entertainment system. It is so cool! I have used my system to navigate through some really hairy highway interchanges in Dallas, Houston and Austin. I would have ended up lost many times had it not been for the excellent interactive navigation system. I feel that the interior of the 300C is no different than that of a Mercedes or BMW, but if you have to have the "wood style trim", there are numerous after market kits to install on a 300C to give you the look you are looking for. In fact there are more accessories designed for the 300C than any other car iIever seen. I recommend the stainless window trim kit and the stainless rocker panel kit, for starters. You can get carried away, since so much is available, but chrome tail and head light bezels look great. Stainless billet ribbed fog light covers are dual purpose adding some flash and also protecting the fog light lense from rocks. The 300C appeals to a broad range of age groups, where the Caddys are "your parents car"...
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    It is my understanding that the wood trim in Cadillac's is real. A very thin veneer mounted on a plastic probably, covered with a protective coating. Still what you see is real wood.

    I did look at a Chrysler 300 (the limited I think) and I thought the interior was mostly hard plastic. Still the 300 is a lot of car for the money. While the interior is not luxury class, the suspension is based on a Mercedes design I think. I don't know if you were looking at the RWD STS or an older FWD STS.
  • coolrunningcoolrunning Posts: 117
    It is really not a fair comparison when you compare a Chrysler 300 and a Cadillac STS. A 300 Limited is limited alright. It has a 3.5L or a 2.7L V-6, compared to a Northstar V-8. The interior of the 300 is also rather entry level, and overall the economy version of the model. There is a huge difference between a 300 and a 300C. The 300C comes standard with the 5.7L MDS HEMI V-8 (340 HP) and a Mercedes 5-speed autostick transmission for starters. The general trim level is tastefully built, with lots of leather. Loaded with accessories a 300C is about $12,000 to $15,000 cheaper than a similarly equipped Caddy. I guess it all amounts to personal preference. Still, I think either car would be the best choice for road trips compared to an SUV. You just can't beat the feel of a decent sedan for comfort and handling.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I did see a 300C also, and I don't think the interior trim was all that much different.

    I own a 2007 SRX and find that it is a nice vehicle for road trips. Compared to my 2002 Seville LS (FWD), the SRX handles much better. The ride is a bit firmer as should be expected with lower profile tires rated for 150 MPH.

    Cadillac's are much more expensive than the Chrysler 300 and should be more luxurious for the extra money. The 300C does have a lot of performance for the money, and the suspension is good compared to say the Lincoln Town Car or other RWD Ford products. The RWD STS is a good sports sedan, but is very expensive when well equipped. I would have considered the Magnum wagon, but I don't want the hemi engine (too big and thirsty), while the 3.5 liter V6 is probably not quite big enough. If Chrysler had an engine in the 4.2 to 4.5 liter range able to produce about 280 lb-ft of torque in the 3000 to 4000 RPM range, I would have really considered the Magnum. However, I live where snow and ice are winter time problems and I find that the AWD I have to be very useful.

    In case you are not aware, Pontiac is set to sell the G8, made by Holden (a GM brand). The G8 has an interior that compares (I think) with the 300C. It also has a 6.2 liter V8 that should compare with the hemi for performance.
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