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Cadillac DTS/STS vs. Chrysler 300/300C

bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
I am in the early stages of considering what my next car will be, currently own 2004 Deville. My pattern has been to keep a car for about three years, that will be July 2007. Routine oil changes on the Deville are being done at the Chrysler dealership in that I have received much better service there than the local Cadillac dealership.
I owned a 1997 Chrysler LHS before owning my first Cadillac, a 1998 Deville. While I have been generally satisfied with both my Cadillacs I like the current Chrysler 300C and SRT models (have not test driven yet).
Have some of you considered the Chryslers (Hemi engines only)? What are your impressions of the Chryslers versus the DTS? If you have test driven the Chryslers and The DTS
what did you think of the performance, build quality of the two different brands? My 1997 Chrysler LHS was not in the same league with either of my Devilles but I have the impression that the new Chryslers are competitive in both price, build quality and performance. All feedback appreciated.


  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    As long as you are considering hemi vehicles, don't forget that Chrysler will soon release the revived Imperial, which will be a stretched 300 with ultra luxury, and certainly a hemi with 340 HP or more...may compete well with DTS and Town Car (if it survives)...
  • lanzzlanzz Posts: 75
    Well... I have an '06 DTS Performance, and I looked hard at the 300c AWD. The 300c is VERY fast, and the performance is far better than the DTS. That said, the interior is very plasticky, and was not nearly luxurious enough for me. Also, in my area, Chrysler dealers are not known for stellar service after the sale, which was a big concern of mine.

    In the end, I opted for the DTS, I had access to the GM discount, which negated the price difference to a large extent.

    I have a lot of respect for the Hemi-powered Chryslers - when they come out with a more premium model that sports a Hemi, the decision will be a lot harder.
  • bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
    Both the DTS and 300C are great cars and hope this forum will help those of us trying to decide. I have had good results with both Chrysler and Cadillac, perhaps I should consider owning one of both. I currently own two cars, my second is a 2005 Mercury Sable LS with just 2500 miles on it. Of course the Mercury is not comparable to either the 300C or Cadillac but it was bought with less than 1700 miles on it just three months ago and at a price of less than $14,000. It is great value as it came with wood and leather steering wheel, mach3 sound system, CD changer,Duratec v6 engine and leather seats.
  • vic10vic10 Posts: 188
    The DTS is more of a luxury car. The interior is more plush. But the exterior is boring (the last good looking Caddy IMO was 1998). The 300C has more of an industrial interior--maybe the Daimler influence--though it is very comfortable. But the exterior, I think, is a knockout. And the image is more of a brute than a dandy. Looks aside, it was the Hemi that caused me to buy my 2005 300C and haven't looked back since--except to see all those I leave in the dust (and still average 20mpg). I would like a bit softer suspension and a tad more quiet interior (at highway speeds), and I find the front end to be rather sensitive to road irregularities. The DTS would give me those, though somehow I think I'd be sacrificing a certain amount of fun. Also have to note that, even with a 2 year old body style, the car still gets a lot of attention.

    Not sure that helps anyone. I'm pleased. Caddy needs to change styling direction in order to get my interest in the future. Would love to see a sharp Coupe deVille....
  • bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
    My first Deville was a 1998 in Gold fire mist, it turned heads all the time. My 2004 Deville is in light bronze mist and doesn't stand out nearly as much as the 98. Gold is again available in the 2006 Deville in a non fire mist finish, not quite as impressive as the 98 but very attractive.

    Have you had any problems with your 300C since purchase? Has the Chrysler dealership treated you as you expected when you made your purchase? The performance stats in the 300C suggest a faster car than the 2006 DTS, is that your experience or is the difference more statistical than practical in on the road performance?
  • bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
    Appreciated your bringing the larger 300C to my attention,
    looked at some photos at the web site and will follow with much interest, many thanks!
  • vic10vic10 Posts: 188
    I have only had minor glitches: Twice the radio volume control went inop (last time was about a year ago) but was fine the next day. Twice I lost the express-up window feature (very easy to re-program per the manual). I've a rear passenger window that will not go down on a hot day (but ALWAYS works the day it's gone to the dealer). And I had a transmission fluid leak due to a faulty seal. There have been lots of complaints about pulling to the right but I think most of them were provoked by an overly zealous dealer: The car is very crown sensitive and I think dealers were "re-aligning out" that tendency, causing all sorts of handling and tire wear problems. I accept the crown "pull" as normal and have had no handling or tire wear issues--though the Continentals look like they won't last much beyond 25K miles.

    I bought the car under a re-patriation program (I was working overseas) and drop shipped to a dealer at my current location (Tulsa). Dealer performance has been exceptional.

    Having only test driven the DTS, comparing performance would be difficult. I don't think you'd see a difference in normal driving. But with aggressive driving, the 300C is positively brutish. It still gives me a rush. My secretary commented one day that obviously the biggest problem with the car is overshoot: If you stomp on it to merge with traffic you suddenly find yourself doing 85 and in the trunk of the guy in front of you. I consider the car a practical and comfortable solution to a mid-age crisis (vs a Corvette or GTO).

    Honestly, if some one were to give me $50K to buy a new car, if anything, I'd buy another 300C (or go REALLY crazy and get the SRT)
  • stevenwstevenw Posts: 18
    Many people don't keep their cars long enough to know about this but a common problem on any car with the Northstar engine with +50,000 miles is a leaky oil pan gasket. No problem you say, just pull the pan and replace the gasket. Nope. ENGINE has to be pulled out of the car to do this because the bolts that hold the oil pan on extend down through the top of the engine and cannot be accessed to drop the oil pan unless the engine is hoisted. This costs about $2,000 for the cost of a $1.50 gasket. Olds Auroras had a version of the 4.0 Northstar although they couldn't call it that since it wasn't a Caddy - same issue. I know, I own one.

    Something to keep in mind before you buy a Cadillac with a Northstar. :P
  • bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
    I own a 2004 Deville with 32500 miles on it. At about 27,000 miles it started leaking oil and a local dealership
    changed the oil filter adapter gasket. On my next oil change a considerable amount of oil was found on the underpart of the engine and the first dealership said it would need the type of repair you describe. On advice of GM
    I took the car to a second dealership and upon inspection they said that the oil observed was from the oil adapter gasket leak and that there was no further leak observed.
    I have kept an oil pan under the car for several months now to monitor any additional leaks and none so far. Can you tell me what I should be looking for other than drops of oil in the oil pan lined with white paper towels as an indication that my car may develop this problem later?
  • Where did you get this info? GM tested the Northstar drive train for 3 years and MILLIONS of hard driven miles BEFORE this engine was available to the general public. Do NOT work for nor affiliated with GM in any way/shape/form/ but have owned Cadillacs with this system in it for years now. NEVER have heard/experienced this problem.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The northstar and Aurora engines built for model years 1993-1999 are first generation engines. The model year 2000 on are second generation northstar engines with a redesigned engine. So the problems with the first generation may not apply to the second generation. But to work on the engine or transmission does require that the engine/transmission be taken out of the car, an all day job to remove and put back in.
  • I have always loved the Deville since it was a little girl. However, for my first ride I chose the 2006 300 Limited with the Touring Package. I have every except HEMI. This baby delivers a smooth ride and handles road with unbridled passion. We turn heads everywhere we go. I no longer pull up to the crosswalk when stopped at a traffic light. Simply because when the light turns green and I tap the gas. Out my rear view everyone else is kissing my AZZ! While there are not many folks who ride in the back seat – On occasion during business lunches my piers will ride with me because those punks are into two seaters; however, someone always falls asleep. My baby is Brilliant Silver Metallic and I keep her sparkling. When I wash this baby, taking my time and feeling her contours of distinction; we’ve been in a relationship since Valentines Day and I am still excited. For me, my car is a dude magnet. I’m looking at the new Jag but I am a sedan type of woman and not ready for such a drastic change.

    Long live the 300…
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Me being a Mopar fanatic, it was a hard choice for us when it came time to start looking for a replacement for our '03 DeVille DTS. So we tested all cars in it's class, including the Chrysler.

    First things first: If you can get over the expanse of hard plastics and ill-fitting panels of the 300, then the cars performance will literally blow you away. The 5.7L HEMI, while not quite as polished or sophisticated as the Northstar, is positively radiant. And it is quicker than the Northstar, albeit because of 340-hp v. 292 and the DTS's higher weight-to-power ratio.

    However, for true luxury, the DTS is hands down a better car. The price disparity between the two cars is not so bad when you factor in what the DTS offers as standard equipment vs. optional on the 300...

    I'm in no way downgrading the 300 as I think it's the car that Chrysler should've done instead of the 99-04 300M. The car has an uncanny ability to remain popular with people 18-88. Oh and the 300 SRT.... WOW. But my wife chose the DTS Performance for it's unparallel highway ride, upscale interior, magnificent build quality/sturdy structure(altho the 300's Mercedes inspired structure is as stiff as they come). Factor in the Northstar V8, Stabilitrak, and 18" wheels, and you've got one heck of a fun if not too sporty large sedan...

    As to me sticking to my Mopar roots, we opted to get a JGC SRT instead...
  • bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
    Are fuel prices affecting buyers decisions on which of these two cars to purchase? The DTS having a slightly smaller engine may get a little better fuel economy than the
    the 300C although think they are pretty much the same. Are rising fuel prices affecting the choice to buy both cars? In my case I decided not to make it a factor buy purchasing a oil income pass through trust about seven months ago. Has proved to be a good educated guess. The investment has appreciated 30 percent and the yield on the royalty payments at the price I paid for the shares is around 12 percent and rising as oil prices rise. Have others considered fuel price hedge strategies?
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The performance differences are not so much the extra horsepower, but additional 100 lb-ft of torque that the hemi has compared to the northstar. Then there is the 5 speed automatic which has additional gearing.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Agreed. The truck-sourced 375lb-ft of torque is enough to bend a axle or two. And yes, why has Caddy once again dithered the Northstar's performance in the DTS? The STS has a 5 speed, even the CTS has one to wring out every ounce of power the V6 engines offer. The STS version of the Northstar gets to 60 in 5.5 secs(with 28 more hp), 6.9 for the DTS, more than a sec longer than the HEMI. No doubt due to a smaller weight mass(albeit not by much), but some of it goes to the gearing of the smooth 5-Speed autobox.

    Maybe this will all change when Caddy gets the 6-speed across the board for '07/'08. Other than the obvious, the DTS is still reigning supreme amongst domestic competitors, and plenty of foreign makes....

    To show how gearing in the tranny tells the story:

    The '06 LS430 gets to 60 in 5.6 secs. A car with only 290 hp(2 less than the DTS Perf.) and actually more weight than the DTS. BUT: 6 foward gears changes everything...
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I think that the FWD platform was designed for 300 lb-ft of torque and 300 horsepower. The 2007 DTS will not get the six speed automatic. I also think that both the Lucerne and DTS are the last of the big FWD G-platform cars. They will probably remain in production only until a suitable replacement is put into production. The DTS is not a performance car, it is a large medium luxury sedan. Anyone looking for a serious performance sedan should really buy the STS, not the DTS.

    My guess is that the DTS and Lucerne will remain in production more or less with the current powertrain until they are replaced with some other platform. I sort of think that the zeta RWD platform may replace both cars, but a lot depends on what Cadillac wants to get from a replacement for the DeVille (DTS) series; the DeVille has been the most popular Cadillac since it went into production in the 1950's. The current CTS and STS overlap the DTS's price range, and I do not think that adding another RWD model in the $40,000 to $50,000 price range makes any sense. The 2008 CTS will get a nicer interior, making it a decent low priced Cadillac. I think moving the DTS onto the sigma platform would make sense, but at a much higher price point (~$60,000 base) with an interior to match, competing directly with the Lexus LS.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    That said, there has been much speculation into Cadillac merging the STS and DTS into one high-feature model, probably about the size of the LS and 7-Series and be priced along with them on the upcoming Zeta platform.

    BTW: When Ford and GM caliberated on the 6-speed autobox, it was meant to serve in anything from as light as a FWD Euro-Focus to a RWD/AWD Caddy Escalade, and everything in between, including Corvettes. So it does fit into a FWD platform, both existing and new, hence the Pontiac G6 going 6-speed auto, altho being on the market for 2 years.

    And yes, the DTS is not a canyon carver, but the Performance model holds it own against some rear-drive competitors, including Town Car and Lexus LS. And most of us blue-hairs aren't going to think we're in our weekend Vette while driving it....
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I think that the Ford GM six speed design was for FWDs, although I think the design is modular, so the six speed RWD design is probably related. However, putting the FWD six speed into the DTS and Lucerne will require some design changes for both the FWD northstar and the DTS/Lucerne transaxle. The question is whether the cost of doing this is worthwhile for the remaining production. As I said, the 2007's will not get the six speed, so 2008 is possible, but if the 2008 and 2009 model years are all that is left for the DTS, why bother? The G6 is getting the Saturn's powertrain. The G6 and the Aura are the same platform, so the cost to put this into the G6 is near zero.

    The Zeta platform is a lower cost, less refined platform than the Sigma, so I doubt that the STS will move onto a Zeta platform. The Zeta will be used at Chevy for the Camaro, if the Camaro goes into production. The DTS could share a longer wheelbase verstion of the Zeta with a Buick Lucerne replacement. Then the DTS could continue as a lower priced Cadillac and could maintain its sales volume of about 80,000 units.

    The Town Car and the Lexus LS are totally different cars in completely different price ranges. The DTS is somewhere in between the two.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I agree with most of your post, albeit don't you think that it's a bit more than a coincedence that GM and Ford trucks and SUV's are going 6-speed auto at the same time. Although the part numbers are different(not how DCX does as Chrysler keeps MBZ numbers), Aisin-Warner designed the 3 different housings for the transmissions....

    "The Town Car and the Lexus LS are totally different cars in completely different price ranges. The DTS is somewhere in between the two."

    That's very interesting as all of this time I've always thought the TC to be the DeVille/DTS' main comp, especially considering domestic makes. And $44k(Lincoln) v. $42k base for the DTS is not that huge of a disparity. And factor in that a fully optioned DTS can run upward of $56k, exactly where the LS starts.

    But you're right. The DTS can and will maintain or better it's 80k units annually. And rightfully so as this one of the most comfortable rides on the market right now, Asian, European and definetely domestic.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I had not looked at the Town Car pricing, so had thought it was cheaper. Still, I think that the Lexus LS is more car than a loaded DeVille. I am not sure how the Town Car compares.

    The press releases on the six speed automatic that both Ford and GM worked on together is a FWD transmission. Nothing was said about a RWD transmission in those press releases. Looking at the Ford truck/SUV transmissions for 2006, there are only 4 speed units available. GM is using the car six speed in their SUV's. The FWD six speed has different gear ratios than the RWD, so I do not think that they are the same transmission.
  • To piggy-back on dealership reputation… I’ve relocated to Central PA to Coral Springs, Fl three days after purchasing my 300Touring and the closest dealership to my home Fairbank’s Chrysler and their attitudes suck. :mad: Since I have an office in Sarasota I make it my business to have my car my car serviced at Sarasota Chrysler they understand the concept of stellar customer care :shades: .
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    The LS is more car than any DTS will be. Main components are RWD, near stratisferic resale value and markedly better build quality. But for the price, a base DTS is a great deal, perhaps best in the mid-lux class.

    As to the transmissions, the Navigator/Expedition uses the same 6-speed tranny as the 6.2L Caddy Escalade/GMC Yukon Denali, soon to be trickled down to the lesser models SUV's and trucks on both sides. The transmissions are modular and are configured to be both FWD/RWD-AWD. To bad GM wouldn't install it on the Lucerne/DTS platform. I know it's not to old of a platform/powertrain if the dated Ford platforms were able to upgrade.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    You are right, the Navigator does have a six speed, and has had a six speed for some time. However, this link:
    Shows that the transmission is a ZF transmission, not a GM transmission. The gear ratios are the same as BMW's six speed.

    Certainly GM could put a six speed FWD transmission on the DTS/Lucerne platform, the question is whether it is worth doing.
  • stevenwstevenw Posts: 18
    Sorry, should have mentioned I was talking about the first gen NS engines with the leaking oil pan gasket. I've been trying to sell my 1998 Aurora around town (after I bought my 300 Limited I have no need for the older car) and anyone who knows anything about first gen NS engines always asks me if the oil pan gasket has been replaced yet. If I say "no" they won't take the car if I give it to them. I'll have to sell it to a private party and tell them that it's their choice to replace it or not. I have chosen not to becasue I'm not going to put $2,000 into a $6,000 car. The occasional drips on the garage floor aren't that bothersome and the car is never low on oil so it's not a continuous or high volume leak - it's just annoying.

    I did say that no one normally keeps their cars long enough to run into this problem implying that the car was older (in my case it's 8 years old).
  • These two fine cars do in many ways compete with each other.
    Both sedans, both with great looks and engines and yet there have been no posts here for over two months. I think the decision to buy one or the other is helpful to know about and would greatly appreciate learning from others what conclusions they are drawing or drew in making the choice. I own a 2004 Deville which has been a good car for me but I have not received good service at the local Cadillac dealership so I am considering replacing it with a
    300C when my warranty runs out in 2007. Are there things I should be considering in potentially making the switch, is the price to value better in one or the other? Any other recent news I should be looking at in evaluating which car to pick for my next? Hope this site will become active again soon.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    would be the Chrysler 300 with the Buick Lucerne. The Lucerne offers a V6 as well as the V8, as does the 300. The Lucerne is priced about the same as the 300 or at least is much closer than the DTS.

    For really great service, legend has it that Rolls Royce is unmatched.....
  • To compare Cadillac, Chrysler and Rolls in the same vain is really amusing, I'm slightly sore from laughing!
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I found this forum quite amusing when it was started... :P
  • Then why waste your time on it??
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