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2016 Honda Accord LX. Previous: 2004 Deville, 2000 STS
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Discussion Starter #1
The Cadillac Seville represents everything that is great in America. This car will get you noticed, and that is a good thing. If you’re the type of person who can overlook small things like a slightly cheap interior, less than excellent build quality, and the sticker price, well this is the car for you. Driving a Seville STS will have people turning heads, looking at the car over and over. It will be catching stares from people while you’re washing it in the driveway. It represents power, prestige, and the sense that you’ve made it. Sure, you can get a Lexus, but when have you ever caught yourself staring and dreaming about a Lexus? Exactly, you haven’t. The Seville is a different type of animal, and it’s the type that I love.

The specific model I’m talking about is the 2000 Seville STS. Sure, you can get the cheaper and plusher Seville SLS, but you’re basically getting a Deville in re-organized packaging. When you say, “Yeah I just picked up a Cadillac STS” people instantly know what I’m talking about. Try saying the same thing, only say Cadillac SLS. It doesn’t work; people seem confused. Still, regardless of what model you pick up, this car is an excellent value on the used car market. Take my “new” Seville STS for example. My car is a ’00 STS with 54k miles; Sterling Silver w/ Pewter interior. Fully loaded, only missing the Navigation system and sunroof. The sticker for this car brand new easily topped $52k. However, I just picked up this clean example complete with new head gaskets, water pump and motor mount for only $10,700. Yes, this 8-year-old car only cost me $10,700. Amazing, and that’s only the beginning.

Cadillac was on the emergence of a great renaissance when this car was introduced in late 1997. Not only was this car a huge improvement over the already great model it replaced, it was a huge hit with automotive journalists alike. Sales, on the other hand, dropped almost 11k units in the 1998 model year. Why you ask? Price. The base price for a ’98 SLS was almost $43,000 while the STS went for a staggering $46,000. This might sound reasonable to a Cadillac loyalist, but this car was up against some stiff competition. BMW had it’s excellent new for ’97 5-series, Lexus had its ultra refined GS400, and Mercedes had it’s super elegant E-Series. Suffice to say, sales floundered and the car went out of production in 2004 to make way for the brand new STS (minus the Seville moniker). However, there are Seville loyalists (like myself) who think this is the best modern Cadillac yet. Sure, there are a few downsides to owning this car, but they are worth accepting.

I have to say, this is the most beautiful and elegant looking sedan to ever come out of Detroit. Hell, it may be one of the best looking cars ever put into production. Sure, the new CTS and STS are impressive efforts, but none of them do it for me like the Seville STS. The car is perfectly executed, from the front grille to the rear taillights and everything in between. Cadillac was at its absolute highest from a design standpoint when this car was put into production, and there are few cars that “do it” for me like the Seville does. It turns me on, no matter where I see one or what kind of mood I’m in. I swear, I think I have a Seville monitor in my head, because I can always spot one coming down the road. The car looks stunning in Crimson Red, a lighter shade of burgundy, Sable Black, which is just badass. White Diamond is typical Cadillac, typically elegant. Sterling Silver is very clean, sophisticated, and sexy. Another of my favorite is Polo Green, an extremely rare color that looks black from a distance. The other colors are no match for the body of the Seville, and just dull the cars look. The ’98-’01 Seville SLS have a plain silver colored grille, ugly plastic molding on the bottom, and cheap wheels that look out of place on a car of this caliber. Starting in 2001, you could order a “STS Appearance Package” which added a body colored grille, 16” 7-spoke chrome wheels, body color appearance molding, among other things. This package became standard in 2003; the STS pretty much stayed the same throughout its 5-year run, with the exception of 2001 when Cadillac offered a STS Sport Package, which offered larger 17” 6 spoke wheels and other accessories. In 2002, both SLS and STS models left behind the old Cadillac logo in favor of the new “Art & Science” logo first introduced on the CTS. Other than this few appearance changes, there was nothing to distinguish the cars year to year. Only true Seville loyalists could spot these changes.

The interior of the Seville has its ups and downs, very unlike the exterior. At first glance, the car looks of the highest caliber, using exquisite leathers, high-end gauge clusters, smart controls, and beautiful wood trim. Unfortunately, this is quickly downplayed when looking closer. The headliner is made of a cheap, mouse like material found in Chevrolet’s, the plastics used on the door jams and around the console area is GM Corporate, which means of the lowest caliber. You can pull the A-pillar material off with one hand, and the weather-stripping around the door needs to be reattached on several occasions. However, none of this really matters to me. If I would have paid $53k for the car brand new, yeah I would have been disappointed with the materials. However, I’m not complaining one bit at $10k. Another thing I’m not complaining about is the features. Damn, this car really brings a new meaning to the phrase “fully loaded”. Power leather memory seats, Bose 425 watt sound system, 6-disc CD changer, and optional navigation system. Sure, most modern cars have self parking assistance, lane change warning and other useless crap you don’t need, but for a late 90’s car the Seville has everything a person would want. I’m personally the most fond of the Bose stereo, which I have still not found a suitable match for. Even the new STS with its 15-speaker system still can’t match the Seville for sound quality. This blows the competition away of the same area, with the exception being the LS400’s Nakamichi sound system. However, you might not need the Bose system at all…

…You might instead be listening to the Cadillac Northstar V8. Yes, the engine that practically saved Cadillac in the early 90’s is installed beneath the bonnet of this sexy machine. All 300 horses are driven through the front wheels, and it’s probably one of the best exhaust notes this side of a Ferrari or Porsche. The car has a typical V8 snarl when being started up, but it really shines when you floor it. You can get some serious trouble when driving this car. Most Seville’s never have the chance to be driven hard, since they are owned by old ladies driving to church. For this single reason, is why most people experience problems with the Northstar engine. The engine is extremely reliable if well maintained. The key to a strong running Northstar is changing the coolant. GM recommends the Dex-Cool get changed every 5-years/150k miles; I wouldn’t go by this, I would get it done every 3-years/48k miles. This way, you don’t have to worry about the engine blowing a head gasket. Also doing regular WOT (Wide Open Throttle; a.k.a mash that bitch to the floor) will help keep all the carbon deposits cleaned out. Do those few things (along with changing the oil of course) and you should be able to get 200k or more miles out of the Seville and its Northstar.

Ok you’ve heard me ramble on about the seductive styling, nicely laid out interior, and powerful engine, so how does it drive? Well, what do you think? It’s a Cadillac, so it has a smooth ride that soaks up the bumps like no other. It’s not super soft like the Deville, but no overly hard like the CTS. The ride motions are well controlled, and the handling is superb for such a heavy FWD sedan. It takes the corners with ease, and there is little understeer to be detected. However, if you want BMW handling this isn’t your car. The car does have a little more body roll than your average sports luxury sedan, but it isn’t anything 90% of people complain about. It feels confident throughout the ride, and the only hint of torque steer is when mashing the accelerator when exiting a corner. Overall, I give it a 7.5/10. In late 2002, Cadillac introduced the Magneride suspension for the Seville STS (and to be introduced on the 50th Anniversary Corvette) and was a marvel if anything. It uses a special fluid to adjust shock rates depending on the road. From what I have read, handling was largely improved and finding a late example ’03 STS is the best deal on the luxury market today. I haven’t had a chance to drive a Magneride equipped car, but I hope to in the near future.

The Cadillac Seville STS represents the best value on the used luxury car market today. Modern styling, loads of electronic goodies, powerful Northstar engine, great handling, and a low price makes the car the best of the best. You can find plenty of low mileage, good conditioned cars for under $10k. The ’03 STS w/ Navigation, Sunroof, and around 40k miles will set you back a very reasonable $15k. Not a bad deal for a car that stickered for near $60k when it was put to sleep. Now, I have an assignment for you: find a low mileage Lexus GS400, BMW 540i, or Mercedes E420 w/50k miles for under $14k. Might be a little harder than you think…
 

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Great entertaining and informative review! Thanks for posting!

Sometimes (especially when I feel the need for hard acceleration) I wish I would have bought the STS over the S320. Oh well, there's always another chance! :cool2:
 

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2016 Honda Accord LX. Previous: 2004 Deville, 2000 STS
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Discussion Starter #3
I'll be keeping a log in my review about my experiences with my STS. I'll probably update once a month or so, so I don't sound too repetitive. Here is my opinions after 3 days of ownership:

*The Seville is truly a highway car. In the past 3 days, I've put almost 300 miles on it and it truly soaks up the road. Engine is plenty powerful for passing grandmas, and the handling is predictable, if a bit soft. Luckily, soft is what I like best so kudos to Cadillac for creating a really great touring car.
*The interior has too many cheap pieces of trim. Even compared to my Camry, the car just has too many downfalls. My weatherstripping has been reattached several times already, and there is a persistent rattle (the old Onstar attachment thing; need to get that removed ASAP). Otherwise, a great layout. Clean and simple.
*I love the seats. Plenty comfortable for a road trip, and after 1 1/2 hours of driving I still felt relaxed. The gauges are extremely easy to read, if a bit cheesy looking (I'm comparing this to the new CTS and Escalade), the Bose stereo is amazing, and the climate control does a great job of cooling down the car.
*Fuel economy is pretty good for a large V8 car. I'm getting around 17MPG city and 22 highway. I'll be driving a lot less now I have this car, but thats fine with me.
*The styling is a huge plus. I've had more compliments on this car than I ever thought possible. Nobody believes me when I say the car is 8 years old (I can thank the original owner for keeping the car garaged! :)) and the car still looks sexy today. Personally, I prefer this body to the new Cadillac's.

Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the car. There are a few downsides, but none of them hinder what I think is a wonderful machine. My mom, grandfather, and I will be driving to the mountains soon and we've planned to take this car. I'll report back after that and see how well she does on long distance cruises (the car, not my mom!).
 

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2016 Honda Accord LX. Previous: 2004 Deville, 2000 STS
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Discussion Starter #4
It's been a busy month for the Seville. I find any reason possible to drive the damn thing. It's smooth, powerful, and extremely comfortable. Compliments have been plentiful. Most people find it hard to believe the car is 8 years old; thats always a good sign. I often find people looking at the car while going down the road (or either at me. "What the hell is that kid doing driving a Cadillac? He most of stole it") The car simply shines on the open road, where it effortlessly soaks up the road. The ride is super smooth, and handling continues to impress for such a large FWD car. Gas mileage is town is 17-18, but on the highway I'm seeing 23-25MPG. Northstar is extremely powerful, and has a great sound. Interior trim is holding up well, with few rattles emitting through the cabin. Seats were comfortable on 6 hour road trip; heated seats are wonderful. Complaints are few:

1. Service Theft System randomly appears once or twice a week. Simple remedy: turn the car off and start her up again. No problems there, just a nagging issue. Nothing serious here.
2. Front end shutter under braking. This is my biggest annoyance with the car. The rotors were just resurfaced and it has pretty new brake pads, so I'm guessing another alignment is in order. I'll have dealer check this out when I take her in.
3. Steering column rattle. This turned up about 3 days ago, but it's pretty obvious. When taking the car over rough payment, the steering column makes a faint, but noticeable rattle sound. Just check out thread on Seville forum that pretty much explains my problem. I'll have the dealer lube the area first, but I'm sure that won't solve it. As long as the steering doesn't start to go screwy, I'll be fine with it.

So overall, a good first month for my Seville. There are a few little issues to work out, but nothing major. I adore my car and plan on taking her to 100k+ miles.
 

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2016 Honda Accord LX. Previous: 2004 Deville, 2000 STS
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Discussion Starter #5
Update:

Took the car to the dealer today to get the oil changed and have them check the rattling noise and vibration during braking. The rear rotors were resurfaced at their expense (I only payed for labor! :D) and are smooth as silk. Finally, I don't hate stopping anymore. According to my ticket, the rattle was solved by adjusting a cable - it didn't work. At first, I thought it was gone because the steering was tighter. Alas, when I took the car down a rough road it came back. However, it's not as high pitched. I'm not going to worry about it, I know is the intermediate shaft and bearing. I'll have the parts ordered and get them to fix it when I get the oil changed next time.

The car is doing great. Planning on getting a new passenger side headlight because the old one is foggy, and the drivers side has a brand new one. Looks terrible together.
 

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Previous STS' 1995/97/99/01/03
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The steering wheel gets louder when its cold outside.
I got to the point where I dreaded turning the wheel in the winter ... you coud hear the
groaning sound and feel the crappy feedback.
I can't say how long the needle and grease fix lasts, because I sold my car soon after having
the inexpensive lube repair.
Having said that, its amazing how much nicer the car felt driving down the road without the
steering wheel noise.
Definitely worth the effort.
 

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1999 White Diamond STS with Sirius, 2001 Silverado
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Ryan: I agree with you on the interior to a small degree. I bought one of the newer V8 Northstar emblems to put over the radio on that plastic piece. Doesn't look so bad anymore. That was the only part of the interior I hated. I like the rest. I'm thinking about getting the STS emblem from the trunk of the new STS's and putting it over next to the rightmost AC vent on that woodgrain over there.
 

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2016 Honda Accord LX. Previous: 2004 Deville, 2000 STS
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Discussion Starter #8
Well it's time for my monthly update, and the car continues to impress with its excellent powertrain, super smooth ride, and comfortable interior. Gas mileage is also quite good for such a large V8 car, about 17 in mixed situation (learning more on city driving). My only issue with the car this month is a massive trunk leak I discovered about a month ago. I came back from the beach and decided to vacuum out my dirty trunk, when I discovered my spare tire well was full of water. I initially vacuumed it out and thought it had been there for a couple of years; no big deal right? Well yesterday I notice a putrid smell coming from the trunk... and I open it up to reveal the area is full of water again, though this time it was nasty, dirty water that looks like it came from our river. I figured out that it must be coming between the license plate area and the plastic cover surrounding the inside of the trunk. I'm going to get it looked at next time i take the car in for an oil change; I'm also going to switch out my old headlight with a new one eventually, its starting to look really terrible.
 

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2016 Honda Accord LX. Previous: 2004 Deville, 2000 STS
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Discussion Starter #9
Well the culprit of the great trunk leak mystery has been caught; turns out, the weatherstripping around the trunk lid did a really crappy job of keeping the water out. It was coming in near the trunk latch and dropping into the spare tire well. While I was at work today I asked my boss what he thought, and he said that was the best explanation. So they have the part ordered and it should be here tomorrow, and I'll get it replaced on Thursday when I head into work. They are also going to reseal near the taillights to make sure I don't have any future problems. I'm also having them look at my slightly rough idle, which I've thinking is the cracked plenum. They have that part in stock, so if that is the issue they are replacing that. Here are some pics of the really terrible looking seal on the ws:


 

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Cadillac Seville STS 2003 47000 miles
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mY 03 sts that I just bought has the same issue. I resealed around the entire weather strip with some 3M black weather strip adhesive and it has stopped about 98% of the water from coming in. I checked in my truck today as we had some very heavy rain over night and I noted a very small ( talking 1/2 a teaspoon) amount of water in the bottom of the trunk. I might just take it in to the dealer and get a new weather strip and have them seal it with some butyl rubber sealer.
 

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2016 Honda Accord LX. Previous: 2004 Deville, 2000 STS
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Discussion Starter #11
I actually got it fixed at the dealer the other day. $70 installed... and so far no water is getting into the trunk. I might get the piece that goes along the rear window fixed too just for the hell of it.

I also had them check the rough idle, but they didn't find anything. I'm thinking its the intake plenum and I'll have them check it out the next time I change the oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok so it's that time of the month again... and no people my period doesn't come in until later on, so watch out for abnormal bitchiness. Anyways, no new problems have surfaced on my Seville this month. The trunk is now dry thanks to new weatherstripping, and everything is still running smoothly. I'm still having problems with my security light and that random noise from the speakers when I start the car... but it does it much more often when it's cold outside. I'm really beginning to narrow it down the ignition switch, but I'll cross that road when I get to it.

I let a friend of mine drive it down the road real quick, and when I asked him how he liked it, he said "It's really smooth, and has a lot more power than expected". Ha, that's what happens when you cross a luxury car with an obnoxious muscle car.
 

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Ryan, is it possible that the noise you hear on colder mornings isn't coming
from the tiny square grille on the left side of your dash?

If so, then its a bad bearing in your asperator fan motor. That's the
tiny fan used with a temp probe to determine the ambient cabin temp
for your automatic climate control. Mine got to the point of being unbearable ... I simply stuffed some foam down the opening, careful
of the temp probe, and it stopped the buzzing noise.

How goes the steering shaft ... the lube procedure worked for me.
How is your ride ... smooth up to 80mph, or any shimmy?

One regret I had was that I couldn't hack my DIC to display actual temp readouts ... on my 97, that was an easy hack code and a welcome feature.
 

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2016 Honda Accord LX. Previous: 2004 Deville, 2000 STS
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Discussion Starter #15
I don't think so, because when I turn the radio off upon hearing the noise it stops. The noise is also occurring when the "Service Theft System" shows up on my DIC, though sometimes it does not. The best solution right now is just turning the radio off when exiting the car.

I haven't actually noticed a ton of noise coming from the steering shaft... though I'm sure it's still an issue because the steering seems a little sloppy compared to a '04 SLS I was driving the other day. Until the noise starts to really bother me, I'll leave it as is.

I did forget to mention I have the shimmy. It starts at 66-67MPH and does it all the way up to 75MPH, though 72MPH is the sweet spot where it levels out. I'll get my dealer to balance the tires at my next oil change, and that should solve it.
 

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Best feature for me was the pride of ownership, followed by the styling, and general feeling of solidity.
After that, it was the sound system, HID's, and gorgeous 17" rims.
Hated the TPS sensors ... on hot days on the hwy, that damn "pressure too high" msg would pop up on the DIC ... giving me the disconcerting feeling that the car would blow up at any moment.:)

Unlike some here, I found my 99 and 01 had a more refined level of quality ... the newer style was quieter, plusher ride in town, and had less wind noise. I never had a single drivetrain issue with 4 STS', but had tons of nuisance issues, mostly electrical.

I hope the balance works for you. On my 99, I tried two sets of rims and tires, lots of balancing, all to no avail. On my 2001, the shimmy occured with both my stock rims/tires, and my winter steelies and snows.
I switched from Pirelli PZeros to Michelins, drove 1 hour to find the closest Hunter machine, but nothing helped.
Finally, I went to my local GM dealer, and allowed them to put old fashioned weights on the outside of my rims. It didn't totally solve the shimmy issue, but effectively eliminated 90 percent of the problem.
I'm convinced that Logan has it down pat.
As this platform ages, there is a multitude of parts that become
prone to transmitting vibrations through the wheels into the cockpit.
The only sure fire cure are new factory rims/tires, which worked for Logan ... but who knows for how long.
I test drove both of my newer STS', noticed the vibration issues, had the seller's pay for balancing, and watched the vibration worsen as the tires accumulated a few more miles. I knew I should've run away after the test drives, but the cars were soooo nice, I figured I could solve the issue where others had failed.
Sorry for the rant ... I intend to buy another STS or ETC as a toy to go with my daily drivers .... a Maxima, an 08 Mazda 3, and the dreaded Lexus ES300, which I actually really like ... I know, its similar to your old Camry, but my two boring Lexus cars (LS400) never have any issues ... none.

If your shimmy doesn't go away, try the old fashioned outside weights. It definitely made my STS more driveable at highway speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
To be honest, the shimmy doesn't bother me so bad. I usually never go above 65MPH, and the one time I was on the Interstate for a long period of time it wasn't present. When I got the car, it had a slight shimmy, but nothing major. Now, it's extremely noticeable. That's what I get for not rotating the tires at my last oil change...

But my favorite thing about this car has always been the styling. I mean, nothing is as elegant and sophisticated as the Seville STS. Sure all that other fancy crap it comes with is great, but if I didn't have the leather, bose stereo, heated seats, etc. I wouldn't care. Also, I find the ride of the newer model better. It doesn't crash over bumps like mine does, and it seems to do a better job of balancing ride and handling. It also has a solidity about it that mine just doesn't have. However, the styling and interior design are no match for Seville. The Seville's are fine cars, just have to watch out for issues. Since all that headgasket nonsense already happened to my car, I expect to get many good years out of mine.

My Toyota had some issues that were extremely annoying. The bitch rattled more everyday I drove it, the sunroof was broken and was going to cost $1000 to get fixed, and the paint was becoming faded and scratched more easily than other 8 year old cars should. However, as an around town car it was great. 25MPG, decent stereo, best A/C ever put in a car. But when I drive it now, I realize how much I love my Cadillac.
 

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Ahh, you're lucky you can keep it under 65mph.

My last STS was smooth as silk until about 68-75mph, then smoothed out again at 80mph. What a bitch when you're driving 4 hours to a wedding with a car full of family, and traffic is moving at 70mph.
My two choices were to drive in the RH lane slower than traffic, or keep it at 80 plus.
Thank God for the outside weights ... it made the car much more enjoyable, almost like a new ride.

Re your Camry, it sure looked nice in your photos.
My coworker bought a new Solara in 04, and it soon developed a few nasty rattles, which drove him nuts. He switched to a used ES300, and has driven it for 5 years on our frost heaved, pot hole'd, crappy Orillia streets. Not a rattle. Same platform, but if anyone thinks the Toyota is built to the same standards as the Lexus, then they haven't driven both vehicles through a Canadian winter.

I considered buying a used STS last week ... I must be a masochist, but I miss diagnosing and trying to fix little issues. My body guy had a customer selling his 98 STS ... it had a $4k paint job in 2006, fixing the sun damage caused by Arizona winters.
The car looked brand new, and the blue on blue colour scheme was quite dramatic. New Michelins, perfect chrome rims. I forgot how hefty everything feels in the STS ... a nice, muscular feel.

I passed because my next one pretty much has to be crimson pearl, with a solid service history. This one had 80k, avg service history, and they wanted too much at $5k. Right now, you can get into a 2002 with HID and Nav for under $7k ... I just have to be patient.

Maybe I was just lucky, but my 4 STS' all had between 80k-110k, and I never had an engine or transmission issue. Every other issue I read about occured ... you name it, I experienced it. Still, it gave the cars a personality. I might feel differently had I gone through a $3k repair, but for me, the motors were rock solid. I changed every fluid, belt, plug, fpr, etc. and never had a hiccup.
Still the best used car value on the market. Up here, we have 2004 STS' for sale. There are currently 4 for sale on Autotrader, and you can get a decent one for around $11-12 Cdn. What a bargain for a car that has worked out many of its issues.
 

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2016 Honda Accord LX. Previous: 2004 Deville, 2000 STS
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Discussion Starter #19
My Camry was a great car, but it was too mundane for me. I had actually looked at a few ES300's and even a few '98-'01 GS300 and GS400's, but they're still going for $15k with low mileage. My neighbor has an '03 ES300 with 130k miles and it's rock solid. Still looks great, and not a rattle in sight.

Crimson Red is tied with Sable Black as my favorite Seville colors. Either color would've been great in my book, though I'm happy with Sterling Silver.
 

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Funny, I never thought I would like Sterling Silver, but it may have been my favourite.
I had the 17" rims, and added the centre caps with the red crest, and limo tint.
The silver really shows off the fat wheel arches, and accentuates every curve on the body.
A very classy combination.
The car is probably too large to carry off the crimson pearl, but something about that 3 stage
paint does it for me.
 
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