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Discussion Starter #1
I am a baby boomer who likes RWD cars. Since they are rather limited in availability these days, I was interested in purchasing a 2012 or 2013 Cadillac CTS. However, after reading CTS forums from different automotive sites such as Edmunds.com regarding engine seizing/ high oil comsumption problems with previous years of the CTS, I'm now apprehensive about buying a 2012/2013 CTS. Now, I'm thinking maybe I should consider either the Mercedes C-Series, Mercedes E-Series, BMW 5-Series, Chrysler 300C, or even the Lincoln MKS which is FWD. Therefore, does anyone know if the Cadillac CTS engine problems still persist with the 2012 or 2013 models or has it been corrected? I'm hoping that Cadillac has corrected these issues with the newer models of the CTS since I would prefer the Cadillac. I have always felt that European cars are overrated and overpriced but would be willing to purchase one if I could not get another RWD in a domestic brand with a comparable level of luxury and prestige.
Thank you for anyone's feedback!!!
Read more: http://forums.motortrend.com/70/9188477/the-general-forum/2012-cadillac-cts-reliability-durability-problems/index.html#ixzz21puYvdlQ
 

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2008 CTS4
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457 Posts
Everybody has their favorite cars and their own set of values and priorities. Have you driven a CTS? Have you driven the other cars on your list? I drove a Charger, a CTS, a G8GT, a 3 series and a 5 series when I was shopping. The CTS has a great feel and seemed on par with the Germans. The Charger felt like a boat and the G8 GT was flat out awesome. When I decided AWD was on the priority list, the G8 was eliminated and the best car for my money was the CTS4. I ended up with a 3.6 performance package AWD with no NAV or sunroof. I'm tall and didn't like what the sunroof did to the headroom. The nav system in my phone is better than any factory set up and it auto updates so I opted to save the money.

I agree with one of the posters on the thread you linked. As long as you take care of it, use quality fluids and watch your levels it will be fine. You may encounter a few rattles, squeaks or other small issues, but they won't leave on the side of the road somewhere. Your definition of reliability may differ from mine, but a small and annoying issue is not the same as reliability issue.

Remember that these forums of full of folks looking for solutions to problems they've encountered. The folks with no issues generally do not frequent them. That's why you seem to see nothing but problems when you read them, regardless of make or model.

If you're looking at rwd, my guess is you appreciate a car that handles well. I do too. The CTS is fun to drive. Go try one out.
 

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2010 CTS Wagon
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129 Posts
I had a Mercedes C-class before the Cadillac CTS. That had much more issues than my current CTS, and once it was out of warranty, the maintenance cost went through the roof. All cars have some issues. But currently Cadillac ranks among the top in reliability in various quality surveys.

What I can say, though, is that Mercedes service is excellent, while my experience with Cadillac service has been poor. I think Mercedes requires service departments to satisfy certain quality criteria, while Cadillac seems to have no such requirements.
 

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'14 CTS-V Long Roof; '10 CTS Long Roof, now serving the Coast Guard; '16 ATS-V Sedan
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My wife has an Audi A6 (2006) that has been relatively hassle free. Other than getting porked for routine maintenance it has been a good car, handles like a dream and has a superb interior. Fit and finish is excellent. While it is nicer inside than my CTS, I do like my wagon. I don't foresee any additional problems (35k) over time.

How long are you going to keep your car? IF you are going over 100,000, do not buy a BMW. You are asking for BIG expenses if you keep it that long. I can't speak for the MB. I feel confident with my 3.6 CTS. Mine hasn't used oil, but even if it did that wouldn't be a major concern for me. It's not as if the rings are bad. I am going to install a catch can as my next mod as I feel that will aid in my car's longevity. (there are some good threads here about a catch can)

My opinion (lord knows, we all have 'em): Get the CTS. Get it the way you want it. Just make sure the NAV system has the 2012 update PREINSTALLED. Enjoy and drive it. We look forward to your contributions on this Forum.
 

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2005 CTS-V (red), 2009 CTS Premium Sedan (red), 2016 ELR (silver)
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I'm the first to complain about the issues I've had with my 2009 CTS, but I really would buy another 2012/13. From everything I've read on this forum and others, it seems like most of the bugs have been worked out. You're still stuck with the buggy MS-based infotainment system, but the other issues seem to have been solved. You might also consider the XTS and ATS, but then you're right back in the same boat I was (buying the first model year or two of a car).

To me, it really boils down to how good your local Cadillac dealer's service department is and how much you like the car. If you love the car but don't have any experience with the dealer, you might read some online reviews to see what others think. If you have several nearby dealers from which to choose, even better. I think tinman is spot on with his assessment of long-term costs. If you plan to buy the car and keep it for a while, you're probably going to find the CTS less expensive to maintain, fuel and service.

Good luck! Let us know what you ultimately decide.
 

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2011 CTS4 Coupe, Premium edition
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Yep, as a 2011 CTS owner, I'd have to agree, so far, that the car has been pretty reliable. I don't have enough mileage on it to speak, personally, for how it will hold up at, say, the 100K mark -- but I've read enough on these forums since I bought it to get the idea that the 2011, 2012 and 2013 models are quite dependable now.

Also, just as a very general thing, don't take too much stock in Edmunds reports on vehicle issues. It's not that they're flat out wrong, but they don't give a very complete picture sometimes. For example, I also own a 2005 Chrysler Crossfire convertible, and Edmunds claims the early models had a lot of problems with the steering stabilizer, which they claim is an "expensive repair". Well, in *reality*, the steering stabilizer is really just a single shock absorber that bolts up between the steering column and front suspension. It does wear out after something like 40K miles of use, pretty typically, but replacements can be obtained online from multiple sources for as little as $35! If you're willing to get under the car and install one yourself, the job takes only 15 minutes or so to do. Only reason it was declared expensive is because Chrysler decided to make a fortune selling the part for the ridiculous price of over $700, plus quoting a minimum 1 hour of labor to swap one out! A little knowledge goes a LONG way here towards saving your money.....
 

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2012 Black Diamond CTS-V Coupe
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My previous three cars were Acuras (1993 Vigor, 2001 TL & 2006 RL). While I loved each and everyone of those cars, each had some issues.

The Vigor had some electronic issues and the transmission failed at 90K miles.

The TL had chronic issues with warped rotors, and the 5-speed transmissions on the 2000-2003 TLs and the same era Accords and Odysseys were known to self destruct. So much so that Acura/Honda extended the warranties for those cars to 100K miles. The transmission in mine was replaced once not because it failed but because it shifted wierd once and they didn't want to take any chances. It was a safety issue since the transmissions were known to seize, sometimes at high speeds. Even then they weren't sure the problem was fixed and my car went back a couple of times for transmission recall work. I drove that car for over 90K miles and loved it. The transmission issue never impacted me, but the rotor issue was annoying, but as a result they kept replacing the rotors and pads so I benefited from never having to do a brake job on it while I owned it.

The RL had 96K miles on it when I traded her in for the CTS Coupe. It was known to have chronic problems with the touch sensitive (keyless) door handles. They would short out and stop working. I think they ultimately traced it to exposure to high pressure water like in a touchless car wash. The door handles were replaced at least 5 times (on each side for a total of 10) over the life of the car. Fortunately all of them were under factory and extended warranty, but out of warranty a door handle was over $400 for the part alone. It was also recalled for a leaking power steering hose, and also had the EGR valve fail (known issue with a TSB) that called for all the injectors to be replaced. It was a very high tech vehicle and aside from some of these issues it was a very enjoyable car.

My wife has a 2004 Toyota Land Cruiser that we bought new. At 40K miles (4K miles out of warranty) the infotainment screen displayed some cryptic diagnostic error message with the Navigation, HVAC and audio all being inoperable. This was traced to a known issue for that model year Land Cruisers and Lexus LX470s. Fortunately for me I had an extended warranty because the part that failed cost $5,000! I had a few other issues, but those too were early on. We still own this vehicle, it has almost 160K miles on it and it has been rock solid, almost bullet proof with NO repairs aside from regular maintenance over the last 80K miles or so.

My point in all of this is that nothing is trouble free, especially with the technology that is being placed in these cars. Also consider that the cars I just mentioned above are from manufacturers who are considered the benchmark in quality (Honda/Acura and Lexus/Toyota).

Despite the issues I mentioned I would purchase another one of those cars because I enjoyed all of them. My opinion might be different if I wasn't covered under an extended warranty when the repairs occured. I also benefited from truly outstanding service from those Acura and Toyota dealers. That helps.

I've owned my CTS4 Premium Coupe since March. It has just under 6K miles on her and in that time it has used a little over half a quart of oil. Is that better than my previous Acura? Quite honestly I don't know. Those cars too would go between 5K-6K miles between oil changes but I wouldn't often check the oil only because there wasn't a known issue. For all I know they too could have consumed some oil during that time. Because of the documented issues with the CTS I check.

During this time I had one issue with the seatbelt warning light blinking while I was belted (at 3,800 miles). The issue should have been an easy fix, but the dealer was clueless. After a bit of aggravation they replaced the seatbelt buckle and it's been fine since.

I do love my CTS so far.

Hope that helps put things in perspective.
 

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2012 CTS Coupe (formerly)
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Just my 2 cents as well. I agree with all posters above. After being on this forum for about 4 months now, I've noticed that those with problems have been the 2008, 2009, and some 2010 models. While you will still find owners of 2011+ cars to have their issues, I think that if you look at any forum, there will always be something with every vehicle. I also test drove several German cars and while no real complaints, I was always drawn to the CTS coupe, but even the (German car) dealers hinted that they would only lease them because once the warranty runs out, the problems start and they aren't cheap. Even I believe that may be overstated, but it is a good indicator. My limited dealer interaction has been very positive, but I have some specific dealers have issues. So, the other poster's advice on here is very good and I encourage you to peruse this and other forums to research all cars you are interested in.
 

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2014 XTS, 2012 Coupe traded, 2010 CTS 4 Dr traded
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angelbones said:
Just my 2 cents as well. I agree with all posters above. After being on this forum for about 4 months now, I've noticed that those with problems have been the 2008, 2009, and some 2010 models. While you will still find owners of 2011+ cars to have their issues, I think that if you look at any forum, there will always be something with every vehicle. I also test drove several German cars and while no real complaints, I was always drawn to the CTS coupe, but even the (German car) dealers hinted that they would only lease them because once the warranty runs out, the problems start and they aren't cheap. Even I believe that may be overstated, but it is a good indicator. My limited dealer interaction has been very positive, but I have some specific dealers have issues. So, the other poster's advice on here is very good and I encourage you to peruse this and other forums to research all cars you are interested in.
Agree, had a 2010 cts 4dr 3.6 never a problem. Now have 2012 coupe 7000 mi no issues yet. Came from a 2007 Audi A6 and was in the shop every other month and they didn't give loaners.
 

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2009 CTS4
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240 Posts
I'm with you on the RWD, after my 2001 Lincoln LS there was no going back to FWD for me. As nice as the MKS is, it's a heavy FWD car. I'd skip it and hope that Ford/Lincoln gets back in the RWD game in a few years. As for the CTS, I had an '09 that was a nightmare that I ended up trading earlier this month. I do think that later models(2010 and on) are much better in the quality department. Despite the headaches I had with my CTS, I'd consider another one IF I could find a dealer that actually knew how to work on the car and if it had better seats. The car itself was well engineered and drove well and I could have overlooked some of the quality problems if I had a dealer that could have actually fixed them and not simply replaced a different part each visit and then send me on my way with a car that still has the same problem. Or better yet, tell me my condition was "operating normally." Unfortunately, I was on a first name basis with the service advisor and service manager. As for the seats, test drive one and make sure you find them comfortable. The CTS's seats are it's biggest weakness. Thinly padded and poorly bolstered. As for the cars you mentioned, I also considered a 5 series, but the price was not what I was willing to pay. C-class and 3 series are too small. Interesting you mention the Chrysler 300 as a Charger R/T is what replaced my CTS. 2011 and up models are VERY impressive. They are a bit bigger than the CTS, but they carry their heft well. You can definitely feel the german heritage in the car's suspension when driving at highway speeds. Very high quality interior(nappa leather), super comfy seats, and lots of high tech features. Lots of features and bang for the $$. Good luck with your search!
 

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Fearlessfly...Drive all the candidates....factor the $$ with your perception of value.....I purchased a 2012 CTS4 Wagon in April and the car is a jewel...less than 10K but no issues and I am quite impressed with the fit and finish and quality control plus the car drives and handles with the best of the competitors....I have the Recaro seats and although firm they are very supportive and comfortable once you get them dialed in...have fun on your search and let us know what you decide to do!
 
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Fearlessfly, I just wanted to let you know I'm available to research any particular Cadillac vehicle you're considering (for build info, warranty specifics, etc.) Email me anytime at [email protected] if you'd ever like me to investigate your vehicle questions further for you.

Looking forward to your updates,

Katie
Cadillac Customer Service
 

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'13 SRX AWD Premium
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If you check your oil level every 1000 miles you will have no problems with a CTS, or any other vehicle. Every car ever made uses oil, regardless of what some people say or think about their vehicle. I am sure back in the day your car(s) used a quart or more of oil in less than 1000 miles, so a adding a little every 1000 miles to a CTS is no big deal. That said, I can't believe Cadillac just got around to putting an oil level sensor in the '13 CTS knowing a lot of Caddy owners never check their oil level.
 

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'14 CTS-V Long Roof; '10 CTS Long Roof, now serving the Coast Guard; '16 ATS-V Sedan
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If you check your oil level every 1000 miles you will have no problems with a CTS, or any other vehicle. Every car ever made uses oil, regardless of what some people say or think about their vehicle. I am sure back in the day your car(s) used a quart or more of oil, so a adding a little every 1000 miles to a CTS is no big deal. That said, I can't believe Cadillac just got around to putting an oil level sensor in the '13 CTS knowing a lot of Caddy owners never check their oil level.
Because it costs them an extra buck.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If you check your oil level every 1000 miles you will have no problems with a CTS, or any other vehicle. Every car ever made uses oil, regardless of what some people say or think about their vehicle. I am sure back in the day your car(s) used a quart or more of oil in less than 1000 miles, so a adding a little every 1000 miles to a CTS is no big deal. That said, I can't believe Cadillac just got around to putting an oil level sensor in the '13 CTS knowing a lot of Caddy owners never check their oil level.
Thanks, I"m beginning to see that many of the engine problems with previous CTS's may have been due to customer neglect rather than a mechanical problem with the vehicles. I can't believe that many people never check their oil level until an oil change and every enthusiast knows this is basic maintenance. I will continue to monitor this situation because I really like the CTS and think it is a classy, beautiful car. I don't know how the XTS will perform yet even though it is FWD with a 6 Cyl. Thanks for your help!
 

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I have a 2013 Cadillac CTS 4 I can hardly make a turn in it whether I'm going left or right it seem to me like the tires are scrubbing almost like if needs a alignment I just bought the car last week the car has 50,000 miles on it does anybody have any suggestions so what's going on with this car sometimes I feel like joke or a jerk from the back of the car when I accelerate I welcome any suggestions and advise thank you America Johnson my email address. Is America [email protected]
 

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08 CTS DI
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I have a 2013 Cadillac CTS 4 I can hardly make a turn in it whether I'm going left or right it seem to me like the tires are scrubbing almost like if needs a alignment I just bought the car last week the car has 50,000 miles on it does anybody have any suggestions so what's going on with this car sometimes I feel like joke or a jerk from the back of the car when I accelerate I welcome any suggestions and advise thank you America Johnson my email address. Is America [email protected]
Welcome to the forum America, unfortunately from the symptoms you have posted so far, it is apparent that you need to have it inspected right away. Members here could guess all day and I doubt it would be to your benefit as so many different possibilities exist as a potential cause for what you have described. They are few and far between now days, but if there is a Sears auto center close by, I do believe they will inspect it free of charge and give you a repair estimate. An alignment could cause the symptoms you describe, but the car being all wheel drive makes it unreasonable that the previous owner would drive it that way given how simple a solution an alignment is to resolve it. It's likely something more serious is going on. Get it checked and keep us posted. Others will chime in with some advice.
 

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'14 CTS-V Long Roof; '10 CTS Long Roof, now serving the Coast Guard; '16 ATS-V Sedan
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Does Walmart give free estimates? I agree with Joseph, America. Get it inspected.
 

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2011 CTS Coupe Premium
Orlando - We take orphans
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Bought my '11 coupe with 50k and now has 60k. Biggest issue I didn't create was a water pump that took less than an hour to swap. Still have a Reatta, couple of SLKs, and a Grand Cherokee. None have had anything I'd consider major. Have had a couple with 120-130k miles. No issues. Am somewhat fanatical about maintenance. Only complaint is mpg but can afford.
 
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