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Discussion Starter #1
Most here own, have owned, or know someone who own Cadillacs. I am curious as to how they are perceived by the general public, and by the owners. Are there any areas of trouble on these cars that seem to require more maintenance or repair? What requires more attention on these cars compared to others you might have owned? How is the overall satisfaction rate of your ownership?

What would you say are the advantages of owning a prestige automobile such as a Cadillac? What are your personal thoughts on how the brand fares against the likes of Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, and of course, Lincoln? Do you feel confident that the future of Cadillac will be prosperous? How do you think the brand should be perceived by the public, for example, sporty (V series) or more toward luxury? Just curious.
 

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Well.... Most people view the small FWD cadillacs as "troublesome"... I was talking to my friend about a new car (when he was in the market) and I said "why dont you get a used cadillac"... He said, "those are about the most trouble some cars you can get, right"....

However, that isnt the case... My grandparents have owned cadillacs since the 60s and have only had a handful of problems, and only a few that have left them stranded.... Their most troublesome was their 98 catera, that was always in the shop......

I think most people view cadillac as a top notch (but troublesome), expensive, and classy car, but however most associate them with old people so thats not so good with the younger crowd... This si changing with the CTS, SRX and XLR....

To be quite honest, I think comparing a cadillac to a BMW is like apples and oranges... They are made with different things in mind for different segment of age groups and peopel......
 

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Discussion Starter #3
elwesso said:
Well.... Most people view the small FWD cadillacs as "troublesome"... I was talking to my friend about a new car (when he was in the market) and I said "why dont you get a used cadillac"... He said, "those are about the most trouble some cars you can get, right"....

However, that isnt the case... My grandparents have owned cadillacs since the 60s and have only had a handful of problems, and only a few that have left them stranded.... Their most troublesome was their 98 catera, that was always in the shop......

I think most people view cadillac as a top notch (but troublesome), expensive, and classy car, but however most associate them with old people so thats not so good with the younger crowd... This si changing with the CTS, SRX and XLR....

To be quite honest, I think comparing a cadillac to a BMW is like apples and oranges... They are made with different things in mind for different segment of age groups and peopel......
I agree. There is an oldtimer who lives in my building, and he has a 1992 Grand Marquis. He gave me crap for selling my 1991 Grand M. and getting this Caddy! His reason was "cars like Cadillacs and Lincolns are too expensive to fix and too hard to sell." He said he had a Lincoln and it was next to impossible to sell. I assumed it was because it is believed there are more problems with these cars in the long run. Your Grandparents have had good luck just as my stepdad has. My stepdad has had such good luck with his cars, that I honestly cannot really think of anything he has had to get fixed! Some people seem to have all the luck with things! The strange thing is, just as soon as I sell my Grand to him, it starts breaking down! LOL! That Mercury was ok, but it just nickel and dimed me to death, and I took care of it along with any new part it needed, or thought it needed. I have had cars from the big 3 only, and I have had the best luck with GM I believe.

A few years ago I was at the Jaguar dealership looking over the new line, and there was this GM dealer mechanic looking also. I got to talking with him about Cadillacs because he said he worked on a lot of them, anyway he told me that he considered Cadillac to be GM's "experimental" division. I clearly remember him saying he would never have one because they are always putting new, unproven technology into them and they are trouble! He mentioned a bearing problem. (4.9?) Anyway, I think every company has a lemon once in a while, but I just don't like how it seems Cadillacs just don't get the respect they deserve! Mine has been great, and I trust it 100 percent for reliability. Many others have said the same on this Forum, and it's good to know that I may get 150,000 miles of trouble-free driving.
 

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Good post ralph and good points.....

You look at ANY car company and each one has one MAJOR flaw, or thing that costs a lot to fix and could inevitably happen.... NAME ONE COMPANY THAT DOESNT HAVE IT!

IMO its overexaggerated... However, wha frustrates people about cadillac (and other high line techno gadget infested car) is these cars will nickel and dime you to death, but an expierience like none other when running right!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
elwesso said:
Good post ralph and good points.....

You look at ANY car company and each one has one MAJOR flaw, or thing that costs a lot to fix and could inevitably happen.... NAME ONE COMPANY THAT DOESNT HAVE IT!

IMO its overexaggerated... However, wha frustrates people about cadillac (and other high line techno gadget infested car) is these cars will nickel and dime you to death, but an expierience like none other when running right!
Absolutely! It is a great feeling when your car is running good and everything is "in order." It is strange that the Grand M I had is still rated as a used "best buy" whereas the Buick Roadmaster was not as well credited. (Consumer Reports, Edmunds, etc) I think if I could choose again, I would take the Roadmaster because I think GM builds better cars IMO. That opinion comes from experience with all of the Big 3.

Part of the problem is I can't recall the last time I heard about "recalls" on the news about Japanese cars, etc. I know there must be problems, but they are like ghosts.

I don't think too many can approach the styling on the new Cadillacs right now, with the possible exception of Acura, and Infinity! I actually saw a new M45 (?) it wasn't the "Q" I don't think because they are more rounded compared to the M45. Since square styling seems to be making a comeback, I would take the M if I had to pick an Infinity.

Wes, I am curious, what does your dad drive? You haven't mentioned another Caddy in your stable, so I would guess a Benz or BMW, or possibly a newer Infinity?
 

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I've had odd experiences with mine. But I usually modify the crap out of them so that probablly dosn't help either. I think we can all agree the RWD 4.1's are throw away cars in a sence. Between the motor and the body filler piece going south once they reach a certin age. The LT1 Fleetwoods are good cars. I put 100K miles on mine befor I started having any real problems. And by then the car was cranking out 500hp at the wheel so I wasn't overly suprised.

I will agree with the experimental car statment. If you look at the Cadillac liniage They are the first GM cars to recive the new bells and whistles in production. Although I think technology has advanced itself enough to were they can work out most of the bugs befor they reach the showroom. In the past it was more of a hit or miss senario and GM took a couple of shoots to the kidney because of it. Also, back when the import market took over American manufacturers were still building cars for Americans. As a country we weren't ready for fuel conservation, German over enginering and crowded streets. The Import markets had built their cars like this for decades befor. So when the time came for the culture shock they were ahead of the game. We grabed little bits and pieces and ran with them. Only with in the last 10 years or so have they actually been refined enough to hold up to the compotetion.

As a prestige item, I think that has a lot to do with POP culture. And in this day and age that's what defines a lot of the market. Heratige plays a part in it too and that has some impact in the sceme of pop culture but it becomes relavent on a generational basis. I think Older buyers look to the car for what it was and younger buyers go for it because it's cool now. For myself, I think it was born into me in some small way that eventually snowballed into an obssesion.

As far as were the company will go in the future... Going back to that whole pop culture thing and it's current line up. They've broadened themselves to attract buyers that would typically turn to BMW or Mercedes for a sport sedan. They've jumped on the high end SUV craze and have still kept their roots with the traditional luxury sedan, so I think they're in a good place to keep themselves in a strong market for a while. Personally, I'd like to see a little return to their roots with a little bit more of a plush Sedan or an Eldo that fits more of the personal limo idea they had in the past. Weather that will fly among the masses? Probablly not but I like it.
 

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The problem with Cadillac in particular...

...and GM in general is that GM has a reputation for rushing the production of cars to get them to the market without fully testing them. GM seems satisfied to let the buying public do a great deal of the R&D for them. The net result is that many times the cars have problems that are not fixed until the 3rd or 4th production cycle. By then, however, the model's reputaiton may be shot to hell and GM has turned off potential new buyers.

One example that comes to mind is the Cimarron. I bought my wife a 1982 (technically a 1981) Cimarron. She liked the car, so I got it for her. The car had a lot of nice features but its biggest drawback, the undepowered, carburated 4-banger engine, was a major negative point. The car press totally buried the car in negative reviews.

Subsequent Cimarrons, however, were actually nice little cars. For example, the fit and finish in my 1981-82 Cimarron was far superior to the fit and finish in my 1985 SDV. But by the time that the 3rd and 4th production cycles got to the market, buyers had already made up their minds NOT to buy the Cimarron. Cimarron became the little car that COULD NOT.

I think that Cadillac, and maybe GM too, are learning new lessons. From what I have read, the CTS received the benefit of some of the most advanced R&D in GM history. The fact that they tested the suspension components in the same track where BMW and MB test their cars is a good sign.

I think that in another 10 years time, if this trend continues, GM products, including Cadillacs, will have a much better public image....:coolgleam
 

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Ralph said:
Absolutely! It is a great feeling when your car is running good and everything is "in order." It is strange that the Grand M I had is still rated as a used "best buy" whereas the Buick Roadmaster was not as well credited. (Consumer Reports, Edmunds, etc) I think if I could choose again, I would take the Roadmaster because I think GM builds better cars IMO. That opinion comes from experience with all of the Big 3.

Part of the problem is I can't recall the last time I heard about "recalls" on the news about Japanese cars, etc. I know there must be problems, but they are like ghosts.

I don't think too many can approach the styling on the new Cadillacs right now, with the possible exception of Acura, and Infinity! I actually saw a new M45 (?) it wasn't the "Q" I don't think because they are more rounded compared to the M45. Since square styling seems to be making a comeback, I would take the M if I had to pick an Infinity.

Wes, I am curious, what does your dad drive? You haven't mentioned another Caddy in your stable, so I would guess a Benz or BMW, or possibly a newer Infinity?
Ralph..... My dad is weird, he doesnt go for "nice" cars.... He normally drives our GTP, but his "baby" is his brand new suburban... he's a bigtime hunter!
 

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Did anyone ever notice that when someone talks about the best of any particular item that they call it "The Cadillac of this or that"? Now that's status. I doubt the time will come when someone will say "That vacuum cleaner is the Acura of vacuum cleaners" or "This razor is the Lexus of electric razors".
 

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Good point.... I never thought about it like that.....

I think more people think of cadillacs they think of the older ones, with FINS!!!
 

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El Dobro said:
Did anyone ever notice that when someone talks about the best of any particular item that they call it "The Cadillac of this or that"? Now that's status. I doubt the time will come when someone will say "That vacuum cleaner is the Acura of vacuum cleaners" or "This razor is the Lexus of electric razors".
I think the main reason people still refer to things as the 'Cadillac of this' is because of their reputation from the bygone steel-car era. The caddies of yore, from the 30's to the 60's WERE the top of the line, beautiful cars of the time. Just thinking about the technical achievements that the cars had back then, plus the ride, the styling.. they were the pinnacle of the American auto.

That no longer really holds true, as imports have really exceeded in perceived quality.

Now, of course we, as Cadillac enthusiasts, see things with rose-coloured glasses.

I have always thought that Cadillacs were just as good as other cars on the market. I was raised to appreciate all things domestic (my step-father is pro-American made and pro-union...) and I see Cadillac as the best that domestic gets.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Scrapyard and 1ToyCad, I hear what yer sayin' about the experimental division thing. I'll assume Cadillac offers and stuffs their vehicles with such toys to stay ahead of the competition like Lincoln and Lexus, etc. As far as I know, nightvision is not offered by any other vehicle on the planet except U.S. military.

I have noticed something and I don't like it! That is, most of the options on my 1991 Caddy are not so exclusive anymore! For example, even the cheapest Chev, or Buick have auto climate control, power windows, locks. I wonder if Cad was the first to offer Navagation systems? If so, it wouldn't suprise me. I'll also bet that many other competing manufacturers of luxury cars have adopted or "stolen" Cadillac's ideas to some degree?

I remember when the Japanes started making the large, V8 luxury cars, and I am sure that is when Cad and Lincoln must have been VERY concerned because they had the market cornered at that point! I remember a few years ago when Toyota announced they would make a full-sized V8 pick-up truck, and wondered how GM, Ford and Dodge would retaliate. I guess currently the Ram is now behind the new Ford and GM trucks, when just a year ago or so they were number 1 for trucks! It's a never-ending battle IMO to constantly offer better and new options, while at the same time, a degree of quality to match them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ralph said:
Scrapyard and 1ToyCad, I hear what yer sayin' about the experimental division thing. I'll assume Cadillac offers and stuffs their vehicles with such toys to stay ahead of the competition like Lincoln and Lexus, etc. As far as I know, nightvision is not offered by any other vehicle on the planet except U.S. military.

I have noticed something and I don't like it! That is, most of the options on my 1991 Caddy are not so exclusive anymore! For example, even the cheapest Chev, or Buick have auto climate control, power windows, locks. I wonder if Cad was the first to offer Navagation systems? If so, it wouldn't suprise me. I'll also bet that many other competing manufacturers of luxury cars have adopted or "stolen" Cadillac's ideas to some degree?

I remember when the Japanese started making the large, V8 luxury cars, and I am sure that is when Cad and Lincoln must have been VERY concerned because they had the market cornered at that point! I remember a few years ago when Toyota announced they would make a full-sized V8 pick-up truck, and wondered how GM, Ford and Dodge would retaliate. I guess currently the Ram is now behind the new Ford and GM trucks, when just a year ago or so they were number 1 for trucks! It's a never-ending battle IMO to constantly offer better and new options, while at the same time, a degree of quality to match them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
banstyle said:
I think the main reason people still refer to things as the 'Cadillac of this' is because of their reputation from the bygone steel-car era. The caddies of yore, from the 30's to the 60's WERE the top of the line, beautiful cars of the time. Just thinking about the technical achievements that the cars had back then, plus the ride, the styling.. they were the pinnacle of the American auto.

That no longer really holds true, as imports have really exceeded in perceived quality.

Now, of course we, as Cadillac enthusiasts, see things with rose-coloured glasses.

I have always thought that Cadillacs were just as good as other cars on the market. I was raised to appreciate all things domestic (my step-father is pro-American made and pro-union...) and I see Cadillac as the best that domestic gets.
Absolutely!! Re: perceived quality, imports may have excelled in this "perception" but I would add that I think if Honda and Toyota still ONLY built the little quality econoboxes, that Cadillac would still be at the top of the heap. Lexus IMO, is a Toyota with leather in disguise, and the simple fact that they now make a large V8, leather-clad luxury car, is the reason they are on top, is not enough reason for me. No other car manufacturer can say they have been making luxury cars for over 100 years, not even Lexus. To me, Lexus makes good cars, but in my mind, they are so new at it, and everyone just jumped on these cars because of the "feeling" of quality. Now I must stop because my thoughts are wandering and I fear I may not be able to explain clearly. :cookoo:

Anyway, my stepdad is the same as your stepdad, pro-American cars!! I'm sure he can perceive that Hondas "might" build good cars, but he will laugh every time he happens to see one! He admitted one time that "I'm sure Honda builds good lawn mowers." But that is the extent of it. :D
 

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Ralph writes:

"No other car manufacturer can say they have been making luxury cars for over 100 years, not even Lexus. To me, Lexus makes good cars, but in my mind, they are so new at it, and everyone just jumped on these cars because of the "feeling" of quality. Now I must stop because my thoughts are wandering and I fear I may not be able to explain clearly."

Ralph, I agree with most of what you wrote except for a couple of points. Oriignally, Cadillac did not set out to make luxury cars. Cadillac was first known for making well-built, precision engineered cars. those cars eventually eveolved inot expensive, high-end, luxury cars. Second. Benz (which also started out as Cadillac, making precision, well-built cars) has been making cars longer than Cadillac. Benz has the claim as the longest-lived luxury car brand in the world.

Having said that, I agree with you 100% ont he issue of Lexus. Lexus is the new kid in town and until they can prove their worth, through sheer longevity, they will remain nothing but a tarted-up Toyota. Incidentally, Lexus is now having some of the same problems than GM has been having with brand-confusion. A top of the line toyota SUV, fully optioned, rides as well, is finished as well and has the same over-all quality feel than the top of the line Lexus SUV. Only difference between the two? Several thousands dollars:bonkers:

So, unless you need to have the Lexus plate attached to your vehicle, the smart shopper would (should) opt for the Toyota SUV and take the money saved and spend it on a vacation.

On the Mercedes board that I "visit" people are having the same kind of Benz vs. Lexus debate. The general consensus there is (like you Ralph) that Lexus is a nice car, but they have not been around long enough to prove their worth, over the long run.

My father likes to buy Cadillacs. He has been owning Cadillacs for a long time. My godfather also owned Cadillac. One of my fondest childhood memories was of my godfather coming to visit us driving what must have been one of the last Cadillacs imported to Cuba :) , before Castro went commie :mad: and the embargo set in :mad:

I like Cadillac, I like Benz--I consider myself fortunate to have been able to own both brands.:bouncy:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
1toycad said:
Ralph writes:

"No other car manufacturer can say they have been making luxury cars for over 100 years, not even Lexus. To me, Lexus makes good cars, but in my mind, they are so new at it, and everyone just jumped on these cars because of the "feeling" of quality. Now I must stop because my thoughts are wandering and I fear I may not be able to explain clearly."

Ralph, I agree with most of what you wrote except for a couple of points. Oriignally, Cadillac did not set out to make luxury cars. Cadillac was first known for making well-built, precision engineered cars. those cars eventually eveolved inot expensive, high-end, luxury cars. Second. Benz (which also started out as Cadillac, making precision, well-built cars) has been making cars longer than Cadillac. Benz has the claim as the longest-lived luxury car brand in the world.

Having said that, I agree with you 100% ont he issue of Lexus. Lexus is the new kid in town and until they can prove their worth, through sheer longevity, they will remain nothing but a tarted-up Toyota. Incidentally, Lexus is now having some of the same problems than GM has been having with brand-confusion. A top of the line toyota SUV, fully optioned, rides as well, is finished as well and has the same over-all quality feel than the top of the line Lexus SUV. Only difference between the two? Several thousands dollars:bonkers:

So, unless you need to have the Lexus plate attached to your vehicle, the smart shopper would (should) opt for the Toyota SUV and take the money saved and spend it on a vacation.

On the Mercedes board that I "visit" people are having the same kind of Benz vs. Lexus debate. The general consensus there is (like you Ralph) that Lexus is a nice car, but they have not been around long enough to prove their worth, over the long run.

My father likes to buy Cadillacs. He has been owning Cadillacs for a long time. My godfather also owned Cadillac. One of my fondest childhood memories was of my godfather coming to visit us driving what must have been one of the last Cadillacs imported to Cuba :) , before Castro went commie :mad: and the embargo set in :mad:

I like Cadillac, I like Benz--I consider myself fortunate to have been able to own both brands.:bouncy:
Right, I realize there weren't really "luxury cars" around in 1902 because there were only a few manufacturers around back then. I did not know that Benz was around that long. It would be interesting to hang around the Benz Forum to see what they think of Cadillac and Lincoln because other than the new styling of the E class, they cannot touch the sportiness of Deville, or the class of a new Town Car.
 

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Cadillac is in a very strong position right now. The product line is filled with bold exciting products that compete well with any luxury brand. The truth about quality these days is that quality is virtually a non-issue when comparing brands. The latest J.D. Power quality report for 3 year old models (the best data on new car reliability) shows that almost all car brands have very few problems. The differences between car makes in the top 10 are so slim, it should not sway any purchase decisions. Unfortunately, reputation and the misunderstanding of the statistics often sways the uninformed.

It is true that Toyota, and later Lexus were dominant forces in the pursuit of high quality. The reality today is that most car companies are in the same ballgame now. If you want to split hairs and count the problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is still at the top, but Porche is 2nd and Buick is 3rd. Cadillac places right up near the top too; 7th, I believe, and is about equal to Toyota.

All the companies in the top 25 or so have great reliability. A few of the Korean brands and VW round out the bottom of the list, but cars like VW have excellent PERCEIVED quality (fit and finish), and owners love them.

If older Cadillacs are your thing, they were all, for the most part some of the best assembled and finished cars of their time, with few exceptions. Those few exceptions, diesels, V864s, 4.1Ls, have been out of the market for a while, but if you have any one of them now they can all be affordably upgraded to be completely reliable.

What makes Cadillacs wonderful today, and always has, is their uniqueness among the luxury brands. They are bold American luxury cars. Why settle for less?
 

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Ralph said:
I have noticed something and I don't like it! That is, most of the options on my 1991 Caddy are not so exclusive anymore! For example, even the cheapest Chev, or Buick have auto climate control, power windows, locks. I wonder if Cad was the first to offer Navagation systems? If so, it wouldn't suprise me. I'll also bet that many other competing manufacturers of luxury cars have adopted or "stolen" Cadillac's ideas to some degree?
Well, Cadillac was the first American company with Cruise control, auto diming headlights and I think A/C, but don't quote me on that. Hell my 59 had all that. I think The Buick Reatta was the first to offer a Nav feature. Ya'll remembre that one? The little 2 seater job with the parallel 4 cylinder. I know it did have touch screen control. I thought that was kind of neat. But once upon a time Cadillac was the industry leader for all the cool gadgets.
 

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4 cylinder?! Nav system?!

My reatta had a 3800 V6 and a plain old touch panel display(very cool for the time though). I don't understand why that car never went over well, it had a nice design and was fairly fast. Maybe people had a hard time associating Buick with a 2 door sports car. I ended up selling it because parts are so hard to find for it. Yes, I'm kicking myself now.
 
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