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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to buy a vehicle for working on the road in much the same way a salesman would but I'm actually going to be political work which equals lots of driving. I'm a bigger guy and wanted something comfortable and the Cadillacs seem to be a logical option. But I also happen to be a subscriber to Consumer Reports magazine and they list the 2000-03 Devilles as something to avoid. I'm curious what you folks have to say about that rating? I've heard rumors of common transmission problems. And actually the one vehicle I'm leaning towards which is a 2000 with 111,000 miles has already had the transmission replaced about 4,000 miles ago. Thoughts?!?!
 

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02' Deville (H.G. club-sold) 02 DTS black on black
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62 Posts
Re: Consumer Reports Says Avoid 200-2003 DeVille?

i like the look and feel of these caddys but my 02 deville head gasket blew at 50k miles. I wouldn't buy one without a warranty knowing what i know now. In hindsight i should of bought a v8 Lincoln LS i looked at, i was more money but would have been cheaper after my repair bills. You could buy a deville that already had the hg and trans replaced, it should last awhile.
 

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77 CDV, 06 DTS III, 69 FWB
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10,022 Posts
Re: Consumer Reports Says Avoid 200-2003 DeVille?

My major quarrel with Consumer Distorts is that if it isn't a Honda or Toyota, they bash it or damn it with faint praise. Check the maintanence history of the car thoroughly and have it inspected by a mechanic you know and trust. If all checks out, buy and enjoy, knowing that any car with 100K+ miles is going to have issues. Good luck.

Craig
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Re: Consumer Reports Says Avoid 200-2003 DeVille?

Quite happy with my '03, but it is relatively young, mileage wise.
 

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2009 CTS AWD DI 2014 AWD CTS DI
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639 Posts
Re: Consumer Reports Says Avoid 200-2003 DeVille?

I have generally found Consumer Reports reliable. Remember that auto rating with all its colored dots for various problems is just a compliation of responses sent in by owners not something that they pull out of the air. I have found it pretty accurate over the years.
I have owned my 2002 DHS since new and it now has 104,000 miles. Some of that ownership has been frustrating like heated seats that quit, stability system warnings that no one knows how to shut off, rear window screen that fails to operate etc. Much of the mileage has been long distance easy stuff. I have had issues with the brakes, a new water pump and new crank sensors so all in all I consider myself lucky....so far. I would like to get to 150K if possible but the missus is getting frustrated with all these little things so who knows? I would have purchased new but frankly I prefer my 2002 styling to the new ones and hate to spend that kind of money and be disapointed in the looks. Cadillac actually was pulling out of its quality slump for a while with good ratings from Consumers Reports but slipped back into the twilight zone with their repair record. At one time the Japanese could not build a good transmission to save themselves but the transmission shops now tell me they see more GM transmissions than any others and few Japanese. I am afraid that GM is so much on the edge financially they can't afford to raise the quality to a competetive level.
 

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Nitrous03DHS,AJtune,Corsa,Volant,3.71s,Grille,tinted,stall'd
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305 Posts
Re: Consumer Reports Says Avoid 200-2003 DeVille?

Well I've had a few problems with my 03 DHS, they are known for leaky water pumps, the window regulators are known for letting loose, the stabilitrak message comes on and sets a code once in a blue moon there is no fix, and the elements in the seats are known for failing.

That being said, I consider these minor problems, I haven't had any of the major problems I've heard others complain about. I atribute this to regular service maintanace, especially the coolant system. Yes they are not cheap to maintain but it is way better than the alternative.

Now if you can get a certified Cady, belive me it will pay for itself many times over because even the minor problems can get expensive. All cars have their weekpoints but all in all I truly love mine, it has been one of the best cars I've ever owned and I've owned 14. But get a certified one if you at all can, seriously.
 

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'87 SDV
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1,296 Posts
Re: Consumer Reports Says Avoid 200-2003 DeVille?

Consumer Reports is exactly what 77CDV said, a shill for the foreign manufacturers. Think about it. Have you ever in your life filled out anything on any product for CR? Or have you ever in your life filled out anything that said, "Gee, my car (vacuum cleaner, toaster, etc) runs great and trouble free!" It's a statistical shell game. CR also said (back in the 90s) that Jeep Cherokees were one of the most unreliable vehicles to buy used. I owned three of them, driving close to half a million miles, and never had a major problem.

Having said that, just remember that a Cadillac is a luxury car, and there's no such thing as cheap luxury. Buy certified or get an extended warranty, or spend the extra few bucks to lease a new one.
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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11,694 Posts
Re: Consumer Reports Says Avoid 200-2003 DeVille?

Consumer Reports is just plain poorly run and incompetent, they dont know what they are doing half the time and their reviews are sub-par.

That being said, transmissions are not really the issue on these cars so much as the headgaskets. You need to make sure on any Northstar powered car that you look at that you can GET A FULL MAINTENANCE history, especially of when the coolant was changed. On a 2000 its nearly due for its *second* coolant change by now. If this hasnt been done, you will probably see headgasket problems and a headgasket repair will run over 2500.00.

Otherwise its a luxury car as mentioned above, and you need to be prepared for the maintenance that comes with such a complex vehicle.
 

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81 Eldorado, 91 Sedan DeVille, 91, Fleewtwood, 92 Brougham
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203 Posts
Re: Consumer Reports Says Avoid 200-2003 DeVille?

My advice...if it says "Northstar" make sure you have a warranty or a few extra grand in your pocket at all times. If you can't afford one of those options, but want a Cadillac, step back a few years and buy a low mileage 91-95 with a 4.9 in it. You'll spend way less and have a damn nice car. I've had both and won't be buying another "Northstar" any time soon.
 

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1996 Deville (sold), 2000 Mustang GT
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1,300 Posts
Re: Consumer Reports Says Avoid 200-2003 DeVille?

If you want a big comfy car I suggest a Buick Park Avenue. They have, in my opinion, the best motor gm makes, the 3.8L V6 supercharged. The northstar in the caddy is prone to headgasket failure 3000-4000 dollars to fix. Also the parts for a caddy are usually much more expensive than the average car. The Buick is just as big, rides just as nice, and doesn't have a V8 which should save on you gas and on insurance. The buick should cost less than the caddy which means you may be able to get a newer, lower mileage car for the same price as the caddy.
 

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'03 Deville
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Re: Consumer Reports Says Avoid 200-2003 DeVille?

you're right they dont get it out of the ait they get it ouf of their asses. those dots and circles mean nothing. they go with whomever is offering them the most for their vote.
I have generally found Consumer Reports reliable. Remember that auto rating with all its colored dots for various problems is just a compliation of responses sent in by owners not something that they pull out of the air. I have found it pretty accurate over the years.
I have owned my 2002 DHS since new and it now has 104,000 miles. Some of that ownership has been frustrating like heated seats that quit, stability system warnings that no one knows how to shut off, rear window screen that fails to operate etc. Much of the mileage has been long distance easy stuff. I have had issues with the brakes, a new water pump and new crank sensors so all in all I consider myself lucky....so far. I would like to get to 150K if possible but the missus is getting frustrated with all these little things so who knows? I would have purchased new but frankly I prefer my 2002 styling to the new ones and hate to spend that kind of money and be disapointed in the looks. Cadillac actually was pulling out of its quality slump for a while with good ratings from Consumers Reports but slipped back into the twilight zone with their repair record. At one time the Japanese could not build a good transmission to save themselves but the transmission shops now tell me they see more GM transmissions than any others and few Japanese. I am afraid that GM is so much on the edge financially they can't afford to raise the quality to a competetive level.
 

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2011 DTS Luxury III
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210 Posts
Re: Consumer Reports Says Avoid 200-2003 DeVille?

I am driving an 03' DTS that I bought about 4 months ago, I was worried about the same things you are with all the bashing you see on the internet about it. Now I couldnt be happier with the car. Only speaking for the 2003 I can say I am glad I didnt go with anything else. The second I got it I had the oil changed and the coolant flushed... took it out on the road and opened it up hard for a while to make sure it was running well. Before I bought it I ran the GMVIS to look at the warranty that was done on it and noticed that the prone to go problems had already been taken care of such as the engine mounts, heated seat coil. I've been driving the car with absolutely no issues and will definately buy another caddilac. Make sure and run the codes on the car (there is a sticky at the top of the forum) and take it out and test it hard, have the GMVIS run by someone to take a look at it see what has been done to the car already (get me a VIN I will see if I can run it)

As was stated the car is getting up there in mileage so some things should be expected. Theres problems with every car out there, everyone just likes to bash North American cars the most.
 

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02 DeVille Base
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86 Posts
Re: Consumer Reports Says Avoid 200-2003 DeVille?

Own a 02 since 03. Love the car even tho it's had a few problems. I recently gave a co-worker a ride in my DeVille. They were very impressed with the ride and quality. I offered them the same bit of advice as to look for a 04 or newer model with warranty. This car easily clocks in 27mpg on trips at 70mph cruise.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Re: Consumer Reports Says Avoid 200-2003 DeVille?

I have 83K on my '03 DHS and have had relatively few problems with it. I'm very happy with it over all.
 

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Alexandra - 96 SDV Clyde - 15 Silvy
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Re: Consumer Reports Says Avoid 200-2003 DeVille?

<soapbox>

In the spirit of resurrecting an old thread, I second the general opinion

Damn Consumer Distorts. They don't know their butt from a hole in the ground, nor could they find their butt with both hands.

If you REALLY want good advice, ask on sites like these (keeping in mind several people come to complain or ask for help), or look at actual consumer reviews on edmunds, kbb, etc. These are reviews from people who actually OWN the cars, live with them in daily life, and have to deal with the problems. Some lopsided consumer's union and their bs research will never be able to provide that to you.

Case in point, my brother has an 03, he has rear ended a Subaru and got rear ended by a horse trailer. That car is a trooper, still trucks on to this day. Granted he needed the trunklid and trunk floor repaired, as well as a new radiator, condenser, and radiator core support, but the car has otherwise stood up very well to the abuse of a careless teenager. It has about 90k miles on it now, I believe.

Or like with my 96. I've hit a light pole, reflector pole, and gone through a fence, hitting 4 fence posts in the process. Yeah, I've had to replace a couple grilles, a hood, a headlight, the fiberglass bumper, the radiator, the left front fender, and both left front doors, but those are all self inflicted. Wear items include the brake pads and rotors, struts at about 90k miles, and I just replaced the CV half shafts, but those would be considered self inflicted since I damaged them while replacing the struts. Overall wear items have been few and far between. I will tell you that the 96 DeVilles are TANKS, and when well cared for are incredibly reliable and dependable as the sunrise.

Now if all that was conducted at a shop (the hood and radiator were done by a shop in one visit), I believe Consumer Distorts would count those as days in the shop, and as such those events would count against the overall reliability.

Or like with the Northstar. There are a few horror stories, but those are from people who have had issues. How many Northstars roam the roads of the U.S. sans issue? You never hear from the "OMG I LOVE MY CAR" people.

Bottom line, do your homework, and take every "Professional car reviewer" review with a trainload of salt. You never know where their loyalties lie. The people who buy the cars for long term daily use are the true indicator of how a car performs.

</soapbox>
 

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98 DeVille, 97 DeVille d'Elegance
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Damn Ricky err I mean Luke you bored today and broke out the soapbox? Before your time Luke but Ricky Rudd drove the Tide car... Get it.. LOL
 

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1992 Cadillac Allante, 1993 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
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I wish my 03 Seville STS had been one of the good ones. That car was the devil himself...perhaps I shouldn't have bought a black one, but man it was a sexy car. It was a dream to look at but a nightmare to own...I finally got rid of it at 83k miles. I now have the 93 Deville and 92 Allante. They aren't as fast, luxurious or even as sleek looking...but they absolutely flat out put that Seville to shame in quality and reliability...even at 22/23 years old.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Re: Consumer Reports Says Avoid 200-2003 DeVille?

............ and my 2002 F55 STS is the flip side of your 2003. No problems, and it gets the dog snot run out of it - it's a garage queen now, but when it runs it RUNS.

Just like every car from every manufacturer - you have your pearls and you have your lemons. Lady Luck plays the car game regularly.
 

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04 DTS, 02 DTS
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I was lucky enough to get a 04 DTS with 110k miles , everything works. I looked at every car in my area that was available , and I test drove a few really really bad ones.
I bought from the original owner and it wasnt perfect, but everything that needed attention has been done. Front struts and valve cover gaskets , and a desperately needed service. Only option I wish I had a night vision. But overall ? I prefer to drive this car over my 2015 Taurus SHO.
 
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