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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a 2014+ CTS, and I already know it will be a 3.6 AWD. I am educating myself on the models, and the main concerns I have are:

1. Should I avoid the 2016+ due to the 8 speed trans issues? Does the 6L45 have any major issues?

2. Does any years have less or more CUE issues? I test drove a 2016 and the touchscreen was very laggy & froze up multiple times.

I really cant afford to buy an expensive headache, but I REALLY like the 2014+, especially the Performance package. Any advice is much appreciated :)
 

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2015 CTS Performance
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I have a 2015 Performance. I would love to have adaptive cruise and self-braking which are the only two options not in that package but you take what you can get on the used market. The 3.6 has a terrible timing chain history but that's been fixed by 2014. Mine has the Aisin transmission which I'm very happy about. Sorry to say but I trust that maker more than GM. The CUE touch screen will break. If it's already been replaced by the dealer, it will break again. It's a part defect GM has let us deal with. If you are handy, you can replace the screen yourself for $150 with one the supplier says doesn't have the design problem (gel). My CUE is laggy and slow to boot. The video capability has limitations but it does work. I like the programming better than newer models that waste screen space with the time & temperature bar that never goes away. Other than the slow response, I like CUE even though it consistently gets poor reviews. But I'm techy so don't find it "confusing."

I'd put a lot of weight on the maintenance of a used CTS. The timing chain problem was in part due to lack of oil maintenance. In general, my impression is that American cars have lower tolerance for poor maintenance.
 

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2014 CTS Premium
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41 Posts
I am looking for a 2014+ CTS, and I already know it will be a 3.6 AWD. I am educating myself on the models, and the main concerns I have are:

1. Should I avoid the 2016+ due to the 8 speed trans issues? Does the 6L45 have any major issues?

2. Does any years have less or more CUE issues? I test drove a 2016 and the touchscreen was very laggy & froze up multiple times.

I really cant afford to buy an expensive headache, but I REALLY like the 2014+, especially the Performance package. Any advice is much appreciated :)
I own a 2014 CTS Premium 3.6, it has all of the bells and whistles except for folding mirrors. I have had 0 issues with mine including the cue screen which has never cracked or broken. Perhaps I do not live in hot enough climates to cause that issue. I love the car and wouldn’t part with it. I am big on Maintenance which I do myself since it’s obviously off warranty. I have changed all of the power train fluids and I do regular oil changes every 4000km. This may be why my last car was stilling running at over 350,000kms. Gotta look after things and they wont let you down…..we’ll most of the time. Cheers!
 

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2014 Cadillac CTS-4 Performance
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I own a 2014 CTS-4 Performance model. It is AWD. It is also a 2.0t engine.

In looking things over before I made the purchase, I also was leaning toward the 3.6l and away from the 2.0t, but after looking into it more, I decided the 2.0t was a better engine combination than the 3.6l.

First off you will end up with the less problematic 6-speed with the 2.0t. Second the engine has far less issues long-term (and I keep all my cars long-term). Lastly there are tuning and performance options available for the 2.0t (I have only done a K&N drop in filter, a tune and a bigger turbo, the rest is stock) that allow for a nice bump in power without risking durability or longevity. With the extra power I have now it is more powerful and better overall than the 3.6l is in comparison. I also still retain the fuel efficiency of the 2.0 compared to the 3.6.

My car at 3x,xxx miles on it when I bought it in 2019. At the time the CUE screen was just replaced as the original one cracked as it has for most everyone else. I have no issues with CUE myself, it seems responsive enough, hasn't ever locked up on me, is easy to use once you use it a few times to find things (like the car configuration menu) and in general just functions.

Upon taking ownership I noticed a small number of cosmetic defects and a major mechanical one (I heard whirring noises that would indicate a differential problem, which I thought was the rear diff, but upon inspection they stated the front differential was bad and replaced it) that were all taken care of under B2B CPO warranty.

At this point I have done all the tune-up stuff (plugs, belt, oil changes, filters) and am now going to be switching to all synthetic lubricants in the diffs and transmission. I will be replacing the GM trans-axle lubricant with the factory specified lubricant due to the fact that I can't get anyone to give a breakdown of which aftermarket lubricants have the same friction modifiers and are equivalent or better for the transaxle application, so I figure stock is best in that case. I will just change it every 30k miles and not worry about it. I figure the switchover to synthetic in the diffs will put them on a 50k miles changeout schedule along with the transmission. I am also putting in another drain plug into the transmission pan so that I can make the next change that much easier (dropping the pan full is a major PITA, what a shitty design as they should have had an extra drain plug from the factory).

When I did the turbo upgrade I also swapped out the coolant. So after I do the synthetic switch-over I am pretty much done for quite some time outside of regular oil changes.

In looking, I loved the 19" polished wheels and digital dash the Performance model offered. I knew the only two options that were missing was the adaptive cruise and auto-braking, but I am quite the attentive driver, so it wasn't that big of a deal. In long trips I would rather not trust any sort of automation anyways to protect me from ignorant other drivers. The car still has the front distance radar which beeps when you are getting too close, so no biggie.

In general, would I buy it again? I most certainly would say yes. Mine is the black interior with the Morano Red accents and red-tinted carbon fiber trim. Most stunning for the interior. It is a black exterior as well. I also put on the GM upgraded rear spoiler as a personal accent. At some point I will also switch out the front grill for a chrome one I have sitting in the box (I had a few rock chips I didn't like that I noticed after I purchased, so I bought the factory chrome surround and grill and just need to go through the effort of swapping them in).
 

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18 XT5 / 18 CTS 3.6 AWD
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I wouldn't neglect looking at later years as well. It really depends on the car you find, check service records first, that is your best bet to see if a particular car is a pain or if it's been reliable. My 2018 is great, has the latest CUE, screen never broke and overall everything has been fine. Yes my transmission is a bit hard from 1 to 2, yes they've done the flush and reprogrammed, it's still a bit harsh sometimes, I live with it and it's really not that bad considering the rest of the car has been very solid. Good luck, and happy car hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a 2015 Performance. I would love to have adaptive cruise and self-braking which are the only two options not in that package but you take what you can get on the used market. The 3.6 has a terrible timing chain history but that's been fixed by 2014. Mine has the Aisin transmission which I'm very happy about. Sorry to say but I trust that maker more than GM. The CUE touch screen will break. If it's already been replaced by the dealer, it will break again. It's a part defect GM has let us deal with. If you are handy, you can replace the screen yourself for $150 with one the supplier says doesn't have the design problem (gel). My CUE is laggy and slow to boot. The video capability has limitations but it does work. I like the programming better than newer models that waste screen space with the time & temperature bar that never goes away. Other than the slow response, I like CUE even though it consistently gets poor reviews. But I'm techy so don't find it "confusing."

I'd put a lot of weight on the maintenance of a used CTS. The timing chain problem was in part due to lack of oil maintenance. In general, my impression is that American cars have lower tolerance for poor maintenance.
Yeah, I really like the Performance package, but they are even hard to find. The premium is even harder to come across. Its nice to hear you've had good luck with it overall, and I'm not afraid to replace the CUE myself if it breaks.


I own a 2014 CTS Premium 3.6, it has all of the bells and whistles except for folding mirrors. I have had 0 issues with mine including the cue screen which has never cracked or broken. Perhaps I do not live in hot enough climates to cause that issue. I love the car and wouldn’t part with it. I am big on Maintenance which I do myself since it’s obviously off warranty. I have changed all of the power train fluids and I do regular oil changes every 4000km. This may be why my last car was stilling running at over 350,000kms. Gotta look after things and they wont let you down…..we’ll most of the time. Cheers!
I'm big on maintenance as well, and do most everything myself. I'm in Detroit, so its not down-south hot, but it routinely gets 90*+ in the summer.

I own a 2014 CTS-4 Performance model. It is AWD. It is also a 2.0t engine.

In looking things over before I made the purchase, I also was leaning toward the 3.6l and away from the 2.0t, but after looking into it more, I decided the 2.0t was a better engine combination than the 3.6l.

First off you will end up with the less problematic 6-speed with the 2.0t. Second the engine has far less issues long-term (and I keep all my cars long-term). Lastly there are tuning and performance options available for the 2.0t (I have only done a K&N drop in filter, a tune and a bigger turbo, the rest is stock) that allow for a nice bump in power without risking durability or longevity. With the extra power I have now it is more powerful and better overall than the 3.6l is in comparison. I also still retain the fuel efficiency of the 2.0 compared to the 3.6.

My car at 3x,xxx miles on it when I bought it in 2019. At the time the CUE screen was just replaced as the original one cracked as it has for most everyone else. I have no issues with CUE myself, it seems responsive enough, hasn't ever locked up on me, is easy to use once you use it a few times to find things (like the car configuration menu) and in general just functions.

Upon taking ownership I noticed a small number of cosmetic defects and a major mechanical one (I heard whirring noises that would indicate a differential problem, which I thought was the rear diff, but upon inspection they stated the front differential was bad and replaced it) that were all taken care of under B2B CPO warranty.

At this point I have done all the tune-up stuff (plugs, belt, oil changes, filters) and am now going to be switching to all synthetic lubricants in the diffs and transmission. I will be replacing the GM trans-axle lubricant with the factory specified lubricant due to the fact that I can't get anyone to give a breakdown of which aftermarket lubricants have the same friction modifiers and are equivalent or better for the transaxle application, so I figure stock is best in that case. I will just change it every 30k miles and not worry about it. I figure the switchover to synthetic in the diffs will put them on a 50k miles changeout schedule along with the transmission. I am also putting in another drain plug into the transmission pan so that I can make the next change that much easier (dropping the pan full is a major PITA, what a shitty design as they should have had an extra drain plug from the factory).

When I did the turbo upgrade I also swapped out the coolant. So after I do the synthetic switch-over I am pretty much done for quite some time outside of regular oil changes.

In looking, I loved the 19" polished wheels and digital dash the Performance model offered. I knew the only two options that were missing was the adaptive cruise and auto-braking, but I am quite the attentive driver, so it wasn't that big of a deal. In long trips I would rather not trust any sort of automation anyways to protect me from ignorant other drivers. The car still has the front distance radar which beeps when you are getting too close, so no biggie.

In general, would I buy it again? I most certainly would say yes. Mine is the black interior with the Morano Red accents and red-tinted carbon fiber trim. Most stunning for the interior. It is a black exterior as well. I also put on the GM upgraded rear spoiler as a personal accent. At some point I will also switch out the front grill for a chrome one I have sitting in the box (I had a few rock chips I didn't like that I noticed after I purchased, so I bought the factory chrome surround and grill and just need to go through the effort of swapping them in).
I definitely wouldnt be making any power mods, regardless of engine. I like the simplicity (or am I assuming wrong with that) of the N/A V6, over the turbo 4. I also like that it can run on 87 octane, because I drive 15-20k miles a year, so the extra money for premium would hurt eventually. The 3.6L and 2.0T came with the 6 speed in 2014/15, which is why I am currently trying to focus on those years, unless someone talks me out of it. :)

I wouldn't neglect looking at later years as well. It really depends on the car you find, check service records first, that is your best bet to see if a particular car is a pain or if it's been reliable. My 2018 is great, has the latest CUE, screen never broke and overall everything has been fine. Yes my transmission is a bit hard from 1 to 2, yes they've done the flush and reprogrammed, it's still a bit harsh sometimes, I live with it and it's really not that bad considering the rest of the car has been very solid. Good luck, and happy car hunting.
Yeah service history is very important, and its hard to find well-maintained cars overall, not just the CTS. The 8 speed issues really have me concerned with spending MORE upfront and down the road for repairs. I dont want to spend $25k+, just to have a discontinued car with a janky transmission. :/

Thanks for all the opinions. I'd really like to hear from someone why I should absolutely only consider the 2016+. :)
 

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2014 CTS 3.6L AWD Premium
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I own a 2014 CTS Premium 3.6L AWD and I am satisfied with it. I had a sweating shock absorber and a steering knuckle replaced under B2B warranty and have had no problems with CUE. I don't think of my CUE as being slow to respond but on the other hand I've not experienced CUE in another caddy or different model year. In the event some CTS owners may not be aware, the doors and hood are made from aluminum instead of ferrous metal. I don't know whether this applies only to the 2014 model year, or the Premium trim level or whatever. If you want to check if your CTS has aluminum doors (which will never rust) place a magnet to the door. If the magnet doesn't stick, you have aluminum doors. If the magnet sticks, you have metal doors. As mentioned by a poster upthread, the Premium is loaded with every feature that Cadillac had at the time as 2014 was a redesign year. Mine has many features that are not even offered anymore in more recent model years. On the other hand, more recent model years have features that mine doesn't have, although I still prefer mine.
 

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2016 AWD 2.0T LUXE, 2016 C7 TBDE vert, 2012 911S Cab., 2003 Avey Z66
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I have a 2016 AWD 2.0 Luxe. Currently with 25,500 miles. At about 17K a year and a half ago I developed the good old 8L90/8L45 shutter. Around the same time the CUE screen went. Both done under B2B with no issues. I would not pass on a 2016 due to the transmission as the fix is simple, same with the CUE. My car has been great...I usually don't keep them this long but this car is not going to a new home anytime soon...........BTW, this is my first AWD only because it was on the car. As for the 2.0T....my last three CTS's had the 3.6 so I was not sold on a 4 banger - turbo or not. I would have another 2.0T in a heart beat. FWIW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What is B2B warranty? Sorry just dont know that abbreviation. I've got a line on a damn nice 2017, so we'll see if I can make a deal. Good to know that at least if an issue pops up with the trans or CUE its usually an easy and not crazy expensive fix, not something thats will ruin my attitude towards the car.
 

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2014 Cadillac CTS-4 Performance
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B2B means "Bumper to Bumper".

Basically, they fix anything and everything that is not proper upon request.

Once that is done all you have left is Powertrain and Emissions. Powertrain is anything from the engine to the transmission to the axles. It does not include the brakes, and I am not sure on steering gear anymore (used to be, but with them going electric that may have changed). Emissions covers just that, O2 sensors, evap system, gas tank, exhaust, catalytic converters, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, thats a 'duh moment for me, shouldve known thats what it was short for.

The '17 I'm buying wasnt purchased until 12/18, so I've got 17 months of B2B and 31 months of drivetrain left, which is pretty damn awesome. Its not CPO but with that much time left I'm not too worried about that right now.
 

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2014 Cadillac CTS-4 Performance
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It is great when you buy a car you like and it actually has a decent warranty left.

My 2014, when I purchased it back in 2019, actually had an executive CPO warranty which lasted until earlier this year. I need to log back into Cadillac to see what is left on that warranty.
 

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2018 CTS Premium Luxury 3.6L
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I looked around for a long time for a premium luxury from 2018 or 2019 as the earlier CUE is the slower one. Very hard to find one but luckily I'm patient.

I have no complaints about the CUE although I know it's dated by today's standards. It can be a bit distracting to have to use the touchscreen but it's not as big a deal as some reviews make it out to be. I've seen reviews go so far as to say it's a safety hazard.

I also purchased custom fit sunshades for all windows to protect the interior as much as I can. I don't want that screen breaking in the heat and while parked at work on a sunny summer day it can get HOT.
 
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