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Discussion Starter #1
New poster here, been reading a lot of the older posts tonight. Here is my story....

I am looking to buy a CTS, don't have the money for a brand new or even kind of new one. Looking to spend in the 10,000-12,000 range. Have been focusing mainly on years 2003-2006 since they seem to fall in my price range and I like the first generation body style. Here is my question...

Do you recommend one of those years over the other? Any specific year have more problems than the others? Would you rather have a 2006 with 90000 miles on it or a 2003 with 60000 miles? Basically, should I try and get the newest CTS possible, without crazy miles, or should I focus more on the number of miles?

I know its a long question, but I know you guys can help.
Thanks, and I hope to become a full fledged member soon!
 

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2003 CTS "Ebony Maria" 2005 Cadillac STS "Grace"
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welcome to the forums...

as for the years you are looking at, every year has there own problems. but for the most parts, all of the bugs have been pretty much worked out and most of us have had one thing or another happen and been able to fix it. i personally have a 2003 with the 3.2L engine and absolutely love it. would i trade it for a newer model CTS with a different engine, probably not. if i was to get rid of my CTS for another CTS, it would be for a CTS-V...

good luck with your looking and purchase
 

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Green Money 2002 Escalade
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127 Posts
welcome man. I just bought an 03 cts with 60k miles for $11,500 cash out the door, 1 owner and always cadillac dealer serviced! Mine almost looks new. A older man owned it and kept it in the garage.. But anyways, in my opinion I would go with an 03 with 60-65k miles over an 06 with 90k miles, but thats just me. Some people say its better to get a newer car with more miles. But to me it come downs to how well it was serviced and maintained... And how the interior looks etc... For the most part, the 03 and 06 look the same except for the rear bezel, slight more horsepower, and some minor interior improvements. Either way you cant go wrong. Just make sure you get a CTS, you wont be disappointed! Nice ass car!
 

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03 CTS 3.2L (Sold) / 09 CBR 600rr /2014 GMC Sierra
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I think with such a small year range you ate better off with lower km oilder car than higher km with newer car.
The only time I would go for a higher km car that is newer is if it was 5+ years difference and into a newer bodystyle, but even then its just for looks and features.
If I were to trade mine it would b on a cts-v, cts4 or sts4...nothing else that I can think of.
 

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2006 3.6-Volant CAI, V-exhaust, LED swap, Clear DRL, 6000k
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i'd say try and find a good condition lowish mileage 04/05 with the 3.6L... the 03's had kinks that were worked out in the second half of 04. i would say get an 06 but in your price range and finding one with lower miles, it probably wont be in the best condition, but dont rule it out. in 06 the automatics got the trip-tronic shifting (which also puts the car in sport mode) and new gauge cluster.
in 2004 the 3.2L Opel engine was ditched for the 2.8L and the 3.6L was also brought in. 2.8 and 3.6 are basically the same engine, 2.8 has 210HP 3.6 has 255HP.. 3.6 also gets dual exhaust, and i think as part of the 3.6 option package it also came with other features standard.

you can check out all the standard features and what options were available here:
http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/2005-cadillac-cts-7.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the help guys....Originally I was hoping to get something in the 40,000-60,000 mile range, but that looks to be tough witht he price restraints. I think I should be fine getting an 04/05 with 60,000-80,000 miles dont you think? I just don't have much experience with these cars and not too sure what their life range is. Obviously, how they were taken care of plays a huge part.
 

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2003 CTS
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kmroach, what are your goals with this purchase?

1) You are in love with the CTS and really really want one, trying to pick the best combo of year and reliability?

2) You want a reliable used luxury sport sedan?

3) You want a used car that will give you the best bang for you buck with regard to resale value, cost of ownership, taxes, etc?

If it's #2 or #3, I would say to avoid the CTS. My wife and I picked up a 2003 CTS with 30,000 miles from its original owner. It has been a nightmare, and expensive to maintain and fix. Every time we turn around, we are hit with another expensive-to-fix problem due to build quality issues. My advice: Go with a used Acura, Lexus, or Infiniti. You could put 200,000+ miles on those cars easily without it bankrupting you.

I know I am but one person, but the numbers from Consumer Reports support my claim. On top of that, all you have to do is look through these forums, or Google used CTS issues, and you'll see lots of data to support what I'm saying. I've attached a screen shot of the CR CTS reliability report. I too would advise you to read the Consumer Reports guides to purchasing a used vehicle, and look at their rankings before making your decision.

I hope that helps!
 

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Green Money 2002 Escalade
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please do yourself and all of us a favor and dont buy a foriegn piece of shit, like the last guy suggested! Buy AMERICAN! There were some bad 03 CTS, I will admit! But that was the first year and you have to expect some issues.. But by 04-05 they have worked out most of the kinks! Like I said, I have an 03 with 60k miles, 1 owner! The previous owner said he never had 1 issue with the car, just basic up keep.. If you really want a nice sporty american luxury sedan, get a Cadillac CTS:) Or you could be like every other snaught nose 17-21 year old and buy crappy ricer and think your cool. Up to you buddy. Just my 2 cents.
 

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2003 CTS
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please do yourself and all of us a favor and dont buy a foriegn piece of shit, like the last guy suggested!
How mature. I give my opinion and support it with facts and helpful information, and this guy just spouts off with ignorance.

Buy AMERICAN!
My Acura was made in Ohio by US workers. BMW's are made in South Carolina by US workers. Toyotas are made in Huntsville Alabama and Kentucky by US workers. You're fooling yourself by thinking that in buying a GM vehicle, you are somehow doing something great for America. As an example GM is investing heavily in China - building plants and cars for that market. Instead of being an ignorant fool, buy based on what's important to you. If that is reliability, check out Consumer Reports.

There were some bad 03 CTS, I will admit! But that was the first year and you have to expect some issues.. But by 04-05 they have worked out most of the kinks!
Uh, did you look at the graphic I attached? Much worse than average issues are reported with the CTS throughout it's 2003-2007 life. Things like the drive system, fuel system, electrical system, brakes, etc.

Or you could be like every other snaught nose 17-21 year old and buy crappy ricer and think your cool. Up to you buddy. Just my 2 cents.
Git 'er done.
 

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Green Money 2002 Escalade
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127 Posts
so your gonna come on a cadillac forum and bash cadillac's! and who's irrogant and stupid? yea, i read your little chart, and you want a cookie? I could give a rats about your chart. People buy cadillacs, because they like caddies, and the CTS is very nice. the man wanted info on a CTS, not info to buy an acura, honda or a lawn mower!
 

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2003 CTS
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so your gonna come on a cadillac forum and bash cadillac's! and who's irrogant and stupid? the man wanted info on a CTS, not info to buy an acura, honda or a lawn mower!
Get a clue buddy.

This isn't a Cadillac Fan Club. It's a Cadillac Forum. It's where things like problems, fixes, opinions, experiences, and help are relayed. My wife drives a 2003 CTS, and I have come on here to get help, and I have also given help. I've shared fixes that have worked for me, and learned from others.

You'll see lots of posts on this forum about people who have problems with, and are frustrated with their Caddys. As well as people that love them.

So, I'm giving some honest feedback on my CTS experience. If you don't like it, move on.
 

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Green Money 2002 Escalade
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if you dont like my feedback you can kiss my ass and move on.. If you dont like your CTS trade it in and quit whining! Every damn car needs work and most people like to work on there caddies. get yur wife an acura like u suggeested!
 

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2003 CTS
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Please accept my sincere apologies. You are clearly a reasonable, intellectual person that knows far more than myself. I shall be moving on now....
 

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2007 CTS Thunder Gray
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Consumer reports confuses me sometimes. The ratings don't always make sense. I am curious how much of their ratings are based on owner opinion surveys as opposed to actual mechanical performance of the vehicle. Some manufacturers seem to get hammered for black marks while others get passes. I can go to my car issue to pull out some examples. The bottom line is There are lemons out there both Japanese and American. Just hope you don't get stuck with either one.
 

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Make sure to look at the car. Just because it's lower miles doesnt mean it wasnt beat on for those 60k. My 2003 has been very reliable/maint free for 7 yrs and 150k miles. Unfortunately, i hit my first major unscheduled maintenance over the weekend...
 

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2006 3.6-Volant CAI, V-exhaust, LED swap, Clear DRL, 6000k
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My advice: Go with a used Acura, Lexus, or Infiniti. You could put 200,000+ miles on those cars easily without it bankrupting you.
be weary of Lexus, pretty soon they will be recalling their owners... and Acura's are lame FWD Toilet Logs (hence the TL name tag), not to mention beak-beak-beak! as for Infiniti, sure they're great, especially when you walk over to the Nissan dealer and get the same car for 10k less. I'd go nazi sled before rice burning sushi mobile.
 

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03 CTS 3.2L (Sold) / 09 CBR 600rr /2014 GMC Sierra
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Go with a used Acura, Lexus, or Infiniti. You could put 200,000+ miles on those cars easily without it bankrupting you.
I hope that helps!
i guess you didnt hear lexus is being forced to recall a lot of engines, and this is on top of all the other BS they have hidden for years and all the people toyota has killed and injured.
acura is a glorified honda, go pay 25 grand for a car with over 100,000km on it... suspension and other parts wear out and they are over valued.
infinity is a "classy" or sporty nissan, speaking of nissan ...arent they being forced to recall a bunch of rusted frames on 2002 and newer vehicles???
(i think it was nissan dont quote me on the brand it may have been another toyota problem)

as you can see imports have just as many if not more issues that domestics. i have a 2002 gmc jimmy with 200,000km on her, only done the thermostat and a plastic clip..and of course brakes tires and other maintenance ...lets see your honda do that.

i think acuras and infinity are nice but i wouldnt brag about them, also the g35 has engine problems, the skylineGTR voids the warrenty on a $40,000 transmission if you use the FACTORY INSTALLED launch control system....:cookoo: and the list goes on about stupidity.

not saying cadillac is perfect, because it is not, but when i drive my CTS im proud of it and i love how it handles.
 
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