Cadillac Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.42/5 Average
4,786 Total Reviews
Make Overview:

Owned by General Motors, Cadillac is America's most prestigious domestic luxury automaker. For most of its existence, the company was known exclusively for its cushy, senior-friendly sedans, but in more recent years the automaker has revised and expanded its lineup in a successful effort to attract a new, younger generation. Cadillac's roster now includes SUVs (its Escalade is a favorite of both rappers and suburban moms), a crossover and even a high-performance wagon.

Born in 1902, Cadillac was founded by Henry Martyn Leland, a manufacturer of automotive components. He named the company after a noted French explorer who discovered Detroit in the early 1700s. Leland helped create one of the company's earliest offerings -- the Cadillac Osceola, noted for being the industry's first concept car and the first closed-body car made in America. Only one Osceola was made, but it helped spark a trend; closed bodies caught on and spread like wildfire through the industry.

Cadillac quickly gained a reputation for specializing in precise craftsmanship and for using standardized parts. The success of early Cadillacs like the Model A and the "30" made the brand a sales success, so much so that the automaker was purchased by General Motors in 1909. The marque became GM's luxury division, and its list of innovations grew. Cadillac was the first U.S. auto manufacturer to produce a V8, the first to use thermostatic control of a cooling system and the first to offer dash-controlled headlights. During the 1930s, the brand earned a strong reputation for producing powerful and smooth V12 and V16 engines.

Soon after World War II, Cadillac history hit a high point as its tailfinned and chrome-laden cars became the epitome of American postwar automotive style. Cadillac's tailfin took its cue from Lockheed's P38 Lightning Aircraft, and was the brainchild of designer Frank Hershey. Vehicles like the Coupe de Ville and Fleetwood El Dorado made Cadillac a staple in upscale neighborhoods and among the Hollywood set.

By the 1960s, Cadillac's flashy tailfins had given way to a new styling cue: vertical taillights. This attribute was in evidence on one of Cadillac's most successful new cars of that decade, the Fleetwood Sixty Special. The Fleetwood offered luxury features that were cutting-edge for its day, such as fold-down writing tables, footrests and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.

The gas crunch of the 1970s, however, started a downward trend for the company. Cadillac's Titanic-sized behemoths that ruled the highways in previous decades were increasingly out of touch and out of favor. Cadillac responded to the changing times by downscaling the dimensions of many vehicles in its lineup. Despite this smart maneuvering, the automaker's fortunes suffered in the late '70s when it unveiled a diesel engine that quickly earned a reputation for spotty performance.

The 1980s saw the redesign of the Seville, a vehicle whose unique bustle-back styling sparked a trend and inspired its share of imitators. That decade also witnessed the rollout of the Cimarron, a small car that was essentially a rebadged Chevy Cavalier, the latter an economy car not exactly known for excellence. Understandably, the Cimarron never caught on with the public. Things got worse when Cadillac launched a series of underpowered, unreliable V8s during the first half of that decade that, along with the notoriously unreliable diesel, cost the automaker thousands of customers, millions of dollars and immeasurable damage to its reputation.

By the early '90s, Cadillac started a major turnaround as it brought out redesigned, stylish models with vastly improved engines. Shortly after the new millennium bowed, the company adopted its "Art & Science" design philosophy. With styling cues that included sharp, almost severe lines and stacked headlamps, Art & Science was first seen on Cadillac's 1999 Evoq concept roadster. By the mid-2000s, this bold new look had reinvigorated the company's sales, and was seen on hits such as the Escalade SUV and the CTS sport sedan.

This fresh styling, coupled with improvements in performance and overall product quality, has done a great deal to help Cadillac recover much of its previous status. Today's Cadillacs, which include coupes, sedans, crossovers and SUVs, are known for offering powerful engines, chiseled lines, sharp handling and a full accoutrement of luxury features.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 4,786.00
  • Mechanics hate Cadillac - 2006 Cadillac SRX
    By -

    I imagine the reason why these are so hard to keep in working condition is because mechanics hate to work on these Cadi's. Cadillac makes it very hard to even switch a bulb for the blinker, so many parts to move out of the way, so much time to replace anything. Even dealerships do not like to look at them.

  • 2012 CTS AWD - 2012 Cadillac CTS
    By -

    It’s almost 2021 and no zero problems... researched for problems for years. Never found any till this came up when I was researching scheduled maintenance. I can’t think of a better. Mmm cc

  • I will never own another Cadillac after owning 2, a CTS and STS - 2009 Cadillac STS
    By -

    My 84 year old grandmother bought and drove the STS and babied it and had meticulous maintenance done until she died. I took the Cadillac with 60,00 miles and now has 85,00 miles and is the shop every month or two getting major very expensive repairs done. Just a headlignt that needed to be replaced and only available through dealership was $1,800. I had to replace both catalytic converters and dealer wanted $2,400. Manifolds had to be replaced and were extremely expensive. My CTS I got rid of after the computer died three times and is $1,300 each time. I will never buy another chevy or Cadillac EVER!!! My new Ford Mustang GT is just incredible and an awesome vehicle and one I can trust to never breakdown and should get 200 to 300 K easy. Please do your research before buying one of the worst cars made in America, the Cadillac...

  • Gordy Harrison - 2008 Cadillac Escalade
    By -

    Excellent

  • High-maintenance car - 2002 Cadillac Deville
    By -

    Ive been driving with Cadi for one year. I regret purchasing it and decided selling it recently. Ive put too much money into this car, and it isnt worth it.. A new problem would occur every three to four months so that I had to take it to get repaired. It just made me upset. As a student, I need a reliable car.

  • Side mirrors on Cadillac Escalade - 2017 Cadillac Escalade
    By -

    Had an Escalade for a test drive. Would have bought it but the side mirrors block my view. The older mirrors were narrow. These are too tall and look unattractive, to me. That is the only reason that I have not purchased the Cadillac Escalade Esv. Hope the 2018 model has better side mirrors, as I would really like to buy!

  • A great used car style and reliability - 2003 Cadillac CTS
    By -

    my car is used 2003 I had 96,000 when I brought the car I now have 229,000 miles. So far just minor work I have been blessed. Its a great car.

  • Best Cadillac Ive ever owned! - 2009 Cadillac STS
    By -

    This car is a great road car with all the power you need to take on all challengers. Bought mine used with low miles from a man who meticulously kept it in pristine condition and I intend to following his footsteps.

  • great car - 2006 Cadillac DTS
    By -

    Very reliable and comfortable

  • Not happy with 2015 CTS - 2015 Cadillac CTS
    By -

    I traded a 2008 CTS with a 6 cylinder engine for a 2015 CTS with the 2.0 turbo. I liked the 2008 but the front seats were very uncomfortable. The new one with the turbo I dont like. It is noisy and jerks a lot when the turbo comes in. Also the CUE system is horrible. It is not at all intuitive and takes a while to get used to. Next car will be a Hyundai Genesis.

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