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Shopping for my first Caddy! Found a basic model not much more than a used loaded one!


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So I'm shopping for my very first Cadillac!

I've been a fan of the CTS for a while now, and have been following it's progression for the last few years. I was shopping around for a used one at a dealer, and low & behold I saw a regular CTS (non V) in the showroom with a honest to goodness manual transmission! Now from looking at the website build-your-own I know it's been an option but I have never just seen one! One dealer said it wasn't a manual with a clutch, just flappy paddle shifter's behind the steering wheel.

Now first off I know a M/T is not something I would typically lust for in a Caddy especially a non V model but I'm one of these rare car guys that just love a good M/T, and I was intrigued right off the bat when I saw it was an option, and wondered if I could ever find one. The cost was about 33k after the incentive, and it was a a base model with the 3.0 engine. I fell in love. It was just a thing of beauty.. the whole car just felt great, and I'm going back for a test drive tomorrow morning.

I was looking at used CTS's around 2008, and well equipped model's they had were in the 26k range. Now I also get a partner discount on new GM car's so that should combine with the incentive according to the FAQ.. so the new one in within the range I set out to spend.

So I've pretty much decided to pick up the new one with the manual if I enjoy the way it drives. But a the question remains to nag at me.. 3.0 engine.. shouldn't I look for the 3.6 instead considering the gas mileage is about the same? However I can't find one with a Manual anywhere.. I thought the MT was almost a myth for the 3.6 until many Google searches later I found a used '09 with one in Texas, however that's a it of a hike from New England! (Oh yeah, and it was already sold!) Mostly that search for a 3.6 manual was a curiosity factor once I saw that manual's were not in fact a myth..

OK a bit of a derail there. So the real question I need to concern myself with is:

Brand new CTS 3.0 for low 30's, or slightly used well equipped CTS for high 20's?

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This is just "MY" personal opinion... so take it with a grain of salt...

I am old, crotchety and kinda set in my ways, but to me, part of having a Cadillac is having all the cool GADGETS that are available.

Without all the amenities.... to me, it isn't REALLY a Cadillac.

On the M/T part...

I think there will be a very small market for that car in a few years when you go to sell it or trade it.

That is the main reason you are having so much trouble finding ones with the M/T.

"MOST" people will not want a M/T in a Cadillac, which equals low demand and lower resale value, later on down the line.

I have driven both the 3.0 and the 3.6...

There is a WORLD of difference in the way they perform.

If you like one that runs well...get the 3.6...

If performance means nothing to you... settle for the 3.0.

If it were me...I would be shopping for the newest one, with the most "STUFF" on it that I could reasonably afford.

And, in the meantime, doing my homework, (lots and lots of homework)... on what they are really worth and then driving a hard bargain with the dealer.

So, my answer would be...if I couldn't afford a new one with all the goodies... I would be buying slightly used and driving a hard bargain before giving up my money.

One other thing... if you do decide to buy a slightly used one... BE SURE to get it CPO Certified.

That will give you a 6 year, 100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty from Cadillac.

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Thanks for the info!

I will admit the common sense part of my brain agree's with all that you have said. It was just the emotional car enthusiast part of me that was attracted to the manual transmission even though I know it's somewhat out of place in a non V CTS model. Common sense thinking aside if I ever did see a nice 3.6 with a manual transmission I'm not sure I could resist.. the fact that it was only the 3.0 was what brought on this bit of indecision.

As for getting a used one CPO Certified I am very interested in that! I see that some listed for sale at Cadillac dealers have this already, but I wonder if this is something I can get done to one I find elsewhere?

Edited by John 1i
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Thanks for the info!

I will admit the common sense part of my brain agree's with all that you have said. It was just the emotional car enthusiast part of me that was attracted to the manual transmission even though I know it's somewhat out of place in a non V CTS model. Common sense thinking aside if I ever did see a nice 3.6 with a manual transmission I'm not sure I could resist.. the fact that it was only the 3.0 was what brought on this bit of indecision.

As for getting a used one CPO Certified I am very interested in that! I see that some listed for sale at Cadillac dealers have this already, but I wonder if this is something I can get done to one I find elsewhere?

Some dealers will certify a used Cadillac bought elsewhere...some won't.

Check with your local dealers...

Of course you have to pay for the certifying inspection... usually 1000 to 1,500 dollars... but in my opinion, well worth every penny.

One repair at the Cadillac dealer, if it is anything other than something really minor, is going to cost you that much or more.

I know that from experience... :)

Step back and think about the manual transmission on a BASE CAR...

The base car will be harder to sell or trade later, not even taking the M/T into consideration.

Add the M/T into it and you have to find the JUST RIGHT buyer...

and there ain't many of THEM running around.

Heck... most, or at least a lot, of young people don't even know what a manual transmission IS... much less be able to drive one or want one.. :) :)

If it was on a fully loaded 3.6... I wouldn't have quite as much objection to it.

The CAR ITSELF would offset some of the drawbacks to the M/T.

Keep in mind... this is just my opinion, but I have been buying and trading cars for over 50 years...

I told you I was old... LMAO...

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  • 1 year later...

Find a good dealership with a reputation for service after the sale!!!! My first Caddy was a 1951 Funeral Coach with manual transmission. Had several El Dorados over the years, but mostly I drive Chevy Trucks. My wife drove nice one owner cars for years, as she only worked 1 mile from home. She waited 30 years for a brand new car. Last one was in 1978 Z28 Camaro. :) Bought her a 2008 CTS new. She loves it. But the service we get from the nearest dealership and from Cadillac Customer Service sucks. If I were looking for a new car, and had to base it on my current experiences, I would probably buy something else. And I am a GM man from way back. Still have my 56 Chevy!

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Hi guys, This is my first post and the reason I am here is I too am looking to buy my first Caddy. I have been reading the forum for about an hour. I am nearing 7 decades on this planet and although I could buy a new Caddy, Beemer or Merc cash. My frugal, cheap, tight old-fashioned inner brain will not allow me to spend 30, 40, 50K + for a new radidly depreciating hunk of iron, aluminum and plastic............therefore I have for years shopped mostly used cars. On my short list are STS's.

I looked at a really nice 2005 just this afternoon, base model 3.6, Silver with Gray gut, 50K miles, three owners. It is a private sale. Having spent 15 years in the car business, I would rate this car on a scale of 1 to 10 a solid 8+. Needs rubber or it would be a 9. I test drove city and highway and it runs out really nice. I could find and detect no issues.

I have read here today about the oil consumption issue on some of these 3.6s and am now a little apprehensive about the car. I have read some other auto forums and have never seen oil consumption as an issue on GM V-6s. Am I over reacting to this oil issue or should I use my gut (which tells me this is a good car) and go ahead and buy it? Thanks.

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Before buying it, I would take the VIN and go to my nearest Cadillac dealer and have them run a service history on it.

They can print out the complete history of the car using only the VIN.

That may (or may not) tell you some important stuff.

It is possible that it was one with a problem and it has already been fixed.

If there is no history of the previous owner bringing it in with a complaint of oil usage.. it may be one that didn't have a problem.

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Agreeing with Jim; seems that some 3.6's use oil, but the ones that don't, don't use any/much. My '06 used zilch between oil changes. I have now an '11, and in six months of ownership, again, has used none (that can be detected). I'm thinking that these 3.6's are a little more prone to a proper break-in (and in this I mean that they need a spirited break-in that seats those rings properly).

Chuck

'19 CT6, '04 Bravada........but still lusting for that '69 Z-28

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Agreeing with Jim; seems that some 3.6's use oil, but the ones that don't, don't use any/much. My '06 used zilch between oil changes. I have now an '11, and in six months of ownership, again, has used none (that can be detected). I'm thinking that these 3.6's are a little more prone to a proper break-in (and in this I mean that they need a spirited break-in that seats those rings properly).

If it is at all possible, when I buy a brand new one, I like to drive it for 200 or 300 miles, change the oil and then go on a little road trip.

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  • 1 year later...

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