6 Best And Worst Years For The Cadillac CTS

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The Cadillac CTS was unveiled in 2003, with its production halting in 2019. Although it lived a short life, the CTS had a good run.

Cadillac made sure to give it as much power as possible. The recent models featured V8 engines, making them the most powerful Cadillacs on the market.

Although the CTS was not in the market for a long time, it did have reliability issues over the years.

This article will be covering the best and worst years for Cadillac CTS. Further down, the most common issues, which users face, will also be discussed.

Before we get started, let’s list down all of the important years:

Best Years for Cadillac CTS:

  1. 2018
  2. 2019
  3. 2016
  4. 2017
  5. 2015
  6. 2010

Worst Years for Cadillac CTS:

  1. 2003
  2. 2004
  3. 2009
  4. 2008
  5. 2006
  6. 2007

Now that all of them have been narrowed down, the article will be focusing on making sure that you will understand exactly why these models have earned their respective positions.

It is recommended to read this article in its entirety to make a proper decision. So, without any further ado, let’s get straight into it!

List Of The Best Years For The Cadillac CTS: What Years To Buy

Finding out which years of Cadillac CTS are the most popular and reliable through the list of years models

With the best year list being the first one, these models have been chosen after careful consideration.

From reliability to several features, everything has been considered. So, you don’t need to worry about anything.

#1 Best Year: 2018 Cadillac CTS

The 2018 model came one year before the demise of the CTS lineup, and it was a fantastic one. Arriving in the first place is one of the last models of the sedan.

Thanks to its turbo V6 engine, it provides users with amazing performance and drive quality. It can be considered a sport sedan.

The interior and the comfort level of the 2018 Cadillac CTS is also great. You can go on long rides without ever having back pain or too much discomfort.

The technology is decent, but it looks like Cadillac did not put in too much effort for it.

#2 Best Year: 2019 Cadillac CTS

The final model of the sedan has also made its way onto the list.

It has scored a lower position than its predecessor because it did not bring any major changes. You can find the 2018 model for a lower price, which is essentially the same.

That said, the 2019 Cadillac CTS model is a great vehicle too. It offers a high-quality drive, which beats many competitors.

From handling to steering, driving this sedan is an amazing experience. The sedan is adequate in these departments, from cargo space to the infotainment system.

#3 Best Year: 2016 Cadillac CTS

The 2016 Cadillac CTS is an option you must consider too. It has proven to be one of the most reliable CTSs out there.

It is a part of the same third generation, which was unveiled back in 2014. It has most of its issues ironed out.

The vehicle provides users with precise handling and high performance. This is possible, thanks to the use of a turbo V6 engine.

The fuel economy of this six-year-old model hovers around the 24-mpg range.

Although it is a bit aged at this point, the 2016 CTS does top-of-the-line safety features, which will aid you while driving.

#4 Best Year: 2017 Cadillac CTS

The 2017 Cadillac CTS has managed to earn the fourth spot on this list. It is almost similar to the 2016 model, with no added features, which is why it has earned a lower spot.

It still is a fantastic sedan that can provide a high-quality drive experience.

With the same turbocharged V6 engine under the hood, the CTS has proven to be an absolute beast on the road.

The interior on this sedan looks and feels premium. Cadillac is known for using only the highest quality of materials, which is reflected in the 2017 model of its CTS.

#5 Best Year: 2015 Cadillac CTS

The 2015 Cadillac CTS came a year after introducing the third generation in 2014. It is a fantastic vehicle designed for maximum comfort and convenience.

It gained many features, such as a wireless phone charging system, automatic parking feature, and much more. The 2015 model can output a maximum of 272 HP, which is excellent.

With the V6 engine, the luxury variant can cross the 300 range and touch 321 HP. It will provide you with an amazing experience on the road. It has top-of-the-line safety features too.

#6 Best Year: 2010 Cadillac CTS

Finally, coming in the sixth and final place is the 2010 Cadillac CTS. Although this vehicle is more than a decade old, 12 years to be exact, it holds up pretty well.

It has a V6 engine, which is powerful and provides amazing performance. The only issue with this model is that the comfort level is not as good as its predecessors.

Although this model is old, it still has many safety features, which is something many of you will appreciate.

This model has earned a five-star rating in crash tests. The driving experience is great, making it an overall superb option to consider.

List Of The Worst Years For The Cadillac CTS: What Years To Avoid

Moving on, this section of the article will look into the details of all of the models that should be avoided.

These worse years have proved to be extremely unreliable. So, they should not be considered.

You will understand better once all the details are listed.

#1 Worst Year: 2003 Cadillac CTS

The first model on this list is also the first model of the sedan that Cadillac ever released. It was plagued with issues, which made owning it a nightmare.

The issue of the rear bezel cover falling off was the most reported one. It has been discussed in detail in the next section of this article.

The 2003 Cadillac CTS model was also plagued with engine issues. Owners complained that their engine would freeze up or fail, which is a pretty serious issue.

There were also a few reports of oil leaks. All in all, it is the worst model you can buy.

#2 Worst Year: 2004 Cadillac CTS

It would be normal to assume that issues would be fixed the following year. Well, that assumption would be wrong when talking about the 2004 Cadillac CTS.

It was plagued with engine issues, just like its predecessors. They complained about oil leaks the failure of the throttle body.

It does not end there. There were still many reports of the rear bezel cover falling off, which is an annoying issue.

Some owners complained that applying the brakes would result in the car shaking. This would make driving the CTS very unpleasant.

#3 Worst Year: 2009 Cadillac CTS

Fast forward five years later, the 2009 model of the Cadillac CTS did not do anything to make the vehicle more reliable.

There were complaints about the engine, in which the timing chain would fail. It does not end there. The engine was also reported to fail while driving, leading to serious accidents.

The transmission system on the 2009 model is another problem that helped it earn a spot on this list.

Owners complained that the transmission system would fail, which would result in the vehicle not being able to be used at all.

This problem is also discussed in the next section of this article.

#4 Worst Year: 2008 Cadillac CTS

Some of you may find this an error, but the 2008 Cadillac CTS model, which was released a year earlier, was better.

Yes, it had its fair share of issues, but it had lesser overall complaints.

The issue of the transmission system failing was present. There were also reports of the car not shifting into gear at all.

The drivetrain would produce a clunk sound, making driving the vehicle unpleasant.

It was also unstable, which would result in too many vibrations and noises coming at speeds above 50 mph.

#5 Worst Year: 2006 Cadillac CTS

The 2006 Cadillac CTS is better than its more recent counterparts. It did have many issues, but it is an overall better vehicle.

Owners complained that the engine would fail and misfire too. This is dangerous when traveling at high speeds or when in traffic.

The engine would also consume oil excessively. The brakes on this sedan were also failing.

Owners complained that the brakes would fail or would not stop the vehicle at all, which may have led to the vehicle crashing into someone or something.

This is a serious problem and can lead to injuries.

#6 Worst Year: 2007 Cadillac CTS

The final model, which has made its way onto this list, is 2007 Cadillac CTS. This one is better than all others on this list because there were far fewer complaints.

Owners stated that the engine’s timing chain would break, preventing the vehicle from driving. The engine would also consume a lot of oil, which is frustrating.

Drivetrain issues were not fixed with this 15-year-old sedan either. Multiple people reported the same issue of the vehicle vibrating at high speeds.

One person also complained about a grinding noise coming from the drivetrain.

What Are The Most Common Problems With The Cadillac CTS?

With all of the important years of the Cadillac CTS now listed, as promised, I will now be focusing on the most common issues that owners of the Cadillac CTS have had to face over the years.

It is recommended to read this section in its entirety.

1. Loss Of Power

The first issue that many people faced was the sedan suddenly losing power. The issue arose due to the Stabilitrak system, which would malfunction.

The system has been designed to improve handling in difficult road conditions. Well, it also caused the sudden power loss. This was found in the more recent models of the sedan.

So, what could go wrong with the system, which would lead to this problem?

Well, I found out that the system would not get enough voltage, which would result in the Stabilitrak error light lighting up.

This is a serious problem and can be fixed by replacing the engine wiring harness.

2. Problems With Interior Accessories

Although Cadillac is famous for making vehicles that are premium from the inside out, this was not the case with a few sedan models.

The interior accessories would cause issues, which frustrated several users. They complained that the touch screen, for the infotainment system, would crack without any reason.

The fact that Cadillac has added all the features, such as fan and AC control, to the system means that if it breaks, it will lose several features.

It does not end there. There were also complaints about the Bluetooth system malfunctioning, which prevented users from connecting their smartphones to the speaker system.

Although this is not a major problem, it does make owning the sedan a bit frustrating.

3. Light Bulb Failure

Another issue, which should never happen, is the failure of the light bulbs on the Cadillac CTS.

The problem has been seen in models dating as early as 2003 till 2013. That is a decade full of issues, and, surprisingly, Cadillac did not do anything to improve it.

Owners complained that their vehicles would suffer from worn-out headlights and taillights too.

This makes driving the car difficult at night, and it can also be difficult for cars at the back to identify your vehicle.

There have even been complaints about the fog lights going out. A replacement does not fix the issue because it is a fault in the electrical system.

This is one of the more common problems that users have faced over the years.

4. Transmission Failure

One problem found in the 2009 Cadillac CTS was the failure of the transmission. There were reports such as leakage of the transmission fluid and breaking of the transmission bands.

This is the most serious issue on this list because transmission issues can cause thousands of dollars to fix.

These issues should not occur unless the vehicle has been driven for more than 100000 miles.

Well, that was certainly not the case with this 13-year-old model. This is also one of the reasons the 2009 model has earned a spot on the worst year list.

5. Rear Bezel Cover Issues

Coming in the fifth and final place is the issue of a loose rear bezel cover. This problem is extremely common and was found mostly in the 2003 model of the Cadillac CTS.

Owners complained that the backlight panel would fall off due to the bezels’ poor design. Fixing the issue can cost as much as $700, a pretty steep price.

The fix needs to be applied unless you look for the panel to fall off again. This can be dangerous on the road.

The fact that such a major issue was present in the first-ever model of the sedan is truly surprising.

Related: Why Won’t My Cadillac CTS Start?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What Is High Mileage For A Cadillac CTS?

If you are buying a used vehicle, anything with more than 125000 miles on the odometer is considered a heavily used vehicle.

Some of you may be considering why this should be considered. After this much driving, vehicle parts start to show their age.

The suspension system may need replacement, or the engine may need repairs.

So, if you are buying one with high mileage, you should expect to pay some more cash to get it in working condition.

Q2. What Does CTS Mean On A Cadillac?

I love it when brands pay homage to their older products.

Well, the CTS is a short form of Catera Touring Sedan. The vehicle was introduced in 2003, which was two years after the discontinuation of the Cadillac Catera.

It was in the market for five years, till 2001. So, the name is a nod to that sedan. But the new car is just called the CTS because it is easy to remember and use.

Q3. Why Did They Discontinue The CTS?

If you read this article entirely, you may have read about the discontinuation of the Cadillac CTS. It was discontinued in 2019, and it came as a shock to many.

Cadillac discontinued its premium sedan to make way for the next generation, the Cadillac CT5. It is a luxury sedan produced in the same factory as the CTS.

So, it is a replacement for the 19-year-old sedan.

Q4. Where Are Cadillac CTS Made?

It looks like you want to have all the information before confirming the decision to purchase this luxury sedan. Well, it was manufactured and assembled in Lansing, Michigan.

You don’t need to worry about poor quality control because Cadillac only uses the highest quality of available materials.

The same goes for the assembly, which makes the manufacturer so popular. You will not have any issues with it.

Q5. Which Is Better Cadillac ATS Or CTS?

As both sedans belong to the same manufacturer, they trade blows.

The more recent ATS and the CTS models feature the same turbo V6 engine, which is extremely powerful. Both also have the option for a V6 engine.

But the ATS is 0.2 seconds faster, clocking in 5.3 seconds when accelerating from 0 to 60 mph. On the other hand, the CTS is more luxurious, which makes it an overall winner.


I hope this article helped you decide which model of the sedan is suitable for you. With the Cadillac CTS not in production anymore, a person can do nothing except buy a used one.

With the sedan having an unreliable history, it is mandatory to make sure that you know what the best and worst years for Cadillac CTS are.

It is a fantastic option and the models, which were released around 2010, are perfect for people looking to get something that is luxurious and does not break the bank.

Overall, the 2018 model is the clear winner as it has all the latest technology is one of the most recent models.