Cadillac vs mercedes reliability

Cadillac vs mercedes reliability DEFAULT

Cadillac was one of the first automakers to ever be established globally. The brand dates back to 1902 and its long history is filled with prestigious awards and “industry firsts,” however, it’s reliability ratings in the past decade have been slipping. Considering that Cadillac is one of the forefathers of the American automobile industry, their cars must be good, right?

A strong start

The early to mid-1900s was a great time for Cadillac. The brand saw engineering success when it came to creating the first V-type, water-cooled 8-cylinder engine and also offered more than 500 different vehicle colors to choose from at a time when color pallets were more monotone. Around the 1940s, Cadillac introduced the use of a tailfin wing on their cars (adapted from aircraft technology), which ultimately played a part in the brand winning the first-ever “Car of the Year” award.

The rest of Cadillac’s history is peppered with them engineering large engines that could run without coolant for up to 100 miles and other engines that produced large amounts of horsepower. One of their latest claims to fame is the 2009 CTS-V model, which blazed through the Nürburgring in a record-setting 7 minutes and 59 seconds. For those who don’t know about it, here’s a video for a refresher:

A steady decline

One of the major arrows in Cadillac’s quiver was their Northstar engines, which were a series of V6 and V8 engines engineered using overhead cams and featured a “limp home” mode in which enabled the engine to be driven without any coolant for up to 100 miles. It’s a nifty feature and it most likely came into good use as multiple Cadillac owners experienced a multitude of issues with their Northstar engines over time.

The Northstar engine line was phased out around 2011 and the brand switched to using turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines to obtain similar power and better fuel economy. Smaller engines meant smaller cars, as Cadillac introduced the ATS sedan in 2013 and rode out the success of their ever-popular CTS sedan, which was produced from 2003-2019. The latter car achieved great reviews, even winning Motor Trend’s “2014 Car of the Year” award. However, as time would tell, the reliability of these Cadillacs would prove questionable.

Reliability is an issue

The most recent Consumer Reports list of “Brands That Make The Best Vehicles” list shows Cadillac as being 29th on the list out of 33 total brands. They listed reliability and owner satisfaction as major pain points and a closer look at Consumer Report’s individual car reports tells us why.

Taking a look at the individual reports for current and past Cadillac models shows that multiple cars including the CTS, ATS, and the Escalade were rated with a 1 out of 5 reliability rating and similar marks for overall owner satisfaction. Multiple recalls might have been a factor as well. For example, the 2014 CTS had six different recalls, with the most notable being “seats that don’t stay secured” and faulty electrical and ignition issues in which “the airbags may not deploy, if the key is not in the ‘run’ position.”

The future

Cadillac has since revised their complete model line up to include sedans like the CT4 (replacing ATS), the CT5 (replacing CTS), and CT6, as well as SUVs like the XT4, XT5, and XT6, all of which tout newer technologies, lighter bodies, and more-efficient powertrains. While this new line up does look promising on paper, the jury is out on whether or not they’ll live up to the success that the brand once had.

Consumer Reports rates all of Cadillac’s new models a 1 out 5 for predicted reliability, and Car and Driver’s review of the new CT5 pointed out that it’s not as good as the CTS sedan that it replaced, with the main highlight being an easier-to-use infotainment system.

Good or bad?

Does this mean that Cadillac makes bad cars? Yes and no. Although, we might just be hopeful. Given Cadillac’s stout history, we would say it’s up to the buyer’s discretion on whether or not to put a Cadillac on their shortlist. But if it were up to us, we would probably stay away.


When shopping for a new or used car, some of the most important questions you can ask are, ‘How long will it last?’ ‘How reliable is it?’ and ‘What is the total cost of ownership?’

Consumer Reports’ latest ranking of the most and least reliable new cars told us about the reliability of newer cars, but what about cars that have been around longer than 10 years? 

If you want to make it to the 250,000 mile club (or the 3 million mile club, for that matter) and really stretch your dollar, you’ll want to know which car brands have lasted over the long haul — and which ones to avoid.

Read more: New ranking: The most and least reliable new cars crunched the numbers to come up with a list of the 10 least reliable car brands over 19 years. And what they found is quite interesting.

Although Lexus is on the list of most unreliable brands, newer versions of the Lexus are more reliable and made it to the very top of Consumer Reports’ list of most reliable cars. Also, it’s important to note that car brands can have great variations between different models. So, it’s critical to look at the full picture when deciding on a car for yourself. noted: ‘…while this data is a great way to understand how vehicle prices correlate to reliability, no study of used car reliability and its value is perfect. This is a make-specific study, not a breakdown of models, trims or years. There can be a large variation between model trims and there are many factors that go into the price of a car.’

How they get this data? analyzed the selling price compared to mileage of over 500,000 cars; model years 1995 – 2014.

‘Using a linear regression model, we were able to calculate the dollars of value lost as mileage increased and ultimately, the number of theoretical miles where a car lost all value. We were surprised to find many top luxury brands in this list – but we have our theories,’ said Michael Milstein, Business Intelligence Manager at Mojo Motors. 

At the other end of the spectrum, in’s list of most reliable cars, Toyota was #1 at 210,705 miles until worthless. 

Here are 10 cars to steer clear of if you want your car to last at least at least 200,000 miles. 

Read more: The 30 best cars of 2016

10. Volkswagen – 170,799 miles 

7 cars with the highest maintenance costs

(Image credit: Bloomberg / Getty Images)

With the recent issues Volkswagen has experienced related to its cars, it may be no surprise that this brand’s cars did not quite make it to 200,000 miles. 

According to, the worst model was the Touareg, the brand’s premium SUV.

9. Lexus – 170,440 miles 

7 cars with the highest maintenance costs

(Image credit: Bloomberg / Getty Images)

Though Lexus made this list with it’s LS model over the past 19 years, it did make the list of most reliable cars with its newer model vehicles. Perhaps we can give Lexus points for the most improvement. And, since the company shares the same technologies as Toyota, Toyota might have rubbed off on Lexus making the brand much more reliable as of recent.

8. Hyundai- 169,123 miles 

7 cars with the highest maintenance costs

(Image credit: Bloomberg / Getty Images)

Also as of recent, Hyundai really is holding it’s own. But as for models older than 2010, advises to avoid says to avoid — especially the Azera. On average, older Hyundai models tap out at 169,123 miles. 

7. Chrysler – 166,076 miles 

7 cars with the highest maintenance costs

(Image credit: Bloomberg / Getty Images)

Chrysler is a brand that hasn’t quite been known for reliability, so if you’re looking for a long-term car it might be one to avoid. Specifically, says to avoid the 300 sedan and the Town & Country minivan. 

6. Kia – 163,536 miles 

7 cars with the highest maintenance costs

(Image credit: Tony Bock / Getty Images)

Though the Kia brand has become much more reliable recently (and even makes it to the 2016 list of most reliable cars), Kia’s Sedona model taps out at an average 163,536 miles.

Read more: 5 things to know before buying a used car

5. Buick – 157,164 miles

7 cars with the highest maintenance costs

(Image credit: Bloomberg / Getty Images)

Buick appears to have successfully rebranded itself in the style of Matthew McConaughey recently, appealing to a new generation of drivers. But according to, you’ll want to bypass the 2005-2009 LaCrosse, due to an aging engine and platform. If you stick to the 2010 LaCrosse and beyond though, you should be good to go. 

4. Cadillac – 156,837 miles 

7 cars with the highest maintenance costs

(Image credit: David Cooper​ / Getty Images)

Cadillac is a strong luxury brand — but, older Cadillacs such as the SRX hurt the brand’s long term reliability scores, so be sure to avoid those models.

3. Audi – 153,120 miles 

7 cars with the highest maintenance costs

(Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris​ / Getty Images)

For least reliable Audi brands, be sure to avoid the Q7, which shares many of its components with Volkswagen’s least reliable Touareg. In lieu of this car, you might want to take a look at the Q5, one of Audi’s most reliable models. 

2. BMW – 151,950 miles 

7 cars with the highest maintenance costs

(Image credit: Bloomberg / Getty Images)

Older luxury brands like Mercedes, Audi and BMW are at the top of their game in the first few years. But as they age, expensive parts wear out and need replacement. ranks the 7 series as the most unreliable Beamer, BMW’s most expensive luxury sedan.

1. Mercedes-Benz – 147,032 miles 

7 cars with the highest maintenance costs

(Image credit: Bryan Mitchell​ / Getty Images)

Rated #1 on the list of most unreliable cars, the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class SUVs are among the least reliable, while the newer GLK-Class SUV and the full-size S-Class sedan, are some of the brand’s most reliable models. 

Read more: 6 used cars under $12,000 that get 40 miles per gallon

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Cadillac vs Mercedes




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Cadillac and Mercedes are among the first automotive brands to be established. They’re both quality brands in many regards, but when it comes to reliability, Benz rates higher.

Mercedes-Benz is more reliable than Cadillac. In the latest Consumer Reports list of reliable cars, Cadillac came in the 29th position out of 33 brands. Most of its models, such as the CTS, ATS, and Escalade had a score of 1 out of 5. In contrast, most Mercedes models had 2.5 out of 5.

Cadillac has had multiple recalls in the last decade, which may have contributed to the lower reliability score. On the contrary, Mercedes has had fewer recalls in the past decade. This doesn’t mean that all models are unreliable though.

The most reliable Cadillac model is the XT5, while the most reliable Mercedes is the E-Class.

Why is Cadillac more unreliable than Mercedes-Benz?

Cadillac is more unreliable than Mercedes due to multiple things. First of all, Cadillac is cheaply made. Secondly, it has a poor automatic transmission. And finally, it’s expensive to maintain over a long period.

Cheaply made

Cadillac may boast about its handsome and futuristic car models, but when you step inside these beauties, you might be surprised. Cadillac’s interior finish and features are nowhere close to what you see inside German luxury brands like Mercedes, Audi, or BMW.

The interior of a Cadillac looks similar to that of a Chevrolet, which happens to be its parent company. Inside the car is black shiny plastic, difficult to operate infotainment buttons, a bad infotainment system, and a low-end gear selector. All of these features may make Cadillac buyers feel cheated if they think they’re buying a luxury vehicle.

When you compare the Cadillac’s interior to that of a Benz, you will see a huge difference. Mercedes-Benz interiors are on another level. The cheap Cadillac interior breaks down faster than Benz, making it less reliable. A Mercedes interior will hold up for long as most of the parts are made since it uses exceptional materials.

Poor automatic transmission

Despite Cadillac featuring automatic transmission, it’s not on par with some of the best in the industry. This is a result of poor programming. Therefore, driving your Cadillac will not be as smooth a driving experience as in a Benz. Also, it’s easy for a poorly programmed transmission to develop different problems.

Expensive to maintain

Another reason why Cadillac is unreliable is because of its high cost of maintenance. Some of the common Cadillac issues are oil leaks, failure of front turn signal and DRL bulbs, power window regulators may fail, AC failing, and much more.

Some problems are common on certain Cadillac models. For instance, the CTS rear bezel may fall off after a few miles, while the XLR roof detaches. However, if you service your Cadillac properly, you shouldn’t have a lot to worry about.

What makes Mercedes one of the most reliable luxury cars?

Cheap to maintain

One of the biggest challenges of owning a luxury car is dealing with the expensive parts and repairs. Even though Mercedes-Benz parts aren’t cheap either, they are more affordable compared to Audi and BMW. BMW has the most expensive parts followed by Audi.

Fewer problems

Mercedes parts are slightly more expensive than Cadillac parts, but Cadillacs have more issues, making them less reliable to maintain in the long term. This is also the same case when compared to Audi or BMW. Overall, BMW is the most expensive to maintain, followed by Audi, Mercedes, and finally Cadillac.


Which car is more reliable – Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 4 series, or Cadillac ATS?

All of these cars are very reliable, but the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the most reliable among the three models. It’s followed closely by the BMW 4 series, and finally the Cadillac ATS model. Cadillac produces some of the least reliable luxury vehicles on the market.

Is Mercedes a better car brand than Cadillac?

Yes, it is. Not only has Mercedes-Benz been in the industry for a long period, but it’s also responsible for some of the greatest engineering in the automotive world. Overall, Mercedes-Benz produces better and more powerful vehicles than Cadillac. So, even though their cars are more expensive, you get value for money.

Why are American luxury car brands (Cadillac & Lincoln) so rare in Europe?

It’s simple. Cadillac and Lincoln are not a better product than other luxurious European car brands like Mercedes, Audi and BMW. As a result, their sales are lower because the product offered does not match that of its competitors in terms of comfort, performance, reliability, and even safety.

Which car is more durable – Cadillac Escalade or Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

These two models are some of the most durable luxury car models on the market. They can easily rack up over 200,000 miles with fewer issues. Nevertheless, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is still more reliable than the Cadillac Escalade.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has proven to be one of the most durable vehicles on the market, and it will stay strong even after 10 or even 20 years on the road. The close car models that compete with the S-Class in terms of durability are the Lexus LS and Lincoln Town car.

Why did Cadillac and other luxury American car brands lose the American market to Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and other foreign luxury car brands?

During the first oil shock in the late 70s and early 80s, things got bad for many American car companies and they never fully recovered. Regardless, many of the American luxury car brands such as Cadillac and Lincoln focused a lot on the adult population and forgot the upcoming generation.

On the other hand, German and other European car brands saw this gap and decided to make products that appealed to the younger generation. Additionally, most European car brands have superior engineering, better handling, more advanced safety features, and better designs.

Cadillac: Beautiful, but not reliable

Cadillac produces some of the most beautiful cars on the market. But when it comes to reliability, it’s one of the worst. At the same time, Mercedes-Benz is among the most reliable luxury car brands. The only Cadillac model that can compete with Mercedes in terms of reliability is the Cadillac XT5.

Overall, Mercedes-Benz is the better car. Cadillac may be beautifully designed and cheaper than Mercedes, but Mercedes has superior engineering and other high-end features than Cadillac. Mercedes offers comfort, style, quality, safety, and class. It’s hard for any luxury car to beat that.


Mercedes reliability vs cadillac

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Mercedes Benz vs. Cadillac - Interior Comparison

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