If you're going to buy this car used, you're about to get a lot of car for very little money. I purchased mine for $4000 two years ago and it is my daily driver. The car rides amazingly well and looks fantastic. After detailing it, people ask what it is and compliment it at the gas station, etc., all the time. The car looks and sounds fantastic and the engine throws you back in your seat if you put your foot in it. The car was built very well (excluding using head-bolts instead of studs, see "Improvements") and looks 50,000 miles younger than it's age. The design does not look like its from the 90's and the interior is equally impressive; very comfortable.
The car gets rid of the old "grandpa's Cadillac" notion that accompanies a Caddy. The Northstar engine is an engineering marvel except for it's one real downfall. If your okay with taking a gamble, this is an unbelievable car for the money. Driving this as my first car, people assume I'm rich or my dad is in the mafia and bought it for me. I STILL know people who to this day don't believe what I paid for it. But you must understand that the fun this car can provide can end very quickly if you wind up with a lemon. Do your research well. I wouldn't buy from a used car dealership unless there was no other option.
The head gaskets on my car did indeed fail just recently (Winter 2011/2012). I am good with cars so pulled the motor and did the repair myself. If you aren't car-savvy and plan on spending just the ticket price and no maintenance, don't buy this car. Get a Honda or something reliable. Although this vehicle is strong and fast and very good looking, reliable it is not. Once the head gasket repair is complete, the car is bullet-proof, but if not you may very well be buying a money pit. If you're good with engines or very lucky, you'll make out like a bandit. If not, you'll end up like some of the other reviewers who come on here to bash this car. You can't LIKE the STS. You have to LOVE it.
This is a great touring car and very comfortable in traffic. The Northstar engine is remarkable. My mileage is 18.5 in town and 22 MPG on the open road.When I need power and it feels like my lips are being stretched by G force. It is a great performer
G force speed when needed. I enjoy the classy luxurious feeling when I drive it. It is dependable and has had no unusual mechanical failures in 110,000.
I have an elderly mother that has a challenge getting out of the deep set back seat.
I just got this car from Ebay a month ago with almost 170K miles. However, everything works as it should and the 300HP engine is still going strong when I paunch it to the floor. Used primarily as commute car to out-of-state job and have found it can do 28-29MPG on highway. For a 4600CC engine and 4000lb car, this is incredible. So far I've put on 2000 miles and there is no issue at all. I have never thought a cheap 2nd-hand car can be this much fun and economical.
Very comfy and heated chairs, nice audio system and great fun watching rainsense working. And of course the all powerful Northstar engine.
Can't ask for anything more with the money I paid.
Bought my STS 2 yrs ago, with 50,000 mi. in great shape. The STS has great styling. People ask me what it is and what year, as it still looks sharp. I've had problems with oil burn since I got it & have to top it up several times between oil changes. A few of my beefs relate to the stupidity of GM not sharing some good features between similar vehicles. My last car was a fully dressed 1997 (same year) Olds LSS..I called it a baby Caddy, as the interiors were almost identical! The superior features: 1) Double folding sun visors for side/front coverage; 2) Reading lights in centre iso above window; 3) Hole in rear arm rest to allow for skis/longer items to pass thru Learn from Olds!
Styling; power; size.
I just cannot fathom why a fully dressed Olds would have better features than a Caddy! Caddy, get your head out of the sand and pay attention! These little items noted above are just aggravating and against the idea that Caddy would be the creme de la creme of the GM line.
I drove a Cadillac a few times when I was in my teens and wanted a Cadillac ever since, then last year I brought a 1997 STS. I love the car, it's a hoot to drive very powerful and comfortable to drive. It's in great looking condition but my disappointment comes in with the reliability.The one time I had it any distance away from home my wife and I was on a bus. trip and after coming out from the hotel when we checked in the alternator quit this was after I had replaced the starter but before the headlight control module gave out. last week we went to an anniversary dinner with our children and when we arrived at the restaurant the security problem code came up and two days later it refused to start. It's at the garage now with a fuel pump problem that the tech found while trying to fix that security code problem. I am sure when I get it back something else will go on it. I love the car and love to drive it's a real beauty.