2003 Cadillac CTS Consumer Review: I miss my Pontiac Grand Prix,

2003 Cadillac CTS - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

270 Total Reviews

Base Sedan (3.2L V6 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
I miss my Pontiac Grand Prix, which as a better built car.
By originalsoul31 on


2003 Cadillac CTS 4dr Sedan (3.2L 6cyl 5M)


For 10 years, my dream car was the CTS. My Pontiac Grand Prix GT suffered a blown head gasket. Sold it for $600 and used the money as a down payment for the '03 CTS. Test drove it, loved it. The same day I left the car lot, problems arose. The oil pressure light came on, but that turned out to be a wet sensor. The next week, the check engine light comes on, it's a bad gas cap, fixed that after a few weeks of troubleshooting. Last week it shuts down on the freeway suddenly. Two months in and I still cant trust this car. Hopefully once I can get it right, I'll love it. But right now, it's making my '99 Grand Prix and '84 Toyota Tercel seem like better built cars.

Best Features

Heated seats, good acceleration, runs quiet. Driver Information Center works well.

Worst Features

This car could have been made simpler under the hood, and more refined on the interior, which seems to have a cheap feel. It has too many overly-sensitive sensors. The mechanics and parts are too cheap and are expensive to fix.
Recommend (6) (1)

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Comments (3) Post a Comment
By emcculland
on 07/08/13 14:18 PM (PDT)

Hi, What was the issue with the car shutting itself down while driving? I have a CTS and having the same issue.

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By originalsoul31
on 07/08/13 16:08 PM (PDT)

emcculland...well, after numerous trips to the dealership--8 since my purchase in January--it was determined that the ECM and the throttle body both needed to be replaced. The dealership replaced both and reprogrammed, at a cost of nearly $1800. Now, the last time it caused problems after the parts were replaced, the same problems had returned. It showed symptoms of hard shifting, so I drove slower to avoid the car going into 'limp mode'. When the car was sent back to the dealership, they checked the wiring harness--which they had replaced when they replaced the throttle body. They determined that the wiring was not getting a significant connection through the crimp connectors, so they removed those and hard-wired everything. So far, so good. But now I'm trying to determine another issue with the coolant recovery tank.

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By originalsoul31
on 08/19/13 13:51 PM (PDT)

So, it's been more than two months since the last repair on this car, and it's safe to say that repairs have been sufficient. There has been no 'limp mode' shutdown of the engine while driving since the ECM, throttle body and wiring harness were replaced and wired correctly. I have also replaced the pressure cap on the coolant recovery tank. So far, this car is running as I expected when I first bought it, and I'm starting to really like it. For those who may be looking into this year model as a purchase, please be aware that there is a chance you will have to repair the throttle body as well as the ECM--you can't just do one or the other because it's best to replace both at the same time, because they have to be programmed for your car. This car entails some expensive repairs so do your research on it before you buy it. The '03 model will allow you to check for fault codes, but all other models require a scanner that you attach to the vehicle.

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