1. It was pretty fast for such a big car (Used to laugh at civic SI's)
2. Got pretty good MPG at 23MPG all around and over 30MPG on the highway if you kept your foot out of it
3. The bench seats are awesome
4. Enough room to fit all your friends in the back seat.. (And it they pissed you off, they could all fit in the trunk on the way back)
5. It gives you a very protected safe feeling
6. Hitting huge pot-holes feels like running over gravel
Why it got such a bad number of stars..
1. I bought the car used; it had 68K miles on it.
2. The car started to have over heating issues..
I replaced the radiator with a triple core aluminum dragster radiator off of a chevy dragster.
The Thermostat didn't circulate the coolant until it was too late, which at 236 degree's for the system to start to circulate is what caused the issues with the head gaskets on these cars. Pulling the Thermostat and buying one made for a different engine (shortstar) and using that one with a bypass on the two 26K CFM fans cured the overheating issues.
(NOTE: you can't do the head-gaskets on the 98-02 Northstar, since the head is structural and the engine will warp when you pull the heads.. Entire engine must be replaced)
3. When it rained the tail lights didn't work
4. The alarm would randomly go off.
5. Replaced the power window motors with other Cadillac ones, Twice, before using Toyota Camry one's modified to work in the caddy frames.
6. Dealership wanted to charge me 150.00 for Windshield washer blades.. (Are they high?)
7. Exhaust rotted off the bottom of the car (Stainless isn't a choice on a 40+K dollar car?) (No matter though some Super40 flowmasters and two 3-1/2in chrome tips sounded great)
8. quality of the interior materials are made from cheaper plastics than rubber maid garbage cans.
9. car had electrical issues, and eventually randomly caught fire. (Ironically after the fire department put it out, all it took was some new ignition wires and it started right back up. )
These cars can be fantastic cars for people who have some automotive repair skills, they are also fantastic cars for people who live in area's where there isn't heavy traffic. If you live in the middle of mid-town Manhattan, look for a Fleetwood, which while these look alike the fleetwood LT1 is a much better engine.
If you however are stuck on one of these for whatever reason.. Keep an open eye for coolant leaks, oil leaks, transmission slips, and mostly overheating. Have the person start and run the car, wait for the coolant fans to kick in before you buy one. Most of these cars are marketed at needing a "head gasket" however, you can't replace the head gasket on the 98-00 Northstar, the head is a structural part, and pulling it will warp the block, which will result in leaking head gaskets as well as other issues. If you find one without the over heating issue, replace the thermostat with a lower temp thermostat immediately, and replace the coolant fan switch with a manual, or adjustable one, choosing to kick on the fans at a much cooler temp (201 vs 236). Doing this will enable you to have a car that will get you around at a very low price.
i owned this car for 1 yr now. & i love it, it has power & comfort & heads turn cause i got 16' wire wheels on him. my caddy is all car & drives smooth, so far nothin major has gone wrong with it & it has 88,700 miles on it. juss minor things like the antennea motor & d/s window motor, i totally luv this car it is my BABY. i will never get rid of it!!!!my wife didn't want it till she drove it,& then she was convinced she wanted it!!!!
I drive 80 miles round trip daily to work. I live in northern Maine, 2 hours north of Bangor, me. I've had to plow my way out of my driveway, and out of 2 other roads (2 miles) before I got to main road, at 3:30am. Sometimes i had to plow the main road for miles before it was plowed going through 1 to 2 ft. Drifts. That car never faltered once! I' driven through countless blizzards! That car is the most reliable car I've ever driven. The front wheel drive along with the heavy v8 northstar engine gave the car unbelievable traction. I never worried about being stuck in snow or heavy slush. It was safe consistent and dependable. If I hit a moose it would land on the hood and not on me. Car is bigger than moose!
Have owned for 10 yrs, now at 100,000 miles it still runs and looks like new. Never had a major issue with this car, it's never left me stranded and always starts right up. Everything still works! Can't understand why everyone knocks American car quality!
For a car that's 10 years old it still turns heads. I did my research on the northstar before i bought it and heard nothing but horror stories. but at 143,000 miles it runs perfect. it runs so good i wonder if the engine or trans has been rebuilt.but with the high mileage I'm prepared for something to go wrong.