The Most Common Cadillac Problems

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A/C condenser leaks, airbag recalls, infotainment system problems, and steering wheel sensor malfunctions are some of the most common issues across Cadillac models. The SRX is considered the least reliable model, and the replacement TX5 is the most reliable.
All cars have their issues, but some are cheaper to maintain than others. Over the years, Cadillac has built a reputation for being less reliable than some other luxury brands, a reputation that they are seeking to change with newer models.
To provide a guide to some of the common issues with the most popular Cadillac models, insurance comparison app Jerry has scoured the internet looking at consumer reports and expert reviews so you don’t have to.
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What are the most common Cadillac problems?

The classic luxury brand from General Motors, Cadillac has a long, storied history. In recent years, though, Cadillac’s reputation for reliability has declined. This is something they are trying to change with their newer line-ups. 
Historically, some common issues across Cadillac models have been: 
  • A/C condenser leaks
  • Takata airbags
  • CUE infotainment system malfunction and screen issues
For a breakdown of the common issues of the models featured in this article check out the table below:
ModelStarting priceJ.D. Power reliability ratingMost common problemsYears to avoid
SRX$38,60082/100Headlight troubles, leaky sunroof, loose toe link2010-2014
CTS$47,99074/100Timing chain, steering wheel sensor2006-2009, 2014
Escalade$78,00078/100Weak door handles, HVAC issues, clunky transmission and suspension2007, 2008, 2015, 2016, 2019
XTS$47,89082/100Electrical issues2013, 2014, 2016, 2018
DeVille$51,600N/AEngine leaks and overheating1994, 1999, 2000-2002
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Most common Cadillac SRX problems

Average annual repair cost: $703 complaints: 547
The biggest headache for SRX owners has been headlight issues. Complaints of dim lights and water getting into the headlight assembly are some of the most common. 
This might not sound like a huge deal, but it has led to persistent issues seeing at night to the point that a number of class-action lawsuits have been filed and owners of 2010 to 2015 SRXs have been issued reimbursements for expenses for headlight repairs.
Other common problems with the SRX are leaky sunroofs, rough engine idling, steering wheel sensor failure, and loose toe links. Model years 2010-2016 have had a recall on their toe links.

Most common Cadillac CTS problems 

Average annual repair cost: $663 complaints: 302
The Cadillac CTS had a run from 2003 to 2009 where there were a lot of complaints with the coolant system, timing chain breakage, and a faulty steering wheel sensor. All of these have the potential to be costly and dangerous issues.
More recent models seem to be more reliable with many of the complaints found online being with the interior, infotainment system, and the rear bezel cover—which are largely cosmetic but still expensive.

Most common Cadillac Escalade problems 

Average annual repair cost: $1,007 complaints: 92
The Escalade has long been known as the “biggest and best” luxury SUV. With an average annual repair cost of over $1000, though, that luxury comes at fairly hefty costs throughout the vehicle’s lifespan. 
Historically, complaints with older models of Escalades have been about door handles breaking and issues with the HVAC system
More serious, though, is the history of jerky, clunky transmissions, especially in the 2016 models, and a faulty suspension that leads to uncomfortable driving conditions, which are especially problematic in the 2014 models.

Most common Cadillac XTS problems 

Average annual repair cost: $875 complaints: 56
The stylish XTS seems to have fewer problems than the other models featured here, with the model receiving far fewer complaints on and receiving a higher reliability rating on
That said, it still has its issues. Most notably are electrical issues that cause the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) to malfunction and the battery to drain excessively quickly. These problems seem especially prevalent in the 2013 and 2014 models. 

Most common Cadillac DeVille problems

Average annual repair cost: $476 complaints: 218
The iconic Cadillac DeVille is perhaps one of the most famous Cadillacs in history. The classic designs seem to hold up well, but problems get worse with the newer generations. 
The most common complaints tend to be with the engines of the eighth generation DeVilles (2000-2005), which have a habit of leaking and overheating

Are Cadillac cars reliable?

Reports contain largely mixed reviews about Cadillac’s reliability as a brand. Companies like J.D. Power tend to give Cadillacs a decent reliability rating, while others like Consumer Reports and Repair Pal tend to rank Cadillac near the bottom of car manufacturers for reliability. 
Part of this is likely due to Cadillac being a luxury brand—it’s going to be more expensive to repair than other makes no matter what the issue is. 
That said, Cadillacs rarely make the list of most reliable luxury vehicles and are usually bested by companies like Lexus, Mercedes, and BMW

The least reliable Cadillac model: 2010 Cadillac SRX

Most common problem: Headlight troubles
NHTSA complaints: 439 
The SRX was in production until 2016, offering a more affordable luxury crossover to the market. Unfortunately, it’s also the Cadillac model with the most consumer complaints.
The 2010 model was the worst year for the SRX. Six recalls were made for various 2010 SRX models, including a recall for a faulty toe link, issues with pre-igniting if using the wrong fuel type, and power steering issues, among others. 
Couple these recalls with frequent headlight issues, leaking sunroofs, and steering wheel sensor problems, and you have headaches for thousands of car owners.

The most reliable Cadillac model: 2018 Cadillac XT5

Most common problem: Jerky transmission
NHTSA complaints: 0
The XT5 was released to replace the SRX in Cadillac’s lineup. The new luxury crossover maintains the relatively affordable price point that had set the SRX apart from its competitors, but with fewer problems. 
The 2018 XT5 is one of Cadillac’s most reliable models, but it still only received an “average” reliability rating from J.D. Power.

How to find better deals on car insurance

Owning a Cadillac might come with a collection of maintenance headaches, but insuring it can be hassle-free.
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If you properly maintain your Cadillac, you can expect it to last over 200,000 miles.
Cadillacs are luxury vehicles, so maintenance costs tend to be higher than average. Annual repair costs for Cadillac owners are around $700-$800.

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