The ultimate FWD Cadillac... a muscle car in a suit
I've had a few issues with my Seville, mainly accessory related, but nothing major. The head gaskets did blow at 54,306 before I purchased it, but the local GM dealership replaced that and did a complete re-seal before purchasing.
Here are a few of the things that have happened to my Seville during my nearly 4 year tenure:
Replaced 3 of the Bose stereo speakers - $400-$500 for the three installed.
Trunk and taillight leaks. Replacement of trunk weatherstrip and taillight mid section and right taillight from a donor Seville fixed those problems. Trunk weatherstrip was $70 installed, taillight mid-section was free from another Seville, right taillight about $60.
Radiator started leaking around 85k miles. Replacement was about $500 with installation from Cadillac.
Driver's side CV axle lost all grease. $300 with installation and part.
A/C blend actuator went bad. $300 parts and installation.
Have replaced several front center motor mounts due to poor design from GM. About $300 with parts and labor.
Crankshaft sensors failed in October 2008. Was causing poor performance and stalling. $250 parts and install.
3rd brake light burnt out. Purchased part for $70 off eBay and installed myself.
Replaced ignition switch and intermediate steering shaft at 60k miles. These were both unnecessary, but were taken as precaution. $600 for both, along with the theft module.
The Seville STS's are generally great cars, even though looking at the repair list, you would think otherwise. What people have to understand when buying a used luxury car, is even though it only costs $10,000, it doesn't mean it's going to cost any less to repair than it did when it stickered for $50,000 back in 2000.
If you can afford these cars, then they are great bargains in the used car market, and offer up a great blend of power, performance, style, comfort, and technology, that only now is being matched in the automobile market. If something were to happen to my Seville today, I would search high and low for another one, and go purchase it. Yes, I love these cars that much.
Going to make a few points here at the bottom:
Styling - The style of this Seville is very European, which is great for people who don't want the "old" look the Deville offers. The lines are sleek and elegant, and it doesn't require that "in your face" design that today's Cadillac offers. Nothing against that style, as I think it's great, but I think the Seville is one of the few luxury cars from the 90's that still carries itself well in the marketplace today. It's starting to show its age, but overall it's still a timeless Cadillac design.
Power - The Seville is powered by a 4.6L Northstar V8 with 300 horsepower and 295 lb ft of torque. This is a good motor that has been plagued with reliability issues, including head gasket failure, oil leaks, vacuum leaks, and other issues that keep the overall value of these vehicles down. Besides those facts, the Seville is pretty quick for a two ton luxury car, getting from 0-60 in 6.5 seconds. The power is smooth throughout the band, and the Northstar really wakes up north of 3500rpm, where it sings a beautiful tone. It also delivers quite decent gas mileage for such a large car, netting 15 in the city and 25 on the highway.
Handling - This car uses an exclusive Continuously Variable Road Sensing Suspension (or CVRSS) to help make this car feel more nimble than its FWD underpinnings would suggest. It's great for plowing through corners, though you do tend to get a decent amount of understeer, along with a good amount of body roll. However, it's surprising the limits this car has, and there have been many a time where I've tested those limits, only to be shocked it can go even more.
Beware of this suspension setup, as the shocks are around $500-$700 per corner to replace, and they haven't gotten any cheaper as the years have gone on. This (next to head gaskets) is the most expensive repair you'll make on a Seville.
Interior - At first glance, the interior pleases with its acres of Nuance leather trimmings and Zebrano wood, but unfortunately some of the materials are Cavalier-grade. Another side effect of this is the poor assembly quality some of these cars have, though some were assembled with great care, and don't have any issues to speak of. Mine is somewhere in the middle, though that still doesn't detract from the comfort of the 14 way power seat.
The interior does offer up a clean design that is definitely 90's in style, with a dashboard layout that is simple and easy to read. All of the controls fall readily at hand, and the gated shifter offers an elegant touch to the interior. Seat mounted belts are for added comfort, along with power headrests. Heated seats keep you warm on those cold mornings, and the climate control system is dual-zone, so you and your occupants can keep different settings. The Bose 4.0 425 watt stereo is insane, and can really make it feel like you're in a concert hall, when in fact you're just driving a really great luxury sedan.
Overall - I recommend the Seville to anybody who wants a great luxury sedan at a great price. I do caution those on a budget to look elsewhere. These cars are not cheap to maintain, and it's best to set aside about $1000-$2000 a year for repairs. If you can do that, you'll be rewarded with a beautiful sedan that will put a smile on your face every time you get in the driver's seat.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th March, 2012