1999 Cadillac Seville SLS V8 from North America


A bargain performance sedan!



General Comments:

Excellent performance. Very reasonable fuel mileage, currently around 22.5 mpg on the highway. I drive around 150 to 225 miles per day and this Seville makes it a joy to drive this much. Great dashboard display, and lots of comfort features.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 15th February, 2004

1999 Cadillac Seville STS Northstar from North America


A great high performance auto that's fun to drive, but riddled with mechanical/electrical problems


Alternator changed due to recall, but GM gave me $100 gift certificate for the inconvenience - cool.

Several speakers in the Bose system have blown and had to be replaced - happened three different times. I suspect this is due to an anomaly in the electrical system, since I occasionally hear a very loud pop when engaging the ignition. Dealer can't find any electrical problem.

Starter failed and had to be replaced due to a "dead spot".

Bearing on the cabin blower fan failed - fan started making clinking sound when squirrel cage fan contacted the blower housing. Dealer replaced.

Power steering pump made whining noise when turning the steering wheel. Power steering fluid was a black color at 10,000 miles indicating something was wrong in the system. Dealer replaced pump and solved the problem.

Master brake cylinder failed and had to be replaced by Dealer. Slowly (thankfully) developed a sink of the brake pedal to the floor, until it was impossible to hold the car at a stop for the duration of a traffic light change. Very scary situation. The mechanic nearly ran through the back of his work stall when he pulled it in.

Water pump started leaking and was replaced.

"Transmission Fluid Life" indicator on the information panel has shown 100% since day one - does not decrement. Dealer can't resolve, so I gave up on it since I don't rely on it anyway.

Driver side seat heater quit working and had to be replaced.

"Check gas cap" indicator kept coming on. Over the course of at least six visits, the Dealer changed numerous components in the fuel system - all without results. Finally, they got it fixed, but they wouldn't/couldn't tell me what they did... so I suspect they just disabled the sensor or sending device.

Left rear strut leaking and had to be replaced. Shortly thereafter, the right one got jealous and did the same thing. Very expensive.

Power steering pressure sensor started leaking power steering fluid and was replaced.

Uses 1 qt. of oil every 1500 miles. Dealer says "they all do that". Hard to believe that this infamous Northstar jewel of an engine was designed to behave that way. It would be great if GM simply gave an honest answer - instead, you can read for yourself the canned "politically correct" response I received when I inquired. I didn't need a lesson on the function of oil in an engine, and I am smart enough to understand that a "standard rate of consumption" cannot be pinned down due to the variables to which they elude. So my visits to the auto parts store always include the purchase of a few quarts of oil, and into the truck they go until I next check my oil - you can bet that I will be cracking one of those quarts open. Here's what they responded::

Thank you for contacting the Cadillac Customer Assistance Center. We appreciate you taking the time to write us in regards to your 1999 Seville. We apologize for any frustrations that you may have endured.

The following is the information we have on oil consumption regarding Northstar engines.

A gasoline engine uses oil to lubricate the cylinder walls, pistons and piston rings. When the piston moves downward, a thin film of oil is left on the cylinder walls. On the firing stroke, a small amount is burned when the gasoline vapor is combusted. If an engine were to burn as much as one drop of oil every firing stroke, it would use more than one quart every two miles. Modern engines use much less oil than one drop, but all efficient engines use some oil. If they did not, they would quickly wear out.

A standard rate of consumption cannot be established because oil consumption depends upon the size of the engine, and quality and viscosity of the oil, the speed at which the engine is operated, the ambient temperature, and the amount of oil dilution and oxidation that takes place.

In addition, these normal factors that contribute to the difference in oil consumption may be misleading. A car, for example, that has run 1,000 miles or more in city operation may consume a normal amount of oil. Due to the dilution (condensation and fuel) in the crankcase, the dipstick measures up to the full mark. The car is then driven at high speed on the highway, the dilution elements may boil off rapidly and the car appears to use oil in a short amount of highway mileage.

If your engine has experienced a significant loss of oil, your engine parts may overheat due to lack of lubrication. This will in turn cause damage to your engine. You may get an oil consumption test at your local Cadillac dealer to see if your vehicle is operating within parameters.

If you should need to contact us in the future, simply reply to this message or call our Cadillac Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-458-8006 and refer to your Service Request number 1-110164421. Customer Relationship Managers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Again, thank you for contacting Cadillac.


General Comments:

The Seville is a lot of fun to drive and rides like a dream, but you better have friends at the dealership, because you will likely be spending more time there than you care to.

Very quiet, can't hear engine idling and quiet on the open road too.

Very comfortable seats. Great on long trips. Carries passengers extremely well.

Awesome looks - great lines. I get a lot of compliments on the pearl white and polished chrome wheels.

Power to spare. Unbelievable passing experience and acceleration on entry ramp.

Super sound out of the Bose system.

Love the sporty sound of the big Northstar's exhaust system when you call out the horses.

For a $50,000 luxury car, far too many mechanical and electrical problems in 4 years of ownership.

GM should be ashamed that they can't do better under the covers, because they have a great product on the surface.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th June, 2003

13th Jul 2004, 18:02

Struts very expensive? No kidding!!! I just got an estimate today to replace the struts on my '99 Seville. Parts only, before tax and labor...$2765 for the four struts! Does anybody PLEASE know of an aftermarket substitute/modification for this car? I can get by very nicely without the active suspension, I just want some shocks or struts at the corners.