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2002 Cadillac DeVille Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Love the car but hate engine design by 531eis

AnnMarie

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Reviewed: 2002 Cadillac DeVille

4dr Sedan 275-horsepower 4.6L V8 4-speed automatic FWD

Why the 2002 Cadillac DeVille?

Exterior styling

Timeless design. Still brings a lot of admiring looks when waxed and shined.

Materials & workmanship

Even after 13 years, the car body looks like it came off the showroom floor. The GM White Diamond pearl white coat still shines brightly with no fading spots. Chrome factory wheels still look stunning. The interior leather still looks great with no wear spots. All knobs, controls,and displays have held up with no breaks. The vinyl and plastics are sturdy and meant to last.

Ride smoothness

So quiet and effortless to drive and ride in. Tranny shifts so smoothly you don't notice any jerks. Can have a normal conversation even with A/C on full blast. Goes over bumps with composure- not too much bounce.

Front seat support & comfort

I dare anyone to find a car that is as comfortable as this one. The new Cadillacs don't even compare. There's leg room and the console doesn't crowd you. The seat controls allow for a lot of adjustment. I like the tilt and telescope feature for the steering wheel.

Why Not the 2002 Cadillac DeVille?

Reliability & durability

This is the sad part. The exterior and interior are holding up so well that I would be delighted to keep this car for years to come. However, the Northstar engine has multiple design flaws. One, it's packed too tightly in the engine compartment. Makes it very expensive for any kind of service including just replacing the battery. I bought it in 2009 with 55,000 miles. No problems until last year. Had to replace wheel bearings (left and right) in front axle. Pump for air ride leveler in rear had to be replaced. This year, head valve gaskets went bad and sprayed oil onto alternator. Had to replace gaskets + alternator ($1300 in cost). Still leaks really badly from the bottom of engine. Bad design problem. Exhaust system wraps around bottom of engine and heats it up quite a bit. Causes gaskets on the bottom to break down and leak. To fix this, engine would have to be taken out. Repair would be to the tune of thousands and still no guarantee it won't happen again. This is called "the Big Leak" by some mechanics. Shame on you, Cadillac engineers. This was a stupid engine design and now I'm sitting here wondering what to do with this beautiful car body equipped with a rotten engine. BEWARE FOLKS! DO NOT BUY ANY CADILLACS WITH NORTHSTAR ENGINES!

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