Wow, this story sounds awfully familiar to me.
I was also a GM and Cadillac loyalist for years. I had owned only GM made cars since I started driving as a teenager. It was just about a year ago that I came on here and posted something similar to your post. I lost my old password/screen name so I created this one only to respond to your post.
I owned a 2005 Cadillac STS V8. Here's some of the things that I hated about my Cadillac at the time....
-Went through brakes/rotors every 10,000 miles. My local Cadillac dealership claimed that the rotors needed to be replaced along with the pads almost everytime I needed brakes.
-Check Engine light came on continually and they could never clear the error. I just got used to driving with the check engine light on all the time.
-Blue tooth worked with my cell phone maybe 50% of the time. No service tech could diagnose it and once again, it was just something I dealt with.
-When leaving my car for service, Cadillac never offered me a loaner car as I had to rent a car for the day(s) that they kept my car. Usually my rental was nothing close to a Cadillac in terms of quality. Cadillac never once washed my STS either after servicing.
-The car felt heavy and clunky. I have no complaints about the Northstar V8 engine, but the weight of the car limited the performance and the handling was atrocious.
-Quality of the exterior paint was not what I would consider a luxury car. I always saw swirls in the paint finish and no amount of waxing seemed to get rid of it. I did own black so maybe this was the problem?
-Battery would go dead fairly consistently after leaving it for a few weeks. The service techs at Cadillac told me that this was due to the "many computers that run your car." I asked if I needed to unhook my battery terminals at LAX when I fly out on business trips and the guy said it wouldn't be a bad idea!!!
-Voice commands were virtually useless on the STS and I rarely used them.
-Overall, I felt like I paid for a luxury, flagship product, but received economy service and quality. My wife and I both owned Cadillacs at the time (Escalade and STS) and we both shared similar experiences. I can honestly say that I won't buy a Cadillac for a loooooong time.
Okay...fast forward a year to today.
-I currently own a 2008 GS460 and here's what I love about it so far...
-My bluetooth ALWAYS works with my phone (iPhone). No exceptions! Once I paired it the day I drove it off the lot, it hasn't once crapped out on me.
-My voice commands, dialing and GPS are intelligent and understand what I'm saying 99% of the time. I've also programmed some of my commonly dialed numbers into the car and I can dial these on the fly while driving with a touch of a button or simple voice command.
-While nobody will mistake the handling on the GS for a BMW M3, this car feels more sporty as compared to my STS. It corners better, but doesn't give up that soft Lexus ride. When switching into Sport and Power mode, my ride is much firmer and the acceleration feels incredible getting on freeways.
-I just finally had to replace my front brake pads yesterday for the first time in a year. I have 19,000 miles on my car and I drive in stop-and-go L.A. traffic most days. They didn't ask me to replace my rotors and did my brake job for under $250. Cadillac would have been a different story.
-Every time I drop my car off for servicing, they loan me an actual Lexus free of charge. I'm not sure if all Lexus dealerships do this, but my local one does and I love it. It's fun to drive an ES or RX from time to time. It allows you to see the features on other models. It's a great marketing tool for Lexus and makes the customer feel great about dropping their car off for service.
-I have yet to have a "Check Engine" or anything else pop up on my dash. The car, thus far, has been flawless. No recalls...nothing!!! Pure heaven.
-My battery has never died and the Lexus GS has as many on-board computers as my STS had. I no longer arrive home from a long business trip hoping that my car starts in the parking lot. I also haven't had to call AAA for a jumpstart on an early Monday morning for work since owning my Lexus.
-The paint on my car still looks "showroom". I wash it regularly, but have only waxed it a couple of times. I am very satisfied with the cosmetics on this car.
I used to be one of those people who would never buy anything but American cars. I always felt sentimental about it and wanted to stay loyal. However, after having bad experiences with both Cadillacs, I had to see what Lexus, Infiniti, BMW or Mercedes could offer. I always believed that Cadillac was the best thing we make in America, but after owning a couple of them, I beg to differ. I've told everyone and anyone who will listen how much I love my Lexus experience. From the purchasing experience to the service experience and the day to day driving, I love this car and will own it a long time.
You can PM me any specific questions you may have as I was in your exact position last year. Good luck with your decision. I don't know too much about the IS because it was too small for me and I never seriously considered buying one.
Last edited by Just a Guy; 04-14-09 at 03:15 PM.