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Ranking 41 Cadillac Generations by Reliability

Sorting models by their generation gives us a clearer picture of common problems across a group of similar vehicles. From there, we can assign scores to each generation to give you a basic picture of which to consider and those to avoid. The higher the score, the faster you should run away.

Rank Model Gen Years PainRank (?)
41st SRX Gen 2 2010–2016 13.38
40th CTS Gen 1 2003–2007 11.21
39th CTS Gen 2 2008–2013 9.72
38th SRX Gen 1 2004–2009 8.36
37th DeVille Gen 8 2000–2005 8.05
36th DeVille Gen 7 1994–1999 4.22
35th XT5 Gen 1 2017–2018 3.91
34th DTS Gen 1 2006–2011 3.42
33rd ATS Gen 1 2013–2018 3.09
32nd SeVille Gen 5 1998–2004 1.78
31st CTS Gen 3 2014–2018 1.73
30th XLR Gen 1 2004–2009 1.7
29th XTS Gen 1 2013–2018 1.64
28th Catera Gen 1 1998–2001 1.62
27th Escalade Gen 2 2002–2006 1.53
26th Fleetwood Gen 1 1985–1992 1.42
25th STS Gen 1 2005–2011 1.4
24th Escalade Gen 1 1999–2000 1.36
23rd Escalade Gen 3 2007–2014 1.33
22nd CT6 Gen 1 2016–2018 1.2
21st Escalade Gen 4 2015–2018 1.04
20th Eldorado Gen 7 1976–1978 0.76
19th SeVille Gen 3 1986–1991 0.61
18th DeVille Gen 6 1985–1993 0.6
17th Eldorado Gen 10 1992–2002 0.57
16th DeVille Gen 5 1980–1984 0.56
15th Escalade EXT Gen 1 2002–2013 0.5
14th SeVille Gen 4 1992–1997 0.46
13th CTS-V Gen 1 2004–2007 0.34
12th CTS-V Gen 2 2008–2014 0.29
11th Fleetwood Gen 2 1993–1996 0.24
10th Eldorado Gen 9 1987–1991 0.23
9th Eldorado Gen 8 1979–1986 0.22
8th ELR Gen 1 2014–2016 0.19
7th Brougham Gen 1 1988–1992 0.16
6th SeVille Gen 2 1980–1985 0.13
5th Escalade Hybrid Gen 1 2009–2013 0.06
4th Allante Gen 1 1990–1993 0.0
3rd ATS-V Gen 1 2016–2018 0.0
2nd CTS-V Gen 3 2015–2018 0.0
1st SeVille Gen 1 1976–1979

Answers to the most frequently asked questions

What Are Vehicle Generations?

Generations are groups of model years where the vehicles are continuously produced, use similar engineering, and share features. Generational data is not always cut-and-dry – manufacturers might not always release generation information, some generations might last longer in different countries, and various trim levels and model variants can make the whole thing confusing. We do our best but make no guarantees about our generation data. When in doubt, we stick with data about US models.

Why Are Some Vehicles Missing a 1st / 2nd / 3rd Generation?

You might notice that some of our data starts at generation 5, 6, etc. So what happened to the older generations? One of two things. 1. some models have been around a long time and we don’t have any complaint or NHTSA data about them. 2. some new models share the same platform as existing models, so we typically tie them together. For instance, a new hybrid vehicle might be introduced during the 5th generation of its non-hybrid counterpart. We’ll typically start the hybrid’s generation at 5, unless it’s otherwise noted.

What is PainRank™? Where Does it Come From?

PainRank™ is a CarComplaints.com algorithm that uses complaint data from owners (the average mileage of failures, the cost to make repairs, etc), relative complaints analysis, sales numbers, NHTSA data, & owners’ own vehicle rankings to come up with a number representing how much pain a car inflicts on its owners. The higher the PainRank™ score, the more painful a car is to own (typically).