I am about to take over the remainder of someone's GMAC lease on an '07
CTS base model, at $275/month after a modest up front transfer fee. The
remaining lease term provides 1,000 miles per month. The car is in
as-new condition with 13k miles - it has had only two oil changes, and
they were by the dealer.
Since I have never leased a car before, and have never had a Cadillac
before, some questions have arisen.
1. Does this deal make sense for someone who drives about 1k miles per
2. What is the typical deal at the end of a lease term? How can I
estimate the price if I wish to buy the car, and how can I estimate the
new lease payments if I decide to continue driving it under the lease?
3. What are the weakest areas in modern Cadillac cars in general, and in
the 07 CTS in particular.
This is a base model car with a 2.8L V6, few whistles and no bells -
just right for me!
1. You need to run the numbers - see what an 07 sells for now
(Edmunds,com). See what the buy out is at the end of the lease (call
the leaseholder). If you are sophisticated in Present Value
calculations, do a trade off. If not, ignore the interest rate and
compare cost now versus $275x12 + cost at the end of the lease. That
will tell you if you have a good deal. I have bought three
Cadillacs. All of them for cash with 1 year remaining on the warranty
(4 years now I think). That last year will have everything totally
working. The current one, a 2000 Seville was bought in 03 for $15K.
2. See above
3. Cadillacs are loaded with features. There are hundreds of things
that can go wrong and they show up when the SES light goes on.
Usually you do not pass emissions when this light is on, so you need
EVEYTHING to work. OBD II The reliability of these cars is the
reliability of each component multiplied by each other in series. The
more parts that you need to have a car run, the less reliable it is.
If Cadillac uses higher reliability components they may actually have
a higher reliability than a car with lesser parts. My sample size is
small: I have a 2000 Ford truck and a 2000 Corvette. The truck had
an EGR flow sensor go bad ($200) and the Corvette has had no
problems. The Seville has had 3 problems that have run $300, $450,
and $1275. Now the real kicker - reliability also depends on the
driver. My wife drives the Cadillac and it is either gas or brakes -
no coasting allowed.
I think they are great cars and the maintenance cost of the Cadillac
to me, is not that much - just a few of your lease payments. It has
100K miles on it and rides like a new car. I believe (not sure of
this) that BMW, Mercedes, etc. have higher routine and component
failure maintenance. Nevertheless, maybe it is a good idea to Buy
American - particularly now.
Best of luck and enjoy the car.
You need to look at the terms of the original lease. If it is like
most leases, you will pay through the nose if you exceed the mileage
allowance. The per-mile charge may be as much as 15 cents per mile
and that could add up quickly.
Check the Blue Book and see how much the car is worth now and at the
end of the lease. Is it a closed-end lease (most common) or an
open-end lease? In the former, you will have only two choices at the
end of the lease: either buy the car for the amount specified in the
lease (as the "residual") or turn in the car and buy or lease another
Is this going to be a "business car" or a "personal car" (remember
that even with a business car, you cannot deduct the mileage to and
from your work)? Usually, it does not make sense to lease a purely
personal car, as opposed to buying one.
I have owned Cadillacs since 1978 and have been generally satisfied
with them, but what I have liked about them have been the "bells and
whistles". The CTS, without the bells and whistles, is a decent car,
but you can do better with one of the Japanese imports in the same
price range. The cost of maintenance of the Cadillac, I think, will
be higher than a Japanese import.
Before I leased this car, I would see what the $275 per month would
buy you in a Toyota or Honda; I suspect that you could get a 2007 or
even 2008 Accord or Camry for that price
Robert A. Fink, M. D.
2500 Milvia Street Suite 222
Berkeley, CA 94704-2636 USA
NOTE: The material above is not "medical
advice". Medical advice can only be
given after an in-person contact between
doctor and patient.
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