LS or CTS?

Which is the better car?

  • Cadillac CTS

    Votes: 2 8.3%
  • Lincoln LS

    Votes: 22 91.7%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


New LVC Member
Dec 31, 2004
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Austin, TX
I'm currently looking to get an American-made sports sedan, a secondhand car - either a 5-speed manual transmission Lincoln LS or a 5-speed manual Cadillac CTS and welcome your comments and feedback. I currently drive a 2000 BMW 3-series.

1. Any 5-speed LS owners? What's been your experience with these cars?

2. Any model years to avoid? Quality issues or areas to watch for when buying used?

3. How is Lincoln service toward LS? I've read some mixed comments on MSN and Edmunds from LS owners.

4. If you have an LS, would you buy another?

6. Would you consider the Cadillac CTS? Have you driven a CTS? How does it compare to the LS?

Thanks in advance!
the LS is 'more similar' to the handling style of you current BMW - afterall the LS was design to go after the BMW 5 series at the time - which it did well against. One of the reasons it won MT Carof the Year in 2000.

Here one of the writeups:
Lincoln LS : Accolades - The 2003 Lincoln LS has better handling performance than the BMW 540i

Lincoln LS V8 outshines BMW 540i in recent AMCI handling performance tests*

We're excited to announce that the Lincoln LS V8 outperformed the BMW 540i in recent handling performance tests.* The tests were conducted by Automotive Marketing Consultants Incorporated (AMCI), an independent testing firm that mimics actual driving conditions to accurately compare automobile performance. They compared the handling performance of the 2003 Lincoln LS V8 and the 2003 BMW 540i.

The results? The Lincoln LS V8 out cornered, out slalomed and had better handling performance than the BMW 540i on both wet and dry pavements.

What's behind this performance? The LS V8's rear-wheel drive, Formula 1 inspired sport-tuned suspension and near 50/50 weight distribution combine to provide excellent road grip and steering control. And the all-speed traction control and speed-sensitive, rack-and-pinion ZF steering system work together to ensure controlled braking, accelerating and cornering in various pavement conditions and emergency driving situations.

AMCI also measured acceleration performance. We always knew the LS V8 was fast, but how about 0-60 mph in 6.42 seconds*? The available 280-horsepower V8 engine with variable cam timing and electronic throttle control guarantees a thrilling performance.

With results like these, it's no wonder the new Lincoln LS is the driver's luxury car.

*AMCI-certified testing of the 2003 Lincoln LS V8 and 2003 BMW 540i.
I've never had a CTS but I did have a Cadillac Catera before getting my LS. I've had some minor problems with the LS but nothing compared to the trouble I had with the Catera.
Definitely the LS. The line that runs the side of the CTS doesn't match the trunk line at all. It makes the CTS look like the trunk is about 5 feet off the ground. The CTS-V is another story. I think I would take power over some bad lines.
SurfjaxLS said:
Definitely the LS. The line that runs the side of the CTS doesn't match the trunk line at all. It makes the CTS look like the trunk is about 5 feet off the ground. The CTS-V is another story. I think I would take power over some bad lines.

:I I don't understand the "Bold, New" styling of a lot of vehicles coming to the market these days although in many cases I'm getting used to them the LS is a car that I've always liked the looks of. Now if they would work the V prices down a bit... :zgreenbou

Being in an LS forum I can pretty much tell ya which direction this poll is gonna go... :L

Most of the folks on here who have the V6 manuals seem to like them; personally I think the automatic leaves a bit to be desired in the shift quality department but since I wanted the V8 I'm stuck with it until something comes to market to firm it up a bit.

In my looking around the used LS market in SoCal I never saw a manual transmission option, granted I wasn't looking for one but in 3 months of lot hopping I don't recall ever seeing one and I've been told that they are pretty rare hense the reason they discontinued them.

From what I've read on here the 00 and 01s had a few little chronic issues with the window regulators, valve cover gaskets and a few other little things most of which have long term solutions. The 02s and later seem to be fairly free of chronic problems.

If the styling between the two isn't an issue for you and the budget allows you might want to think about renting an LS for a few days just to see how it fits you what annoys you about it. From what I can tell by comparing my neighbors 01 with my 04 the interiors haven't changed drasticaly over the years so the same things that annoy me on my 04 bother me on his 01, you may find that the LS exhibts a few traits that you simply can't live with.

Overall in my opinion its a great car, then again I'm looking at things from the perspective of a trunk / SUV owner so there isn't much else out there on the used domestic market that offers the amount bang, class and style for the buck as the LS. There are a lot of car snobs, self appointed gurus, wanna-be critics, and naysayers on the internet who don't have any good to say about anything which why I take a lot of what I read on general automotive forums with a grain of salt; the negatives of anything will often be proclaimed louder and longer than positives.
The styling of the LS is timeless. The CTS will look like a 10 year old car in 10 years.
Thanks everyone for your replies so far.

I've read good reviews for both the LS and the CTS - especially in both cars' introductory years. I think the car magazines were eager to praise Detroit's efforts in getting a BMW-type of sports sedan. Edmunds even praised the Catera!

Personally, I like the styling of both cars - if they're the right color, both cars look pretty good. I've test driven a CTS, but not a 5-speed. I've only seen 5-speed LS's on Ebay or out of state but I've got my local dealers looking out for me.

Does the LS have a dead pedal?

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