By on September 10, 2007

x08ca_ct011.jpgLife, Liberty and the Pursuit… of Acura? Infiniti? BMW? The Cadillac brand’s been sliding downmarket for so long it’s hard to know whose tailpipes they’re chasing. Back in ’02, the CTS offered genuine hope that Caddy could recapture some long lost ground. Although the Sigma-platformed mid-sizer was too small for the brand’s aging aficionados, it was a credible throw down to Japanese and German sports sedans. In a few short years, Caddy’s competition caught up– and left CTS sales in the dust. Now, a refreshed CTS returns to the fray. Is it good enough to put the deeply damaged Cadillac brand back in the running?

The CTS’ reworked exterior is certainly up to the challenge. The new model’s combination of refinement and muscularity kicks the competition in their collective crotch. While plagued with the same sky-high hemline and buffalo butt of the previous iteration, the new CTS benefits from two inches extra length at both ends. The cutlines– complete with muscular edges, fat flares and hot-rod pipes– harmonize more tunefully than a motorcoach of drunken Divas. 

x08ca_ct137_01.jpgThere are some jarring notes. The CTS’ headlights emulate the rear’s subtle tail-finning– unknowingly echoing the uneven panel gaps of Regan-era Fleetwoods. Though the CTS’ grille and deck lid trimmings look suitably Lexian, their childishly incorrect proportions mar otherwise admirable restraint. The CTS looks even more nose-heavy than before; an effect that’s somewhat hidden by the affectation du jour (side portals) and the grill’s XXL orthodontia.

GM Car Czar Bob Lutz has been trash-talking non-trashy interiors since he assumed the throne in ’02. Word! From the CTS’ perfectly executed dashtop stitching to its quality polymers, soft touch buttonage and rich leather hides, Caddy-inhabiting sybarites can finally relax. Combined with intuitive ergonomics and minimal electronic interference, the CTS cabin tells its technocratic competition to take a hike– unless their denizens are looking for Bluetooth connectivity. (Oops.)

x08ca_ct013.jpgOptional woodgrain, white accent lighting (cough, Lexus) and a panoramic roof with a mesh-textured shade kick it up a notch. The BOSE upgrade gets the party started with a 40-gig hard drive, while the navigationally challenged get Pimp C’d with an eight-inch TV screen jumpin’ out the dash. Put it all together and you know why Cadillac is the artist formerly known as the “Standard of The World,” and why Hip-Hop heroes never lost faith in the first place.

Crisply-tailored sheetmetal. An automotive interior that makes a mockery of sterile Japanese and dour German cabins. All the CTS needs is a set of driving dynamics as relaxing as a weekend at a Scottsdale spa and it'd be mission accomplished. And we’d pronounce the CTS ready to lope to the head of the pack. Sigh. 

x08ca_ct145_01.jpgObviously, hardcore corner-carvers need not apply. Even when equipped with the Nürburgring-fettled “Summer Tire Performance Package,” the CTS doesn’t have the goods to entice performance-minded drivers out of Bavaria’s finest. Not that the sportiest of CTS handles poorly; its meatier gumballs and firmer underpinnings make for quick and controllable transitions. The steering provides reasonable progress reports. And the posi-traction axle enables fast exits. 

That’s fine as far as it goes– which isn’t as far or as fast as BMW's 335i. But it’s exactly what the doctor didn’t order. Realtors and such will opt for the CTS sitting on all-season 17’s, a relatively mellow suspension and no LSD (don’t know, don’t ask). Here the CTS lacks confidence-inspiring responses and overlooks the stress-killing ride normally associated with the brand. The base CTS isn’t skittish but the aluminum-intensive suspension’s bump absorption feels… cheap.

x08ca_ct081.jpgIn terms of forward progress, the CTS’ direct-injected 3.6-liter powertrain offers one forward gear for every combustion chamber. It sounds plenty poke-intensive on paper: 304hp and zero to 60mph in under six seconds can’t be all wrong. But it feels wrong. What’s required: effortless wafting. What's presented: endless frustration. The CTS struggles to build steam under its 3900 lbs. frame.

Combined with a lazy cog swapper and slow tip-in, the V6 feels soft on the bottom, mushy in the middle and timid up top. Factor in a power peak above 6000rpm and the CTS is a disappointment for a brand internationally known for massive torque and turbine-like acceleration. While this $47k whip hits all the other buttons for a proper American luxury car, it’s begging for a destroked and detuned LS3 V8 to round out the package–  and the fuel economy wouldn't be significantly worse.

x08ca_ct083.jpgThe Cadillac CTS is a beautiful, well-appointed machine with its heart in the wrong place. Once again, the brand’s guardians decided to chase highly-tuned European sports sedans instead of returning to the simple values that made Cadillacs– including the Escalade– American icons. Still, no question: the CTS represents genuine progress for the Cadillac brand. Minus the engine and suspension mistakes, they're right where they should have been 15 years ago. 

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76 Comments on “Cadillac CTS Review...”


  • avatar
    CeeDragon

    Looks like Cadillac made this car for it’s established base instead of reaching for higher ground.

    Plush ride in place of handling? Check.
    He-man, penis-compensating looks? Check.
    Aspirational pricing? Sigh. Check.

    I know a few engineers at GM who worked on the new CTS and they are very exciting about that car because it’s bigger than the 3-series (so you can’t really compare them, according to the GM faithful) and it’s cheaper than a 5-series (so you really can’t compare them either). Cadillac (continues) to make a tweener because it knows it can’t compete head-to-head with the established cateories.

    Unfortunately, it seems to have the worst of both worlds. Porky weight, flaccid handling, higher price. Oh, then there’s the worderful world of GM dealerships to deal with too.

  • avatar

    Sajeev – Great review. It may just be me, but the “Art & Science” tomfoolery is ‘way off the mark. Yet section this baby about an inch and a half, and tone up the toothy grin, and the design could be sublime.

    I’m glad to hear that the interior can now pull its own as my last encounter with a CTS (a 2004 model) was bracketed by a pleasant surprise at the driving dynamics and shock at the pissant Chevy switchgear and cheap surrounding plastic.

    3900 pounds seems awfully heavy for an Acura TL-sized car…

  • avatar
    AKM

    I’m disappointed at reading the cababilities of this engine. And I thought Cadillac got a world-class V6. looks like it falls far short of Nissan’s corporate 3.5/3.7…

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Great review Sajeev — makes me want to drive the darn thing. And I have never wanted to drive a Cad before.

  • avatar
    tsofting

    Why would ANY car want to look like it has front wheel drive? I mean – it has as much front overhang as an old Audi, and these days Audi is fervently trying to make their cars look like they have RWD by moving the front “axle” as far forwards as possible On the other had, it is obviosly cheaper to add sheet metal up front than to rework the wheelbase.

    Imagine the day you can delete the last part of the sentence that says “for a Cadillac” – preceded by the word “great”.

  • avatar
    Jeff in Canada

    Great Review!

    I’ve been eagerly awaiting the launch of this new CTS, just to see what GM can do with it. Lets give credit where credit is due: That interior is excellent! And not just for a GM product, but they have finally pulled off a great design, with great quality as well.

    Aside from the weight issue, this does seem like a great overall package. I see the Lexus IS350 as being the closest competitor to this ride, because I feel like a 335i buyer wouldn’t even consider a Cadillac as an appropriate substitute.

    Regardless of it’s foibles, this is a pleasant surprise from the General, and I never thought I would say that. Kudo’s GM.

  • avatar
    drifter

    The Cadillac CTS is a beautiful
    Oops I nearly spilled my morning coffee, the person who wrote this need a appointment with Opthalmologist, doesn’t TTAC offer vision coverage for it staff?

  • avatar
    Joe O

    Hi Sajeev,

    I’ve got to complain a little bit about the believability of this review.

    For the sake of brevity, I’m not going to compare to all cars in it’s class/price point. But I’d like to point a few things out.

    The base CTS wallows and cuts out of the party early in base tire/suspension trim….but the 335i without the sport package is not too dissimilar. It loses much of it’s vaunted road feel and handling ability. And the 335 does not even OFFER a limited slip diff. In fact, I would ask if you’ve driven a 335 without the sport package? If you have not, I would ask you to do so and then compare the CTS in earnest.

    Let me be clear though, the 335 is my personal “dream car” (pending release and test drive of 135). I joined the BMWCCA with the intent of owning one in the next 4 yers or so. I’m dedicated to it.

    I’ll be curious to see final performance numbers for this car. Lexus and Infiniti, with similar engines displacing similar sizes, pull out 5.6 0-60’s and quarter mile times around 14-14.4 seconds. If the General is saying this CTS will pull sub-zero-to-60….well, the things got to move somehow. Perhaps the new car’s acceleration is masked in the time-honored way of lexus: through lots of mass and lots of isolation?

    If you’ve ever driven a current generation Honda Accord V6 6-speed…you would never guess you are doing 0-60 in ~5.8 seconds. It’s too damn smooth.

    I actually admire Cadillac if they chose to fit the CTS between the 3-series and the 5-series. If anything, this would make it a more direct competitor with the G35…which, in interior room at least, is pretty much a tweener as well.

    The 3-series is a great sport sedan and can allow a family (wo)man to pull it off….but the rear seat is not spacious and you need to get the cold weather package to get fold-down rear seats. If Cadillac offers the latter as standard and gives a compromise of rear seat room between the 3-series and 5-series, I find this to be an attractive alternative.

    And, on that note, since it’s a tweener, does it offer performance equally set between the 3-series and 5-series? If so, then has it not hit it’s mark? If not, then does it offer something else in exchange? Perhaps a more lexus oriented bent.

    If the CTS offers none of the above compromises, then it truly is not competing in the pack. But I can’t tell from this review; the only thing I feel I definititively gained is that the engine, when tied to the new 6-spd auto, is not exhilirating.

    Otherwise, I enjoyed the writing style :)

    Joe

  • avatar
    NickR

    Sat in one at a local mall recently. Looked decent to me on the outside, distinctive without being completely overwrought. But I agree that the interior is terrific. Handsome, nicely laid out, and very well put together. Buuuuuuuut for someone who is 6’4″, just a bit too tight. pity (for me).

  • avatar
    jurisb

    caddy sure is better than some decades ago…..but, its interior can`t match sophistication of audi. it can`t match the gapless finish of lexus buttons, or acura for that matter. expensive materials yet are no synonimous for sophistication. ferrari or Porsche is rich and expensive, yet lexus is far more sophisticated, because they play with superprecision moulds, and even abscence of leather on ls600 dash doesn`t make it less sophisticated. it is all about superdetailing. all buttons submersed, with no gaps around them, material texture, sound of power drives, texture ,thickness of rubber insulators etc,etc. Caddy still has to learn a lot.—– like installing no chrome lines around doors that are visibly cut in the corners( lexus doesn`t do it). otherwise it gives an effect that the line is jigsawd from a single long chrome wire ,then attached to the car. A/c control buttons should be submersed or have a seperate lcd display between them, otherwise by a negligent look it might remind some subpar korean car of late 90ies. A-pillar connection to front fender should be smooth, gapless. so should be front bumper, headlights ,hood connection- gapless. The car not too agile? what do you expect from a german engineered( 93-94) opel omega derivative? engine? well, aussie job on the same german engineered 3.6 er! Imagine lexus being derived from an ……korean platform, imagine BMW being designed on a nissan platform using pumped up common rail diesel being built by peugeot….! can`t imagine? neither can I. being luxury is being about purity. purity of origin. Luxury units within each company show their engineering abilities. guess what……….

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    The lack of a proper V8 is a glaring deficiency. Hopefully, if Cadillac forges ahead with a CTS-V, they’ll have a proper V8.

    I wonder how the VVT 3.6 compares to the direct injection 3.6. On paper it dosen’t seem to be a big difference in power. If that’s the case you can probably save a bit by getting the less powerful engine.

  • avatar
    CeeDragon

    Agreed that Cadillac doesn’t have the “eye” for details that you found in other brands. But I think they’re still playing to the core audience, who are are diffent demographically than the other luxury brands.

    One man’s garish is another man’s treasure.

  • avatar
    Joe O

    A note on fuel economy: The 2008 EPA estimates give the CTS a rating of 17/26…comparative to 17/25 for the Infiniti G35 and 19/25 for the Lexus IS350.

    I consider this a pretty good rating considering it’s several hundred pounds heavier than both while having a slightly larger engine.

    That being said, for all I know it uses ridiculous gearing to accomplish this.

    Joe

  • avatar
    factotum

    Aww, look at what the whiners at Caddy Edge (???) said about this review: “…and, a less than glowing review from a site that has made its reputation hating all things GM…”

    I guess they can’t handle truthiness.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    The review is a great one.

    I think the car looks great – at least on my screen – “Buffalo butt” aside.

    I really would love to see the demographic profile for whom this Caddy was developed. Was there one?

    I have heard from numerous dealers that they have got to start making Caddy’s for 40 somethings…evidently, who are less than 45% over their ideal body weight.

  • avatar
    tankd0g

    If there was another Matrix movie, all those sharp edges would look right at home getting shot up in it. In real life, it kinda screams “cheaper to manufature than curves”.

  • avatar

    I really appreciate Cadillac’s apparent dedication to the Art & Science design language – it is a risky design that will not appeal to everyone, and with it they have assembled a very identifiable and cohesive brand presentation. You know a BMW when you see it, regardless of series, and the same goes for Cadillac. It appeals to me more than a blatant rebadge (Lexus ES anybody?). Well, maybe the SUVs need a little work, but they’ve got some sharp creases.

    The new CTS is another step in the right direction, a good follow up to the first CTS which in my opinion got Caddy started on the long journey to where they want to be. I hope it does well, Cadillac is blazing the path for the rest of GM – quality, brand-unique products that take the sacrifice out of buying American.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    Wow, to think that Cadillac (as a brand) is actaully older than all of it current competitions says it all about the current sad state of affairs for this brand.

    What does Cadillac (the brand not the name) stand for? For a brand that has close to 100 years of history it is totally lacking in any form of heritage. This CTS draws NOTHING form the history of this brand and just like the rest of the lineup it is unsure of its mission and purpose.

    Is Cadillac a luxury brand or a premium sports brand? Cadillac’s (supposed)history is that of a maker of premium luxury sedans and coupe that represented the best that American automobiles had to offer. The Cadillacs of today scream cheap, corner cut, built on a restricted budget to loudly to forefill the luxury mission in today’s market.

    If Cadillac is trying to be maker of sporty cars they also miss the mark in this regard. It is very easy to list all of a cars features and attributes on paper and Caddy’s do look good when looking at the spec-sheet. The problem were is how all the features and attributes are assemblied into a car. Caddy like the majority of all GM products fail badly in this regard.

    As long as Caddy is the luxury divison of a company that refuses to sweat the details its products will fall below that of the competition.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    I hope they worked significantly on reliability or this will just be another pretty flower pot in the future.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    It will be a pretty good car if it proves to be a quality piece of goods and GM treats customers well.

    Competing Lexus models don’t ride and steer like BMWs either, but they are very well put together and dealers treat customers like kings.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    You have to love a company like GM!

    During the 1970s and 1980s GM lack of developement in its core powerplants lead the world to believe that the OHV engine was dead and totally obsolete. What trash GM would install under the hood of a Cadillac during that era!
    Does any one remember that terrible 4.1 liter aluminum block/ iron head V8 with TBI fuel injection that could barely crank out 130hp?

    It was GM itself that turned-off its own core costumers to the traditional American V8. Yes, during the 1980s an GM OHV V8 was a POS and in no way competitive to even a contempory simple sohc v6 from many other automakers at that time.

    GM than spends BILLIONS of R&D dollars on numerous DOHC, multi-valve designs. Do anyone remember the Quad4? The Northstar is the end result and it is NOT class leading in anyway.

    Well as it turns out GM can make excellent OHV engines. Who would have thought? Today GM has both an excellent 5.3 V8 and a 6.0 V8, two engines that cost a great deal LESS to make and would better serve Cadillac’s mission of American Luxury/ Sport. Both engines are powerful, efficient, light weight, compact,and above all competitive in this class. They are also uniquely AMERICAN!

    So why do we have the Northstar?

  • avatar
    blautens

    Even if the rest of the car (and purchase experience) was compelling enough to buy – no bluetooth integration in this price range is inexcusable.

    Oh, I know why it’s not in there (thank you very little Onstar)…but it’s crazy.

    Obviously, Lexus and Acura have had bluetooth integration for years. But even Chrysler has Uconnect (bluetooth) available in most price ranges (and it’s even dealer installable), Ford is equipping Sync (which almost makes me want to buy a Ford) in even their crappiest of rides…wake up, GM, you have to at least address basic bluetooth integration in luxury cars…Onstar’s “marriage” to Verizon be damned.

  • avatar

    I’m putting extra effort towards getting a large enough sample of 2008 CTS owners for TrueDelta to have reliability results for this car ASAP, perhaps as early as next February, though May is more likely.

    If anyone knows someone who buys one, please refer them here:

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

    I need more people for all cars, but this one I’m making a top priority.

  • avatar
    2001honda

    Sure the CTS has it's shortcomings but on the whole, if some of the populace are even considering the vehicle coming from a BMW, Lexus or comparable isn't that to be considered at least a moderate success? That's the whole point of the car business; to build a car that lures purchasers from other manufacturers. Isn't it?

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    WhatdoIknow1:

    I totally agree with you. In fact, even years before today’s excellent revamped clean sheet OHV motors, GM had already managed to transform that crappy TBI HT4100 Caddy V8 into a very entertaining, 200 HP, port injected 4.9 by 1991. That thing could destroy a pair of front whitewalls in no time.

    If the “regular” CTS offered even a longitudinal version of the FWD Impalas 5.3L LS4…I’d be writing a check right now. Next years CTS-V should really be something!

    Great review, Sajeev.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Sorry for not responding, its pretty busy in my cubicle today. I’ll post more when I’m home.

    if some of the populace are even considering the vehicle coming from a BMW, Lexus or comparable isn’t that to be considered at least a moderate success?

    Question is, can the CTS do enough of this to turn around the brand? If a car like the 2008 CTS was around in 1995, I’d say yes. The market share didn’t shift that badly back then.

    Right now, Lexus/BMW/etc are at the top of performance, quality and customer service. I assure you that they will not give the CTS any wiggle room in the ownership experience arena.

    2001 Honda: judging by your name, you own a Honda and you probably like it. How likely are you to jump ship to a Chevy Malibu after your time with Honda? Just curious…

  • avatar
    ex-dtw

    I have to agree that GM’s dedication to a coherent design language is admirable. It is about a close to “branding” as we’ve seen from GM in a long time.

    Great designs, I’ve read, are supposed to elicit a love it or leave it response and kudos to GM for accepting this.

    That said great branding goes beyond a merely consistent design them. Only time and sales will tell that.

  • avatar
    AGR

    Good Review, thank you!

    The success of the CTS will depend on how aggressive GM will execute subsidised lease programs to steal customers from other manufacturers. That is the game every manufacturer plays in entry level luxury, its not how good the car, its how good the deal, and how good the specs on paper (the sreadsheet – power point approach).

    whatdoiknow1, the Northstar V8 was an exercise to show that GM could build a DOHC 4 valve V8 when all the pundits were calling a pushrod V8 a POS. The Northstar and Cadillac is a reminder of when GM car lines had their own distinctive engines.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    While it is hard to find serious fault with the new CTS GM still finds ways to turn-off the necessary cross-over shoppers. NO BLUETOOTH???? Are you kidding!!!!

    While I will admit I am one of the few “tech” persons that I know of who have yet to join the BlueTooth ranks I do know that this technology has been around for at least 3 to 4 years already. IT IS ALSO QUITE POPULAR and it works! It is also available in just about every other vehicle costing more that 30grand with the exception of Porsche.

    I am sure many here with simply state, No big deal. But I think you are missing the point. Bluetooth (in its current or another form) is the way of the future. Intergrating electronic devices for hands free operation is a very useful feature for a large percentage of the target customers. Many already demand it because they currently have a vehicle that has been equiped with it for a couple of YEARS and they have purchased numerous bluetooth compatible devices.

    But, hey GM know best and something as little and insignificant as Bluetooth is not important, right.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Bluehaired buyers don’t need bluetooth. ;-)

  • avatar
    jthorner

    No bluetooth in a $47k car? California is about to outlaw driving with a cellphone in your hand. Bluetooth integration is the most elegant way of easily solving that requirement. For Cadillac’s latest and greatest not to include it is just nuts.

    Using Onstar as a dedicated in-car cell phone is so 1990s of an answer. Nobody wants to have one phone number for their portable cell phone and another one for each car.

    DUH.

  • avatar
    tentacles

    I think there’s going to be a revised Northstar in the pipeline, to address the concerns about engine pedigree. The LS powered CTS-V was a one-off, using off the shelf parts that were lying around, I think.

  • avatar
    Joe O

    I gotta say: the unavailability of bluetooth is not significant.

    Here’s my take on it: If I was a Cadillac dealer I would get a pricesheet of the BMW 3-series or 5-series and would point out how much they charge for bluetooth (since it’s not standard on either) or how much a “bundled” package is which includes bluetooth.

    Then, as a dealership, I would offer 3 aftermarket solutions. One integrated, one plug-n-play, and maybe one bluetooth option bundled into a portable navi system. All offered for less than the cost of BMW’s offerings. And I would point out the advantages (i.e. the last two I mentioned can be transferred into other cars, or maybe they offer more features, etc.).

    I am surprised that Caddy is not offering it as part of the navigation package (if that’s accurate). Since Navi is almost certainly produced by one of the major electronics manufacturers, they usually include bluetooth.

    It’s not exactly a deal breaker people. It’s all about how the seller approaches the concern.

    I for one applaud Caddy at offering a limited slip in this class of cars. With BMW, I have to get an M-series to get an LSD.

    Now a manufacturer not offering HID headlights in this class…that’d be a dealbreaker for me :)

    Joe

  • avatar
    Unbalanced

    No bluetooth in a Porsche either, so Cadillac is in good company.

    Having owned a number of BMW’s over the years, and having just traded in a GS300 a couple of weeks ago, I’d say that I (and maybe lots of others) are suffering from BMW/Lexus/Mercedes fatigue. Cross-shop them and the cars are distressingly similar, with even BMW’s once stand apart styling having been successfully adopted and toned down by its competitors. The new CTS has one big advantage, which is that it really has a style of its own. If the interior is genuinely up to snuff,and it appears to be, I’d strongly consider it.

  • avatar

    tentacles,

    Most rumors say the next V will have a 6.2-liter OHV V8, possibly with a supercharger, which would mean that the current V isn’t a one-off.

  • avatar
    jlmartin99

    Greetings,

    A general comment, I for one have been reading the reviews regarding the new Cadillac CTS including this one and I can only say one thing after seeing the new CTS in person this past weekend, fantastic.

    If you have note seen the new car in person, I suggest a visit. And as far as the competition, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz are my favorite luxury brand makers. And I represent a conquest sale for Cadillac coming from Lexus and comparing Cadillac’s STS V8 and XLR with BMW 545i, Lexus GS430 and Mercedes-Benz’s SL500. All of these luxury performance car models are best in class for my requirements with Cadillac’s Art and Science design theme clearly settings it apart from the other luxury brand styling themes. I actually purchased two Cadillacs, the STS-V8 and XLR after extensive evaluation. And the new CTS hit the mark cleanly with a raise in luxury styling both exterior and interior.

    I was very impressed with the performance overall, excellent balance and clearly Cadillac ride and handling tuned for everyday street perfomance. However, I do not think BMW purists for example, BMW 3 Series will leave for the new CTS, but those on the fence could see many, many aspects of Cadillac’s new CTS to like and come over.

    I have my favorites models in BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz, but for my requirements, Cadillac has hit the mark with their current line up and the new CTS is leading the 2nd generation luxury performance sports sedans and again I was very impressed.

    JLM

  • avatar
    Ryan

    This is undoubtedly a 90% car, but at least GM’s narrowing the gap. Still, it’s one of the most interesting looking cars in its class. I’m looking forward to getting a closer look at one.

    Still, in regards to the idea of an LS-powered CTS, although I like the idea, I don’t think it’d work. There are far too many people out there to whom GM can do no good, and they’d never leave alone a pushrod Cadillac (look how many reviews of the Corvette have to defend that aspect, even if it’s been doing it since the beginning of time?)

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Sajeev – Great review. It may just be me, but the “Art & Science” tomfoolery is ‘way off the mark. Yet section this baby about an inch and a half, and tone up the toothy grin, and the design could be sublime.

    Edgett: Art and Science is a good idea: the CTS stands out from the crowd. It would do better if they’d dump the general trend of tall beltlines and buffalo butts and do what you said: section the body and all that.

    And, on that note, since it’s a tweener, does it offer performance equally set between the 3-series and 5-series? If so, then has it not hit its mark? If not, then does it offer something else in exchange?

    If the CTS offers none of the above compromises, then it truly is not competing in the pack. But I can’t tell from this review; the only thing I feel I definitively gained is that the engine, when tied to the new 6-spd auto, is not exhilarating.

    Joe: Yes you are right, it hits the sweet spot between the 3 and 5 series in size and price. Handling? Umm, I’m not sure the sport package is up to snuff for either Bimmer, but the base suspension will be fine for Caddy loyalists.

    The CTS has a lot going for it, and might do well in the long term if updates are frequent and customer service is flawless. Problem is, the Lincoln LS tried the “tweeny” thing and failed. The LS V8 Sport was homely, but it moved sweeter (more like a 540i sport) and with plenty of American Authority with that V8 under hood.

    I suspect the CTS will do much better than the LS, however. Did I answer your concern or just muck everything up?

    I wonder how the VVT 3.6 compares to the direct injection 3.6. On paper it doesn’t seem to be a big difference in power. If that’s the case you can probably save a bit by getting the less powerful engine.

    quasimondo: Thanks for bringing this up!!! Considering the regular 3.6L lacks only 20lb-ft of torque but it comes on a full 2100 rpm quicker. Expect the base engine to make a better luxury car in every condition but highway passing. Or that long stretch at the end of the ‘ring.

  • avatar
    2001honda

    Sajeev,
    I do own a Honda and like it for the most part, however, and this is the case with every car, it does have some shortcomings which I just shake my head over…like a rubber band for a timing belt, a dimwitted transmission, not particularly agile and so on. I have been looking at the 2008 Malibu and the 2008 Accord as well, and must say I’m impressed with both to an extent. I’m kind of the picky type about the little things; for example, how susbstantial the sun visor feels, where the “quality” materials are placed if you get my drift, areas where GM hasn’t been particularly consistent in the past.
    That being said, seeing the newest vehicles coming from GM nowadays I need to be careful not to jump to predisposed conclusions that this car or that car is junk. Was I expecting a CTS of this caliber? Most definitely not…which goes to show why I shouldn’t judge the new Malibu as of yet. It’ll definitely be worth a test drive when I’m through with my car and then compare it to the next Saturn Aura (essentially the same) and Honda Accord. Who knows…maybe a Hunundai will be worth a look-see in the future as well.
    It is hard for a big company like GM to go from making subpar vehicles (at least in the public or media’s eyes) to making world class vehicles at the first try. This CTS, and I suspect the next Malibu, are another step to credibility in their respective segments.

  • avatar
    drifter

    Can’t think of anything CTS has over G35/M45

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    The problem is how all the features and attributes are assembled into a car. Caddy like the majority of all GM products fail badly in this regard.

    whatdoiknow1: take it from me, the CTS is one well-integrated package, all consumer touch points are about perfect. Just don’t hit the gas and expect the ghosts of Caddy’s past to show up.

    If the “regular” CTS offered even a longitudinal version of the FWD Impalas 5.3L LS4…I’d be writing a check right now.

    Doc: Hell, just update 4.8L so you’ll have a reasonably efficient displacement engine that will absolutely humiliate the 3.6L…and every V6 offered by the competition. (except maybe the 335i)

    The CTS seems to be geared pretty tall, its ready for a low-po small-block. And then people wouldn’t need to get the V-series just to have what they REALLY want: a V8 Cadillac. How great is that?

    Then, as a dealership, I would offer 3 aftermarket solutions.

    Joe: That’s the problem, aftermarket installations are a turn off for many people. I for one don’t like the interface (if it can’t be hardwired and use factory buttons) and I don’t trust the installers…do you want stuff hacked up in a $47,000 car?

    No Bluetooth in a Porsche either, so Cadillac is in good company.

    unbalanced: Caddy can’t get away with what Porsche does. Bluetooth needs to be standard in luxury cars, esp when you have Lexus breathing down your neck.

    Still, in regards to the idea of an LS-powered CTS, although I like the idea, I don’t think it’d work. There are far too many people out there to whom GM can do no good, and they’d never leave alone a pushrod Cadillac (look how many reviews of the Corvette have to defend that aspect, even if it’s been doing it since the beginning of time?)

    Ryan: The LS motors have not been marketed right: look what the HEMI did for Chrysler. And this isn’t Porsche vs. Vette…this is destroying V6 competitors with a V8 and narrowing the handling gap with a Caddy that will handle better with a lower and (probably) lighter engine.

  • avatar
    carlos.negros

    I can just see one of these right now . . . I’m driving in Florida, late for a child custody hearing, on some two lane road with no passing. In front of me is one of these Caddys, driven by a half-blind, half-deaf, altacocka, going 35 in a 55 zone. He’s wearing a pinky ring. I want to pass him, but I can’t. I’m stuck behind him. Then, I wake up in a sweat.

    I don’t find this car beautiful at all, either in body or in mechanical design. It’s overweight, overstuffed, over-thirsty, and, well, over 47k. For that money, I’d rather have the M45 or lots of other things. But maybe a Caddy looks better after you take enough Viagra.

  • avatar
    tentacles

    I love the LS as much as the next guy, and in my world every car on the road will have all aluminum V8s, but they are really more of an enthusiasts choice than a mass market item. WE know that they get great fuel economy if driven right, but does the general public? Does the general public really want to deal with awkward gearing or CAGS on a daily basis to get good fuel economy in an everyday driver?

    Save the LS for the Hi-po cars, go-fast types will appreciate them, and give the hoi polloi their VVT, cylinder deactivation, and all the rest of that tripe in the form of an updated DOHC Northstar. I wonder if it would be feasable to make V8 standard across the board for Caddy, even down to the base CTS, give it another thing to distinguish it from Buick and the imports. The new AMGs are all going to have that great 6.3, The RS4 has gone V8, the new Lexus IS-F, that spiritual successor to the Supra is going to be V8, Hyundai’s new coupe is rumored to be a V8, and even BMW is ditching 20 years of I6 heritage and going V8 on the new M3. If there ever was a time, it’s now.

  • avatar

    I’m glad to hear that the Caddy’s finally come around in terms of quality and competitiveness. One can only hope that mentality seeps down to all of gm’s brands, but it might be a while before I hear “quality polymers” describing a Chevy interior.

    Personally though I don’t care for the design at all. And there are many of luxo-sport sedans in the $50k range that I’d rather spend my dime on.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Like Chris Bangle’s 5 Series, I’m not so sure this design will age gracefully. Most automotive styles that are initially considered fresh and unique have a shelf life of vegetable produce.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Ahhh, you got me there. Nicely played. :)

  • avatar
    tentacles

    Are you talking about the Nissan that was teetering on the edge of Bankrupcy until they were rescued by Renault?

  • avatar
    Johnson

    An automotive interior that makes a mockery of sterile Japanese and dour German cabins.

    Bit of an overstatement, no? This interior is certainly nothing special compared to a Lexus IS or the new Audi A4.

    Otherwise a good review. Seems like Cadillac did improve the CTS, but not enough. As usual, the competition don’t have much to worry about.

    And that 3.6L DI engine has more problems than one; apart from the dissapointing performance, there is a rumour that the engine has an NVH problem.

  • avatar
    SkiD666

    Johnson, so Motor Trend reports that there is a NVH issue with the DI engine, so it must be true, it was reported on the Internet after all.

    I guess all the other reviewers and new owners of the CTS seem oblivious to the “issue”.

    I assume most TTAC readers know that DI engines will produce more “noise” than a normal engine because the higher fuel pressure, but efforts like sound dampening can lower this design characteristic.

    BTW, 304 hp from a normally aspirated 3.6L engine running regular unleaded gasoline is not “dissapointing performance”, the fact that buyers have to wait a year to purchase a V8 powered CTS-V is the only concern.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Bit of an overstatement, no? This interior is certainly nothing special compared to a Lexus IS or the new Audi A4.

    Nah, it is special. The chevron-theme inside is both well-executed and of the highest quality. The other two you mentioned are of similar quality, but are totally boring or derivative. What was missing was style, and Caddy gave it to us. (about time!)

    BTW, 304 hp from a normally aspirated 3.6L engine running regular unleaded gasoline is not “dissapointing performance”,

    But it is when the power peak is at a bonkers 6400rpm. And when there’s so little torque at 3000. And when the gearing is tall enough to accentuate the CTS’ narrow powerband in urban driving. And when we’re not talking about a Honda Civic.

    This motor doesn’t belong in a Caddy.

    Power is more than just a number: its about area under the (power) curve. Heavy cars need a fat power curve to get the job done.

  • avatar
    Buick61

    jurisb :

    It’s clear you have a bias toward Lexus, and I think it’s clouding your better judgment.

    You say, “The car not too agile? what do you expect from a german engineered( 93-94) opel omega derivative?”

    The Sigma II platform under the 2008 CTS shares nothing with the mid-1990s opel omega.

    and then you, hilariously, try to pass this comment off:
    being luxury is being about purity. purity of origin. Luxury units within each company show their engineering abilities. guess what……….

    Um, then what do you make of the Camry-based ES and RX, the 4Runner-based GX and the Land Cruiser-based LX? How is that “purity of origin?” If “luxury units within each company show their engineering abilities,” then I’m amazed and perplexed that Lexus can still only manage 288hp out of the SC430’s V8, and even less out of the (decade old) LX470’s V8. Oh right, they’re correcting that power deficiency in 2008, aren’t they? Too bad it’s with a downmarket Toyota pickup truck motor. Oh well.

    At least the CTS’s platform is a Cadillac exclusive.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    Buick61,

    One of the things that most GM fans are unable to accept is that some automakers actually build excellent entry and mid-level cars. The reason that both Honda and Toyota have been so successful using platforms across their entire model range is that the basis Accord and Camry platforms are EXCELLENT platforms to build any car on.

  • avatar
    Buick61

    whatdoiknow1:

    I’m not arguing wether or not the Camry platform is decent or not. juris was making a big point: in order to be a true luxury car, it has to have purity of origin. Being based on a mass-market car that starts under $20,000 doesn’t seem to be pure luxury origins, does it?

    Beyond that, as good as the Camry platform may be (and is it, really?), the Lexus models based on it are dynamic disappointments. The RX pitches, bobs, and plows during anything resembling spirited driving. Drive one back to back against a Cadillac SRX or Infiniti FX and you’ll clearly see the limits of the Camry platform. Same, too, for the Lexus ES350. If your idea of luxury is a soft, numb driving experience just as long as there’s wood on the dash and a bent L on the grille, then fine. To those of us that enjoy driving, there are better alternatives to the Camry-based Lexus “luxury” vehicles. And yes, some of those alternatives come from GM.

    “EXCELLENT platforms to build any car on.” That’s a disingenuous statement. Any car? You’d be fine if they just stretched out an Avalon and turned it into an LS600H? As good as you think the Camry is, there are very real and actual limits to its applications.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    As good as you think the Camry is, there are very real and actual limits to its applications.

    Nicely put. The limit I see is a FWD chassis. The ES and RX aren’t especially luxurious in performance, but they give the bare minimum (no badge engineering, good gadgets and interior trimmings) to make it work.

    While Lincoln thinks the Lexus model will get them fame and glory (it won’t) Cadillac actually has an entry-level RWD chassis with some substance. (lets assume the DTS will be canceled soon)

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    Ok, point well taken. I will admit that the RX in no way handles like a FX but is it intended to? Anyone looking for an RX to handle like a sportcar is a fool. The RX is what it is, and that is simply a very nice vehicle. It is not like it is a poor handling vehicle. Its driving dynamics can be consider competent, as in very comfortable and sure-footed at 80+ mph on the highway (what 99% of people expect from their cars).

    Ummm, Lexus does too have an RWD entry level vehicle called the IS, it is actually priced less than as ES.

    Both the ES350 and the DTS are both valid applications/ models for both Lexus and Cadillac. Lets be honest here about RWD. Yes RWD is great from a performance point of view but outside of that factor FWD is a far superior setup for the vasty majority of car buyers. In many ways the packaging of a FWD car does make a RWD seem rather compromised. An ES350 feels like it has the same interior room as a LS and the DTS it truly a livingroom on wheels. FWD also eliminates the “hump” allowing for true 5 pasanger comfort. Lets not forget about to generous trunk space that FWD affords. On top of that we need to also consider the safe and secure driving dynamics of FWD. BTW, even with traction control RWD does NOT do well in the snow, unless you are willing to deal with the hassale of changing over to snow tires every winter!

    Ok, you can’t do rear wheel burn-outs and oversteering fishtailing turns. I know to some that IS a deal breaker.

    To poo-poo FWD is so unrealistic. In a world were the vast majority of passanger cars sold are FWD, there will always be a market for FWD luxury. It is interesting that GM was one of the poineers in this field with the Eldorado and Toronado of the late 1960s.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Yes RWD is great from a performance point of view but outside of that factor FWD is a far superior setup for the vasty majority of car buyers.

    Maybe, but that’s because today’s buyers have little choice in the matter. (for better or worse) FWD also brings about torque steer in most anything with 250+hp. Torque steer shouldn’t be a factor in a true Luxury car, FWD makes absolutely no sense here.

    The new ES 350 torque steers like a mother in highway passing situations. Its terrible behavior for a luxury car.

    Lets not forget about to generous trunk space that FWD affords.

    Large trunks (like the DTS) aren’t inherent to FWD car, its because of long rear overhangs. And the reason short overhang cars have big trunks is because they have sky-high beltlines and boxy buffalo butts.

    On top of that we need to also consider the safe and secure driving dynamics of FWD.

    Aside from winter driving conditions, what good does FWD offer? Loads of understeer and a steering wheel with a mind of its own?

    Security comes from a RWD chassis where the front wheels have one task: to steer.

    It is interesting that GM was one of the poineers in this field with the Eldorado and Toronado of the late 1960s.

    And they alienated their base in the late-1980s when they took a fringe vehicle and made everything conform to its design.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    SkiD666, more than one review has mentioned that the CTS engine is a bit harsh (especially under WOT) and that the engine is not as refined as the competition.

    GM has never really been a class leader with OHC engines, and the new CTS doesn’t change that.

    Besides, who really cares if it runs on regular gas or not? This is not a work truck we’re talking about, nor is this an economy car. The CTS competes in the luxury segment. Anyone competing in the luxury segment should be bringing their best to the table. BMW has the 335i, Infiniti has it’s G37, and Lexus has it’s IS350. These 3 competitors all have engines that are superior to the 3.6L DI in the CTS.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    OK, so FWD cars torque steer when you floor the gas on less than perfect pavement, as RWD like to spin out if you floor the gas pedal at the wrong time. Me think 99% percent of average drivers can handle a little torque steer but this same 99% will have quite a bit of a problem with a RWD doing a uncontrolled spin out.

    Now I will never debate the fact that heavy (front heavy) FWD cars do not like change directions like a good RWD car, nor do they like to panic stop like a RWD car. But when driven like you have some sense they perform great.

    High HP is not necessarily the problem with Torque steer in a FWD car. I have driven any number of older FWD with unequal lenth half-shafts and very low hp that would pull to the left or right even under moderate trottle.

    I have also driven FWD cars with powerful v6s that could handle a great deal of gas pedal action with little drama.

    What I will admit is, FWD, High HP, and a heavy v6 does not work well with a manual gearbox.
    Every FWD v6 with a stick I have driven recently sucked. Very hard to modualte the clutch and trottle with that much HP being put through the front wheels.

  • avatar
    Maxb49

    Complaints about the power? Oh please. Performance is on par with the Lexus IS350.

  • avatar

    The CTS joins the ranks of new cars that hurt my eyes. There are all kinds of cars that are hopelessly bland and dull (coughAccordcoughCorollacough), but there’s a growing list of models that actually cause offense.

    The previous CTS was a misfire. One of my neighbors has an ’04 CTS, and every time I walk by it, I regret that an interesting (if not very pretty) basic shape is spoiled by lackadaisical detailing. It reminds me of one of the cheaper scale-model cars, one that captures the shape of the original, but has nothing under the hood and no real detail finish.

    The new one causes me physical pain. The high fender lines and sharp creases make it look ponderous and top-heavy — about the last thing I want in a sports-luxury sedan. The nose keeps reminding me of what you’d get if a kid made a polar bear’s head out of Legos, which is hardly glamorous. Angular can be beautiful (cf 1963-1965 Buick Riviera), but this one is not. Compared to the sleekly bulged muscularity of the outgoing M3, it seems like a cartoon.

    Shopping in this class I look at sophistication, and the CTS has none. It’s a shame, because there’s opportunity for market building just on that basis. The current 3 series has been Bangle-ized to death; decent basic proportions murdered by horror-movie detailing. Every time I see one I miss the lovely last-generation model. Same with the MB C-class. The last one was a wretched piece of kit in build quality and driving experience, but it’s gracefully styled and good looking, whereas the new one is a horror and doubtlessly just as worthless as a driver’s car. The Infiniti G35 loses points for its obvious bulk, Hulk Hogan size in a well-tailored suit. A really good-looking car could make a lot of headway, fun to drive or not.

    But at $47K? They must be insane. No chance.

  • avatar
    tankd0g

    High horse power numbers are a bit of a red herring. People buy into them because what they don’t realize is what they were looking for is torque. Which leads to statements like “wtf!? my 200HP honda only does 17 second 1/4?” If a car is both heavy and lacking in low end torque, just leave it where it is and test drive something else.

  • avatar
    SkiD666

    Simple reason why the CTS doesn’t come with a more powerful engine than DI V6, the STS. There would be too much overlap until the STS/DTS are redesigned.

    The CTS should be available with a 300HP V6, 400HP V8, 500+HP V8.

    I checked out the HP/torque graphs on GM powertrain (I wish all manufacturers provided this information) and the DI 3.6(LLT) is very close in numerical value and torque curve shape to the standard 4.6 Northstar engine. The VVT version of the Northstar does have better values than the 3.6 (roughly 10%) and would probably be enough to satisfy Sajeev’s request for more power, but putting that engine in the CTS would basically kill STS sales.

  • avatar

    SkiD666 is absolutely right about the CTS/STS overlap, and that exposes the real problem with GM product — rather than trying to make the best product in each segment, their design is obsessed with maintaining the model hierarchy. They’re by no means the only offender (what was the difference between the Altima and the Maxima, again?), but it’s crippling for GM because it leads to an overall level of mediocrity.

    It’s old-school Detroit think: don’t make the lower-level or mid-range models too good, or you’ll hurt the cash cows at the high end. They got away with that when they controlled half the market, but now that the market seems at best lukewarm about most of their stuff, it’s deadly. Is anyone BUYING the STS these days? Why cut off a new model at the knees to preserve an older one that, at least in Los Angeles, does not seem to be cutting the mustard? (Here, the STS is as rare as the Ford Five Hundred. I’ve seen more Maserati Quattroportes than new STSs.)

  • avatar
    Buick61

    SkiD666:

    To me, it seems like there are only two things missing on the CTS that you can get on the STS: a V8 (as in a regular, non Hi-Po crazy V version) and the blind spot detector. That hardly cuts the new model off at the knees.

    All the other cars in this segment have the same exact powertrain offerings as the CTS, so I fail to see how GM is delibritely holding the CTS back from being competitive in the name of protecting the STS.

    The Lexus IS has the small V6, big V6 and then F will have the V8.

    The 3-series has the small 6, the big 6 and the M3 V8

    The C-class has the small V6, the big V6 and the AMG63 6.2L

    Audi has the small engine (a turbo 4), V6, and the S model has the V8.

    The CTS has the small V6 (which is, actually, more powerful than the base engine in all the others, and only 5 hp off from the Benz’s top V6), the DI V6, and the CTS-V’s V8.

    The only car in this class that is the oddball is the Infiniti G. It just has one V6. (As you can’t get the coupe’s 3.7L on the sedan, I’m not counting the G as having two available powertrains).

  • avatar
    SkiD666

    If you compare the dimensions on the ’08 CTS to the ’08 STS there is barely any difference in dimensions.

    STS has an extra 3″ in wheelbase that gives it an extra 2″ of legroom in the backseat and is 5″ longer overall (guessing the trunk is a couple of inches longer). All other measurements are basically the same.

    So other than different styling, the only advantage the STS seems to have is the V8 and bluetooth.

    I would guess that STS sales will decrease until a new model is released (2 years?).

  • avatar
    Maxb49

    I know a few engineers at GM who worked on the new CTS and they are very exciting about that
    car because it’s bigger than the 3-series (so you can’t really compare them, according to the GM
    faithful) and it’s cheaper than a 5-series (so you really can’t compare them either).

    GM defenders argue that their vehicle is the “best” by artfully dodging out of comparing their cars to other cars in it’s class. How they do this is an exercise in hilarity and the most notable instances come with the Corvette. A number of die-hard Corvette fans absolutely hate having to compare their car to other sports cars.

    Example: “You can’t compare the Ferrari to the Corvette because it costs a lot more.”

    “You can’t compare the Porsche to the Corvette because the Porsche doesn’t have a V8.”

    “You can’t compare the Corvette to the Ford GT because it costs more. Or because it’s still Just a Ford.” (As if the Corvette wasn’t still just a Chevy!)

    None of these are sound reasons for rejecting a fair comparison. But GM’s latest defense that the CTS can’t be compared to any of the BMW’s is the most notably ridiculous.

    “You can’t really compare the BMW 3 Series to the CTS because the CTS is a couple of inches longer.”

    What a joke! The CTS was designed to compete in the small sports sedan category, the STS in the midsized sport sedan category. While the BMW isn’t anything to write home about, the Cadillac fails to surpass them in driving dynamics and at best is only comparable in its capabilities. Cadillac’s true heritage prided itself on building Great full size luxury cars, the American counterpoint to Lincoln Motors; both brainchildren of Henry Leland. At least Lincoln has the opulent Town Car to offer car buyers whilst Cadillac dispatched with the Fleetwood nearly eleven years to date. Robert Farago (RF, correct me if I am wrong) has said that Porsche builds the best sports cars in the world. In many respects we must agree with him whether or not we would buy a Porsche over any other sports car because Porsche has done one thing and done it right over automotive history’s ages. Cadillac, to wit General Motors, has done many things wrong over the same epoch of history.

    High horse power numbers are a bit of a red herring. People buy into them because what they
    don’t realize is what they were looking for is torque. Which leads to statements like “wtf!? my
    200HP honda only does 17 second 1/4?” If a car is both heavy and lacking in low end torque, just
    leave it where it is and test drive something else.

    Torque fanatics aren’t correct when the push low end torque over ultimate horsepower readings. ET’s are calculated by:

    Cube Root(Weight in lbs./RWHP) X 5.825

    and trap speeds are governed by:

    Cube Root(RWHP/Weight in lbs.) X 234

    Assume we have to cars that both weigh 3400 lbs. One car has 600 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds of torque and another has 390 horsepower and 600 foot-pounds of torque. The car with 600 horsepower will be down the track long before the car with 600 foot-pounds of torque gets moving assuming both cars are geared to operate in their respective power bands.

  • avatar
    peejay44

    While you are at it, might as well compare the Merc S Class to the BMW 335. Oh, hell, whaddabout the Hummer H2?
    The CTS matches the BMW 5 Series almost exactly for wheelbase, treadwidth, and overall length, if not weight. So why do you and most other automotive hacks persist in comparing performance of larger cars to the 3 series, which in my opinion, doesn’t really work as a 4-door sedan to begin with?

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    The CTS matches the BMW 5 Series almost exactly for wheelbase, treadwidth, and overall length, if not weight. So why do you and most other automotive hacks persist in comparing performance of larger cars to the 3 series, which in my opinion, doesn’t really work as a 4-door sedan to begin with?

    Because us “hacks” know that price sells cars. Why would you compare the CTS to larger cars that potential buyers couldn’t afford?

    The CTS is priced against the 3-series, Infiniti G35, Acura TL, Lexus IS etc. That’s the class. Either you be proud of your land-yacht size and go with a V8, or you go on a diet to run with the leaders.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    How they do this is an exercise in hilarity and the most notable instances come with the Corvette. A number of die-hard Corvette fans absolutely hate having to compare their car to other sports cars.

    They do?

    All the ones I know loooove talking about how affordable the Corvette is and how it absolutely spanks competitors (straight line or roadcourses) from Porsche, BMW, Ferrari, etc. with zero modifications. Factor in the usable cargo hole, heads-up display, better fuel economy, etc…and they have a lot to brag about. The best example I knew was a BMW employee who had a C5 for his SCCA track car.

    Actually you helped me make my point: the C5/C6 Corvette is proof that the CTS needs a de-tuned LS3 (or bring back the LS1)to make a serious statement in the $30-40k luxury sedan market.

    That’s EXACTLY how you differentiate at this price point.

  • avatar
    jbrant01

    I hear alot of bias going on in the review. They have new medication for “anti-Cadillicism”. Now, for my experience. I pick up my loaded 08 CTS today. I tested several new cars prior to my purchase. Audi, Benz, and BMW (I owned 3 BMWs previously).

    While I cringe a little at the thought of saying I drive a Cadillac, I am very impressed with the car. I got a new car earlier than planned since my Audi 4 Conv transmission fell out, the radiator busted, and just about every plastic gadgit inside has broken a minimum of one time, some 3 times.

    Consider me sold on the new Cadillac!

  • avatar
    SLLTTAC

    Having rented recently, each for a week, an Infiniti M35 and an Audi A6 3.2, I looked forwarded to trying out the 2008 Cadillac CTS, in which I sat this morning. Audi, Infiniti, Lexus and others need not worry about this would-be competitor. If anything, the CTS seems to a competitor for the Audi A4, BMW 3, Infiniti G35, Volvo S60 and other similarly priced cars. The CTS lacks so many features and benefits of the A6 and M35, none of which are absolutely needed, but do make driving more enjoyable for customers willing to spend $45,000 to $50,000 or more. In addition, I thought that the fit and finish wasn’t as well done as the Audi and the Infiniti. The CTS’s trunk is fully lined, but looks cheap. The $41,000 CTS had no back-sensors, no Bluetooth, no motorized steering column, a claustrophobic rear passenger area, no B-pillar vents, and an intrusive sunroof. A fully optioned CTS at a list price of $49,000 is overpriced, I think. I’d rather buy the Audi or the Infiniti and, in fact, I think that I will.

  • avatar
    Durask

    What do you mean, has no motorized steering column? I test-drove a 2008 last week and it certainly had one.

    Plus, a few general observations. It’s amazing how perception determines one’s observations. I try to be objective and I always find it amazing how some people praise Lexus and Acura interiors while I can sit in one and point one fault after another and one obvious cost-cutting measure after another.

    Speaking of Audis – I drive an A6 now and since it’s been out of warranty it’s one thing after another, each one is easily several hundred dollars. Just a week ago my turn lights stopped working. Sure, the interior is great, but I will not buy another Audi, too much of a hassle.

  • avatar

    A power tilt and telescoping wheel is part of the top option package. So it’s only on some cars.

  • avatar
    Durask

    I see.

    More about Lexus – not too long ago we looked at the GX470 and if you look closely you realize that it looks very nice and expensive in places where you are more likely to look, in other places – cheap plastic. Very smart. It’s all about creating an appearance. With many US cars it’s the complete opposite. A good example is the Buick Enclave – overall good quality materials, but a few jarring cheap bits stare you right in the eye and ruin the whole impression.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Durask: having spent time with a Lexus ES and the CTS, there’s no doubt in my mind that the CTS wins on interior craftsmanship. Aside from the glaring omission of Bluetooth, they nailed it. And its more stylish than an Audi.

    Lexus has a new benchmark to benchmark.


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  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States