By on July 15, 2013

vwag2

I’ve had the Cadillac for about three weeks. During this time, I’ve learned a lot of things. Primarily, I’ve learned that it takes at least three weeks for a new key fob to reach a Cadillac dealer. I find this hard to believe, but I’m reassured by my salesman’s constant phone calls that insist it will arrive “any day now.”

Personally, I don’t think three weeks is long enough to provide a really comprehensive car review. This will shock many readers, since most professional automotive journalists review cars after spending about 45 minutes driving them at carefully controlled automotive press events, most of which include free food. But there’s one big difference: I’m no professional automotive journalist.

Alex Dykes, on the other hand, is a professional automotive journalist, and he is therefore highly capable of reviewing cars after driving them for a short period of time. I know this because I once went on a press drive with Alex. We were driving pre-production luxury cars, which scared the hell out of me, but didn’t seem to bother him. As I recall, it went something like this:

Me: OH MY GOD I HOPE I DON’T CRASH!

Alex: Ooooh, check out the fit and finish.

Me: THAT CAR WAS SO CLOSE TO US!!!

Alex: I wish the navigation screen were a little larger.

At the end of the day, Alex had an entire review written in his mind, while I relaxed by stuffing my face with free food.

So I’m no Alex, which means that – after three weeks and roughly 1,000 miles of ownership – all I have to offer you are these limited first impressions. I will surely expand on them over the coming months once I get a) more familiar with the Cadillac, and b) a working key fob. They are:

1. Handling. Most of my time with the CTS-V Wagon has been spent late at night on empty back roads. That’s because I already have a daily driver, which is a large, lumbering Range Rover that appears to derive most of its handling acumen from vehicles that were rejected by the postal service.

As a result of this, I’m no expert in the world of handling. Yes, I’ve owned a few sports cars, and also a few Mercedes products. But it’s been a while. So I enlisted the help of my friend David for some perspective on the issue. David drives a Porsche and smokes cigars, which means he fits right into the Cadillac demographic. And his verdict was: It’s amazing.

In fact, everyone who has driven the V Wagon so far has said the same positive things about its handling. And not because it’s a wagon. Because it’s a Cadillac.

2. Acceleration. Acceleration is sharp. Not “sharp” as in “This product is quite quick,” which is the way ConsumerReports would describe both the Cadillac and one of those robotic vacuum cleaners that scares your cat. I mean “sharp” as in you floor it and think HOLY CRAP I HOPE A SMALL ANIMAL DOESN’T RUN OUT IN FRONT OF ME OR ELSE IT WILL BECOME SPACE DEBRIS.

Acceleration is so strong that you, as a regular human being who is not trained to operate a 500-horsepower station wagon, would become fearful of putting the gas pedal all the way down. I know this because I, as a regular human being who is definitely not trained to operate a 500-horsepower station wagon, but had another one before this, am quite fearful of flooring the accelerator. Really, a half-stab will do. That’s more than enough to scare your passengers, and any nearby small animals.

3. GM Cost-Cutting. Since you’re reading TTAC, you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. C’mon, you’re thinking, when is this guy going to bash GM? And the answer is: right now.

This is my second GM product. In fact, it’s my second Cadillac. In other words: I am a highly loyal customer, which means I’ve spent considerable time in the Cadillac dealership service department behind a gray-haired woman with a cane asking when she had to come back with her Fleetwood.

Every time I get into a Cadillac, I feel the exact same way: Close, but no cigar. (My friend David is reading this and thinking: “Did someone say cigar?!”) Here’s the problem: GM gets the big stuff right, but they miss out on the details, sort of like a summer intern whose parents know the CEO.

I’ll provide many examples over the coming weeks, but one that sticks in my mind is the fact that the passenger side mirror doesn’t tilt down when I put it in reverse. Worse, there’s no setting to make this happen. I won’t debate the merits of this feature – I personally believe it is the single greatest feature in the history of time, and I am, of course, correct – but even if you don’t like it, you must admit that every single other luxury car has it. Even Saabs. Saabs, ladies and gentlemen.

My Range Rover also has tilt-down mirrors, though I assume they will stop working any day now. You know: about the same time that key fob arrives.

@DougDeMuro operates PlaysWithCars.com. He’s owned an E63 AMG wagon, road-tripped across the US in a Lotus without air conditioning, and posted a six-minute lap time on the Circuit de Monaco in a rented Ford Fiesta. One year after becoming Porsche Cars North America’s youngest manager, he quit to become a writer. His parents are very disappointed.

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90 Comments on “CTS-V Wagon Update: First Impressions...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “I’ve spent considerable time in the Cadillac dealership service department behind a gray-haired woman with a cane asking when she had to come back with her Fleetwood.”

    Couple thoughts/question:

    -What was your previous Caddy? What sort of problems did you have with it?
    -Why you no ask grey haired lady to buy her no-doubt-pampered-LT1-Fleetwood-FTW!?

    • 0 avatar

      This was the first one:

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/dougs-review-2004-cadillac-cts-v/

      To be honest I didn’t have any issues – it was the most reliable car I’ve owned. I did buy it with a few problems, though, which I immediately addressed at the dealer.

      Next time I’ll ask about the Fleetwood. And the Seville SLS, and the Eldorado!

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        OK! Is this whole comment thread going to be about the freakin lack of an auto tilt side mirror, issue.

        Christ! It’s a CTS-V ‘Long Roof’, that should be the theme of this posting _should of been_ and the comments should pursue that. Ok, maybe it will be addressed in the follow ups.

        In the meantime, are we so lazy these days we can’t reach over and toggled the mirror down? If we are, our future isn’t very bright.

        My first car was a 48′ Cadillac ’62′ series convertible. It had power windows and top… after I rebuilt the hydraulics. Wouldn’t of cared if it didn’t. Its flat head V-8 would burn rubber off those Double Eagles for a half block. Never missed the freakin auto tilting mirror, too busy with the tactile adventures of my right hand on the leg of the pretty sitting next me.

        Tilting freakin mirrors$#&#%^*&*

        Just Funnin… Tre

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          My former STS and the CTS I had before it had this feature but my CTS wagon doesn’t. The funny thing is that until Doug mentioned it, I never really noticed.

        • 0 avatar

          Hah! Good point. Lots of tilt down mirror discussion here. The problem is that I, like most car guys, have my mirrors set EXACTLY as I want them. So if I reach over to tilt them down…. well, then it messes everything up.

          Of course, now we’re back on the subject of tilt down mirrors again! Thanks for the post. Cadillac has come a long way since that 1948 Series 62.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            “Cadillac has come a long way since that 1948 Series 62.” Has it?… COL!

            Can’t think of a late model Caddy I would have over the old 48′.

            For my needs, even the CTS-V isn’t a daily driver, since my congenital defects include and overly large left foot.

            Would love to have a CTS-V Wagon, but I’m pretty satisfied with occasionally using my BMW 525i wagon with its M5 drive train. That transplant, ruined a good car, but I got the car I couldn’t buy.

            Regards … TRE

          • 0 avatar
            gosspl

            The ATS has tilt-down mirrors. It’s all a part of CUE. Sure the new CTS will get this.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey – I said they’ve come a long way – not that they’re better!

            525i wagon with M5 drivetrain sounds very exciting… my kind of car. What year?

        • 0 avatar
          Sam P

          BMW had tilt-down mirrors 15 years ago, when the E46 3-series came out.

          They’re great for parallel parking in tight spots. After having a car so equipped, it’s hard to go back to any car without them.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            @ Doug Demuro,

            2002_ Friend wrecked a 2002 M5, I bought it from the insurance company and went looking for a 540 wagon to put the M5 drive train and other parts, in.

            The 540′ and M5′s lose a little of that BMW handling specialness with the recirculating ball steering, and only come with an auto box. What to do? The 525 has the rack & pinion, Manual transmission, and was easier to find and cheaper to buy.

            Transferred all goodies from the donor to the 525, engine, transmission, electronics, driveline, rear end and brakes, specific suspension parts, exhaust, Steering wheel, badges, etc. The ‘Sport’ button, now only controls the throttle butterflies.

            I have my M5 Touring that was only available in Europe, but not in 2002. I also have no use for 4-drs, unless they have a long roof.

            Last Winter, I completed the same job on my 96′ 328is. A bit tougher too do, but a bigger hit then the faux M5 Touring at BMW gatherings. And, a hell of a lot more fun to drive with an estimated 425hp(remap/performance cats) and 700 lbs. less weight and the same handling.

            What are ya going to do when you retire…sit in front of the TV. Besides, I couldn’t afford the new V-8 M3… Damn!

        • 0 avatar
          bryanska

          My dad’s Buick Lucerne has it.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The SLS always seemed so sloppy and over-landau-chromed.

        The ElDorado’s always have the damn door panel problem, accompanied by a pastiche of Northstar regret.

  • avatar
    ezeolla

    My dad’s BMW has the tilt-down in reverse mirror and I do find it helpful when backing into a spot so that I know where the line is. That being said, if his mirrors were normal sized instead of tiny, I would be able to see the line without it tilting

    • 0 avatar
      friedclams

      I’m glad you explained that because I could not figure out what the point of that feature is. Of course, my daily driver is an Astro, so there’s a lot of newfangled stuff I don’t “get”.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s tremendously helpful for parallel parking. It would be even more helpful in the V, because it has enormous chrome wheels that are very prone to scraping on the curb.

        • 0 avatar
          cpthaddock

          That explains it! Parallel parking is rare and only practiced by hippies or communists in this state

          Here in Phoenix curbs, like sub-compacts, are for parking your SUV or truck on. Until now, the consensus was that the mirror tipped down to identify the roadkill or hippy communist you just hit

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          Geez, even my 05 Bonneville GXP has the mirror tilt down when you put it in reverse. I don’t use it though because I actually adjust my mirrors so they are useful… :)

          Sweet sweet family truckster that there wagon is!

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      Tilt-down mirrors are the best thing ever, great for parking and avoiding curbing your wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      Tilting mirror or backup camera with fisheye lens? I prefer the latter, if I had to choose. But then, I parked cars for a summer job so my parallel-parking-fu is reasonably good.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    I love station wagons. That thing does not look like any real station wagon.

    It looks more like a hatchback than a true wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      Nothing made today is like a true wagon (SUVs/CUVs are not wagons). However it handles better than any wagon of times gone by and it will carry taller things than can be carried in a hatchback. I routinely carry my PA, guitar amp and a couple of guitars in it.

      It’s really a matter of degree. Compared to an SUV, there’s less utility, but the positive tradeoffs from a drivers perspective combined with the freedom from the mail-slot trunks so prevalent today make for a combination that works for me. For larger things, there’s the trailer hitch I mounted on mine and the Harbor Freight folding trailer that cost me all of $249.

      As I’ve said before, I’m glad that this car is available. It’s not for everyone, but it pushed my buttons and in the two years I’ve owned it it has more than met my expectations. And, believe it or not, I get a lot of compliments on it.

  • avatar
    ash78

    My ’98 Passat GLX (granted, it was sort of an entry-lux car at the time) has an auto-tilt right side mirror. I’m surprised anything doesn’t have it, but in the same vein, I would never, ever park this thing on the street if I could avoid it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      AHA! That must be why Cadillac left it out. A Cadillac should never be parked in the street. Of course, it’s also a useful tool for backing into a parking space, but maybe you’re being discouraged from doing that too. After all, what’s the point of having a wagon if you’re going to back it in?

  • avatar
    walker42

    I wonder if the wagon has any more rear headroom than the CTS sedan, the roof looks a little less sloped. The tight rear quarters (leg and head room) are the only weak points I can think of in the sedan, and that will be fixed by the all-new 2014 model.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Any variant of the CTS-V are awesome but you are right about some missed details.

    I have never driven the wagon but the traction/stability control button on the sedan is way too close to volume control of the stereo. If you accidentally press it is does not light up – you just get a too brief message near the main gauge cluster.

    The other issue is the location of the trip computer buttons on the dash. Having to lean forward and take your eyes off the road just to get distance to empty is not stellar ergonomics.

    However, the rest of the car is very nice.

  • avatar
    nutbags

    I look forward to more “long term” installments on the CTS-V wagon. I have been trying to convince the Mrs. to give me permission to get a used one but so far no dice.
    I look forward to your articles as I find them quite entertaining. Keep up the great work and thanks!

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    informative and funny. i like the real world car reviews. reminds me of another site that did/does long-term reviews before they changed their website layout. i enjoyed that site immensely.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Yes I too perfer the long term tests better then a quick review. As mentioned its always the little things that crop up after months of driving that turn a perfectly good car into a PITA. Something that was a just “oh well” on day 1 can sometimes be that one thing you remember most about the car long term.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I’ve noticed your mentioning of the AMG wagon in pretty much every article and every time I smirk – knowing it was coming.
    It struck me today, your AMG is Seinfeld’s Superman reference per episode.

  • avatar
    See 7 up

    Doug,
    Do you like the seats. I was once in the market for a CTS-V wagon (CTS-VW?) but the seats seemed to be designed for big ole ‘Mericans. I am slighter than your normal yokel and found them cavernous in a bad way. To this day, I would still put money on the fact that they were not Recaro’s.
    Oh yeah, and the one’s I looked at all had seats that “wobbled”, which concerned me immensely.

    Funny, I told my wife “GM does so many things right, but then makes you pay for it with all the things that matter 99% of the time”

    • 0 avatar

      Believe it or not I really do like the seats. Actually a better way of phrasing it may be that I don’t hate them. I don’t find any real positives or negatives, aside from the fact that they’re quite grippy in turns, which is nice. That said, I’m average sized, so I could see someone finding them too big.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    It is just unreal that this thing is just sitting there with a spare 75hp/75tq ready to be uncorked for relatively immaterial dollars.

    But more importantly, the biggest appeal to me of this CTS-V is the fact that it’s an OHV motor…. so a cam swamp and some racier mufflers would yield a nice lumpy idle… i couldnt resist

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      And I’m sure someone out there already has the parts necessary to get 700 horsepower.

      After all, the supercharged Ford 4.6 was already being tuned to 500 hp less than a year after its inception.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        Motorweek tested a tuner version that has over 800hp. Can’t remember the name right now…

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          Well there ya go. Give a man an engine and he will find a way to squeeze power out of it.

          I have an old Mechanix Illustrated How to Do It Encyclopedia book from 1961 showing all these parts for souping up various cars of the time, including straight six Falcons.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    It really does take that long for a key to be cut and coded to your ignition from GM. Also, since you’re driving a very low volume vehicle, be aware that most replacement parts, when available will probably be on back order. That is, if they’re available at all.

  • avatar
    Aircooled Poirot

    My car is a 2008 328xi wagon with manual transmission. I’ve really enjoyed it, but after three years of ownership, I’ve gotten rather bored with it. I also don’t like how slow it is.

    Since BMW does not offer an M3 or M5 wagon in the US, the natural car for me to move up to would be the CTS-V wagon (with manual).

    Each year I go to the auto show hoping to fall in love with the CTS-V, and each year I am sorely disappointed by the quality of the car’s interior. The seats are covered with some of the cheapest looking leather I’ve ever seen. Also, the plastic switches are all a cut below my BMW. I *really* want to like this car, but I just can’t see myself living with such a crummy interior.

    I would be happy to pay $10,000 more than Cadillac charges for the CTS-V if they brought the interior up to international luxury car standards. I can’t imagine that I’m the only person who feels this way.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      That’s a BIG jump in power and size from a 3er wagon to a CTS-V.

      I’ve got an ’07 E91 manual, and the only time I’m really wanting more power is when the family is home and I’m taking a freeway ramp or exiting a corner too slow (my fault anyway, although having more power would be a blast).

      It does suck that they stopped making/importing the 535 wagons, although you were stuck with awd with those as well. Still, you can get 535/550i series sedans with manuals, but then you’re in a sedan.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I find that the issue with the e91 is that while it actually has plenty of power, it is so refined that it feels slow. And that power is at the very tippy top of the rev range too. And the stock exhaust is far too quiet. Feels much faster with the BMW Performance Exhaust, even though I have no doubt that it isn’t any faster. Adds that missing drama back in. Still a quiet car when you are not hard on it though. The AWD version is a much blunter instrument though.

        The CTS-V is just wretched excess, but I love them.

    • 0 avatar

      I actually find the interior quality to be reasonably nice. And I like the styling of the interior. I think the big problem is those little details- not the stuff you touch but the way it operates. My Range Rover, engineered by BMW, almost feels like the engineers spent a fewwww more hours with it and thus those tiny things are all done right.

      • 0 avatar
        hoff02

        Admittedly I have not had notable seat time in the CTS-V, but every car show that has one, I almost always seek these out to crawl over the car for the annual changes. I can’t help but love the excess and utility of these wagons and until the last couple of years of quality improvement I felt like the CTS-V series was one of GM’s lone shining spots. I have to chime in with Derek and others in that overall I really like the interior of these vehicles, except there is always that “but” moment it seems. The radio buttons for example seem to have a tad much play in their surrounds, feel a little cheap, and remind you of GM’s parts bins, or there’s excessive flashing near common touch points. Most of these end up just a nit-pick and in some cases the year-to-year changes seem to correct them, but for the price of the car, these add up and I always find myself saying…almost there. Still, if it were my money on table, the CTS-V Wagon has a lot going for it!

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “GM gets the big stuff right, but they miss out on the details”…

    These are the people who built the ’59 Cadillac whose fins were lethal weapons and the Escalade, the antithesis of any thinking that might accompany words like “modest”, “economical” or “green”. Traditionally a Cadillac would shout the arrival of people who, well, generally shout. If you want details, it has about 500 of them and that’s probably what their buyer is most interested in.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    For awhile, on some models at least, BMW made you buy the $3,000-ish Premium Package to get the all-time-awesom tilt down passenger side mirror. I had a stripper 2004 325 wagon that included it, but my stripper 2008 128 coupe did not. GM is not the only cheapskate!

  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    Doug,

    My G37S doesn’t have it (The passenger mirror tilting down in reverse) either. I don’t know if it is an add-on, but my 2001 BMW 330Ci Sport had it and my god is that an insanely useful option. Your complaint is totally legitimate!

  • avatar
    sfwagon

    Really love this car, but it’ll be interesting to see how you rate the range and fuel consumption over long-term DD duty and/or any roadtrips! The fuel tank is miniscule and that beastly LSA sure is thirsty.

    You will, I hope, also be taking it on the track? :)

    • 0 avatar

      WHY IS THE FUEL TANK SO SMALL? I’m glad you mentioned this. Seriously, this is incredibly annoying. Poor gas mileage AND a small tank means I’m filling up every few days. And it’s not even that expensive to fill up because not that much fuel goes in!

      Track time is definitely in the plans…

  • avatar
    koshchei

    If you’re looking for a sport wagon, these are just awesome. Unfortunately, like the Dodge Magnum before it, it’s really not terribly good at being just a wagon. The extra metal in the back does a lot for the weight distribution and handling, but if you’re looking to carry anything larger than a consolidated fortnightly grocery run, or have a dog larger than a keeshond, you’re out of luck.

    Totally agreed about the small details. Post 2008 North American cars have excellent dynamics now (I was recently blown away by how well the new Chrysler minivans drive — thanks to Jack for the excellent tip), but are still miles behind in taking care of the niggeldy little things that cumulatively make getting from point A to point B hassle-free.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    I agree with this guy:
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/08/i-still-think-the-cadillac-cts-sport-wagon-is-ugly/

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Why did you find the need to post, separately, twice your negative opinion of how it looks?
      Does it threaten your view of the automotive world so much? Could it be possible that someone other than Honda or Toyota might have a good car? I would also lay off the looks since you are known to like Honda/Acura and they haven`t had the best track record in exterior design recently!

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Counting and analysis is not your strong suit. If you could read you would see that the negative opinion of the looks of the CTS “wagon” belongs to the founder of this site and another TAC writer referenced in the article.

        Anyone, how many days do these critters sit on dealers lots?

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          TM – I couldn`t open your link but you had posted twice saying either you didn`t like the looks or somebody else (does it matter who it was since everyone’s opinion on looks is valid) didn’t.
          That is fine, and I personally am not completely sold on it but if you have to make the same point multiple times in one article and only harp on the appearance then your criticism is somewhat limited.

          It is also valid to point out that you are one of the few vociferous pro-Honda commentators. Just like it is important to know who writes the articles so their perspectives can be taken into account the same goes for you and others like you who are just as fixated on certain brands. Personally I like most of Honda’s products, but I keep an open mind and can see good products in many companies. Doug makes a good point that we need to know what you find attractive so we can compare.

          Fairness has never been a strong point of yours either.

      • 0 avatar

        Hah! Thanks for the defense. Especially the Honda/Acura bit. I always find it important when people call things ugly to know exactly what they consider beautiful. That’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of music reviews – how can I know what a reviewer’s opinion means unless I know what music he likes? It’s easy to be more objective with car reviews I suppose.

        At the end of the day, the car is opinion splitting for many reasons but I generally find styling not to be one. There are a few haters, but that’s true of everything. The good news is that I sleep well knowing it is FAR more attractive than my Nissan Cube.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    And the aforementioned:

    Alex Dykes
    August 16th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I’m with you Robert, the front is not terribly attractive, but the rear view is FUGLY.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      Beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder. I happen to love the badass look of the thing. There are way to many bland flame-contoured BMW wannabe designs on the road these days. The CTS Wagon and Coupe are unique by comparison.

  • avatar
    wouldj

    Great post – excited to read more about this car and more of your posts!

  • avatar

    I noticed the Range Rover comes up often too Doug (I’m not complaining!). Out of curiosity, what are the deets on it? I’m not sure about the B&B, but while I love Range Rovers am unlikely to ever have the cash necessary to a) purchase one and b) keep it on the road…so I’d like to hear more about that too, if possible.

    • 0 avatar

      Mine is an ’06, and I promise it’s getting a post all on its own too in the next few weeks. In short, I love it. Best car I’ve ever owned. Really. Your point “A” is fair but point “B” is obviously the bigger concern – mine happens to have a long warranty that keeps me feeling incredibly confident at all times. I’ve only had it 8 months but I plan to own it forever, aka until the warranty is about 9 weeks from expiration :)

      • 0 avatar

        Oh, an ’06…nice. I believe that is precisely between the two facelifts that the model underwent, and therefore my favourite variant of them. Nicely updated but not yet garishly festooned with LEDs (and yes, I held this opinion before Clarkson said it on TV).

  • avatar
    rolladan

    How’s the wagon ride on bumps and rough roads? I’m assuming the suspension has gotta be pretty stiff to help out the awesome handling but huge wheels and skinny sidewall tires sound like a combination for some lost fillings. And don’t feel like you’re nitpicking about the side mirrors that should absolutely be a feature in this price class.

    • 0 avatar

      Ride is one of the strong points and deserves an entire post all on its own, which is coming. In short: that Magentic Ride Control thing actually does work well. I have no idea HOW it works, and I believe only about 4 Detroit-area engineers really know, but the point is that it works.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        In a former life, I ran a small New England speaker company. Back then tweeters were burning out at an alarming clip. A brilliant guy in New Hampshire came up with a way to provide liquid cooling to tweeters. The problem he solved was how to keep the liquid suspended in the gap between the voice coil and the magnet structure. He came up with the idea to suspend iron particles in the cooling liquid, creating a colloid. The magnetic field held the liquid in place. He called the product Ferrofluid. We used it to treat the tweeters in our speakers. It’s now widely used in many high-end tweeters.

        Fast forward a few years and the guys at GM figured our that by using this stuff in shock absorbers and surrounding the shock with a voice coil (an electromagnet) and varying the strength of the magnetic field, they could instantly change the viscosity of the damping fluid. Modulate the magnetic field using data gathered from an accelerometer and you can have your cake and eat it too.

        GM has a long history of studying and applying magnetic research. They invented magnetic steering using the same principles and they discovered that they could make stronger magnets by using cryogenic quenching (magnequench) which resulted in smaller starter motors.

        • 0 avatar
          VenomV12

          In another life when I was much younger I used to compete in car audio, IASCA. I probably helped buy your boat or pay for your house. lol

          Boston Acoustics?

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            No, smaller and less well-known: AEI located in East Boston. Frank Reid of Boston Acoustics did come by to visit one day in 1979. At the time, the firm had been taken over by the major investors and I was hired to run the manufacturing operation as cheaply as possible. It was a losing battle. We owed our cabinet manufacturer a lot of money and some of our sleazebag retailers owed us even more. The result was inevitable. In the end, I got paid in speaker parts. I learned a great deal from that experience and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    My mom’s 2006 330I has the mirror tilt feature.

    Of course, it only works 20% of the time thanks to those lengendary German electronics, but it’s there

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    ” but one that sticks in my mind is the fact that the passenger side mirror doesn’t tilt down when I put it in reverse. Worse, there’s no setting to make this happen”

    If that isn’t enough to make your blood boil this surely will:

    Not only does the passenger mirror on my 2006 Silverado tilt down when the setting is activated, the driver mirror (auto dimming as well) can do the same. And I can choose either both, just the driver or the passenger or none at all.

    So, my Chevy pick-um-up-truck is more luxurious than a new Cadillac.

    Seriously though, what would it have cost GM to include that bit of computer code to make that feature possible?

    • 0 avatar

      That DOES really piss me off. Surely GM’s thought process was a) the truck is much larger and therefore needs this, and b) the sedan has OK visibility and we aren’t going to make this feature just for the coupe and wagon. Bastards.

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    Is this why, apart from sheer cost, Chevrolet will never have the SS Sportswagon?

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    Doug I saw you mentioned that you like the interior, but to me after sitting in one of these, that was what I found to be the most disappointing. Some of the cheaper materials that are irritating in the $40k CTS really bother me in the nearly twice as expensive V. It’s been a few years since I sat in one, but I think I remember some piano black plastic trim that on the steering wheel that was particularly problematic (I wanna same it was in the same place as the equally offensive painted silver plastic trim on the non V CTS).

    • 0 avatar

      Honestly, I don’t find it any better or worse than a Panamera. I’ve had both cars and this feels very similar in a lot of respects. The only difference is with the Porsche the buttons click with slightly more feel – but at that level, the hair-splitting is embarrassing. Yes, there are a few cheap things – but if you look in a 3-Series or C-Class you will find exactly the same.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    My Charger has the tilt down mirror feature. It upset my wife quite a bit, so I turned it off. I didn’t care much for it either. Who knew there are people who really get off on it?

  • avatar
    rainless

    My (European) Mercedes C-Class annoyingly doesn’t have the auto-tilting mirror either. It would have come bundled with other (quite useful) mirror features such as auto-dimming and electrical folding in the “mirror package” which was a truly ridiculous amount, somewhere close to a 1000$. The other “why the hell isn’t this standard” feature on the car is the heated windshield washing system, as the nozzles freeze shut ever year. I guess this was all decided by the same committee that designed those SL rims.

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    Mr. DeMuro,
    I have had three CTS’s – a 2003 (manual 5-speed) and 2008 (auto) and a 2011 CTS-V Coupe (manual 6-speed). I believe both the ’08 and ’11 had tilt mirrors on both sides – I can’t recall with certainty. I’m now driving a 2008 SRX and both mirrors tilt. The Settings menu allows me to control the tilt feature for both on, both off, left side only or right side only. Have you explored the Settings menu on your wagon?

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Mirrors! Mirrors! Mirrors!

    What do we have here, a hauler that hauls ass.

    So lets load in five Nubian goats, six, eighty pound sacks of feed, a healthy Farmer John, and put this mother on the track, but not before I take a six pound sledge hammer to the freakin mirrors. That will cut down on the drag and the drag of all this inane mirror talk on this thread.
    I would do a count of the mirror comments, this is another one, forced, but it would further my disappointment and put me into frustration overload, probably spoiling my watercress lunch.

    Were talking ‘obsession’ here folks yours… now mine… col!

    Several years ago Cadillac brought their show to PIR, nice, classy presentation, and a chance too drive CTS’s and CTS-V’s on the track, I drew a CTS-V wagon. Unfortunately a GM nanny rode herd on any exuberant deployment of the CTS-V’s talents.

    Last Summer I snagged a coupe from the local dealer and ran it over my local handling test road, five miles times two of extremely twisty compound roller coaster turns that get my Miata extremely light, airborne, in some sections, just when you need directional control to turn in another direction.
    No nanny this time, but your runs are tempered by huge evergreen trees that would turn your shiny steed into so much scrap in milliseconds.

    The CTS-V comported itself well, but its weight was sure noticeable, especially compared to the Gen-111 RX-7 with a LS376 engine, on my previous run a few days earlier. Every gear head should own or experience that combo… Zweeet! Cornering limits so high you feel like you have entered another physical zone, and later, wondering what they are and how much you left on the plate, due too sheer fear of the potent possibilities… oops, I digress… Lunch time… barbecued Salmon marinated in rice wine with capers and rosemary, with a pinch cumin and a twist of lime on a bed of leafy green stuff. The only way to eat watercress.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    I’m loving these updates, as the owner of a non-V CTS sedan. The tilt mirror feature was removed sometime during the car’s run. On my ’08, you can set to have both mirrors tilt in reverse, just one, or no tilting at all. I find it bizarre that they removed this feature. They also removed the Rainsense wiper feature for a model year or two, but ended up putting it back. I’m betting the ’14 CTS will see the return of the tilt mirror feature since it’s all controlled from CUE now. GM strangeness.

  • avatar
    PeteK

    Apparently this feature was included in the 2nd Gen CTS when it was introduced in 2008, but was removed in 2009, for reasons I’m speculating involve confused and angry white-haired CTS customers who couldn’t figure out what was going on or how to use the DIC to turn it off.

    While we’re on an annoying nit-picking bent, I think I can beat yours, Doug. The most annoying thing about this car to me is: The dead pedal. Actually while it sounds tiny, it’s something that still bothers me every time I get in the car. You see, it’s set way too back and leans too far, so I have to either (1) slide my seat far up, scrunching me against the dash or (2) leave my foot hanging, because there’s no other place to put it

    I think this problem is compounded by the thigh bolsters, which push my legs in and force me to contort to hit the dead pedal, as well as the fact that the CTS-V is built on the CTS AWD body. They needed the wider tunnel to fit the V-spec transmissions, but this has the effect of pushing the pedals out to the left, putting the dead pedal out there. This actually isn’t so much a problem with the auto (ahem) or with the base seats, but with the manual it’s kind of a pain, literally.

    I drove an ATS loaner recently and noticed a much better constructed and positioned dead pedal. It’s a small sign to me that maybe Cadillac really is trying to make a driver’s car this time.

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    Very m uch looking forward to more installments as I’m seriously considering a pre-enoyed ’12 CTS-V wagon…and I live in snow country. Hell, if C&D can throw a set of snows on their CTS-V wagon in Michigan, how dangerous could it be? lol


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