By on March 10, 2016

2016 Cadillac CTS-V Front 3/4, Image: © 2016 Bradley Iger/The Truth About Cars

2016 Cadillac CTS-V

6.2-liter supercharged V8 (640 horsepower @ 6,400rpm; 630 lbs-ft @ 3,600 rpm)

Eight-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive

14 city / 21 highway / 17 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

16.5 (Observed, MPG)

Base price: $85,990*

As tested: $92,190*

* Prices include destination ($995) and gas guzzler tax ($1,000).

It’s been almost two decades since BMW unleashed the E39 M5 on the motoring public, and the sport sedan segment has chased its ghost ever since. Not long after the BMW was crowned mythic perfection, Cadillac made a substantial shift in its development focus to court younger, more performance-minded buyers.

Since then, Cadillac has generously pilfered the Corvette program parts bin to move the brand away from the retirement home and onto America’s non-existent Autobahn. In the meantime, BMW’s M Division has set its playbook on fire and begun heaping content onto its performance models.

When the second generation CTS-V broke the production sedan lap record at the Nurburgring in 2008, it became clear that the conversation was really starting to change.

The subsequent eight years find us in the middle of the second golden age of motoring, as shown by the revelation that this new 640 horsepower super sedan is somehow not the most powerful American four-door you can now buy off the showroom floor.

2016 Cadillac CTS-V 6.2-liter LT4 Supercharged V8 Engine, Image: © 2016 Bradley Iger/The Truth About Cars

Powertrain
While there’s probably a very reasonable business case for omitting a manual gearbox from the options list for the new V-Series, it is nonetheless sorely missed. GM opted to develop their own eight-speed automatic for its current crop of applicable cars. While they tout that it shifts with the same level of urgency as Porsche’s PDK (as it’s calibrated in the Corvette Z06, anyway), I’ve yet to drive a GM vehicle equipped with this gearbox that’s as cooperative and shifts with the same level of urgency as the ZF eight-speed unit used in a multitude of vehicles across the industry, let alone Porsche’s dual-clutch unit.

That isn’t to say that it’s a terrible gearbox — it certainly isn’t — but in terms of driver engagement, it does leave something on the table.

The rest of the car does not though. Make no mistake, the CTS-V is an incredibly well sorted high performance machine that effectively showcases the engineering prowess that Cadillac now has at its disposal.

2016 Cadillac CTS-V 6.2-liter LT4 Supercharged V8 Engine, Image: © 2016 Bradley Iger/The Truth About Cars

The Caddy’s 6.2-liter is yanked from the C7 Corvette Z06, here tuned to the aforementioned 640 horsepower and 630 pounds-feet of torque. While it doesn’t have the same level of absurdity as the supercharged mill in the Dodge Charger Hellcat — particularly in the realm of low-end torque — it’s still a legitimate missile, capable of getting the CTS to 60 mph from a standstill in 3.7 seconds. The Mopar gets the job done with brute force and bravado, but the CTS-V is far more composed and dignified about its prodigious thrust.

While the Germans have embraced turbocharging wholeheartedly, the CTS-V’s supercharged mill provides linear power delivery that turbos strive to replicate but rarely can. It comes at a cost though: the CTS-V that I took around Big Willow last year dialed back power during my first hot lap due to dangerously high engine temperatures. To be fair, the car was tracked with only short breaks between three-lap stints, but I was nowhere near running at 10/10ths even when the car was cooperating with me. I doubt anyone else I shared the car with that day was either. Achilles, how’s your heel?

2016 Cadillac CTS-V Rear 3/4, Image: © 2016 Bradley Iger/The Truth About Cars

Drive
Anecdotal evidence aside, I think it’s doubtful that most CTS-Vs built will see a ton of track time, and I’d wager that Cadillac was aware of that when developing the car. Accordingly, around town and on twisty back roads is where the CTS-V truly shines. The third generation Magnetic Ride Control dampers are better than ever, providing compliant ride quality in Tour driving mode without feeling floaty, and ratchet up the stiffness appropriately in Sport and Track modes. Unfortunately, the Caddy’s 4,100 pound girth is still evident in road undulations at high speed, even in the raciest of drive modes.

2016 Cadillac CTS-V Front Wheel, Image: © 2016 Bradley Iger/The Truth About Cars

While it’s certainly no featherweight, it’s worth noting that the Cadillac is still several hundred pounds lighter than both the current M5 and the Mercedes-AMG E63 S, while also boasting more output than both. It also stops shocking well due to the beefy Brembo brake system, which can bring the car to a halt from 60 miles per hour in a mere 99 feet.

This, along with a staggered set of Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires and added structural reinforcement that makes the CTS-V 20-percent stiffer than the standard car, equates to an incredible performer considering its size.

2016 Cadillac CTS-V CUE Infotainment, Image: © 2016 Bradley Iger/The Truth About Cars

Infotainment
CUE is still pretty annoying to use, though Cadillac’s technology suite — which now includes Apple Carplay to go along with its 4G LTE hotspot connectivity — make the CTS-V’s infotainment system one of the more earnest efforts on the market.

Truth be told, the pitfalls of CUE are largely avoidable both by physical buttons on the steering wheel and using the touch screen, though the frustrations will quickly return when you need to adjust anything HVAC related.

The CTS-V’s 12.3-inch configurable gauge cluster looks sharp and is easy to read, while the 8-inch touchscreen on the center stack is reasonably responsive, though not quite snappy. Either way, Cadillac gets bonus points for including navigation functionality and the Bose surround sound system as standard on the CTS-V.

2016 Cadillac CTS-V Front, Image: © 2016 Bradley Iger/The Truth About Cars

Exterior
The car certainly looks the business without being ostentatious about it, and I’d argue it’s nicer to look at than any of its rivals.

It’s a fine line to walk, but the V treatment suits the CTS well, as the vented carbon fiber hood, reworked air intakes and subtle rear diffuser serve both form and function without looking tacky or overwrought.

2016 Cadillac CTS-V Front 3/4 Closeup, Image: © 2016 Bradley Iger/The Truth About Cars

That said, the hood bulge, low hanging front fascia, quad exhaust tips, and big forged wheels make it clear that this is not your granddaddy’s DTS. While it may fly under the radar of the average motorist, interested parties will be able to tell what this is upon first glance.

2016 Cadillac CTS-V Interior, Image: © 2016 Bradley Iger/The Truth About Cars

Interior
While most of the surfaces you come in contact with feel appropriately premium, subtler elements like the shiny plastics used on the steering wheel and center stack bezel still feel low rent in a vehicle that’s over $90,000 as optioned.

Like the ATS-V, the CTS-V doesn’t stray far from the aesthetic of the standard model, though the optional Recaro buckets do bring with them a sense of occasion while maintaining grand touring levels of comfort.

In general, while the CTS-V remains a step or two behind the offerings from Mercedes-AMG and Audi in terms of overall interior swankiness, it’s also nothing to apologize for at this point. Considering that the CTS-V undercuts the price tag of everything else in its class by at least ten grand, some concessions in interior quality are forgivable.

2016 Cadillac CTS-V Fender Badge, Image: © 2016 Bradley Iger/The Truth About Cars

Bottom Line
Handsome looks, a charming personality, grand touring comfort for the entire family and engaging dynamics — the CTS-V ticks all the boxes and does so with aplomb. Sure, the Audi RS7 will be quicker off the line and the E63 S might be a bit more posh inside, but neither combines the seemingly disparate components of a super sports sedan as effectively as the CTS-V.

At this point, the target is no longer on BMW’s back. When it comes to luxury performance — at least where the latter is of greater importance — Cadillac is now the one to beat.

General Motors provided the car, insurance, and tank of fuel for this review.

[Images: © 2016 Bradley Iger/The Truth About Cars]

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160 Comments on “2016 Cadillac CTS-V Review: More Than Brute Force...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “As tested: $92,190*”

    Good grief. Same as an M5, and only slightly under an E65 AMG.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I think you’re thinking of the E63 AMG. Per Mercedes-Benz’ current naming conventions, an E65 AMG would have a V12 bi-turbo engine, like the $220,000 S65 AMG. Sadly, there isn’t such a thing.

    • 0 avatar
      mattfarah

      The CTS-V starts at $83k is fully loaded at $92k. Our M5 demonstrator recently was similarly loaded and $125k. Our E63S demonstrator was $117k. The CTS-V is, realistically, about 15% cheaper than an M5 or E63.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        For those spending this kind of money, is that a considerable enough discount? I would think not, being saddled with a melty Cadillac badge, CUE for the foreseeable future, and styling which is destined to age badly.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I don’t know. The first CTS aged poorly, but the second one has aged well. I think the third will, too.

        • 0 avatar

          You really think the average BMW with Grand Am levels of tacked-on garbage ages any better?

          At least I can service most of this car at Jethro Chevy-Caddylac-and-Corn-Squeezins in middle Iowa if I had to. And I will 100% trust GM engineering up against BMW’s “Excessive Power Draw? Just Throw Another $210 Battery with $130/hr Labor x2.5 At It” solutions to their blown V8s.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Hmm, good question. Given it’s an M5, I think yes they do. Even the early Bangle M5 still squeezed by the styling woes better than normal counterparts.

            I’d probably end up with the E, anyway if I’m picking.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            The E60 M5 didn’t age all that well, especially on the interior. The F10 might do better. And of course the E39 is considered “The Holy Grail”…an opinion that I find to be exaggerated, but mostly true.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            Kyree, I completely agree about the E39. Which, not coincidentally, was the last generation not to be Bangled.

          • 0 avatar

            Agreed. Working on my BMW posits training in tech school, and tracked to a decent dealership job…in Germany. Working on my Caddy, they saw Goober coming. Not that I’m complaining, as a shade tree hack myself…

          • 0 avatar
            Willyam

            “Jethro’s Chevy-Caddylac-and-Corn-Squeezins”

            I want this on a t-shirt. Someone call blipshift immediately!

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      Starting MSRPs:

      CTS-V $85,990
      M5 $94,100
      E63 AMG $101,700
      RS 7 $108,900

      Sounds like the CTS-V is the performance king whose luxury shortcomings can be forgiven since it’s the best value.

      Some rich people can be incredibly petty (it’s why they’re so rich), so I imagine the discount matters.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Without comparing what comes standard on those, it’s hard to say. I imagine the base M5 has more stuff on it than the base CTS-V.

        If you don’t need luxury and it’s easy to forgive, just get the whatever Charger or a Corvette.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Or, as mentioned below, if you don’t want to spend this money, the CTS V-sport is a good alternative. It’s still fast as hell and probably 20 grand cheaper.

        • 0 avatar
          srh

          I have no knowledge of what’s on the base models, but in my admittedly limited experience, you’re lucky to get a backup camera in a base BMW. That’ll require a $6,000 technology package and upgrading to sport seats. Because BMW.

      • 0 avatar
        energetik9

        The only other car that could be added to the list (off the top of my head) would be the Porsche Panamera Turbo S as a 4-door high performance sedan. It’s faster than the CTS-V, but also starts around $140k. In the end though, really, if you are in the $100-120k range, the delta starts becoming far less of an issue and shortcomings carry far greater weight.

        You also have to be careful comparing packages. High performance cars like this typically add many options and items that are either not available or available as options on lower and base model cars. BMW M cars typically include packages that are options. They also start adding more performance based options.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’d take the E class Mercedes AMG over this or the M5, but the fact that Cadillac is building something that runs with either of these cars is damn remarkable.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I have to agree, it is an achievement that they actually make this, and it does compete on the same plane. I don’t think it’s generally right for the brand, nor will lend other models credibility – but they’ve lacked any real focus since 1996 anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      With MSRP on the base CTS-V in the $80’s or right with the Lexus GS-F in price, which would you choose?

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I go GS-F without hesitation.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        That’s an easy one. I’d have the GS-F without the silly suede seats. It looks ridiculous in blue. It has more room, it will be more comfortable in daily drives, and it will have better resale and overall reliability. And it doesn’t have CUE.

        http://roa.h-cdn.co/assets/15/02/980×490/landscape_nrm_1420552959-b32i7729-edit.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        The GS in general is just too meh for me. And I cannot abide by that front end treatment – it looks like H.R. Giger’s rejected designs for “Predator.”

        Plus it gives up about 140 hp to the CTS-V.

        And in this class of car, who actually buys it and drives it until the wheels come off? After three years of hooning around in a car like this, who wants the repair headaches?

        Leased CTS-V for the win here.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Is 140 hp sufficient therapy for the daily frustration of operating the car’s doodads?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            True, Dave, you get CUE in the Caddy but I’m not impressed by Lexus’ bizarre imitation mouse-click thingie either. I’ll take the Caddy and the superior performance.

            And I’d say the Caddy’s interior is FAR better looking that what you’ll find in the Lexus.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Fair enough. Cadillac is certainly not the only offender of really poorly thought out infotainment that steadily lacks more and more in terms of actual feedback and ease of use. But arent they the only one with a purely touch system?

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          The GS is down 173 HP on the Caddy.

      • 0 avatar
        energetik9

        Lexus performance just doesn’t excite me (just my opinion). I’m not a huge fan of the CTS-V, but I’d pick it over the GS-F.

      • 0 avatar
        Bradley Iger

        That really depends where your priorities are. The Lexus has a stronger focus on the luxury side, but I’d argue that because of how much better CTS-V’s suspension is, it’s still more comfortable around town from a compliance standpoint.

        It’ll also run circles around the GS-F from a performance standpoint by just about any measure.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          I guess you guys haven’t seen the lackluster performance for the price in the GS-F, Audi S6, and CTS VSport?
          http://www.motortrend.com/news/comparison-audi-s6-4-0t-quattro-vs-cadillac-cts-v-sport-vs-lexus-gs-f/

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The test you show has the GS-F in second place and Motortrend’s summary was “If this comparison test were purely about performance, the tightly wound GS F would have rightfully won the gold.”

            And anyway, I am not going to spend $80K+ because of what Jonny freaking Lieberman or any other automotive hack has to say about something.

            The GS-F gets my d*ck harder so I’m buying the Lexus. The Cadillac doesn’t really emotionally appeal to me (even if it is very capable) so I’m not interested.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Do you ever sleep?

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    “When it comes to luxury performance — at least where the latter is of greater importance — Cadillac is now the one to beat.”

    Paging Mr. Deadweight…

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    It finally seems like the CTS-V is comparable to the STS-V from about ten years ago, in terms of size.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      2006 STS-V:
      WB: 116.4″
      L: 197.6″
      W: 72.6″
      H: 57.6″

      2016 CTS-V:
      WB: 114.6″
      L: 195.5″
      W: 72.2″
      H: 57.2″

      Sounds about right.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Expand your timeline another 10 years, and the same could be said about nearly every car on the road today.

      I still think Cadillac hit its sweet spot with the last CTS…. this one just costs too much, as excellent as it may be. Unfortunately, in the irrational luxury market the best is sometimes not good enough. Especially when things like the back seat and infotainment aren’t sorted. That is like modern car 101.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Thank goodness Cadillac has finally stopped producing the gaudy, underpowered, thirsty land barges of yesteryear. This is another step in the right direction. It’s a pretty tall order to try to find the middle ground between a respectable performance car and something only Grandpa can afford. The price is astonishingly high, which backs Cadillac against the wall in actually moving these off the showroom floor.
    Some of the styling details are properly loud and subtle at the same time, such as the hood scoop. The rest of the hood screams “Camaro!”, the headlights scream “Audi!”, and the body is reminiscent of Oldsmobiles from a decade or more ago.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Cars like this are beyond niche. If not for autojournos they would not exist. This car is irrelevant to pretty much every luxury buyer.

      Caddy was wise to abandon the land barges of the past but I think this silly pursuit of magazine “sport sedan comparison test supremacy” they are pursuing is equally misguided. Europeans will literally not be caught dead in a Cadillac no matter how good it is, so that whole market region is out, leaving America and China…. where most people paying $90K for a luxury car are buying S-Classes and Escalades, not M5s and 911s.

      As awesome as this car is if Cadillac wants to make money and matter they need to triple down on luxury. Get basic things like back seat size and infotainment 100% right. Ditch this “BMW in 1994” nonsense. Unless GM is willing to continue to bankroll this losing endeavor. Truthfully the ATS/CTS should have been CUVs. I will go even further and say the whole Alpha platform was not even necessary.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I absolutely agree. The ATS and CTS actually sacrifice comfort and space (Cadillac’s hallmark qualities) for their performance, which is particularly bad because Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar, two other brands with similar values, manage to get the equation right.

        Which is why I think Lincoln’s strategy will be more successful in the long run, once it gets all the details right. And maybe a single halo car for Lincoln would be good, but it doesn’t need to go the Cadillac route of imbuing all of its cars with handling and performance characteristics that people couldn’t care less about. Cadillac is chasing a target that it cannot hope to reach in any timely fashion.

        That said, this will depreciate much faster than an M5 or E63 AMG. No reason we can’t enjoy these fun (somewhat-compromised) toys on the used market while we wait for Cadillac to get its head out of the clouds.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-Iron

        Could not disagree more. Smack in the middle of the palm of Michigan I saw a woman who could not have been a day less than 80 rocking the CTS-V wagon. Jack B. put this better than I could, but basically the reason for these super sedans and SUVs, the AMG G Wagon being the most egregious example, is simply because everyone in the country club knows that it is the most expensive model.

  • avatar
    ZCD2.7T

    Although perhaps not quite serious enough to call another Achilles’ Heel, the CTS’s rear seat space is unfortunately not class-competitive. I guess if you don’t plan to ferry 4 male adults at a time, that’s not a problem, but for many buyers of this class of car, it will be.

    I’d forgive even that shortcoming if an AWD version were offered, though.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Neither is the 5-Series, once you get the thicker Multi-Contour Seats. In fact, a 3-Series in any guise is roomier from the back seat than a 5-Series equipped as such.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      The RS-7 looks competitive. The Panamera is surprisingly comfortable in the rear.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      You want AWD with similar torque in a 4,200 lbs package direct your eyes to my XTS VSport Platinum(only see 32.5 mpg @ 65 mph) with a tuned ecu to 550+ lb-ft it torque, or about 70 lb-ft less than the CTS-V. Enough power to spin the wheels at 50 mph in 90° degree heat.

      The 3.6 twin turbo won’t have anything close to a V8 burble( but has a nice 60° V6) or CTS-V handling but it has a usable back seat and a nicely sized trunk. Want rear wheel drive characteristics? Just shut off the TC and keep holding the button for stability off and you can throttle the rear end around at will

      • 0 avatar
        energetik9

        I’m glad you like it, but an ECU flash doesn’t really equate these cars. I have no doubt your car is fun.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          An ecu flash does wonders to the daily driver! I’ve been using HPTuners to tune a few cara for my vo workers and they are amazed at what gm left on table in torque management.

          • 0 avatar
            energetik9

            I get it. I’ve flashed a couple BMW M cars over the years.

            My point was that typically in this class of cars, you are paying for a package that includes far more than just engine performance. The car I drive now is only a few 10’s of a second slower to 60mph, but I don’t really care. My car has less HP, but quite a bit less weight. I bought it for it’s handling and driver engagement. If I just wanted raw, heavy power, and handling was not a high criteria, I’d just shop a hellcat.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    I’d rather have an ATS-V with a few, carefully selected options.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’d be interested in a $55K less track-focused LT1-powered version.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      ATS-V should have got the LT-1. GM was nuts to think they would move enough ATS-V volume to move the needle on emissions. Funny thing is the Camaro SS gets better gas mileage than the ATS-V too. Engine in the ATS-V was pointless

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        That’s actually pretty indicative of the absolute internal mess GM is, they would rather put in a V6 that gets 17/23 into a so called luxury car, than put a V8 that is better in every metric (I’m sure it weighs less when you account for the turbos+associated on the V6) that gets 17/28 on the same chassis in a non luxury model.

        Only worse is that GM neutered the Camaro V6 fuel economy from the 15 to the 16s to make the 2.0 somewhat relevant.

        • 0 avatar
          johnny_5.0

          But…but…the M3 has a turbo six! Seriously, I think it is just a case of having blinders on in their pursuit of ‘the ultimate driving machine’. Even ignoring negligible performance differences, I’d take the LT-1 all day every day just for the glorious sounds it can make. As everyone knows, they won’t sell enough V models anywhere to make more than a rounding error in their CAFE targets. And almost every V sale will be in the US where displacement taxes don’t exist. It’s asinine.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Very nicely written review, it was a pleasure to read. This quote about says it all regarding this class of car:

    “…move the brand away from the retirement home and onto America’s non-existent Autobahn.”

    Given the very low likely presence of this car on a racetrack and North America’s modest highway speed limits, I do wonder what the relevance of 600 hp in a luxury sedan is. I’m more drawn to the CTS-Vsport. The 3.0 liter twin turbo six would be enough engine for me, more than enough for our roadways, and it retains the excellent exterior styling without the gaudy elements this V has. And it is *only* $71K to start.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I tend to agree with this…but 600 hp? Damn. That’s hard to say no to.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      CTS-V sport is in the same BS category as the ATS.

      CTS-V Sport (3.6l TT) 420HP MPG 16/24
      Camaro SS (6.2l) 455HP(455 TQ) MPG 17/28

      What is the purpose here? The N/A 6.2L must be cheaper than dealing with a TT V6, and what benefits do they have to show for it?

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Despite all the (mostly legitimate) gripping we do about Cadillac, they do some things right, and some cool things as well.

    That said, CUE = no sale. Period, hands down, end of discussion. I played around with CUE at the autoshow to see if things had changed since my last opportunity to do so. Nope. Slow, laggy, no feedback except waiting for the slow screen to decide to display something. Never mind that its a touch interface in piano black!!!

    PLEASE DONT LET CUE PROLIFERATE DOWN TO “LESSER” BRANDS!!! Believe it or not, MyLink/IntelliLink actually work really well.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I bet you can’t use CUE while wearing gloves, either eh?

      Piano black shows prints and I hate it. It’s not even suitable on a Cruze.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      CUE is as fast as Sensa from Volvo!

      Corey, with heated steering wheel you don’t need gloves. :)

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        CUE is utter SH!T Norm. And when its -25 C out, yes you damn well need gloves, heated steering wheel or not. Do you need heat if you have heated seats? YES!!!!

        Also, other infotainment systems being slow doesn’t excuse any others ones from being crap.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          By that logic, with heated seats I can just wear shorts in the winter.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Many of them aren’t slow, IMO. I’ve found Lexus’ Enform, BMW’s iDrive, and Audi’s MMI to be reasonably snappy. Ditto for the new Mercedes-Benz COMAND system that debuted with the 2014 S-Class. MyFord Touch and FCA’s Uconnect are excellent when they work.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Not good enough Kyree. “When they work” is not ever an acceptable caveat to apply to freaking HVAC controls. In two years, the screen froze up in the Verano once. The knobs still worked though.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Haha. Funny you mention that. My best friend has a 2013 Fusion Titanium Energi (purchased used last October for $22K). MyFord Touch is integral in using the HVAC. A couple of times, it has read 0 degrees Celsius on the temperature controls (we live in the U.S.) and refused to turn the heater on. He had to yank the battery to reset it.

            The MyFord Touch system in his 2015 Mustang, OTOH, hasn’t given us any trouble.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        CUE is as fast as Sensus from Volvo. The swipe and pinch in the Volvo commercial, CUE do that also. Notice that there are no details on the Sensus map in the ad. :)

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I didn’t know why everyone was complaining about CUE.

      Then I rented a 2016 Escalade ESV.

      Terrible, terrible. Aside from being glitchy, the interface is ill-conceived. The menus aren’t intuitive, and the photorealistic, skeuomorphic graphics are actually difficult to decipher even when the car is standing still. It’s worse than MyFord / MyLincoln Touch ever was. It looks like Cadillac really did try, but it’s just not there.

      There is, however, a new version of CUE debuting with the XT5. It runs a faster processor and newer software, so I hope it’s much better. There’ll be a lot less piano black plastic, too.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Thanks, Kyree,
        How is it possible that one of the three largest carmakers in the world is failing at infotainment, when everyone knows this is such a major competitive feature?

        Even FCA gets it right.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Who knows. Interestingly, GM actually has four distinct systems branded MyLink / Intelli Link. One of those systems—which can be found in the 2014-present Impala, 2014-present trucks, 2015-present full-sized SUVs, etc—is ultimately what powers CUE. CUE adds a custom UI skin and few more features, like capacitative touch.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        A faster processor and newer software are a great step, but they really need to get rid of the piano black plastic center stack with all touch controls. The basic design of the entire system is flawed, not just the slow buggy touch screen.

      • 0 avatar
        Bradley Iger

        Beyond the slow response, my biggest issue with CUE has always been the capacitive buttons, which have always been more of a hassle to use than they were worth on an aesthetic level.

        The good news is the XT5 fixes both of those problems by giving the system adequate hardware for reasonable input response and ditching the capacitive buttons (almost) altogether. They added a touch volume slider just below the display and to no one’s surprise, it sucks, but it’s avoidable by using the steering wheel buttons.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Thats just beyond fascinating to me that they keep trying to reinvent the dash mounted volume control. Just use a bloody knob. Even if its the only knob on the dash, and the rest is all button or even touch based.

          Because sometimes you need to adjust the volume in a real hurry. Hvac, seat heat, you can fumble with touch if you need, (though why) but steering wheel buttons arent as fast as an honest to goodness dial.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Lol!

            Dave from Canada (R), getting mad about volume knobs since 2010.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            The Verano’s dials, especially the radio, are not that fast. Consistent, but not fast.

            Automatic climate control, you have it on your Verano 2.0T, so no need to adjust temperature. Once the seat and steering wheel are heated I’ll take my gloves and sit on them.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Incorrect Norm. Ive done 4-14 hour drives, 4 6 hours drives over the last few months. Im constantly fiddling with the auto climate settings over a spread of about 4-5 degrees C. The auto system in the Verano and also my parents Regal just dont hold a steady comfortable temperature.

            And you may say the buttons and knobs in the Verano are slow but they work every time, let me know they have worked and I can use them without taking my eyes off the road.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I also harbor volume knob hatred. Do we have a support group for this?

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            davefromcalgary, your ongoing commentary on the Verano could be compiled to form the most comprehensive and detailed long term test review in history.

            I wish I had a source of such reviews for every model out there.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            There is no more love for knobs and flip-phones. Check out the Motortrend CR-V Update: 7 for evidence.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Dave in C, are your base blower settings set to high?

            Too much sugar/carbohydrates effecting your metabolism? :)

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            funny how when Ford went to touch controls, everyone screamed and complained until they went back. Now that Honda is doing it, somehow they’re no longer a problem.

            I’ve used Honda’s touch controls, in a Pilot and an CR-V. They suck. There’s always a delay between when you touch something and when it actually does the intended action. Oh, and the Pilot had the neat feature where the radio would stop acknowledging any presses on the seek up/seek down controls. But apparently garbage HMI from Honda is OK for everyone.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            @rpn453, and any one else who has an opinion,

            Would there be enough interest in a 2 year update article, if Mark S is interested? It will be two years as the calendar flips to April. And sadly, its still flipping random CEL which the dealer says is still the clutch position sensor circuit. I haven’t had any drive ability issues since Sept. but the damn thing is still having electrical gremlins in that its constantly throwing codes (once every couple of weeks).

            I think I can be reasonably impartial in the manner of “if this car was reliable, we would like a, b and c, and hate x, y and z, but also this particular car has suffered l, m, n, o, p and q maladies.” I don’t think I’ve ever posted the FULL service history, its a mess.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Dave in C, My Verano 2.0T 6MT will be 4 years in October. Currently has 29,000 miles and has missed a beat, nor has anything clutches. Actually beside the ecu tune and a tabbed up 3″ intake along with oil changes, I did have to put a new battery in the keyless remote.

            Look forward to your follies. Have you looked at another dealer?

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            @ 28,

            Are you saying you hate volume knobs? or hate they are being eliminated. If the latter, we must discuss over strong vodka.

            @ Norm and others discussing Honda. I’ve been ranting about their new controls as loud as about CUE. But I am just one small voice. I wouldn’t touch a modern Honda with the touch volume slider. We sat in a Tacoma at the Auto Show. It has a completely touch screen radio….with a little volume knob shyly sticking out. Thank goodness! Still a bigger pain to operate than my stereo, but not a total loss.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            @ Norm,

            In an effort to convey what issues I experience in my car, I notice that when on full auto mode, the HVAC system seems to be constantly adjusting which vents it is blowing out of, and I don’t know whats going on with the blend doors. I’ll be humming along and, maybe the exterior conditions have changed or whatever, but all of a sudden there are cold spots forming near one set of vents or another. Typically near the dash vents and the funny side defroster vents in the A-pillar, but sometimes the foot well gets really cold all of a sudden. So, i crank it up one notch (temperature knob, the rest of the settings are full auto) and it freaks out and starts cooking my feet. And so on.

            I’ve found that what works slightly better is to get it onto full auto first, and once that starts to go wacky, I put it on floor/defrost split, and let it control fan speed and blend automatically still based on the temperature setting. It reduces the variables the automatic system has to content with down to mainly fan speed. It works better in eliminating the cold spots, but I still will need to adjust it periodically.

            In theory I agree with you, a good auto CC should be set and forget. Sadly, my experience has not lived up to this.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            The base settings on high might help. Look into the config and select high, medium and low are also options I believe. It can warm in the summer in the back seat and fluffy starts to pant. I selected high and it has worked better.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Norm, I’m really happy you’ve gotten stellar service out of your Verano and other GM products. My parents have a 2015 Regal 2.0T AWD, and my brother a 2015 Sierra SLT, so we really are a GM family, and happily over 15000 kms and 65000 kms respectively, their vehicles have been trouble free. Just routine maintenance.

            Sadly, mine has been trouble since day 1. Not even a full week after I took delivery, I had to take it in because the clutch pedal was clunking. Turned out the clutch hydraulic line was misrouted and almost rubbed itself through on the frame rail. Its on its second transmission (after only 3 months, so again, not me), second fly wheel, thirds and fourths of various sensors it keeps frying, second ECU, and huge runs of wiring have been replaced, partly because the cabling runs were not smooth finished from the factory, its stranded me twice, once was 600 kms from home. Part of the issue is that the service techs just keep throwing parts at it. I am on my second dealer, and these guys at least talk to GM engineering.

            So, yeah, through no fault of my own I have a lemon that they outright refused to buy back because its not enforceable in Canada. I’m glad you have had better luck with new GM vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Haptic feedback works great on CUE, so much so that once you have the timing down you can beat the haptic and successfully get the input

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Wait a minute: who provided the vehicle? Any swag included? The lack of disclaimers here is killing me, especially given the overall gushy nature of the review for a car that overheats when pushed.

  • avatar
    trackratmk1

    It overheats after a LAP or two on the race track!

    SO WHERE AM I SUPPOSED TO USE MY 640hp?

    Oh, the back roads of course. 600+ horsepower is really going to help me out in the twisties in a 2 ton car….

    I don’t understand why anyone would spend 90k on this unless exhaust note is worth $30k+.

    If you happen to like the styling you can just get the V-sport and still have tons of power.

    I’m sure it’s amazing to drive this thing, but I seriously can’t think of a situation where this car will ever be able to see 10/10ths.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      0-30 stoplight pulls, highway on-ramps, and just being the baddest MFer in the parking lot (assuming your coworker doesn’t have a Hellcat).

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      This is pretty much the conundrum of all 500HP+ cars. Even on a typical track you are not going to be able to deploy everything this thing has as an average driver. Not to mention the consumables! I am sure a set of tires and brakes on this thing will easily cost over $3K. I’d be wincing at every track day

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Much like Range Rovers and G-Wagens that never leave the pavement, automakers who build these four-door supercars know that they are selling specs and capabilities…the *idea* that you could blaze down the street and beat a Ferrari (from 10 years ago)…and yet for most buyers, the gear selector will stay firmly in automatic mode and traction control will remain on. Hell, a big portion of ordinary people buy cars based on the 2/10ths of extra capability they’ll only need or be able to exploit once or twice a year. You have two kids and could get by with a RAV4, but you take a weeklong vacation once a year? Don’t get the RAV4 and rent something bigger when you need it; get the Highlander instead.

        That said, some of these performance cars also offer a certain amount of drama that you just don’t get with lesser versions (see Hellcat), and that alone is worth the price premium to many people.

        Speaking of traction control, I did once turn off the traction control in a 2006 STS-V. I wound up out of my depth and facing the wrong way in short order.

    • 0 avatar
      Bradley Iger

      To be fair, this was after numerous other three-lap stints in the car with only short cool-down breaks in between. But honestly I don’t feel bad saying that someone who could run this car at 9/10ths on a fast track might get 15-20 minutes of hot laps out of it before the ECU starts pulling power.

      For what it’s worth, I think the issue is far more egregious on the Z06 based solely on the fact that I really don’t expect a ton of CTS-Vs to be seen at track days, much the way you don’t see modern M5s and E63s there either.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        This supercharger is smaller than the 6.2l supercharger used on the ZR1. Something like 1.9 vs 2.3 so there is a reason it over heats. Just surprised the engine can take it.

        Ditch the SC and go twin turbo and be done.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      that’s the “dirty little secret” of most road cars. the cooling system can’t actually cope with the engine making peak horsepower for very long. Water has a high specific heat capacity, so it gives the system a bit of a thermal “buffer,” but there’ll be a point that the engine is generating more waste heat than the system can dissipate.

      put it this way- there are reasons a semi truck with a 400 hp engine has an enormous radiator and grill compared to what you’ll find in a 400 hp car.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      trakratm1: “SO WHERE AM I SUPPOSED TO USE MY 640hp?”

      Good question. I was wondering if there was any public road left in the United States where this car could *legally* outrun a Prius. At one time, Montana (I think), had “no” speed limit on certain highways but I think they abandoned that experiment.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    @ Mark or Bradley

    Just out of curiosity, how did the site acquire this test car?

  • avatar

    As you may know, I recently bought a Hellcat Charger 2016 RED paint.

    $73,000 + tax

    I have driven the last gen CTS-V coupe and the 2016 V.

    Those cars are NOWHERE NEAR AS EXCITING as the Charger when it comes to raw sound and power and acceleration and even LOOKS.

    The CTS is simply too much like the CTS-V coupe to be “exciting”.

    In fairness, unless you have a bright candy colored Hellcat, they too look too much like the regular car to stand out.

    My only disappointment:

    #1 My 300 SRT had a front collision avoidance sensor – the Hellcats don’t.

    #2 My 300 SRT had front parking sensors – the Hellcat doesn’t.

    #3 No moonroof was included.

    Other than that, I was far more impressed with the Hellcat than the CTS-V.

    That’s why I bought one!

    The feature length film is called:

    SUPERCHARGED BLACK PEOPLE: AGE OF HELLCAT

    The iPhone 6s+ 128GB optical image stabilizer did a fantastic job. Hopefully iPhone7 offers 256GB.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      It must be miserable and exhausting to feel compelled to have to validate yourself through your purchases like this.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        Thats funny sporty, I saw this comment in the home page with no context and thought you were probably talking about Norm.

      • 0 avatar

        When you earn $2000 a month on Youtube, only then will you understand…

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Break out the tape measures.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          So what your really saying is.

          Look my hands. Look at how big my hands are. My hands are big. Big hands are important.

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            Given an absolute performance monster like the CTS-V, people are complaining about the friggin’ CLIMATE CONTROL buttons. What the hell is wrong with everyone? It stops from 60 in 99 feet! It hauls itself to 60 in 3.7 seconds. This is, as Paul Simon sang an age of miracles and wonders. I began my driving career at the dawn of the malaise era when all we had to look forward to was wheezy engines and loopy opera windows and I thank my lucky stars that we have cars this good these days.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            bunkie,

            The reason we are talking about the friggin’ climate control is because even the most avid track day user will most likely only be able to use that massive power… 2 dozen times a year, but they will presumably be doing some sort of HVAC/Audio/GPS/heated seats adjustment multiple times a day, and if that is aggravating, then thats more important than its track performance.

            I’m not personally buying a car that has great talents but frustrates me to do the simplest things.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            “So what your really saying is.

            Look my hands. Look at how big my hands are. My hands are big. Big hands are important.”

            I’m not sure if you watch Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but there is an episode from this season where Charlie’s uncle Jack is in court with these enormous rubber hands over his actual hands. Most of his defense is talking about his big hands. Hilarious.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            You know what they say about big hands…

            Big gloves.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          That’s nothing, I made $86332 last month working from home. Let me tell you how…

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            That’s nothing, FreedMike,
            I know the prince of Nigeria. I’m helping him out with some legal bills, so he can get access to his fortune, and then he’s going to give me FIVE MILLION DOLLARS.

            Bugatti dealer, here I come!

      • 0 avatar
        multicam

        @sportyaccordy

        Meh, I don’t know… I can’t speak for him but I think BTSR is doing just fine. He’s proud of his car and wants to brag about it, nothing wrong with that. If anything makes him exhausted and miserable it was probably writing “Hellcat” in his first sentence without capitalizing the whole word.

        I’m proud of my car and talk about it to whoever is interested, and it’s 21 years old and cost me $6,000.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        It’s too powerful for the after-divorce girlfriend, too expensive for 99% of people, too tacky for most of the one-percenters.
        I don’t see very many gray-hairs considering this for their last-hurrah-before-convalescent-home, so who exactly is Cadillac expecting their customer to be?

      • 0 avatar
        energetik9

        I always enjoy reading a post with a space between

        every

        single

        sentence.

        That and capitalizing HELLCAT for some unknown reason.

    • 0 avatar
      Coopdeville

      I understand the other capitalizations as used as substitutes for italics, but why is “RED” in all caps? If you were speaking to a fellow human using words and gesticulations, would the emPHAsis in your sentence really be on the word “red?”

      “Well hello there Silas, check out my new Allen Edmonds wing-tip oxfords in SADDLE BROWN.”

      • 0 avatar
        CincyDavid

        Allen Edmonds, pfft…why not Alden?

        I kid, by the way. I own both and prefer Allen Edmonds even though my shoe guy told me fat guys (anyone over 225ish) should buy Alden because they have a steel shank and AE’s tend to flex because they have no shank.

        Anyway, if people like hotrod Cadillacs that overheat, or hotrod FCA products, more power to ’em. My gut tells me these are four-wheeled penile extensions, just like the F350 crew cab duallys that never tow anything.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I don’t get the whole being flashy with what you have?

      Who knows maybe that’s why I quite a job for something that pays 3x less. Would much rather work 20 hours a week than 60+ regardless of the money.
      Health + Family > Money

    • 0 avatar
      baggins

      BTSR makes me laugh. Sometimes at him, sometimes with him. But I am glad he is here.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        He’s like this place’s own black Tai Lopez but with less Lambo.

        I like this CTS-V, I only know it because the exact same one is a undercover police car in the TV show “Colony”.

        I was looking at the specs and wondered, why the hell is this a $90,000 Supercharged V8.

        Isnt this going to far? How about a $60,000 version with the std. LT1 6.2 V8? And less of the frills… just iron brakes.

        Isnt that enough?

      • 0 avatar
        energetik9

        I get the humor too. I just get tired of the insults, condescension, and bad grammar.

        And really $2k a month from YouTube? I guess my final answer is who cares? I make very good money, but I would never talk about it here and have no desire to do so.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          BTSR still had a day job last I checked. The 2k is extra income from his HOBBY. the hobby has a brand name I won’t type out, BTSR works. Remembering that BTSR is a brand and that his posts here are (effective, see 2k/mo) marketing makes it easier to stomach the typographic anomalies and braggadocio.

  • avatar
    Rday

    Even the shallow minded, arrogant poseurs i know would not consider any cadillac product to be worthy of wasting time and money on. So I guess these people are smart enough to pass on anything cadillac and get something really worthy of their brittle egos.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    what in the sh1t? no DeadWeight rant? WTF kind of day is this???
    I am saddened.
    THAT GAUGE CLUSTER IS TRIMMED OUT IN FISHER PRICE HORSE SH1T I CAN’T WAIT TO SCRATCH THE PIANO BLACK LUXURIOUS ELASTOMER IP PULLED FROM A 2009 ESCAPE WITH MY ROLEX OR ASH MY ARTURO AFUENTE ALL OVER SOMETHING THAT ISN’T LEATHER FROM SOME RARE BREED OF HEREFORD ONLY FOUND IN SCOTLAND AND LEAVE PITS IN MY PLASTIQUE BECAUSE CIGARS ARE HOT
    Niño Jesús

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      This one has the “premium” gauge cluster, which is at least somewhat clean & modern.

      They will sell 2,600 of these a year, 2/3rds being sold to GM salaried management (so, 867 will be sold to general public).

      This thing will be a depreciation rival to any Land Rover/Aston Martin/Maserati.

      $88,000 MRSP in 2016 and showing up at auction for $30,000 in 2020 (mostly garaged examples with 20,000 miles and 27 open recalls).

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        “$88,000 MRSP in 2016 and showing up at auction for $30,000 in 2020 (mostly garaged examples with 20,000 miles and 27 open recalls).”

        Sounds good to me, where do I sign????

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        That depreciation is about on par with Edmund’s longterm testing of Lexus GS F-sport. They couldn’t give it away at Carmax.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Kettle, pot – Buick owner!

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          From the Edmunds article you reference:

          “This lowball offer caught me off guard. I’ve brought in cars with similar mileage and it usually wasn’t an issue. Plus, I don’t think the appraiser accounted for the F Sport package. There was no mention of adjustable suspension anywhere on the “features considered” section of the page. It seemed as though he treated it like a “regular” GS 350.”

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            Norm is like one of those pull string dolls. You pull the string and he posts one of 4 of his catch phrases. Edmunds GS350 depreciation! 40MPG Trifecta Verano! 45MPG Trifecta Encore! Run circles around V6 Camry and Accord!

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            All of my facts are true. But fuel economy was just under 40 mpg for Verano and Encore(38-39 mpg actually but using “almost 40 mpg” has hooked another!)

            The Edmund’s GS F-sport was in California too being a heavy Asian car, coastal state. Not all Lexus vehicles retain their value and compared to others in the class is not any better at holding off depreciation.

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            Edmunds follow up articles made it plain that at that time, the Carmax offer was fair.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Edmunds would never want to offend Carmax, for some reason.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          “Lexus GS F-sport. They couldn’t give it away at Carmax.”

          Let’s keep it at least semi-real and believable.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Wait, this weighs several hundred pounds less than a M5?

    Does a M5 weigh 5000+ pounds? What is it, a f*cking Rolls Phantom?

  • avatar
    jeano

    Yes,apparently the difference between 4145 and 4285 is several hundred.

  • avatar
    raph

    Hmmm… GM spins the hell out of that little 1.8L TVS supercharger, its great for giving the car a big swell of torque down low but I imagine its contributing a lot of heat when the car is being tracked as I’d guess its spending time on the compressor map where efficiency drops off and the air is just being uselessly heated.

    I don’t remember the C6 ZR1 having this sort of trouble with its larger 2.3L supercharger and it made more power.

    Its puzzled me why GM went with the 1.8L supercharger and spins it so fast. As I alluded earlier I think its to punch up the bottom end. In combination with a fairly high compression for a forced induction car it makes some terrific numbers relatively low in the RPM range and allow the supercharger to keep up with the engine. IIRC these engines at around 2000 rpm are already making over 500 pound feet of torque (by comparison my car with its larger 2.9L supercharger a bit past 2000 rpm is making 500 pound feet and its slightly over driven as well).

    The trade off seems to be problems with heat management over time on the track which probably only accounts for a small percentage of Z06 and CTS-V buyers that track the car as opposed to drag racing the car or short squirts on the highway.

    Still always bad press when an auto journalist rings the car out.


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