Cadillac CTS 3.6 Loses Manual Transmission For 2012

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
cadillac cts 3 6 loses manual transmission for 2012

Cars like Cadillac’s 556 HP, rear-drive, manual transmission-equipped CTS-V SportWagon are the kind of offering that enthusiasts lust after, even if a relative “value-price” of $70k-ish keeps it in aspirational territory. And by offering a CTS “Performance Edition” with the option of mating a six-speed manual to GM’s well-liked 3.6 liter V6, Cadillac gives enthusiasts an appealing opportunity to bask in some of the V’s reflected glory. But apparently not many enthusiasts are interested in pursuing this opportunity, as InsideLine reports that the manual transmission option will be dropped from the 2012 CTS 3.6.

Manual transmissions will continue to be available on all versions of the CTS-V, as well as the base-edition CTS sedan. Unfortunately, this entry-level CTS is saddled to a 3.0 V6 that is widely derided for flaccid performance and poor fuel economy compared to the 3.6. In fact, the 2011 CTS 3.6 with manual transmission gets 16/25 MPG from the EPA, while the 3.0 manual gets 16/26, a fuel economy advantage just one MPG highway. Wait, didn’t we just go through this with the SRX?

Rather than beating GM over the head with the underachievement of its 3.0 V6, we’ll ask all you manual-loving enthusiasts out there why you haven’t been buying enough manual-equipped CTS 3.6s. Is the CTS simply an underwhelming enthusiast option, when not tuned to its maximum V potential? Does the transmission involvement matter less in a vehicle of the CTS’s size (I never missed it when I drove an autobox V, but 556 HP helps with that)? For all the work Cadillac has done to promote the CTS-V as a brand halo, it will want to understand why that halo isn’t helping sell enthusiast-oriented, non-V CTS models.

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  • BuzzDog BuzzDog on Apr 19, 2011

    It's nice to see mature, rational comments on the subject of automatics crowding manuals out of the market, particularly in the near-luxury and luxury segments. In the past we've been treated to repeated choruses of, "You say they won't sell? Well, I'd buy one!" Yeah,right. And quite possibly the comments of a 17-year-old who can barely drive Mom's Sonata. In this post-economic meltdown world - with still-lingering uncertainty - even enthusiasts recognize that automakers must make cars and make money. It's likely that the manual's sales volumes are simply not high enough to cover the cost of EPA certification, which must be done for each powertrain combination.

  • NormSV650 NormSV650 on Apr 19, 2011

    Lack of sales and CAFE along with arthritic left legs don't make this feasible. It's same group think that if two models have manuals, the third must have it too. Besides it's probably the same Aisin used in the 3.0!

  • SilverCoupe SilverCoupe on Apr 19, 2011

    I test drove the CTS coupe a few weeks ago, but the dealer did not have a manual transmission car to try. I am having a hard enough time coming up with a manual transmissioned A5 to test drive, let alone the Caddy. (The Audi dealer had a new A5 with a manual which I drove, but the new one only has a four cylinder, and I would like the previous version with the six). The Cadillac CTS Coupe just felt too much like a luxury car, and not sporting enough. My wife even felt that the A5 was a bit big and floaty, but it still felt more athletic than the Cadillac. I did alarm the CTS salesman a bit when I came back to the dealer at a pretty good clip and did a double downshift with the manumatic before pulling back into their driveway.

    • Mtymsi Mtymsi on Apr 19, 2011

      Would not surprise me if the reason they didn't have a manual transmission model in stock is because they've yet to sell the first one in any CTS bodystyle.

  • GarbageMotorsCo. GarbageMotorsCo. on Apr 19, 2011

    No surprises here, old people don't buy stick shifts. Buicks with stick shifts are poor sellers as well. Enthusiasts will buy stick shift cars and that's why BMW, Inifiniti and Audi continue to offer them.

    • See 1 previous
    • Diesel Fuel Only Diesel Fuel Only on Apr 20, 2011

      @Sam P A rather high proportion of VW's have MT's and an even higher percentage of TDI's have MT's, but of course these are by and large not your typical car buyers. i don't remember where I saw the figure but MT's may be a majority of TDI sales (not counting that yoiu cannot get a true AT on a TDI, the other option is the DSG, which is a self-shifting gearbox with two clutches). Full disclosure, my Golf TDI is a 6-speed.