KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
In the past, Cadillac's attempt to challenge its European rivals met with less than stellar success. That trend seems to have come to an end with the CTS sedan. Now entering its fourth year of production, the CTS has not only proven itself a worthy competitor, but its quality and performance statistics place it in the same league with competitors from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. More importantly, the CTS' edgy look has caught on with younger buyers who just a few years ago would never have considered a Cadillac. Offered with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions, the CTS not only has a high fun-to-drive factor, but returns surprisingly good fuel economy.
You'll Like This Car If...
If the "made in America" label is a powerful part of your car buying decision, the CTS won't leave you feeling as though you had to compromise clout for country. As taut in driving feel as the BMW 3 Series, the CTS has the equipment level, performance and styling expected of this class.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The CTS' edgy, angular styling may not appeal to you if you've become accustomed to Cadillac cars over the last 30 years. Ditto its taut handling and controlled ride. Unlike many of its competitors, the CTS does not offer the option of all-wheel drive.
What's Significant About This Car?
For 2007, the CTS gains the OnStar Directions and Connection service which provides driving directions, remote keyless entry and stolen vehicle location assistance. The CTS also includes 12 months of free access to the Virtual Advisor package.
The CTS loves hugging the roadjust try to peel the tires from the asphalt and it maintains a commendable effort to stay put. The heavily-weighted steering wheel takes only the slightest movement to turn the car. Pulling a bit harder engages the variable assist to carry out your directional commands. All this happens while the 3.6-liter V6 churns merrily beneath the hood, pushing its 255 horsepower through the Getrag six-speed manual transmission that feels absolutely superb. The 3.6-liter has much more low-end torque and is quieter under full throttle than the 2.8-liter, making it the better choice for the enthusiast driver.
The system costs very little and provides a myriad of services including directions, remote unlocking (should you lock your keys in the car) and emergency assistance.
Overlooked by rival brands Lincoln and Chrysler, Cadillac's offer of a manual transmission appeals to the true driving enthusiast.
The CTS' interior is clean and elegant. The front bucket seats are firm and supportive, excellent for aggressive driving. The instrument panel replicates the geometric shapes found outside the car, with a prominent center stack housing the air conditioning, audio and optional navigation systems. Directly in front of the driver sits a thick-rimmed, three-spoke steering wheel with a series of redundant controls. The navigation and ventilation controls are not immediately intuitive, but after a quick read through the owner's manual they soon become second nature.
The CTS has set the styling tone for all Cadillacs. Its crisp lines and raked windshield are definitely different but also add to the car's aerodynamics. The tall rear deck makes rear visibility somewhat of an issue but the design provides an abundance of storage space. This car has excellent build quality, with no inconsistent gaps or mismatched seams.
Notable Standard Equipment
The CTS 2.8 includes power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, front and rear head-curtain and front side-impact airbags, AM/FM stereo with CD, eight-way power driver's seat, leatherette seating surfaces, cast aluminum wheels, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), tilt wheel and a six-speed manual transmission. The 3.6 adds leather seating and some other features.
Notable Optional Equipment
Most CTS buyers will not want to shift gears, so Cadillac offers the option of a five-speed automatic transmission. The luxury package includes alarm, driver's seat and outside mirror memory, heated front seats, automatic day/night mirror, machine-finished aluminum wheels and the interior wood package. The Wheel Sport package features a limited-slip differential, HID headlamps, sport suspension, StabiliTrak and 17-inch wheels wrapped in performance tires. The Wheel Performance Package for the 3.6 model adds 18-inch wheels, performance brakes and a tire pressure monitor. Stand -alone options for the CTS include a power glass moonroof, Bose audio and split folding rear seat.
Under the Hood
The CTS' 2.8-liter engine provides adequate acceleration for the casual driver and returns good fuel economy. Although you can save about $3,000 over the more powerful CTS 3.6, the 2.8 lacks the refinement and power expected by most enthusiast drivers. For the money, we think the 3.6-liter V6 is the best choice. With nearly identical fuel economy figures, the 3.6-liter engine provides better low-end torque, more horsepower and a level of refinement and performance expected of a premium brand sedan.
210 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
194 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/27 (manual), 18/27 (automatic)
255 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
252 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 (manual), 18/27 (automatic)
The CTS 2.8 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $30,190, while the 3.6 has an MSRP of $33,090. Before you set out to purchase your CTS, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price, which shows what others in your area are paying for their cars. As for long-term value, the CTS is making gains but overall resale figures remain below those of competitors such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G35, Lexus ES and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.