By KBB.com Editors
When GM set out in the late 1990s to resurrect its once-proud Cadillac brand, the public process began with Evoq, the 1999 stealth-fighter concept sports car that eventually evolved into the production 2004 XLR. But the 2003 all-new "entry luxury" CTS Sedan brought this new Cadillac look and personality to market first. Its "Art and Science" theme was a bold blend of space-age style and technology, and its edgy styling was polarizing – some liked it, some didn't. But it delivered the right stuff in performance, features and road dynamics, while only its austere interior caught critical flack. For 2010, Cadillac continues to improve the formula, bringing a CTS Sedan to market that has won rave reviews from critics and customers alike.
Cadillac was once the "Standard of the World," which was more than an advertising slogan. The competition is much deeper, wider and stronger today, but if you would like an unassailable reason to own, enjoy and be proud of a Cadillac again, this is it
If nothing short of an import luxury brand will do, there are many fine alternatives from the likes of BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar, Lexus and Infiniti.
A fuel-saving 3.0-liter gasoline direct injection V6 is now the CTS' standard engine. New features include an air filtration unit with automatic cabin odor filtration and available 19-inch polished aluminum wheels. Later in the model year, a wagon version will join the CTS lineup (reviewed separately).
Driving Impressions Our extensive CTS driving experience began on a California race track and extended through many twisty two-lanes, fast freeways, urban congestion and mixed-speed suburban sprawl, most of it in a...performance-package model with the strong-performing 304-horsepower V6. We expected the trade-off for its responsive steering, world-class road-holding and powerful braking to be an uncomfortably stiff rough-surface ride but found its suspension surprisingly supple even on the most troubled surfaces. We loved the posh, quiet cabin's cheerfully luxurious design, the multi-adjustable seats were uncommonly comfortable over the long haul and every control was easy to see, find and operate. This fine new midsize Cadillac can compete on equal terms with anything in its class.
Bose 5.1 Cabin Surround Sound
Surrealistic sound with 40-gig hard drive and iPod integration. It will download and store your CD collection and operate your iPod from the pop-up touch screen.
Advanced Navigation System
Offers real-time traffic and weather, expanded voice prompts and 3-D imaging of major landmarks. While its large center dash-top touch screen pops up fully on demand, the top portion peeks out to display key information even when stored.
The 2010 CTS imparts a dramatically different interior design theme for Cadillac, with emphasis on tasteful ornamentation and hand-crafted details. The instruments, vents and other elements are framed in chrome, the center stack blends seamlessly into the lower instrument panel and console and hand-cut, hand-sewn and hand-wrapped coverings with French stitching are used throughout. The heated and ventilated front seats use "thin-seat" technology for improved rear leg, knee and foot room. Available soft, white LED backlighting in the door-pulls, footwells and between the upper and lower instrument panels creates an effect similar to recessed lighting in contemporary homes.Exterior
The defined look of the 2010 Cadillac CTS is characterized by a bold two-segment grille, chrome side air extractors and sculpted fenders emphasizing its wider tracks and more athletic chassis. Flanking the lower grille, below the vertical headlamps, are chromed wrap-around slots for additional air intakes and fog lamps. The fast-sloping roofline is nearly coupe-like in profile, the large vertical taillamps refine Cadillac's recent practice, the trunk-top center brake light doubles as an aerodynamic spoiler and an available double sunroof offers an open-sky view for both front and rear passengers.
The base CTS is powered by a 270-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 driving through a six-speed manual transmission and rolls on all-season tires on 17-inch aluminum wheels. Inside its cabin are dual-zone climate controls, an eight-way power driver's seat, a Driver Information Center, a rear-seat/trunk pass-through and an eight-speaker AM/FM/CD Bose audio system with SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio and MP3 capability. Standard safety and security equipment includes advanced front, side and side-curtain airbags, Stabilitrak stability and traction control, daytime running lamps, Twilight Sentinel auto lamps, programmable power door locks, a theft-deterrent system and one year of OnStar security and convenience service with turn-by-turn navigation.
The available "Luxury Collection" package includes upgraded seats, sound system and additional luxury features. The "Performance Collection" adds 18-inch wheels and tires, FE2 Sport Suspension and High-Intensity Discharge headlamps with adaptive forward lighting, while the "Premium Collection" offers wood trim, a 10-speaker Bose 5.1 premium audio with a 40-gig hard drive and radio rewind and pause, iPod integration, GPS navigation and EasyKey keyless entry and ignition. Major stand-alone options include a six-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, Ultraview roof, Bose premium audio (with or without navigation), the FE2 Sport Suspension and FE3 Performance Suspension on high-performance "summer" tires.
The 2010 CTS offers two levels of 24-valve, direct-injection, double-overhead-cam, variable-valve-timing V6 power. The standard 3.0-liter V6 is good for 270 horsepower, while the optional 3.6-liter engine pushes output to an impressive 304 horsepower. The 3.0-liter comes standard with a six-speed manual, while a six-speed automatic is optional. Cars with all-wheel drive can only be equipped with the automatic transmission..
270horsepower @ 7000 rpm
223 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 (automatic, RWD), 18/26 (AWD)
304 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
273 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 (automatic), 16/25 (manual)
By car on Saturday, March 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Effortless to drive. Very good acceleration, handling, and top end speed. Comfortable interior but a little cramped."
By kenny D on Tuesday, March 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,090overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "great driver"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This is our 2nd Cadillac an it is a tremendous driving car, we have 3.6 AWD performance package and it has plenty of power, very nice handling and 25 mpg on the highway. We live in Central NY with lots of snow and the AWD is great, this car tracks and pulls in snow never have gotten stuck. Get alot of people coming up and saying "A CADILLAC WAGON?" The seating for 4 is fine but 5 adults they better be small. The rear storage is not huge really can't get 2 sets of golf clubs in without folding the rear seat down. Not a classic BIG wagon but convenient"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By CharlotteG on Saturday, March 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Best looking and driving sports sedan."
Cons: "DI 3.6 liter engine ticking noise."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I purchased my 2009 CTS 3.6 L, 6-Speed Manual Sports Sedan in February 2010. I fell in love with its interior and exterior features upon first sight before the car even went into production. I personally worked on the CTS Team that helped launch the car. I also loved the idea of driving a true sports sedan: 3.6 liter engine with a 6-speed manual transmission. I live in South Carolina and flew to Pennsylvania to purchase the car. At time of purchase I did not not notice the ticking sound the engine made. I took it to my local dealership to find out why my new had this ticking noise. The technician explained that the new DI engines made this noise and my engine was perfectly fine. I was happy to find out nothing was wrong with my car, but certainly disappointed to find out that the whimpy noise was something I would have to live with. Now, if you own a car with that much power, you want it to sound mean. How embarrassing. I've heard two cylinder engines with better sound. I sure wish GM would come out with an after market fix for that. I rated the quality a 9 and comfort/convenience an 8. The car's interior has a gap issue on console where wood trim hockey stick meets centerstack. Seats are not comfortable. The cabin is cramped, but it does lend to the sports car feel. The console storage compartment is a little small. I give the car a 9 out of 10 overall. It is one of the best looking cars on the road, even compared to the BMW 5 Series, Infinite G (I test drove those before purchasing the CTS)."
By Chappy on Sunday, February 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "A great ride,fun to drive feels safe to operate."
Cons: "Fuel economy not great but not bad"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"The CTS4 is a very reliable fun to operate motor car. It rides well and handles like a sport coupe. It looks good to young and old alike."
By CW on Friday, January 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "ample trunk and passenger space"
Cons: "Back seat headrests are too hard"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I use this car for getting to and from work every day, and it has been on numerous 100+ mile road trips. I can say with confidence this is one of the best cars I own. The suspension is firm and the steering is responsive. The styling never gets old and some of my friends find it surprising it is a 2008. I did have a problem with the passenger temperature control after a friend smashed it a few times, but anything would break under that kind of abuse. Overall it is a true luxury car and we can count on it every day to perform."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By BMacD on Wednesday, January 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks good"
Cons: "Unreliable, dangerous in snow, poor mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought this car used in 2012 with only 31,000 Km on it. I have 51,000 Km on it now, and I've already had to replace a front wheel bearing. Now the heater isn't working (on the driver's side, of course). The blend door motor and blend door has to be replaced. Gas mileage is mediocre on the highway and poor in the city. Even with all-wheel drive, the car is treacherous to drive in even a little bit of snow. I can't wait to get rid of this car, and I will NEVER buy another Cadillac, or ANY other GM car."
1 person out of 6 found this review helpful