Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • Midsize Sedan Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Compact Car Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $35,000
Go

2011 Cadillac CTS

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2011 Cadillac CTS Review

By

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. The car's sharp creased lines became Cadillac's new design language, and nowhere is this language spoken more clearly than with the entry-level CTS Sedan. Now in its second generation, the creases have been smoothed out a bit, and the car's interior-a sore point for many years-is now widely hailed as one of the best in recent Cadillac history. Most importantly, for the first time in a very long time, Cadillac is now a name comfortably tossed around in the company of such luxury giants and BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. For 2011, a sleek coupe joins the sedan and wagon (reviewed separately), bringing the CTS line into full competition with its European and Asian competitors.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2011

For 2011, a rear vision camera is offered on the sedan; models without navigation feature a view screen built into the rear view mirror. Also new for 2011 are an available heated steering wheel, a new front fender vent design and a new 19-inch wheel and tires package. All CTS models come standard with Cadillac's Premium Care Maintenance, which covers oil changes, tire rotation and engine and cabin air filter replacement for four years or 50,000 miles.

Driving the CTS

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 mid-size Cadillac can compete on equal terms with anything in its class.

Bose 5.1 Cabin Surround Sound
This sound system boasts 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.

2011 Cadillac CTS Details
2011 Cadillac CTS photo Interior

The 2011 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
2011 Cadillac CTS photo

The defined look of the 2011 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

The available "Luxury Package" includes upgraded seats, sound system and additional luxury features. The "Performance Package" adds 18-inch wheels and tires, FE2 Sport Suspension and High-Intensity Discharge headlamps with adaptive forward lighting, while the "Premium Package" 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), rear vision camera (with or without navigation), the FE2 Sport Suspension and FE3 Performance Suspension on high-performance "summer" tires.

Under the Hood

The 2011 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.

3.0-liter V6
270horsepower @ 7000 rpm
223 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 (automatic, RWD), 16/26 (manual, RWD), 18/26 (AWD)

3.6-liter V6
304 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
273 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 (automatic, RWD), 16/25 (manual, RWD), 18/27 (AWD)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2011 Cadillac CTS Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 326 Ratings for the 2008 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Awesome car and I've owned plenty

By on Thursday, June 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Too many things to list"

Cons: "Loves gas stations!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

My personal car show.

"I can't believe my wife let me buy this car 5 years ago. Usually after 2 to 3 years my eye wanders, starting to check out other cars. Hasn't happened yet. Every time I get in to this thing it's still exciting."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

My personal car show.

Outstanding luxury sedan

By on Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handling, comfort, instrumentation and controls."

Cons: "Newer models allow you to be better connected."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have driven many new luxury models over the years and this CTS is the most refined of them all. Comfort, handling quality are all superb. It is a great value."

Exceptional car, comfortable and powerful.

By on Monday, May 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The car is exceptional, designed for driving comfort and performance while delivering extraordinary mileage. Does not compare with the hard ride of a Benz or the bouncing ride of a Lincoln. Has the feel of a sports car but the legendary comfort of Cadillac. The newer CTS models have a bit more interior room, not a major change but useful to/for some owners. Buying Cadillac for the past forty-five years and always satisfied with performance and comfort of the cars. Tried Benz, big mistake...even the 550 feels small, rides like a tank, includes all kinds of gadgets but always one or more is in for a repair which is code for replacement, and I believe Lincoln stopped making luxury cars. Cadillac should re-intro a DeVille model. DeVille built the Cadillac brand and should be in the mix."

10 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Great looking and performing car!!

By on Sunday, May 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Powerful and fun to drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"If you like power then this is your car besides being an eye catcher! Great looking, sporty, luxurious and fast. Black with 2 tone interior."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Amazing luxury and performance for the money.

By on Sunday, May 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Luxurious, fast."

Cons: "GPS updates are pricey when purchased."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is hard to beat when it comes to safety and is the last model that has techie stuff without the new plastic looking dash computers. It still has the auto racing screen that is just James Bond cool."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

My first GM car, excellent in many ways, but...

By on Thursday, April 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Great storage with easy access"

Cons: "Station wagon discontinued! Why, Cadillac, why?"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Cadillac cut corners: no grab bars above the doors; lumbar adjusts only in and out, not up and down, and is at the bottom of the seat back where it does no good; passenger rear view mirror doesn't tilt for easier parallel parking; and there are no parking assist warning sensors on the front bumper, only the rear. Seat uncomfortable. I'm 5'10", 175 lbs., very fit male. I'm a traveling sale representative and rent cars weekly. In all those lower end vehicles, I have not had any issues with the driver's seat, but my car the seat is very hard, too short (doesn't come near the back of my knee), and the lumber support is nonexistent (see above.) The dealer has had someone attempt to move the lumbar up some, which helped, but I still have to sit on a cushion for extra padding, which only works some of the time. Other than these issues, the car has been extremely reliable, fun to drive (but uncomfortable); quiet, responsive; controls are easily accessible, and the Cadillac service and warranty are second to none."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?