By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
Building upon Cadillac's commitment to reestablish its place as the world's standard of luxury, the 2012 CTS lineup aims to bring the fight directly to its European and Japanese competitors with a brand-new powerplant, additional standard equipment and a host of high-tech features. For 2012, variety is the name of the game. With sedan, coupe, and wagon models, high-performance CTS-V variants for each body style, and available all-wheel drive (AWD), the Cadillac CTS series is perhaps the most diverse nameplate in the luxury segment.
Whether you are looking for a premium American car that stands out in the crowd or a luxurious ultra-high-performance vehicle, the CTS series will fulfill your wants and your needs.
If nothing short of an import luxury brand will do, there are many exceptional alternatives from the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
2012 CTS models receive a new available 318-horsepower V6 engine, three new exterior colors (Black Diamond, Opulent Blue and Mocha Steel) and standard Bluetooth hands-free phone capability. The exterior colors are also available for the CTS-V models, as well as an available blind spot warning system for the coupe model.
Driving Impressions Through twisty two-lanes, fast freeways, urban congestion and mixed-speed suburban sprawl, we came to appreciate the 2012 Cadillac CTS' responsive steering, world-class roadholding and powerful brakes. Given its performance-based engineering...one might expect a correspondingly firm ride, but we found the CTS' suspension surprisingly supple even on the most troubled surfaces. We loved the quiet cabin's luxurious design, and the multi-adjustable seats are uncommonly comfortable for long hauls. Who knew that a performance car - the CTS-V Sedan boasts a 3.9-second 0 to 60-mph time – could also provide a quiet, comfortable driving experience? The CTS-V's Magnetic Ride Control suspension system offers an impressive balance between race-inspired handling for the track and undisturbed ride quality for daily driving. The larger Cadillac CTS, however, lacks the agility of its BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class competitors.
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 or other MP3 device from the concealed USB port.
Feature-Packed Navigation System
The 2012 CTS lineup's available navigation system offers real-time traffic and weather, advanced voice recognition, 3-D imaging of major landmarks and an 8-inch touch screen that pops up on demand.
Befitting a world-class luxury vehicle, the CTS' cabin is awash in high-quality materials – upholstered in faux leather or the real thing depending on the trim level you choose – and state-of-the-art technology. The dash is wrapped in elegant, French-stitched soft-touch material accompanied by warm wood accents and metallic trim. The available navigation display retreats into the dash, but leaves about an inch of exposed screen that serves as the audio system interface. Despite its elegant and neatly-appointed layout, the CTS' interior ergonomics could use some fine-tuning. The coupe and wagon's sloping rear roofline hinders rear-seat headroom while the center console's swept design occupies a decent amount of the driver's knee room.Exterior
The 2012 CTS' athletic design is characterized by a newly refined version of Cadillac's distinctive shield-shaped grille, Cadillac's signature vertical headlights and taillights and deeply sculpted fenders emphasizing its wide, aggressive stance. Coupe models feature center-mounted exhaust outlets and a clever electronic touch pad for the doors which eliminate the need for conventional door handles. CTS-V models feature a unique front end with a satin-finished mesh grille, hood bulge and unique 19-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in Michelin PS2 high-performance tires.
The base CTS sedan and wagon variants are powered by a 270-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 driving through a 6-speed manual transmission and roll on 17-inch aluminum wheels. Inside the CTS cabin, you will find dual-zone climate controls, an 8-way power driver's seat, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability, a rear-seat/trunk pass-through for long objects and an 8-speaker Bose audio system with SiriusXM Satellite Radio and MP3 capability. Standard safety and security equipment includes six airbags, Stabilitrak stability and traction control, daytime running lights, automatic on/off headlights, programmable power door locks, a theft-deterrent system, and one year of OnStar security and convenience service with audible turn-by-turn navigation.
Living in a in a chilly climate? All CTS trims (excluding CTS-V models) offer available all-wheel drive as well as an engine-block heater for those cold startups. Additional available equipment includes a sport-tuned suspension, High-Intensity Discharge headlamps with adaptive lighting to illuminate the side of the road when cornering , wood trim, a 10-speaker Bose premium audio system with a 40-gig hard drive and - get this – a live radio pause and rewind, iPod integration, navigation system with an 8-inch pop-up display, EasyKey keyless entry and ignition – the key never needs to leave your pocket or bag – and an Ultraview panoramic sunroof (not available on CTS-V or Coupe models). Prospective CTS-V buyers seeking the ultimate in comfort can opt for a set of 14-way power-adjustable Recaro sport seats featuring pneumatic adjusters for both the seat bottom and back.
The 2012 Cadillac CTS offers two levels of 24-valve direct-injection 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 318 horsepower. The 3.0-liter comes standard with a 6-speed manual, while a 6-speed automatic is optional. Cars with all-wheel drive can only be equipped with the automatic transmission. Buyers who spring for the high-performance CTS-V are treated to a 556-horsepower supercharged V8, matched to either a 6-speed manual transmission or an available 6-speed automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
270 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
223 lb-ft of torque @ 5,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 mpg (RWD), 18/26 mpg (AWD)
318 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
275 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/26 mpg (manual, RWD), 18/27 mpg (automatic, RWD),
18/27 mpg (sedan/coupe - automatic, AWD), 18/26 mpg (wagon - automatic, AWD)
6.2-liter supercharged V8
556 horsepower @ 6,100 rpm
551 lb-ft of torque @ 3,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 mpg (manual), 12/18 mpg (automatic)
By DMD on Monday, September 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great look in and out, fun to drive, good mileage"
Cons: "Heavy doors that won't stay open easily"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The only thing I don't love about my CTS Coupe is that the long heavy doors don't stay open when you are trying to get in/out of the car. Otherwise its a sexy fun little car! I got mine without a moon/sun roof so I could have the extra head room since I'm tall, made a world of difference in the feel of the car but I do miss having one. Awesome fun car!"
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Grady B. on Wednesday, September 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great value, Youthful styling, Certified Warranty"
Cons: "Split rear seat would be nice instead of pass thru"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I purchased my 2010 Thunder Gray CTS Luxury Sedan with 27,000 miles on it for less than $19K a couple of months ago. This Certified Cadillac looks brand new inside and out so I feel like I got a great deal on this beautiful car. I wanted a nice road car that felt somewhat youthful in both appearance and function to drive for business and pleasure. I have owned European cars in this class but was always plagued by issues with them so I was dead set on American luxury this time around. The CTS seems to be a perfect fit for me. I'm not a large person but I do have a 6 foot passsenger and we both find the car seats very comfortable. Steering, brakes and throttle are quite responsive on the 3.0 model. Interior seems quiet and the Bose audio is fantastic. All in all, I am very happy with this car and see myself keeping this one for quite a while (which is so.. not like me)."
By jw on Tuesday, September 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 129,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great car that is fun to drive"
Cons: "Needs snow tires if driving in severe weather"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Have owned this 2008 Cadillac CTS since 2010 and have thoroughly enjoyed the vehicle. My vehicle was fully loaded leading to a great driving experience. The car was rear-wheel drive and even with a 6-speed manual transmission would recommend a separate set of snow wheels and tires if you are driving in winter weather."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By rusty on Sunday, August 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"road noisy when windows down..........sun and moon roof noisy sounds like window or door is open......tires need inflated often....they go low.....dont know why............other wise it is easy to handle and comfortable ride........"
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By big rodg on Monday, August 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,555overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "lots of compliments, exciting to drive,"
Cons: "avg. about 18mpg. could have less road noise"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This black cherry caddi has added Chrome grill, tinted windows, CTSV black chrome rims, bright red Cadillac caliper covers, a slight wing and LED running light black head lights...I now know what a beautiful girl feels like when walking down the road and a lot of heads turn to look absolutely love this car"
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By rider on Sunday, August 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "good looking car"
Cons: "most uncomfortable car Ive ever had"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I wish when i bought this car I had driven it more than a few miles- compared to my Mercury , It rides like a compact car, I was very disappointed in the seats and comfort, I have wished I had my Mercury back ever since I got this car a 2010 cts-4. am now getting ready to trade it off-and will be looking for something with some comfort.-The old saying---rides like a cadillac is a farce to me! It looks good but that isnt enough . My search is on for a different vehicle."
7 people out of 15 found this review helpful