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2012 Cadillac CTS

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2012 Cadillac CTS Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2012

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 the CTS
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.

2012 Cadillac CTS Details
Interior

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
2012 Cadillac CTS photo

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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.

3.0-liter V6
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)

3.6-liter V6
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)

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2012 Cadillac CTS Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 345 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

Most HP for the Money

By on Monday, July 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Acceleration"

Cons: "Cost of Tires"

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

"The only reason I didn't give it a 10 across the board was the cost of replacement tires. The rear tires going for about $600 each. And you will only get about 10K miles out of them. (Soft rubber run flats) It's a sleeper car though. Looking at the outside, one can't really tell how fast it really is. A BMW M3 tried to show me how fast his car was, and was left several car lengths behind me. I'm sure he went back to the dealer and complained as he most likely spent 30K more than I did."

Great Style and Quality but poor gas mileage

By on Saturday, July 9, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Style,Quality"

Cons: "Gas MPG"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Drive 70% highway and was expecting to average 22.0 MPG but I average 19.5 [sticker states 21.0 MPG average]. Even on a long highway trip I was 2-3 MPG lower than expected."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Superb vehicle. Outclasses all luxo imports

By on Thursday, June 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

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: "A joy to drive. Rides better with defenders"

Cons: "Wife drives it more than I do! :-)"

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

"Original tires went better than 50K miles. Replaced with Mich Defenders. Great improvement in ride and handling. Have kept oil changed as necessary per computer. Royal Purple lasts longer. The car is a superior performer and has probably made me a Cadillac man for life. GM and USA has every reason to be proud of this car. Never skimp on oil or filter. Royal Purple or Mobile 1, no others should be considered. Replaced brake pads at 50K. Not needed but preventive. Akebono OEM. The rotors were in beautiful shape. Pads, by measurement were only 1/4 worn."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Love it

By on Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Performance, daily driving, Recarro seat"

Cons: "Fuel mileage"

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

"There simply isn't another car that combines this level of daily driveability with performance at the price. To make it a year-round driver, I bought a set of winter tires, using the Bridgestone Blizzaks (same size on all 4), and it handles the Pacific Northwest winter as well as any other sedan. The 50/50 weighting and traction control allow you to drive in any snow that you'd take any other typical sedan. And then in summer months, the V8 is smooth and predictable. The insane power is there only when you need it."

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Best driving car ever.

By on Thursday, February 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Best car I have ever owened, and I have had five"

Cons: "I'am not finding any thing yet."

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

"This car is a pleasure to drive. I think you can drive this car all day up to eighteen hours and more and get out as good as when you got in."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

225k and still going strong

By on Friday, December 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 225,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun, reliable"

Cons: "Little interior storage"

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

"Bought the car in 2010 from my father in law with 88k miles. It has been a great car. Had to replace all four bearing assemblies (1 twice). This seems to be the only thing that goes bad for mine. It is starting to produce a little rust around the wheel wells but still cleans up quite well. The inside (very little storage space) still cleans up like new."

26 people out of 39 found this review helpful

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