By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 7.7
Cadillac’s CTS and CTS-V performance sedans for 2017 continue to go unchallenged by domestic makes while simultaneously giving the Germans fits. From a set of powerful engine options to its Nurburgring-proven performance, the CTS outshines cars like the Audi A6 and Lexus GS, and pulls within spitting distance of the BMW 5 Series, including the legendary M5. The 2017 Cadillac CTS sedan is brimming with luxury and technology features, and even the entry-level 4-cylinder model offers up a nice balance of features, power, fuel economy and price. Of course, the tire-smoking 640-horsepower supercharged CTS-V remains the crown jewel in the Cadillac crest, forever changing the way younger buyers view America’s oldest luxury-car manufacturer.
If you’re looking to take pride in your American-made ride, the 2017 Cadillac CTS sedan will have you seeing red, white and blue. Every bit the equal -- and in some cases better than -- its foreign rivals, Cadillac’s CTS and CTS-V have earned a place on the world stage.
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For 2017, Cadillac updates the CTS’s front and rear fascia, makes improvements to the CUE infotainment system plus adds new features like Teen Driver, Cadillac Collection and a rear camera mirror. Trim lines are streamlined and a new Carbon Black package is offered on both CTS and CTS-V.
Based on the excellent ATS sedan, the 2017 Cadillac CTS is stretched to accommodate more passengers and equipment. The added size and weight have no effect on the CTS’s road...
... manners, however, which remain incredibly agile and confidence-inspiring. Add Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control to the mix and the driver gets to decide how smooth the CTS’s ride should be, or how intensely this big sedan should round corners and control body lean and sway. And, while we’ll always prefer rear-drive to front, the CTS’s available all-wheel-drive system adds both grip and all-season traction without undermining performance. Under the hood, the 3.6-liter V6 is both robust and economical, but don’t discount what the 2.0-liter turbo is offering up, delivering excellent performance and slightly better fuel economy. Power fiends who can’t afford the CTS-V will be very pleased with the 420-horsepower twin-turbo V6 in the CTS V-Sport.
Today’s consumer needs constant access to the wireless world, which is why the Cadillac CTS sedan for 2017 includes both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also a Wi-Fi hotspot and DockSpot wireless phone charging, plus the ability to monitor and encourage your teens to be better drivers.
3.6-LITER V6 TWIN-TURBO
V8? We don’t need no stinking V8 (well, unless it’s the supercharged behemoth in the CTS-V). With 420 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, the CTS V-Sport’s twin-turbocharged V6 delivers jaw-dropping acceleration and passing power.
The 2017 Cadillac CTS sedan boasts a style-rich, feature-packed interior, with first-rate materials and assembly quality. The soft-touch padding and leather upholstery -- Leatherette in lower-end models -- create an inviting ambiance. The rear seat is equally nice, but it's also notably smaller than its primary European rivals. Taking center stage on the dash is the CUE infotainment system, which Cadillac says has improved with a faster processor, an improved interface and more features. Gone are the laggy response times to the touch-sensitive controls that drove us nuts in previous CTS models.
This is a sharp-looking car, and we mean that literally. The creased fenders, rippled hood and prominent new grille on Cadillac’s 2017 CTS stand out even among its talented competitors in the luxury-sedan segment. Details range from the pragmatic -- grille shutters that close to improve aerodynamics -- to pretty, such as the seamless aluminum trim around the side windows. At the rear, all new CTS sedans feature dual exhaust outlets. The "CTS4" badge denoting all-wheel-drive cars has been dropped in favor of a simple “AWD” badge.
The 2017 Cadillac CTS sedan is available with three engines and four trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury, V-Sport and V-Sport Premium Luxury. Standard on all CTS models is an 8-speed automatic transmission, rearview camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 11-speaker Bose premium audio with three USB inputs, push-button start, wireless phone charging, dual-zone climate control, voice command, and an improved CUE infotainment system with a faster processor to make controlling its 8-inch touch screen better. Like most GM vehicles, the 2017 CTS comes with GM's OnStar communications system with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
Cadillac’s 2017 CTS offers a variety of options: navigation, leather seating with heated/ventilated front seats, different grains and styles of wood trim, adaptive cruise control, an LCD in place of the standard needle-and-dial gauges, a sunroof, and tri-zone automatic climate control. Audiophiles will appreciate the glove-box-mounted CD player. On the performance and safety side there are Magnetic Ride Control, blind-spot monitoring, Automatic Parking Assist, Rear Camera Mirror, a bird's-eye 360-degree camera, and a Driver Awareness Package that vibrates the seat when the car starts drifting out of a lane, or gets too close to an object when parking.
Four engines are available in the 2017 CTS sedan by Cadillac. The base is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that puts out a stout 268 horsepower, while the mid-tier engine is a recently revised 3.6-liter V6 that's good for 335 horsepower. Both of those engines are offered with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) or optional all-wheel drive (AWD). Topping them is the 420-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 in the rear-drive-only V-Sport. All models make use of the same 8-speed automatic transmission linked to steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The range-topping, rear-drive CTS-V sedan packs a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 good for 640 horsepower and an earth-moving 630 lb-ft of torque.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
268 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg (RWD), 21/29 mpg (AWD)
335 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
285 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30 mpg (RWD), 19/27 mpg (AWD)
3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6
420 horsepower @ 5,750 rpm
430 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 mpg
6.2-liter supercharged V8 (CTS-V)
640 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
630 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/21 mpg
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2017 Cadillac CTS luxury-performance sedan starts at about $46,600 for a base 2.0-liter model, including the $995 destination charge. On the opposite end of that, if you load up a twin-turbo CTS V-Sport you'll wind up well past the $70,000 mark, and that doesn't even touch the 2017 CTS-V and its $87,000 starting price. Those prices are all in line with the Audi A6, and a few thousand less than the starting prices of the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Jaguar XF and Infiniti Q70. Even the Acura RLX and Lexus GS start slightly higher than the CTS. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Cadillac CTS. The Cadillac's resale value is expected to be about average in this segment, trailing the standout Lexus GS.