August 22, 2011

Cadillac CTS

                We have always wanted to get into a Cadillac.  While we would have loved to get into a CTS V, the stars just didn’t line up.  We had to really look to find a Caddy that would fit the 4-door sedan around 30 grand series.  There aren’t a lot of Cadillac’s even near 35 grand.  We did our best and turned up a service loaner vehicle with 6,000 miles on it.  We thought it would be nice to have the salesman tag along this time, since we knew nothing about the CTS.  Turns out, we wished he would have stayed behind.

                The interior was comfortable, but didn’t blow us away.  The plastics were good quality, but the signal indicator knob didn’t feel as solid as the rest of the car.  As for the rest of the buttons and switches, it’s hard to know, since the salesman kept taking control of the radio and climate control.
                It was a very quiet ride.  Not too quiet that we couldn’t here emergency vehicles, but quiet all the same.  The headroom for the driver and front passenger seat was amazing.  We kept catching ourselves looking up to see how much space was up there.  
                Again with the analog clock…  We understand that this brand is not bought by young people.  A lot of those former young people have grown up and can’t remember how to read an analog clock.  We wonder how many cooler things could be placed in cars if the analog clock was eliminated.  The answer might shock you.
                There was leather on the dash and door trim that had matching stitching that wrapped the interior on three out of four sides.  The dash felt solid and the leather dash was better than most of the plastic we’ve seen lately. 
                The rear legroom in the CTS is almost the worst of all the sedans we’ve driven.  At only 35.1 inches, that’s a full 5 inches less than the Charger (That’s almost half a foot!),  4 less than the Passat, 3 less than the Taurus, and 2 less than the Legacy.  Sorry, Nissan, but the CTS does have about an inch more rear legroom than you…  The CTS would work if you have small children, but we can’t guarantee you’d have enough money to still feed them (Was that bad taste?  Oh, well…).
 
                The exterior look of the CTS4 feels like it would take time to grow on you.  At first it was a little off-putting, but by the end of the drive we could look at it without squinting.  The wheels weren’t as chromed out as the Charger and this car was more expensive even with 6,000 miles on it.
                There are nine exterior colors to choose from and two interior colors.  The chrome trim on the grill looks good, but the angular look feels like it’s trying too hard.  We would never disqualify a car on looks alone, but for the cost of this particular CTS; we just don’t see it.

                The performance of the CTS4 was good.  The 4 stands for four wheel drive.  The system is mostly front wheel drive, until the front wheels start to slip and then the back ones get power to help push the car.  It was a secure feeling.  Not as secure as the feeling of the Audi TT that we took on the same roads, but it was still a good feeling.
                The V6 felt powerful (270 horsepower), but didn’t provide acceleration to push you back into your seat.  The engine would start to sound real good around 3 to 4 thousand rpms, but you would still be in the same spot.  You really had to plant your foot to get this car to jump.  It wasn’t that the car didn’t fly off the line; it was just that it seemed reluctant.  Think of an extremely conservative person at a club for the first time.  They might be frozen in place on the wall for most of the night, until they finally get “comfortable” enough to start enjoying the environment.  This is how the CTS felt at times; like a wall sitter that would finally explode into the mosh pit.
                The independent suspension was noticeable.  The right side tires drove through some wicked pot holes.  The passenger side of the car felt the force of the impacts, but the driver’s side didn’t feel anything.  It was impressive.  For as short of a wheel base the CTS has, the ride was really very smooth.  The four wheel independent suspension really smoothed out the ride in the rough patches. 
                This is our last sedan “around” 30 grand.  We really had to stretch the “around” on this one.  As with the rest of the six cylinder sedans it gets close to the normal mpgs of 18 city and 25 highway.  In fact it gets 18 city and 26 highway.  This CTS has a 3.0L engine and produces 270 horsepower.  The performance doesn’t outweigh the mileage.

                As expensive as the Maxima is, the Cadillac is just down right financial suicide.  If you can afford one of these cars, we think there might be better cars out there for the same price.  It’s hard to argue with the CTS-V version and its 6.2L supercharged V8.  We can see ourselves getting ticket after ticket in that one.  The dealer we visited does have a CTS-V coupe used for only $70,000 or so…  The best part is that the previous owner traded it in for the exact same car, except the new one had different options.  Must be nice to buy cars on a whim…  Stay tuned!  Same Bat time, same Bat channel.

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