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You are in the Cadillac CTS/CTS-V
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Cadillac CTS, Cadillac CTS-V, Sedan
Sep 27, 2003 (11:55 pm)
As I said in an earlier post I'd write a review on my observations of the 2004 vs. 2003 CTS after testdriving an '04 last weekend.
I went to the local Cadillac dealer's "Premiere Event" in which the XLR, SRX, CTS, and Escalade were showcased. I found it interesting that it didn't say anything about the STS or DTS in my 3 page fold-out color invitation...it seems that Cadillac is quickly sweeping both of those cars under the rug until the redesigned versions arrive. The event was to have a catered brunch, live music, wine tasting, and prize drawings.
Upon entering the dealership with my Dad and Brother I was surprised to see the service department floor lined with round tables covered by white tablecloths and flower arrangements. My Brother and I were even more amused to see grey hair as far as the eye could see as we listened to a 'stunning' live rendition of a Frank Sinatra tune. All the 'old-timers' were dressed up in their Sunday best (suits and dresses) in order to attend the event. It was quite a 'display' and showcased the fact that although great progress has been made Cadillac still has a LONG way to go in order to improve their image and attract younger buyers. My Dad is in his 60's and my Brother and I both in our 30's...we were the youngest people there (including my Dad!).
I got to look at the XLR and my first impression was that the new red is a poor color for Cadillac. I prefer last year's red...the new color isn't bright enough to be sporty or flashy and isn't dark (maroon) enough to be classy or expensive looking. I was also underwhelmed at the cars overall appearance; the basic lines and design looked impressive but there were little details that detracted from the "wow" impression that I would expect to get from an $80K car. The wheels looked somewhat cheap and ordinary for a car in its price range, the headlamp washers protruding from the front bumper were extremely cheesey looking (why they didn't include them in the headlamp assembly like the CTS w/HID is beyond me...as for why anyone would actually need this feature) and the seats had the Cadillac signature of a stretched out butt print that I've become so accustomed to looking at during my last year of CTS ownership. I also think that the round sensors in the rear bumper look really terrible even though they are standard on many of today's cars and found it strange that the yellow daytime running lights weren't included on the lower front bumper with the driving lights like on the CTS (I think that 'feature' makes the CTS look really cool while daytime driving). The folding hardtop was impressive, as was the cars overall 'stance'.
In the next room they had the new CTS and SRX along with a Cadillac commercial on infinite loop displayed on a Pioneer plasma screen. It was quite a contrast to go from Frank Sinatra to Led Zeppelin in the next room. The SRX looked great (it was the main reason we attended since my Dad is considering getting one) but we were unable to testdrive the demo model since it was in constant use by others.
I did get to finally drive a 2004 CTS with the larger V6. I'd been considering trading mine for the improved engine but after my testdrive I've decided that it just isn't worth it to take the 'hit' on depreciation. My impression of the new V6 vs. last year's is that the new engine has much more torque at lower RPM's, pulled harder, and was much smoother. What I was surprised to see was that my (2003) engine actually seemed to rev faster and had much better freeway onramp acceleration than the 2004 (and a subjectively better engine 'note'). If I didn't know better I'd think that in addition to the new engine Cadillac 'tweaked' the rear-end ratio for 2004...but I haven't confirmed this theory. I also wonder how much the dual exhaust contributes to the HP increase for 2004 (15?). All things considered I'd probably still prefer the new engine since it seems more robust and future-proof...it isn't a big enough improvement to warrant trading mine in at this time however.
I was hoping for a new V6 that felt like a small V8 which it didn't. To me it just seemed like a different 'shade' of V6 which was still underpowered for the CTS. I guess I will have to wait and save up for the V-series!
Other things I didn't like on the 2004 was the stitching seam in the base model steering wheel (where the wood insert would go on the lux model) which I'm sure was done to standardize parts and save money, the chrome strip on the ashtray door (that looked out of place), and the white lettering on the dials (I actually prefer the yellow display). One thing I liked is that the cassette player is now gone from the base model's stereo...unfortunately I have the cassette feature on mine and it exists as an ugly wart on my dash reminding me of a bygone time.
v8lincolnguy: I'm probably biased against the 300M since I owned one for 2 years. It isn't a bad car but doesn't even compare with the CTS...it's also the only car I've ever owned in which I didn't feel a little sad about getting rid of. I drove off the lot in my CTS with a big smile on my face.
cjs2002: What cars don't have door panels with lots of plastic>?
#4674 of 6595 automole
Sep 28, 2003 (2:48 am)
Did you drive a '04 with the Sport Package?
I found the base 'o4 to have slower, lighter steering
and was softer riding, with slower suspension reflexes than the '03..
The '04 I drive was noticeably quicker than the '03. It came off the line really strongly.
One thing I don't like about the CTS is the engine braking. Every time I took my foot off the gas it slowed down.
Seems like that would affect fuel economy.
Sep 28, 2003 (4:26 am)
I drove a base 2004 w/out the sport package. The steering seemed lighter than my 2003 but I didn't notice a big difference in ride quality. The 2004 WAS noticeably quicker off the line but still didn't have the power I was hoping for. The engine braking is much more agressive in "sport" mode. I almost always drive in normal mode and rarely notice any engine braking during regular driving.
Sep 28, 2003 (5:20 am)
I think if you take a closer look the door panels they are covered with a padded material ( a la everybody else).Maybe the execution of the covering is so clean it is fooling those with a "discerning eye "? They are not solid plastic. Now my 88 Corvette those are solid plastic
Sep 28, 2003 (5:22 am)
I haven't driven an 04 yet but it seems like your comments about minimal acceleration difference have been proved by various posts . Especially if compared to the manual.
#4678 of 6595 just bought one...
Sep 28, 2003 (5:27 am)
The wife and I just bought an '04 CTS yesterday. (Sept 27) The only option was the auto tranny/3.6L. Final price: $30K even, $80 below invoice, according to Edmunds. Brought a printout of the options shown on this site, and it helped a lot in negotiations.
Thanks to everybody on this forum, I got a lot of good info here.
Sep 28, 2003 (6:30 am)
Cadillac has been doing these "premiere events" for well over a year now. My wife and I went to one in Atlanta about this time last year at a local art gallery. This new marketing effort is one of the ways that Cadillac is spending its money from their now-cancelled LMP racing program.
I'm also not surprised that the DTS and STS aren't featured stars in the promotion...they weren't in the event I went to. In that event, the CTS and Escalade were the primary focus with the XLR as a future Cadillac product being discussed. The STS's current form is on life support and hopefully its replacement will come early in the 2005 model year. The older non-Arts & Science cars only serve to detract from Cadillac's new message these days. The Deville gets marketing dollars since it's still Cadillac's best seller, but it's clear that Cadillac wants big things out of SRX sales for this year to make up for an expected slide in Deville sales until a replacement bows.
Sep 28, 2003 (7:33 am)
Not that this is worth the effort, but wasn't Citroen mass producing FWD's about the GM came to exist and all the way into the modern age and now?
Sep 28, 2003 (8:20 am)
The STS isn't on life support, it's over with in its current form. I ordered my last one Friday. Hopefully there'll be an early introduction for the '05.
Sep 28, 2003 (11:13 am)
I know that ...it's an expression. I think I said that the STS is due for a refresh in 2005.