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You are in the Cadillac CTS/CTS-V
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Cadillac CTS-V, Cadillac CTS, Sedan
#1342 of 2880 CTS 3.6DI Impressions - Part 2
Sep 15, 2007 (6:57 am)
Impressions of the CTS
Perhaps only Audi, in virtually any class of car that “mere mortals” can afford, produces a better interior than in this new CTS – and, “for the money,” the CTS offers up perhaps the best rendition of the “ideal interior” of any other car in this (ELLPS) or in the next class up (LPS.) This is an aesthetic impression, however. The controls are BMW difficult to figure out – i.e., despite 30 months of living with Audi’s MMI and owning a 2005 vintage BMW, I could not (without looking in the manual) master the controls for the radio, HDD, navigation and climate control system – and, the voice recognition system was reminiscent of my 1987 Audi 5000 CS turbo quattro’s Motorola voice activated phone system. It was “state and repeat and repeat” to get the radio to change stations. Even the somewhat lame Audi system works about 98% of the time, first time. On*Star works great (Audi must use the same voice program for its Bluetooth system, since the Cadillac responded exactly as my Audi phone system.)
No Bluetooth? Serious oversight. Confused the salesperson too, who said, “the STS has it, so it is unlikely we don’t know how to do it.”
The view from either front seat is “expensive.” Slightly better than the Infiniti and, as noted, damn near as good as is offered in an Audi.
Love the “stitched” dash. Love the feel of the switchgear – like expensive, high end audio equipment, in fact.
The back seat legroom is “adequate” (a bit better than an A4 or a 3 series and even a smidge better than the Infiniti G35X) – frankly considering the wheelbase, I would not argue if someone commented it was “marginally adequate.” How come the A6 with a 111” wheelbase has more rear seat leg room?
If the front seat accommodations can be likened to business class, well, the rear is certainly coach. Better than the outgoing CTS, but still an area that is simply, er, “not unacceptable.”
Only the sunroof appears to be completely out of place, an afterthought, in this car – “cheesecloth” [or so it would seem] was the chosen fabric for the inner shield. “It lets 70% of the light through,” the salesperson gushed. Yet, she also said she couldn’t imagine this roof making it into the next model year. Do ya think?!? How it is that you can configure the car with all the options, minus the sunroof, and PAY more than a car with the premium lux pkg, which includes the roof is beyond me. I would expect a CREDIT for getting the roof, especially if I had kids or lived anywhere summer was a season.
Finally, despite the overall goodness of the interior it has no front seat ceiling mounted “grab handles” like the Germans and most of the Japanese. I really missed it during spirited runs – this is a serious (and cheap) omission. I would attempt to find custom grab handles and have them mounted.
The elevator screen – I did not hate it, but it would be a mistake to say that it is “cool.” It is cool that it can move up and down, but when it is up it breaks up the otherwise beautifully sculpted dash. I would rather have seen a permanent screen built into the dash – the thing looks like an “up periscope” when it is in “full business” mode. I would deduct for this, despite the fact that folks under the age of 16 will probably love it months after the initial sizzle wanes.
The sound system, especially on XM is, as you would expect, wonderful – the Audi B&O system is better, as is the BMW high-zoot system, but they cost more. I could live with the Cadillac audio experience for a long time. The HDD capability is pretty cool, like TIVO for your car’s audio.
Summary: overall I like the interior, a lot. The controls, however, are not as intuitive as the Audi MMI system or the Infiniti system (especially the Infiniti system’s voice commands) and it is not as attractive as even the BMW iDrive system – the Cadillac seems a mite busy. The Infiniti system might be the best hybrid system out there – surprise!
#1343 of 2880 S 3.6DI Impressions - Part 3
Sep 15, 2007 (6:57 am)
The new CTS is, to my eye, gorgeous – maybe, just maybe, the DI equipped car (black) had a drop or two, too much, of bling (chrome accents), but like so much of this aspect, everything literally is in the eye of the beholder. The car is handsome from any angle and the fit and finish are impressive. The wheels (bright on this fully optioned car) were fine – the limited choice of wheels, I’m sure, will be short lived. Were one to buy this new CTS on looks alone – well, I think that wouldn’t be a sin. Beautiful to behold in person (even in black.) The white diamond and new ruby red pearl looking paint are “an 11” on a scale of 1-10.
#1344 of 2880 CTS 3.6DI Impressions - Part 4
Sep 15, 2007 (6:59 am)
Read Automobile, Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Road & Track, USA Today, The New York Times, Forbes and as many blogs as you can find. Generally speaking, the reviews of the car from behind the wheel are all pretty to very, very positive. Some of the reviews gush. I would have to say this is “the best Cadillac ever.” But, I’ve never driven the Supercharged STS-V (I have driven the outgoing CTS-V and this 3.6DI, although certainly not as powerful, was more satisfying), so maybe I don’t have a full appreciation of what the “art and science” have been up to the last few years.
The CTS engine and transmission are like a great couple dancing (of the kind where people actually touch each other.) Smooth and precise? There aren’t enough “o’s” in smooth to do this pair justice. At full cry the engine is very pleasing and right at the point where one more RPM would perhaps make the cry cross the line to a rasp, the transmission up shifts and the sweet swelling scream starts all over again. In classical music terms, the new engine reminds me of Bolero; in more contemporary terms, the sound from under hood is like the last half of Tubular Bells as we await the exclamation “and Tubular Bells!”
Brakes – I’d give these performance brakes an A- only (probably) because the car had about 247 miles on it and they seemed to require a tad too much travel (than I’m used to, your situation may differ, of course.) I assume this would get better within a few more miles.
Our tester, as noted, as the AWD all optioned and FE2 suspension (called the sport suspension) equipped model. It had 50 series, 235 x 18 tires and wheels (all seasons but either HP or UHP Mich brand.) Of the “things” that can even remotely be called disappointments, this suspension convinced me that the base suspension must be darn near dangerous and that it is a pity that the FE3 calibration is not offered on the AWD models. Why? I drove my A6 standard suspension to the dealer on two Cincinnati Interstate routes, I-71 and I-275. Years of frost heaves, pot hole repairs and other ravages of time give these surfaces a feel not unlike a mild roller coaster. Needed to drive on these at speed and with confidence – a well damped controlled and firm (yet compliant) suspension and tire wheel “kit.” The Cadillac goes over a rise with aplomb, returns well controlled and damn if it doesn’t “cycle” (float or bob up and down ONCE more when both my Audi and my wife’s BMW simply regains composure and is ready for the next one.)
The Cadillac is comfortable and I was not in fear of losing control (I never went above 85MPH during the freeway portion of our test.) Yet, the suspension was not up to even the 2005 A6’s comfort suspension’s capability. My wife’s X3 with the sport suspension is down right jarring, but it could never be accused of floating or bobbing uuuuppppp and dowwwwnnn after cresting a frost-heave on I-275.
Of course we took it on some twisty roads and into some familiar corners (15MPH marked) at triple the posted speed – a little bit of plow, but the understeer was minimal, dare I say almost BMW like. I do dare. But even coming out of this corner, there was that damn “suspension cycle” as if the springs and shocks were doing all they could to “recover gracefully” – not resume a sporty demeanor. I even got out and checked the window sticker to make sure the thing had the sport suspension. I could hardly believe it.
Most of the glowing behind the wheel reports about the CTS do seem to have come from folks who drove the FE3 equipped version. If you drive the CTS FE2 equipped version back to back with an Audi, BMW or even an Infiniti, well you may notice this – if you come from some other approach, you may find the FE2 suits you just fine.
Almost all goodness. Too much goodness to repeat, this thing is a winner in almost every way.
1. No factory Bluetooth
2. No OMG front driver and/or passenger ceiling mounted grab handles
3. Foot operated parking brake
4. Cheap sunroof (the inner sunroof panel) and no economical way NOT to get one with this
5. Floaty suspension (sport?) – but this one I think I could overlook (I’d get used to it.)
6. If it is discounted (to make it a “bargain”), it may bite into some A6, 5 series and M35 sales since it seems more like the LPS cars, today, than the ELLPS cars it is priced against (mostly.)
7. It will bite into STS sales – if it doesn’t it is because Cadillac will improve the STS to differentiate it from the CTS. Today, there would be little motivation to spend the extra dough on the STS.
Frankly, if they cure the cheap sunroof and add Bluetooth, all is forgiven, sign me up – I’ll just hold onto the steering wheel and grin.
#1345 of 2880 Re: CTS 3.6DI Impressions - Part 4 [markcincinnati]
Sep 15, 2007 (10:10 am)
"Frankly, if they cure the cheap sunroof and add Bluetooth, all is forgiven, sign me up – I’ll just hold onto the steering wheel and grin"
Kudos! Sign me up too.
#1346 of 2880 confusing reviews
Sep 16, 2007 (5:06 am)
I looked at the CTS and is certainly good looking in pearl white.
It seems as though there are mixed reviews relative to some of the things included and not included.
The sun roof covering seems to an issue as well as lack of bluetooth.
Also the ride gets different write ups from different people.
I like the car but am beginning to think the new MB c class may be a better value. Any comments?
#1347 of 2880 Re: confusing reviews [snags]
Sep 16, 2007 (5:36 am)
Compare the 2008 C300 4MATIC, the G35X and the CTS4 3.6DI.
Equip them similarly (which is difficult, considering that the Mercedes will have 228HP and a 108" wheelbase, making it the runt of the bunch):
For brand or for image, it is hard to argue that the new C class is anything but a very nice car. It is not very spirited, however.
For the most BMW like experience behind the wheel and "the best" and most technology, the new G35X with all options and the new for '08 sport package can't be beat. It also has a longer wheelbase than the MB.
For the best take on American Luxury Sport -- perhaps ever -- the CTS would be your choice. It has a "few" glaring oversights that one would imagine will be rectified in less than one year.
The G35X can be had in Pearl White and the thing drives the best of the three. It, to my eye, looks, er, "less substantial, perhaps less expensive (perhaps)" than the other two. But it is nearly $8K less and has over 300HP and it drives very very German-like (more, to me, than does the CTS.)
The CTS, for the moment is just so good looking (again, to my eye) and "if" they add bluetooth and "fix" the tacky sunroof and offer up an agressive lease program (which they almost certainly will), it is "just right."
Driving the Infiniti, however, is an eye opener -- it is the Japanese BMW "4 series" if you asked me.
Drive it like you live.
#1348 of 2880 What are people paying?
Sep 17, 2007 (6:35 am)
I'm entering the negotiation stage at my dealership and I want to find out what others are actually paying for their 08 CTS. Does anyone know of an organized list containing this information? I would also like to know the dealer incentives, residual values, kickbacks, etc.... What is the best source of this information?
#1349 of 2880 Re: What are people paying? [rem506]
Sep 17, 2007 (7:07 am)
You might want to look through the postings for Fitzgeralds Auto Malls. They would at least give you an easy bargaining position to start from.
#1351 of 2880 Saw a new 2008 CTS
Sep 17, 2007 (8:24 am)
It was white, 3.6DI, loaded with the full view sunroof. It looked good, the front looks more reserved in person, the side still looks confused and the rear is just your typical Cadillac.
It was parked in a shopping mall garage, as we drove by I asked my girlfriend how she like it. She said it looks pretty good then quickly added that it's for older people...