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Cadillac CTS-V, Cadillac CTS, Sedan
#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...