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You are in the Cadillac CTS/CTS-V
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Cadillac CTS-V, Cadillac CTS, Sedan
Feb 07, 2007 (1:49 pm)
. . .being first (if no one knows or few if any remember, etc) doesn't mean very much any more (if it ever did.) When I read the copy and looked at the pictures of the new CTS (in Motor Trend and the other usual suspects), my first thought was "wow" I actually like the styling.
I liked the bumping up in power, the 300 HP option, the 6 speed transmissions (2 of them!) and AWD. The interior was damn near Audi-like it looked so good and the pearl orange color in Motor Trend and the Pearl Red (?) color in the Car and Driver blurb looked great.
I read the text about the features, amenities, lighting touches, etc. Coupled all of that with my own personal knowledge about the LPS cars (I have a 2005 Audi A6) -- and came to the conclusion I really liked the car, especially if the price (non V version) with all the technology goodies doesn't go too far past the mid forties.
Then I started down the mind game of ticking off all the "new for 2008" features this CTS boasts.
They all seem to say the 2008 CTS will be brought up to 2005 LPS standards.
I thought that was kind of pitiful AT FIRST.
I mean pretty late to the 6 speed transmission game (speaking of the auto.) Pretty late to. . .uh, well, heck, it jus' doesn't matter.
No one (for all practical purposes) 'cept a handful of us will know that the CTS has simply done a very nice job of copying (uh, better word: innovating!) the German and Japanese (well most of them) Lux cars.
Someone a couple hundred posts ago said something like 90% of a BMW 5 series at 2/3rds the price (SOMETHING like that, anyway.)
Now, me, I looked at the CTS perhaps more as a 3 series or A4 or C class competitor.
Then I read and re-read the points about wheelbase, track and so forth and I backed up about 10 yards and squinted and sure enough, I thought for that moment the CTS was possibly a 5, A6 or E class "player." Then I stopped squinting and wondered if perhaps it also could be considered as vying for a Chrysler 300 customer too.
The heck of it is, the CTS may actually be a worthy place to put your money compared to an A6 or 5 series or E class -- it certainly appears to have a lot of the creds (and a 6 speed manual, holy cow Batman!)
My guess is this will be a great car and IF compared to a 5 series it MAY come off as the bargain of the bunch. Perhaps not so much if compared to the 3 series or the new B8 A4, or C class though.
Here's the issue -- when one can lease a $53,000+ Euro car for 36 months with no cap cost reduction for a number beginning with a 6 and it isn't even possible to do that number at 48 months for the $43,000 'merican car with $2500 upfront, well the 'merican car just SEEMS to be so much more expensive even when it is $5 - $10,000 less at MSRP.
Most of these cars are leased (or so says the dealers here in River City); the MSRP's sometimes seem irrelevant, its the mo pay that seals the deal. And, the mo pay, apparently, can be so low on some of these buggies because the residual is so high.
This MUST NOT be the case with the CTS (at this juncture.)
We are, hopefully, at a huge point of inflection -- and the CTS is substantial evidence that we MAY be. I WILL consider one -- for I would rather go with an American car if "voting for it" (with my dollars) is voting for the best car for the money, not just a patriotic vote. I would and will be up for the red, white and blue if they (this CTS for example) can equal the competition at less money (see above) or better the competition for the same money.
No one will remember that the Audi A6 that was being built in July 2004 in Germany had "most all" of the "new and exciting" features and content Cadillac is going on about in this new CTS. And, for those of us that do remember, so what? Now, if the Europeans (or Japanese) raise the bar again in 2008, about the only thing that will make this new CTS attractive to some will be a deep, unhealable discount.
I'm going to conclude with: "THE GLASS IS HALF FULL!"
#539 of 2880 Re: The new CTS. . . [markcincinnati]
Feb 07, 2007 (4:29 pm)
Your reasoning is as convoluted as your writing.
The CTS is roomier than a 5 series. It's more distinctive inside and out, and probably more comfortable than any of the cars you mentioned. It's less expensive to maintain than the Germans, and probably more reliable. Ok, it doesn't have the imported cache (aka snob appeal).
How often do 99% of LPS buyers actually drive their cars at the limit, which is where the differences lie?
Current CTS's are advertised with leases in the $300-400 range (ok, that's the small engine). I've heard from a salesman that they get a bigger commission from a lease, and you know where that money's coming from--You.
#540 of 2880 Re: The new CTS. . . [ral1960]
Feb 07, 2007 (5:33 pm)
The roominess is relevant how? There are any number of cars that are roomier than a 5 series, roomier than a CTS and cost a lot less than the new one (apparently.)
The CTS may strive to be a luxury performance car -- and lord knows I hope it will live up to what it is apparently going to be marketed as. I will assume that someone looking at a 5 or an A6 or an E class may not even look at a CTS, they MAY look at an STS, however.
The CTS may well compete with the three Germans and the primary two Japanese cars in terms of roominess. But, the CTS is bringing content, features and build quality that the Germans and Japanese in this SIZE class have had for years.
The CTS needed to step ahead of the competition, NOT only ahead of itself.
The BMW has zero maintenance costs for 50,000 miles, the Cadillac costs more than zero. Audis until this year also included free maintenance, now it is a one time charge of $550 for 50K miles.
You are correct, the CTS is more distinctive (TO YOU -- this is completely subjective, i.e.) inside and out. Hopefully it will be distinctive to a lot of new and returning customers.
Comfort, however, is a bit more objective, and all of the other cars mentioned are more comfortable than the current CTS. The new CTS, hopefully and "probably" will be more comfortable than the current CTS.
It may achieve parity [speaking of comfort] with these other 2004 design era cars. The problem is, all these other cars (including the BMW 3, Audi A4, Mercedes C class and Infiniti G class, to name three -- the three the CTS will compete against) have or will have new, updated cars coming to market at the same time the new CTS launches.
The 5 series buyer who shops the CTS is "probably" rare.
The Audi and the BMW in their current releases are very reliable -- "probably" the new Cadillac is or will be as reliable (and hopefully they will ALL get moreso.)
Snob appeal like distinctiveness is another characteristic that is in the eye of the beholder -- do you think the BMW or Lexus has snob appeal? I don't -- in fact I grew up thinking Cadillac was a word used to describe something that had reached "the top." Cadillac was the "zenith" of cars. I think it still is -- or will be -- with this next release of CTS, STS, etc, competitive with almost anything from anywhere.
To gain market share the product must be equal to or better than and the value proposition must be high to attract buyers who will, in 3 - 4 years, become repeat buyers.
If I want a car in the $300-400/mo range, I can get a Chrysler 300 limited with AWD and a few options ticked off and have a roomier car that has the 5 speed transmission, a comfortable ride and a rear biased AWD system from the Mercedes E class circa 1999.
The Americans ARE getting it -- but with the new CTS it is a work in progress (based only on the car magazine previews); a 2004 era car finally brought to market in 2008.
Only if the Germans and Japanese don't move forward will the Cadillac be able to be competitive without some financial incentives. I think Cadillac will push to be more competitive with this new car via the financing program, i.e.
The other guys in this list -- the direct CTS competition -- the A4, 3, G, IS (and maybe the ES) and C from Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Lexus and Mercedes will certainly NOT stop moving forward, do you think?
The "roomier class" of cars you suggest the CTS [should] competes with were, in late 2004, already at a content level that the upcoming CTS touts will be coming in the 2008 model.
Cadillac has (or one can assume) with this new car, as Chrysler has with its 300, demonstrated it is capable of producing a high quality rich content vehicle replete with features the German and Japanese companies were putting in their entrants 3+ years ago.
Yet, I still maintain this is NOT a bad thing -- because no one will remember that Infiniti's G and M were offered with AWD years ago, that Mercedes cars had up to 7 speed automatics and that all the BMW's and Audis now come with 6 speed autos and even offer the option of DSG or SMG clutchless manual transmissions.
Fuel Stratified Injection, too, was put into Audi's A3, A4 and A6 years before the new CTS.
No one will remember how most of the new Cadillac's "gee whiz" features and content are so last generation. The technology is still good, it is, for the CTS, a substantial and meaningful upgrade to be sure.
Indeed these upgrades should sell a bunch more CTS's -- I certainly hope so.
The thing is Cadillac needs to pull ahead of the entry level lux cars it will surely be compared with -- with this car it merely seems to be pulling even with the 2005, 2006 and 2007 MY cars -- and it is doing so with an MY 2008 car.
Customers may not know that this upcoming CTS, although leapfrogging itself, still remains one lily pad behind the cars that "the market" will compare this new Caddy to.
Somehow, I'd bet they'll figure it out -- and Cadillac will have to resort to discounting or hoping that there will be a few souls who will find an A6 or 5 series or E class "out of reach" and settle for a car that, after all, is roomier.
Here is my guess: the new CTS will show up in comparo after comparo in Automobile, Car & Driver, Motor Trend and Road & Track -- it will be compared with the BMW 3, the Audi A4, the Mercedes C, the Acura (whatever), Infiniti G and Lexus IS.
Because the roominess of the "car in question" is not as much of an arbiter of automotive class as we may want.
The Hyundai Azesis (or whatever) is bigger than a BMW 7 series -- no really! They do not, generally speaking, find themselves on the same shopping list.
I'm still rooting for the new CTS and will be looking at it very closely. But I will be comparing it with the then new Audi A4 and Mercedes C. If I start looking at the 5 series or A6, I'll check out the STS.
Drive it like you live!
#541 of 2880 Re: The new CTS. . . [markcincinnati]
Feb 07, 2007 (5:45 pm)
so do you think that the CTS is particularly a man's car or a woman's car? and what age range do you think this car will ultimately appeal to? i would really like a chance to talk to you more about the 2008 CTS. and what the car says to you (I'm worried too many people will see it as an old person's car) are you looking to buy a luxury car or are you just a luxury car guru.
#542 of 2880 Still...
Feb 07, 2007 (5:51 pm)
Two things will put it clearly at in the running, RWD and a manual transmission. To a sizeable segment of this market, having both is an absolute requirement.
The BMW maintainence/warranty also isn't free. You pay so much more for a 5 series that you could replace dozens of things on the GM before you even break even. The GM also has a longer warranty on the drivetrain as well, which is nice I guess(never had major problems with any GM engine I've owned until it was over ten years old anyways).
And when the warranty is over... Yeah. And "always lease" is a cop-out. A car should be reliable after the warranty is finished as well.
But cost is a big factor. The number of luxury, RWD midsize sedans with a manual transmission is pretty small these days. Under $40K - even fewer.
#543 of 2880 Re: The new CTS. . . [shannon984]
Feb 07, 2007 (6:04 pm)
I have no clue as to the gender of the average CTS buyer. I also have no clue as to the age either. The CTS -- and I rent the CTS or the SRX whenever I am given a choice -- is a good attempt to create an entry level lux sedan. It has remained mostly fresh looking and modern.
I was never a fan of the center dash stack of the CTS, but I don't find it particularly emasculating or Tom Boyish either.
A CTS-V is one sweet secret hot rod. But at $50,000 an Audi S4 vs a CTS-V just made the V seem overpriced. There were also some potent Bimmers that could be had for that kind of scratch too. The Cadillac needed to be of higher value -- and, moreover, it was up against stiff competition from Europe (and possibly Japan.)
The CTS was and is a fine car -- and with attractive leases (finally) the local Cadillac store was seemingly selling the CTS like hotcakes -- but only if the new Audi store, right next door, didn't attract folks in for a test drive of a new A4.
Of course, if you needed the roominess, well the Cadillac did win that contest hands down over the Audi.
But the driving experience was good for CTS, very good for most folks -- until they got behind the wheel of the German car from Audi, BMW or Mercedes.
Again, only if the CTS lease price was substantially less, did it seem to avoid being dissed.
I believe the new CTS will -- for a time -- give the entry level lux cars a run for their money. Then the inevitable gushing (in the magazine comparos) about the similarly priced 335i or 335xi will begin to seep into our collective awareness and the CTS will have to fight back with 100,000 mile warranties and sub-vented leases.
All of this, despite its apparent criticisms, is, I think, good for Cadillac, GM and the buying public.
This is a giant step for Cadillac, in some ways bigger than the first CTS -- for this is Cadillac's, GM's and the American car companies rising up from the near-dead.
And the nearly broke.
Hell, if the CTS with 300HP a sport suspension, technology package and AWD can be had for a number beginning with a 5, it may well be just the compelling argument Cadillac is hoping for.
Feb 07, 2007 (6:14 pm)
Try a number starting at under $40K.
Peolpe seem to forget that while GM could build a BMW 5 series, their whole goal is to do what Hyundai is to Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, and simmilar brands these days. Making 80%-90% of the same car for 2/3 of the price.
Why pay silly money for a 5, a GS, or a E, when you can spend 10-20K less and get a car that drives almost as well plus costs a fraction to maintain. So much less that you might consider actually buying it instead of leasing it.
Oh - I saw $299 leases on the 2006 models the last time I was in the Cadillac dealership. Payments to *own* a CTS were about the same as a lease on a 5 series - or very close to it.
#545 of 2880 Re: The new CTS. . . [markcincinnati]
Feb 07, 2007 (7:49 pm)
New Cadillacs have a bumper-to-bumper, 6 year, 100,000 warrantee.
I'm 6'2" and one of the shorter and thinner ones in the family. I haven't tried recent ferrin cars, but I didn't fit well in the old ones. Most Japanese headrests would hit me in the back, and older Benzes didn't have enough headroom in the front and no foot room in the rear. Size is Important. I was about to add something snotty but I won't.
Don't you think most premium car sales are based on snob appeal? Sometimes disguised as buying "quality."
If you visit Cadillacowners.com, most of the traffic is young guys with CTS's. I would call it a guy's car, but the 08 is certainly more feminine in appearance.
Take a look at Mercedez-benz-usa.com; the horror stories of lemons and bad service are almost unbelievable.
Feb 07, 2007 (8:40 pm)
Wow! OK, one thing at a time.
Cadillac is NOT Hyundai. Cadillacs are not 80% to 90% of the same car at 2/3 the price.
Is a Chrysler 300C AWD with all the toys 80% to 90% of an Audi A8 or a Mercedes S class? Well it is probably 1/2 the price and about the same size. But the 300C, nice as it is, is not in the same automotive class as the others.
The CTS is in a class (currently) that is aimed at the premium ENTRY LEVEL Euro and Japanese sporting sedans: think A4, 3, G, C etc. Its relative size being close to a BMW 5 does not make it a Luxury Performance Car any more than the hemi in the 300 makes it a ultra luxury performance car, size notwithstanding.
I want this to be so, but that doesn't make it so.
Silly money? There are thousands of BMW 5's sold in the US every month. Audi has just finished another up year, and so on. Lexus sells hundreds of thousands of cars, about 75% of them in the US.
The cars -- like the 5 or the A6 do cost $5 to $10 thousand or more dollars than a CTS generally.
But the STS, not the CTS is the car in the LPS class.
A well equipped STS w/AWD overshoots $59,000 by about one Yugo.
The CTS large as it may be isn't YET in the LPS class. It is a respectable wannabe. I re-read the new write up about the CTS, it is very desirable, more masculine than its predecessor would be my personal take, more attractive to the male of the species. The availability of a manual transmission, like BMW is a clue. The Audi A4 and BMW 3 can be had with a stick. Only the 5 series Bimmer in the LPS class can be so equipped.
The CTS is priced and marketed to be the "more better" BMW 3 series -- and if it can beat the value proposition of the German, it will win a profitable share of customers -- perhaps some of them away from BMW.
The issue, may be, for a time, an age issue. The Cadillac CTS like all the family still driven by folks above the target age of any car company. This is changing for Cadillac and that is a good thing.
The XLR, hmmm, I've not ever seen one of them driven by a man or woman with "their own hair" if you get my drift.
And, I do believe that the CTS, SRX, XLR and STS cars are able to be considered in the same breath as many ferrin' cars. The danger lies in making a class leap.
If the CTS is able to compete with the BMW 5 in performance and beat the pants off it in value that is a good thing. However, there is scant current evidence that the CTS can do this.
But the upcoming CTS if priced right (however you acquire yours) ought to give one pause when considering a more expensive BMW 335 or A4/S4 -- but then again there's that pesky newly announced C class Mercedes which seems to just ooze quality. And even Mercedes horrible track records are pretty much out of the realm of current events.
The public has selective memory. After all, Mercedes, somewhat like Cadillac has a reputation that seems, somehow to overcome even the most shrill shrieks of its unreliability. Sure enough, the Merc is now climbing up the reliability ladder.
Cadillac MAY have been more reliable, but it was also seen and widely reported (as if saying it made it so) as a higher quality vehicle. Quality, reliability and durability are three separate but related traits. People at this price point often buy quality, for they lease for such a short term that durability isn't too much of an issue and well, reliability of any of these cars means, fundamentally, one visit to the dealership every 10 - 15,000 miles (except for Infiniti which still demands to see you at least once every 7,500 miles.)
A 0% Interest Cadillac CTS that was sold to you for $30,000 would be $500 per month for 60 months. The maintenance, were you a 15K mile per year person would be scary as would the repairs (although the 100K warranty obviates this for the most part.) BMW on the other hand is free maint for 50K miles and you only need to keep it 36 months, so you are always driving a new car. The BMW lease, typically is much lower than any American car lease and well, the payments to own that CTS (that is about the same as the 5 series) are not an apples to apples comparison.
Equip the Cadillac, if possible, with similar packages and options as you can the Bimmer, then run the numbers.
The BMW will be over $51K the way I would want one. The Cadillac would be over $40K. The Cadillac for 36 months on a buy would be over $1,000 per month at 0% interest. The BMW at some number under $55K would be less than $600 during much of the buying year and always under $700 per month -- for 36 months. To get the CTS to $500 per month would mean extending the payments to at least 80 months!
This is not a definition of VERY CLOSE TO IT, is it?
Compare the CTS to the A4, the 335, the IS or ES Lexus, the G35 from Infiniti, the C class from Mercedes -- then see where the value proposition lies.
The theory goes the Cadillac should have the lower or lowest TCO (total cost of ownership), but now that the cars we are comparing the CTS to are in its same class (Premium Entry Level Luxury Sporting Sedan), the CTS just seems so damn much money (at present.)
This impression is further exacerbated by the fact that the 2008 Cadillac will be brought to 2005 content and feature level when directly compared with its German and Japanese competition. And, damn if it isn't so, Audis new A4 will be hitting the showrooms just about when the CTS hits, ditto the new C class from Mercedes and the beat goes on.
So yes, the new CTS is a quantum leap and probably will be a great car (it already is on paper.) It is more masculine than the outgoing car, more aggressive but also more emotional, less angular in some ways -- it will probably stir both genders to buy on looks alone.
This honeymoon effect will last at most 6 months. The inherent goodness of the car will certainly propel sales. In some respects I would be happy to graduate to an American car even if I were merely trading in my 2005 vintage German for a 2008 American with most of the same features I had grown used to in my then 3+ year old German car.
My point is not to dis the Cadillac, it is to point out the short shelf life of cars and features. Cadillac, to set the world standard again needs to bring its cars out in the same time frame as the other guys.
They are, IMHO, late to the game in many of the features and functions they are pounding their chests over. Soft lighting, foot well lighting -- what next a passenger side mirror that dips when the car is put into reverse? My 1980's vintage German car did that for pity's sake.
Rear heated seats? A tilt and telescoping steering wheel, lane departure warning a back up camera, front and rear parktronic a 6 or more speed autoshift that rev matches. Voice command of "everything?" ABS+brake Assist plus ESP plus, plus plus -- they say the American cars will have these things by 2012. I had ABS in 1986. My buddy had it in his 1985 BMW.
#547 of 2880 Re: ... [markcincinnati]
Feb 07, 2007 (9:05 pm)
Sorry, I pay cash for my cars. I bow to your superior experience.
My only used car, the 74 Fleetwood I bought in college, had tilt/telescoping wheel, and you couldn't hear or feel the engine at idle. The 70's Eldorado had an extra door unlatcher for the rear seat passengers--an actually useful piece of one-up-manship.
Remember BMW thinks idrive is great engineering.