Last post on Mar 14, 2013 at 8:16 AM
You are in the Cadillac CTS/CTS-V
What is this discussion about?
Cadillac CTS-V, Cadillac CTS, Sedan
Feb 08, 2007 (6:26 am)
I said that the upcoming CTS will rise to be on par with the 2005 versions of the LPS cars. The thread here is that some folks think the CTS will compete against the LPS cars and at present I think it will be classed with the entry level lux perf cars like the 3, A4, etc.
If a 2008 CTS was available in 2004 it would have been head and shoulders above its direct competition, the Bimmer 3, the Audi A4, the Mercedes E, the Infiniti G, etc -- I agree.
The premise is that the 2008 CTS has adopted the features of the 2005 era LPS cars and that that somehow gives it the street creds to compete with the 2008 BMW 5, Audi A6, and so on.
My contention is the new CTS leapfrogged itself and is coming to market with 2005 era LPS content. I did not suggest, or if I did I retract it, that the 2008 CTS innovated features from 2004-2005 engineered entry level lux performance cars. It has taken features and content from the LPS cars of that vintage.
It has broken no new ground that would suggest it, with this transformation, can now compete with the LPS cars such as the 5. Other than roominess, it just doesn't have enough to differentiate it from the last generation of LPS cars.
It, hopefully for Cadillac, will have enough content to be seen on-par with the then new B8 A4 and the updated 335i and AWD version. The new G35 is already here and will, as usual, keep raising the bar too.
Cadillac leapfrogs itself, good. Cadillac may well be leapfrogged within one MY by the other guys (before it is ready or able to leap again) -- it keeps playing a game of catch up.
However, therefore, notwithstanding -- it IS catching up.
#554 of 2880 Re: ... [markcincinnati]
Feb 08, 2007 (10:53 am)
"Its announced features and content bring it to par -- but the other guys will either refresh or replace within one MY or concurrent with the CTS's coming to market. "
Wrong. The C class is not even out yet, the IS was new for 2006, the G35 was new for 2007 and the 3 series was JUST improved for 2007 with the 300hp engine. The CTS' competition is very new and dont look for major updates soon.
"I say this based on the STS, which comes on with an attractive price but requires (apparently) the addition of 5 figures worth of options to be performance competitive with a 5 series. "
Incorrect. Go to Caddy's website and compare a base STS V6 or V8 with a 5 series and e class. YOu will see that the STS has just as much standard equipment as both cars and costs less. An optioned up STS is far cheaper than a loaded 5 series or E class.
"A base automatic equipped BMW 5 series is pitted against an STS optioned to the point that it has a sport suspension, magnaride, plus sized wheels and tires and UHP tires. "
Wrong again. Either your test was different from the one I attended or you are mistaken. The STS at our event was a V6 with 17" wheels (meaning no sport package) and it was compared to a 530 with 17" wheels. The cars were comparably equipped. Cadillac isnt stupid enough to try and over equip their car. Next you'll be telling me the STS had a V8 while the BMW had a 6. The CTS at our event was a non sport model with 16" wheels and the 255hp engine. It was not unfairly equipped to battle the Es330 in any way.
The CTS is large enough to be compared to the 535 or E350. That is the bottom line. Pricewise the CTS is competition for the 3 and C but it's larger than both cars. The new CTS is nice enough to be compared with the 6 cylinder versions of the A6, E and 5 series.
R&T compared the old car to the 530, A6, S80, e320 and 300 a few years back and the CTS came in first. If you are doing things according to size and power the CTS can be compared to midsize European luxury cars.
"If the CTS is able to rival my A6 or the then current BMW 5, I will applaud it. I seriously doubt that either of these Germans are too concerned about the CTS eating into their middle child's sales. "
The A6 isnt a huge seller. Audi should be gunning for CTS sales, not vice versa. I dont think Cadillac even worries about Audi when designing cars except to benchmark their interiors. In terms of sales, Audi isnt even on Caddy's radar.
Feb 08, 2007 (11:56 am)
The Cadillac STS V6 RWD we had had 18" wheels and was optioned with a sport suspension.
Indeed, the test of the two cars I attended pitted a then LY 530 (225HP) with a then CY STS V6 (255HP.) This is the only way the Cadillac was able to beat the 530.
Not knowing the day was arguably rigged in Cadillac's favor, I asked my co-driver what we were driving: he answered every question I asked, but never would volunteer anything beyond what I asked.
We were driving a NEW 2005 BMW 530i with 17" wheels and All Season H rated tires. We were then driving a NEW 2006 STS V6 with 18" wheels and summer only ultra high performance tires and the Cadillac had a sports package and the BMW had its standard suspension.
There were BMW owners in the car with me that simply couldn't figure out why the Cadillac seemed so strong -- until, at least, our instructor answered our pointed questions.
At the event we attended, it wasn't until the very end when we were guided to a tent for our "parting gifts" that it hit us that this was a Cadillac event (the tent had three new Cadillacs in it and we were given a Cadillac ball cap and a tote that had the wreath and crest on it.)
The point in any case is that the test pitted the STS against the BMW 5, the CTS was pitted against a Lexus ES (the fancy Camry.)
Nothing I am saying takes away from my impression of the Cadillacs. I was impressed. The issue I am having is that the Cadillacs at that time seem to require a special advantage to win. Then the fact that they were quoted as being similarly priced (at MSRP) yet the BMW's are lower on a lease (per month), makes the Cadillacs, good as they are, a generation behind the competition.
The STS's here in river city are often discounted as much as $9,000 off MSRP -- which when you factor in the "value" proposition probably does make them more attractive to a BMW customer who is "on the bubble."
The C WILL be out within one MY of the new CTS. A new A4 will be out within one MY of the new CTS. A freshening and updating of the BMW will happen within one MY, too. Most likely the Bimmer's interior will be given a shot of vitamin B12 and BMW's interiors will (finally) graduate out of the stoic class. The materials in the new Cadillac may start out as superior to the competition, but -- within one MY -- either the new models or the "refreshening" of the recently brought to market competition will, if history is any guide, surpass the Cadillac.
I am happy to go back and forth and back and forth during this rather engaging discussion -- but what got me started down a path that you (all) must think is intentionally negative was the statement that the CTS competes with the BMW 5 and other LPS cars (LPS as defined here by edmunds.)
I believe the Audi A4, BMW 3 and Mercedes C ARE on Cadillac's radar -- big time.
So, if we want to "discuss, argue or advance a point or two" comparing the CTS to the other ELLPS cars that is ok by me. If we, conversely, want to discuss the merits of classifying this new (or current gen) CTS as an LPS car, that, too is ok with me.
The STS with the options that make it competitive PERFORMANCE wise with the other LPS cars IS over $60,000. It is not a high value prop (without the aforementioned $9,000 discount.)
The CTS, the NEW CTS, I assume, likewise will have to be optioned out to at least the mid forties or higher and then, once again, it will butt heads with the NEW B8 A4, the (within one MY) refreshed 335, the incoming and new C class and the [minor] upgrades the G35 will most certainly bring for MY 2008.
The issues are "generation" and "TCO."
The Cadillac seems as if it will come out one generation behind the other guys and have a similar TCO when one considers the residual (which affects both the lease payment and the cash value of the car if bought outright.)
One more time -- I am a bit disappointed that the car seems to be coming out a step behind; but, regardless it is a huge step forward and does indicate that Cadillac is closing the gap.
To command the price, however, I contend it will have to fully close the gap and perhaps pull just slightly ahead of the other guys.
The CTS in its 5 year history has not shown any proclivity to do that. There is reason for hope -- but, at this moment, there isn't much evidence it will, this time around, go the distance.
I'd get one for $9,000 off though (or whatever would translate, perhaps $5,000 or $6,000 off.)
#556 of 2880 What some of those who do this for a living say. . .
Feb 08, 2007 (12:06 pm)
Now I do know we are talking HERE on this forum about the UPCOMING CTS. And, I don't intend (nor intended previously) to pile on the CTS. But Cadillac did begin marketing this car in 2003 as their answer to the Audi A4, BMW 3 series, etc. Perhaps there was HOPE back during the early years that the CTS would be compared to the BMW 5's and the Audi A6's and the Mercedes E's. By some accounts this HOPE didn't float.
As recently as 2006, comments pertaining to the CTS (not the CTS-V which is not being addressed here, by any of us) were often not complimentary.
"The company still may have quality control problems and none so blatant on the exterior as the rippled orange-peel texture of our test vehicle's "premium" red paint. Hyundais have better paint jobs. The shoddy finish on the model we tested might be an anomaly — if not, Cadillac is remiss in thinking it can compete with European luxury brands."
Forbes (and others) went on to say: "Certain cars just feel right from the moment you slip into the driver's seat — pedals, steering wheel, shifter and outward visibility all exactly as you'd want them. The CTS is not one of these vehicles. . .[and] the fit and finish are shoddy in spots."
Of course at the same time Audi and Lexus interiors were claimed to be "jewel-like." And Audi in particular was said to be the standard by which automobile interiors should be judged.
Those who write this stuff for a living classify the CTS's competitors as follows (the current one, and you can bet initially even the new one will be compared thusly):
BMW 3 Series
In a Car and Driver 8 car comparo, the CTS finished 6th -- again this is the current car, there are only teasers for the upcoming vehicle -- thus far not even any preview tests.
Highs: Distinctive machete-hewn styling, "GM" and "handling" are an oxymoron no longer, solid torque, lustrous paint.
Lows: Exhaust drone, blurry controls, dime-store dash; a generation behind the competition.
The Verdict: An extended teaser for the next CTS.
A key point made seems to echo what I have been bemoaning in my posts here -- the CTS NOW is a generation behind the competition and the upcoming CTS only gains parity if one assumes the competition will NOT advance, not move forward.
This suggests [to me] that Cadillac has produced a fine car that will still not make it into the top 5 without some serious discounting. Nothing even comes close to suggesting it will compete head on with a 2008 BMW 5 series (other than in the category called "roominess.")
None of these reviews and previews dissuade me from considering the CTS, I do like the looks of it, the interior has been (based on the pictures) transformed to "almost jewel like," and the 258 and 300 HP engines promise to be very entertaining coupled to their new 6 speed auto OR manual. The addition of AWD, seemingly the current "price of admission" too is welcome.
I just wonder if all this is just "almost" enough to qualify the CTS as simply moving closer to the competition but not YET able to remain even or pull ahead of the competition.
"GM vehicles aren't bashful about their budget engineering, and the CTS is no exception. The dash and door-trim plastics share an excessively deep industrial-pattern grain with disposable cameras. Only the center radio console with its rubbery matte finish feels fancy. Fuzzy-lint cloth lines the trunk, and a plain plastic acoustic cover hides the engine with no more verve than a Tupperware lid.
Although pricier than the Acura, Infiniti, and Saab, the CTS had the fewest number of features, lacking navigation (the Acura and the Saab have it), a sunroof, a power passenger seat, and a telescoping steering column — all of which are found in the other cars. Flat, formless seats gave rise to griping in both the back and front chambers as drivers and passengers slid about. A step-on emergency brake was deemed decidedly unsporty. We appreciated the steering-wheel radio controls but would have preferred a simple "seek" button to four individual preset buttons."
Car and Driver
A tease for the 2008 CTS, indeed!
Feb 08, 2007 (12:23 pm)
http://www.askaprice.com/torque-article.asp?article=New_Cadillac_BLS_-__the_key_- - to_Europe?&item=1369
But the key model to their survival in Europe is the new BLS ‘premium mid-sized saloon, designed in Europe and built in Europe at Trollhattan, Sweden, GM’s Saab factory. The BLS fits into the GM’s European range above the Saab and its main competitors will be the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4 and Lexus IS 220/250.
This is at least how GM sees it. BTS-C/3/A4 class. They have decided(and wisely, IMO), to skip the small entry-level sport sedan market in the U.S. and go for what most buyers seem to want - a midsize version. The new CTS is aimed as a cheaper alternative to an E-Class, A6, or BMW 5.
But it keeps getting placed aginst smaller, more agile, and less expensive compact cars because all the editors generally see is "lowest cost model=smallest/entry level car". With predictable results. There's no way even a 5 series will beat a 3 series in a handling test, afterall.
#558 of 2880 Re: ... [markcincinnati]
Feb 08, 2007 (12:37 pm)
the weakesst engine in the STS was the 3.6L 255hp engine. It makes no sense to say it was unfair to compare it to the weaker 530 because it's not Cadillac's problem that the 530 only had 225hp. Your argument makes no sense at all. What was Cadillac supposed to do? weaken the engine on the STS to make it fair? Just so you know, the STS doesnt have a true sport package like BMW does. YOu can get better tires and larger wheels but the suspension is unchanged. BMW sport packages give you larger wheels, lower profile rubber, stiffer suspensions and better seats. Even if the STS had the 18s it didnt have a sport suspension that would give it a notable advantage over the 530.
as for pricing, I do not understand how you expected Cadillac to give you lease prices for the cars in questions. It is normal practice to compare MSRPs at comparison events because that's what makes sense. To say the BMW is really "cheaper" because lower lease rates are available is crazy. The BMW is not cheaper and lease rates are highly variable. The STS is cheaper even without special incentives, just price it out for yourself if you dont believe me.
"The STS with the options that make it competitive PERFORMANCE wise with the other LPS cars IS over $60,000. It is not a high value prop (without the aforementioned $9,000 discount.) "
WHat are you talking about? The 5 series and E class do not come with sport packages standard. Why are you saying the STS needs to cost over $60k to be competitive? That is your opinion, not a fact and it makes no sense. The STS without the luxury performance package is wholly competitive with a standard 5 series or E class.
"The CTS, the NEW CTS, I assume, likewise will have to be optioned out to at least the mid forties or higher and then, once again, it will butt heads with the NEW B8 A4, the (within one MY) refreshed 335, the incoming and new C class and the [minor] upgrades the G35 will most certainly bring for MY 2008."
what in the world makes you think the G35 or any other brand new car would be upgraded the year after its introduction? we already know the CTS will be priced similarly to the cars you mentioned but I dont get your point. Are you saying it doesn deserve to be as expensive as those cars? I dont agree. The CTS isnt a generation behind anything based on styling, hp, features or interior design. Where are you coming from with this argument? Since it's a year behind the G35 and coming to the market the same year as the C class you feel it's a generation behind. I dont get that at all. The IS, 330, CTS, G35 and C class will all be in the same generation. The fact that the G and IS beat the CTS to market by 1-2 years doesnt mean they are in a completely different generation. The G35 came out as a 2003 model as did the CTS. The G35 lasted 4 years and the CTS lasted 5 years. The new G35 and the '08 CTS are the SAME generation. What is hard to understand about that?
Feb 08, 2007 (12:49 pm)
Give him a break. I think it's that he's in denial that Cadillac could be making a better 5-series than BMW soon.
#560 of 2880 Re: The Car and Driver editor for a day program
Feb 08, 2007 (1:11 pm)
"the weakesst engine in the STS was the 3.6L 255hp engine. It makes no sense to say it was unfair to compare it to the weaker 530 because it's not Cadillac's problem that the 530 only had 225hp. Your argument makes no sense at all. What was Cadillac supposed to do? weaken the engine on the STS to make it fair?"
No, Cadillac pitted a 2005 530 against a 2006 STS. They should have pitted a 2006 530 ( 255HP at the time) against the 2006 STS.
Feb 08, 2007 (1:54 pm)
Yes I think they could and hopefully they will, soon. There is no evidence that the upcoming CTS will even be equal to a 2008 BMW 5 series. Now, of course, if we want to compare the 2008 CTS to the 2005 or 2006 5, that is a different animal.
Someone wrote here that they could buy a CTS for less than they could lease a 5.
I did post a "how is that possible" reply using 0% interest as a determining factor. The rebuttal seemed to suggest my logic was faulty for comparing the leasing of one to the buying of another.
The statement made suggested they could BUY a CTS for less money than one could LEASE a 5 for.
I assumed the person meant the monthly payment and/or the sum of the monthly payments over a similar time period.
A $36,000 CTS at 0% interest for 36 months is $1,000 per month. A $50,000+ 5 can be leased for ~ $599 - $699 (I've seen them as low as $579) for 36 months, 45K miles and no "additional" monies for maintenance.
My point was not to suggest folks (all folks) should lease.
My answer to the statement was intended to solicit an explanation as to how one could buy a "comparable" CTS for a comparable time period for less money than one could lease a 5. I didn't post the original assertion. I merely did some quick calculations based on number of months divided into the assumed selling price of the car.
A CTS as noted above would be $1000 per month for 36 months, if the 5 was $600 per month, the total out of pocket at the end of the term would be $21,600. $21,600 vs $36,000 out of pocket. In month 37 neither person would have any payments and only one of the people would have a car. But, the person with no car could continue to lease a $600 per month vehicle for another 24 months before reaching $36,000 out of pocket.
The CTS at 60 months is worth something, I agree.
The person who leased for 60 months $600 per month would in month 61 have "nothing to show for his payments." The person who paid $1,000 per month for the first 36 months (assuming 15K miles per year) will then have a car with 75,000 miles on it. I would assume the car would have needed at least one new set of tires and other wear and tear items replaced too.
I never intended to suggest someone who leases would buy a Cadillac or vice versa the BMW.
I would, normally, have put the lease of one against the lease of the other. And, if possible, I would have configured the cars similarly. The fact that a strippie CTS may be leased for $299 or $399 is nice to know. Configure the two more closely and then again run the numbers was my suggestion.
The German (and I am not here shilling for BMW, I do not own a BMW -- my wife does, though) has a very high residual that makes its lease payments belie its MSRP.
Moreover, my entire thesis has been that up to now (and for all I know even when the new 2008 CTS comes to market), the CTS has not been considered in the same product class as the LPS cars (Acura RL, Audi A6, BMW 5, Cadillac STS, Infiniti M, Lexus G and Mercedes E.)
Comparing the CTS to the cars above its class -- until we know more that would permit such a comparison -- is akin to the Hyundai claims that their flagship is "roomier" than a BMW 7 series. Most folks would not accept the notion that the Hyundai was a competitor to the BMW simply based on its interior volume, trunk space or other measurements of cubic feet.
Folks like me WILL give a long hard look at the new CTS -- I drag around an empty A6 95% of the time, I want to "down class and down size" somewhat. The new CTS seems like a good way to go to what might be a competitor for a BMW 4 series is such a thing existed.
BMW did refresh the 330i one year after bringing it to market -- there is no 330i in fact any more -- the 330i was replaced with the 335i, and it will soon be joined by the 335xi; and each MY will demonstrate BMW's recognition that the market expects the time between refreshes to be compressed from this point forward.
On another subject (to rebut) I'm not the originator of the idea that the CTS is a generation behind (although I did arrive at that conclusion before I knew Car and Driver -- to name one -- had said that two years ago.)
And, in fact, I said that I applaud the huge leap forward the new CTS appears to represent; yet, I also decried the fact that it, at best, arrives "on par" with a one generation old LPS car. It doesn't mean I wouldn't get one -- it means I suspect it will be within its first MY heavily subsidized when it is compared with the Audi, BMW, etc etc etc I mentioned in previous posts. It is not pulling ahead of the other guys it is simply temporarily pulling alongside the other ELLPS cars. The true LPS cars will, I assume, again pull forward, pull away from the ELLPS cars. They have to.
Performance is a different matter -- sure a shorter wheelbase "fill in the blank" from (pick one) BMW can out handle a longer wheelbase BMW, etc. I would assume the new CTS, therefore will not perform (in the handling dept) as well as its class stablemates, the A4, 3, C, G, IS, etc.
The CTS will be compared with a refreshed Chrysler 300 -- and tit for tat the Chrysler 300C will probably offer a less refined but nonetheless compelling alternative for similar bucks. The Avalon too may show up in comparos.
Where the CTS is pitted against the LPS crowd is typically when it is the CTS-V going head to head with a BMW M5 or an Audi S4. Often the CTS-V acquits itself nicely. Especially when the BMW is, what, $30,000 more?
I have, hopefully responded to several of the points made in reply to some of my statements.
If the CTS for 2008 is repeatedly compared to/with a BMW 5 series it will only help Cadillac. I hope you are correct. I want the home team to win one. I suspect it might win if price is weighted heavily, I suspect it will lose, however, on other counts of Luxury and Performance against almost any one of the LPS crowd, including its own sibling the STS.
The CTS will remain this time around in the ELLPS class -- I don't see anything at all wrong or demeaning about that.
Maybe some folks here do -- and that, too, is fine by me.
Feb 08, 2007 (3:06 pm)
What a load of bull.
If you notice, I was comparing buying ONE CTS versus leasing two BMWs. Now, that begs the question - how long for the term on the GM?
Obviosuly you'd buy the Cadillac for 60 months. Yes, you'd be paying for another two years, but my point was that you could buy the GM for less than the two leases on the BMWs would cost because of the GM waranty and financing.
Figure 30,000 after rebates(doable, actually) and typical financing. $600 a month for 60 months, with maybe $2000 down.(let's keep the math simple here for now). After 36 months, your residual would be the same as what it's worth, or pretty close, so you could very well trade it in if you wanted, at the same time as the BMW.
This is why I said it costs the same. At three years, it's a wash, or close to it. Well, the GM also doesn't have wear and tear or mileage deductions like the BMW will. Returning cars after a lease can be a real nightmare for a luxury car. The CTS you just trade in for 8-10K and that's it. No fine print - same monthly payment, or really close to it(less if you get the GM 2.9% financing or simmilar)
But obviously you pay the extra two years and come out way ahead. Why not? The warranty is still there and in the end you end up a year ahead time-wise and have a car worth a nice amount, since it *still* will have some of the original warranty after 5 years.
Now, a 2006 - total different story, but GM's new warranty and their silly rebates combine to make for a very attractive deal.
P.S. You'll never see a BMW going for even close to $300 a month on a lease. If you want to compare *leases*, GM wins by a five miles. So the GM has a few things you have to cover. It's not going to be more than a few hundred dollars - compared to the BMW's $3-4000 more in payments every year.