This car is truly world class once the shifter is changed to one made by UUC Motorwerks. It is not so over- "refined", ala Lexus or Mercedes AMG, that it is boring. The only competitor in its size class that is as fun is the BMW M5. Build quality is great. Cadillac reliability stats are impressive. All for a 30% lower price and better reliability than a BMW M5, MB E55 AMG, etc.
To be a driver's car one has to have a manual transmission. The CTS is large enough to seat 4 adults comfortably but is still a driver's car. Few driver's sedans, like a BMW 330i, are large enough to be real people haulers. 400 hp is nice though I prefer lighweight and handling over power.
Every review complains of the shifter. With the UUC Motorweks shifter the CTS shifts like my 5 speed Miatas. Really! Run flat tires are heavy, expensive and die at 5,000 mi. For 2006 they have gone to a longer lived tire. Still heavy and no spare though. Second generation styling will be better.