2008 Cadillac CTS: Caddy Does Carmel
September 12, 2008
Earlier this week, after a brief stopover at the Romans estate (above left), our long-term 'Lac and I headed for Land Rover's Off-Road Driving Experience in Carmel, roughly 6 hours north of L.A. If it's trail-busting tales you want, you'll have to wait for next Friday's Weekly Top 3 post over at the Strategies Blog. But if you're jonesing for a fragmentary yet hard-hitting assessment of the CTS qua road trip companion, you've come to the right place.
Stuff That Doesn't Work
The automatic triple-blink turn signal function when changing lanes to the right. Push up on the stalk and...nothing -- not even a single blink. You have to click it into place, as if you're turning at an intersection, and then click it back.
Stuff That's Annoying
Squeaky seats. Wonky driving position. Crude power window switches. And a navigation system that takes an extraordinarily long time to calculate your route -- we're talking upwards of 30 seconds in some cases, which can be a bit harrowing if you've just plugged in your address and find yourself approaching a key intersection with your electronic copilot still deep in thought.
Stuff That BMW Should Be At Least A Little Nervous About
The steering -- I really like it. It's virtually slop-free, there's a pleasant weightiness at speed, and the effort builds progressively around bends. And the body control -- it's really good, which is all the more impressive given that our car lacks the maximally sporty FE3 suspension. I took route 198 on the way up and route 58 on the way back (both highly recommended for enthusiasts), and the CTS delivered a command performance, faltering only in the tightest corners, where the Caddy's imposing heft and compliant suspension tuning conspired to upset its composure.
Stuff That Lincoln Should Be Petrified About
Everything. The CTS positively pwns the MKS in every significant way, except maybe Sync. Best American luxury sedan under $50k? It's not remotely close.
Stuff That Kicks A**
Rear-wheel drive, defeatable traction control, 300+ hp, and a gravel turnout in the middle of nowhere. Warning: gleeful doughnuts may cause scenic vistas to become temporarily obscured.
Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com @ 12,310 miles