2011 Cadillac CTS Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Cadillac CTS Sedan

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Cadillac CTS Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 270 hp @ 7000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 Cadillac CTS

  • The 2011 Cadillac CTS remains a top choice for an American-made luxury sedan, but it lags behind import brand rivals in some key areas.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Roomier cabin than similarly priced rivals, elegant interior design, nifty gadgets, capable and secure handling.

  • Cons

    Not as nimble as similarly priced rivals, sport suspensions may be too firm for some, poor rear visibility, awkward driving position.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Cadillac CTS is largely unchanged from last year.

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Nice ride .great style

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac CTS

Awd is a must and the exterior Crystal red is hot .The interior style works well for my 6 foot frame. Ultraview sun roof is very sharp. 3.0 engine is fine for me. I'm no race car driver.If you want to race around go for the 3.6..Leather is nice quality and its my kinda car. Reliability is yet to be determined but I opted for the extended GM warranty well worth the 2000 bucks.Takes 87 octane running just under 20 city. Nice heavy car and doors feel like the old days strong and solid!If your looking for a sharp car this is by far it!If you want some real American muscle I would go for the CTS-V...Time will tell how she rolls... but so far I love it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Good sports sedan

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac CTS

I purchased my '10 CTS 3.6 with AWD about 6 months ago. This is my first sports sedan. The CTS handles great. Ride is firm but not bone jarring. 3.6 liter motor has good acceleration, but you have to rev it a bit to get the most performance from it. Have not had any bad weather yet to test the AWD system. Mileage is about 22 mpg in mixed driving and 26-27 on the hwy at speeds from 65-70 mph. The interior is comfortable and well finished. The seats are comfortable but really best for 4 passengers, 5 is a bit tight. Bose stereo has great sound and I like that you can hook up a iPod to it. Climate system works well in both heating and cooling.

I miss my q45

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac CTS

I bought a 2010 leftover. The first week I considered returning it. Overall I like it, but interior storage is inadequate, mileage is less than expected and the visibility borders on being dangerous. I compensate by angle parking only on the end of the row and only making right hand turns. I traded a 1998 Q45. The CTS is not in the same class. I wanted to buy American with RWD and the CTS is probably the best.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

Vehicle hesitation

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Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac CTS

At slow speed especially when engine is cold the engine skipps and the transmission shifts eradically. The engine also hesitates at high speed when accelerating to pass other vehicles creating an unsafe situation.

Exceeds my expectations!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac CTS

i can see why the CTS was "motor trends" car of the year for 2008. i've owned mine for about 3 months and have 2500 miles on the odo. so far the car has exceeded my expectations. the 6 speed automatic is silky smooth with the 3.0 liter producing plenty of power - acceleration is quick and smooth. the ride is a bit stiffer than my 2004 Chrysler Concorde limited but yet smooth and controlled. i like the ride and appreciate the quietness. the exterior and interior styling and workmanship are superior - just what a Cadillac should be. the variable assist power steering is spot on. and it's nice to get back to a rear wheel drive after several decades of front wheel drive. so far so good!

A fantastic american sedan

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac CTS

Great looking car and fun to drive. Excellent handling and acceleration and feels like a very substantial car when driving. Plenty of interior room and fabulous choice of dash display options. The radio with 6-CD changer is great and has 36 favorite preset station options.


Full 2011 Cadillac CTS Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Cadillac CTS is largely unchanged from last year.


The 2011 Cadillac CTS embodies the company's push to become more competitive with the dominant models from foreign manufacturers. The days of bloated land yachts lumbering down the interstate are gone, as the CTS is significantly more tidy and compact than previous Cadillacs. Edgy styling and improved performance are definitely steering the company in a new direction.

There's a lot that's new for the CTS lineup, but that pertains mostly to the all-new coupe version, which is covered in a separate review, as is the extra-spicy CTS-V model. As it stands, the 2011 CTS sedan remains relatively unchanged from the previous model year.

Returning for the 2011 CTS sedan are the same engine choices -- a 270-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 or a 3.6-liter that makes 306 hp. A choice of suspensions is also still available, with varying degrees of sporty handling dynamics. Unfortunately, all of the same drawbacks remain, including an awkward driving position, poor rearward visibility and a rough ride (with the sportier suspensions). We're also a bit leery of the CTS's reliability, as a 2008 long-term CTS test vehicle we owned was plagued by inconsistent build quality and some electronic gremlins.

The 2011 Cadillac CTS is definitely a step in the right direction, but it still trails the likes of the 2011 Audi A4, 2011 BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G37 and 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class in terms of quality and handling. We're also very fond of the 2011 Hyundai Genesis, as it delivers similar levels of luxury with a significantly lower price tag. The CTS is worth a look, but we would still highly recommend checking out the competition before making a final decision.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Cadillac CTS is a five-passenger midsize luxury sedan that is available in five trim levels: 3.0 base, 3.0 Luxury, 3.0 Performance, 3.6 Performance and 3.6 Premium.

Standard equipment on the 3.0 includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, remote keyless entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat, a rear center armrest with a pass-through, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, premium vinyl "leatherette" upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an eight-speaker CD stereo with satellite radio.

The 3.0 Luxury adds 10-way power front seats, heated front seats, driver memory functions, leather upholstery, a wood-and-leather steering wheel, interior ambient lighting, Bluetooth and a six-CD changer.

The 3.0 Performance has the Luxury trim's equipment plus 18-inch wheels, foglights, performance brakes, upgraded FE2 sport-tuned suspension, a limited-slip rear differential and adaptive HID headlamps. The 3.6 Performance adds a bigger V6 engine and a 10-speaker surround-sound stereo with digital music storage and a USB/iPod audio interface.

Both Performance trims qualify for the available Luxury Level Two package that adds rear parking sensors, a split-folding rear seat, heated and cooled front seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, keyless ignition/entry and remote engine start. The 3.6 Premium has the Level Two equipment plus a panoramic sunroof (optional on all other CTS models) and a hard-drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic and weather.

A rearview camera and the navigation system are optional on all but the base CTS. The 19-inch Summer Tire Performance package (available on 3.6 models) adds 19-inch wheels, summer tires, an upgraded FE3 performance suspension and enhanced power steering. Nineteen-inch wheels with all-season tires are also available.

Powertrains and Performance

2011 Cadillac CTS buyers can choose between two V6 engines. The base 3.0-liter V6 produces 270 hp and 223 lb-ft of torque and achieves an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. The 3.6-liter V6 produces 306 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque and earns estimates of 18/27/21 mpg.

The 3.0 base and Luxury models come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, with a six-speed automatic available as an option. The automatic transmission is standard for all other models, but the manual is also available with the 3.6-liter engine. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive offered as an option on models equipped with the automatic transmission.

In performance testing, the 3.6 V6 with the automatic propelled a rear-wheel-drive CTS sedan from zero to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds.


Standard safety features for the 2011 Cadillac CTS include antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and GM's OnStar emergency communications system.

In government crash testing, the CTS earned four out of five stars for frontal crash protection and a perfect five stars for side protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the sedan was awarded the best rating of "Good" in frontal-offset and side impact testing.

In brake testing, the CTS 3.6 Premium with FE2 suspension and all-season tires came to a stop from 60 mph in 117 feet, which is very good for a luxury sedan. With the 19-inch wheels and summer tires, that distance drops to a very impressive 109 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the 2011 Cadillac CTS features a pleasing angular theme to match its exterior edginess. Soft-touch materials are plentiful, accented by tasteful wood trim. The optional navigation system emerges from the top of the dash and retracts almost fully, leaving a small section visible as a touchscreen display for the audio system -- an ingenious and elegant alternative solution to having a separate control panel.

Unfortunately, the interior also comes with its fair share of flaws. Many find the driving position awkward because of slightly offset pedals and compromised knee room due to the sweeping center stack. Rearward visibility is notably poor, forcing the driver to rely on the optional rearview camera when maneuvering in reverse.

Overall comfort is hampered by flat and stiff seatbacks, and rear seat passengers will fare even worse because of the low roof line. Trunk space is decent, but the narrow opening requires quite a bit of jostling in order to fit bulky items. Golf clubs will not fit width-wise, and will eat up the available space, as they must be placed diagonally.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Cadillac CTS tracks through curves with much more athleticism than you might expect. The steering is precise and well-weighted, making the CTS competitive with its European rivals. However, this road-holding performance comes at the expense of ride quality. Those expecting the luxurious ride of Cadillacs past will likely find the FE2 suspension on the Performance trim models too firm for their tastes. The even stiffer FE3 sport suspension, then, would likely be far too harsh and unforgiving for most.

Power delivery from the base 3.0-liter V6 is sluggish compared to the broad-shouldered 3.6-liter engine. Considering that both engines achieve virtually identical fuel economy, we suggest springing for the bigger V6 if your budget allows.


Talk About The 2011 CTS

2011 Cadillac CTS Discussions See all Started By


Hey Everyone, as the title suggests, I am looking to buy either a 2010-2011 E63 AMG, 2nd Gen CTS-V, or an F10 550i M-Package. I would like to hear your opinions on which one I should buy and for what...

I can't really comment on the selling price, as I'm not in the market. But, the last time I shopped a Cadillac was in 2011, and I remember a CTS going for about $50K!! Holy Cow, has that price shot...

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