Used 2015 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Review
Edmunds expert review
The 2015 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe has unmistakable styling and intoxicating power, but its compromised visibility, subpar space efficiency and dated interior limit its appeal. Overall, we think you'll be happier with one of the CTS-V's fresher rivals.
What's new for 2015
The 2015 Cadillac CTS-V coupe marks the end of the line for this distinctively styled, high-performance two-door, and it's still a pretty appealing package. If you delight in raw power, the CTS-V will satisfy your craving with its ridiculously powerful supercharged V8 engine. Unfortunately, this Cadillac makes some pretty big concessions in the name of style, so it's not necessarily a car you'd want to drive every day. Moreover, it's based on the previous-generation CTS platform, so it lacks the current sedan's numerous refinements.
For starters, front headroom is tight, and it only gets worse if you order yours with the sunroof. In addition, the CTS-V coupe's dramatically angled rear window extends over the rear seats, limiting rear headroom and making it pretty unpleasant back there with the sun beating down. You'll also have to pack light, as the trunk's narrow opening and intrusive hinges are barriers for bulky items. The interior design, meanwhile, dates to 2008 and looks the part; most rivals give you a more contemporary vibe.
Of course, you can distract yourself from these issues whenever you like by unleashing the CTS-V coupe's 556-horsepower supercharged V8. With either the six-speed manual transmission or the six-speed automatic, the CTS-V will rocket you to 60 mph in the low-4-second range, which is right in line with the competition. Plus, thanks to its sophisticated adaptive suspension, the CTS-V coupe rides pretty comfortably for this class of car. Handling is compromised somewhat by the coupe's bulk and heft, but cornering limits remain very high.
If you have the enviable task of shopping in this segment, you'll definitely want to sample Cadillac's competition. The 2015 BMW M4 offers a torque-rich turbocharged six-cylinder engine, superior handling and a slick interior, lacking only the CTS-V's intoxicating V8 burble. The 2015 Audi RS 5 is about as old as the Caddy, but it's aging more gracefully, and its high-revving naturally aspirated V8 is a joy to wind out. Like the CTS-V coupe, the V8-powered 2015 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG is in the twilight of its career, but its sophisticated cabin and NASCAR-lite exhaust note make it a compelling choice. Overall, we'd have to give the nod to these vehicles over the Cadillac considering their fewer drawbacks.
Trim levels & features
The high-performance 2015 Cadillac CTS-V coupe seats four and comes in a single limited-edition trim level.
Standard features include 19-inch satin graphite wheels with summer performance tires, Brembo brakes, a limited-slip differential, a magnetically controlled adaptive suspension, adaptive xenon headlights with washers, foglights, rear parking sensors, a blind-spot warning system and automatic wipers.
Also standard are comfort and convenience features like keyless entry and ignition, remote ignition (automatic-transmission models only), dual-zone automatic climate control, a cabin odor filtration system, Recaro front sport seats with eight-way power adjustments, heated and ventilated front seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver memory functions, leather and simulated-suede upholstery, a split-folding rear seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Electronic features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, OnStar emergency communications, a rearview camera, a navigation system (with a pop-up 8-inch touchscreen interface and real-time traffic and weather updates) and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with a CD/DVD player, satellite radio, digital music storage, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.
The options list consists of polished 19-inch silver wheels (no charge), premium paint and a tilt-only sunroof.
Performance & mpg
The rear-wheel-drive 2015 Cadillac CTS-V is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that produces 556 hp and 551 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic is a no-cost option.
In Edmunds testing, a manual-shift CTS-V coupe went from zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, which is actually 0.2 second quicker than our best time in a manual 2015 M4.
EPA-estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg combined (14 city/19 highway) with the manual and 14 combined (12/18) with the automatic. That's comparable to the C63 AMG, but well behind most modern performance cars.
Standard safety features for the 2015 Cadillac CTS-V coupe include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard are a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, a blind-spot warning system and GM's OnStar telematics (including automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, an emergency button, remote door unlock and a stolen-vehicle locator with active intervention).
In Edmunds brake testing, the CTS-V stopped from 60 mph in 107 feet, which is on par with rivals in this class.
Many automakers are phasing out V8 engines these days, so the 556-hp supercharged V8 in the 2015 Cadillac CTS-V coupe is something special. Any time you hit the gas with any sort of enthusiasm, you'll be treated to instant power and shock-and-awe acceleration. This V8 is certainly something special. Less appealing, though, is the automatic transmission. It gets the job done, but lacks the precision and shifting speed now expected in this segment. Fortunately, the six-speed manual is easy to use for those who don't mind three pedals.
Around turns, the CTS-V coupe is no lightweight, yet it handles very well, with the adaptive suspension keeping all four wheels solidly planted on the pavement. Driver confidence is bolstered by accurate steering, and the powerful Brembo brakes deliver consistent, linear stopping performance. The Cadillac does feel larger and more cumbersome than, say, the M4 or RS 5, making it ultimately less entertaining on tight roads. On the upside, the adaptive suspension absorbs surface imperfections easily, yielding remarkable ride comfort for such a beastly machine.
The 2015 Cadillac CTS-V coupe's dashboard sports an angular design that matches the exterior edginess. Soft-touch materials are plentiful, accented by faux-suede inserts and tasteful wood trim. The chrome-rimmed gauges have a dated look, however, as do the buttons on the center stack. There's nothing to be ashamed of in here, but you'll notice the coupe's advanced age relative to the current CTS sedan.
The standard touchscreen navigation system is one of the CTS-V's more distinctive features. When called upon, it motors up from the top of the dash, then retracts almost fully, leaving a small section visible as a display for the audio system. It's a smart and elegant solution; still, the competition offers newer infotainment systems that are generally more capable and responsive.
The formerly optional Recaro sport seats are standard for 2015 and vastly superior in both comfort and lateral support to the previous base seats (we've always recommended the Recaros as an upgrade). Rear visibility is poor, though, forcing the driver to rely on the rearview camera, parking sensors and blind-spot warning system. The optional tilt-only sunroof significantly limits front-seat headroom, even for those of average height. Headroom is a problem in any case for rear seat passengers due to the large, aggressively raked rear window, which also exposes them to direct sunlight overhead.
Trunk space seems acceptable on paper at 10.5 cubic feet, but the narrow opening is troublesome when you're loading larger items. Also problematic are the large gooseneck hinges on the lid that swing far down into the cargo area, crushing anything in their path.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.