2006 Cadillac CTS Review

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent handling, spacious cabin, wide array of available features, alternative look.
  • Interior still can't match the class leaders, larger size keeps it from providing nimble feel of its competitors.
List Price Range
$6,495 - $8,990

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Sharp reflexes and a powerful V6 make the 2006 Cadillac CTS a viable choice among entry-level luxury sport sedans, but it still can't match the class leaders when it comes to overall execution and fun behind the wheel.

Vehicle overview

As the first Cadillac car to employ the company's new design philosophy, the CTS is a bold step forward for a division that is trying to regain its status as a top-tier luxury carmaker. Cadillac is hoping to attract customers by offering sport sedan performance combined with the room and comfort of a midsize vehicle.

The Cadillac CTS is a clean sheet design based on GM's all-new "Sigma" vehicle architecture. This new rear-wheel-drive platform is substantially stiffer and lighter than previous designs, allowing for more precise tuning and better overall performance. Extensive testing on Germany's famed Nurburgring test track against benchmark cars like BMW's 5 Series gives the CTS a confident, tossable feel.

The CTS also offers a sport suspension package that provides stiffer tuning, speed-sensitive steering and high-performance brake linings that complement the powerful four-wheel disc brakes. The interior is as cutting-edge-looking as the exterior. Sharp angles peacefully coexist with soft-touch materials to keep the cabin modern but comfortable. There's more room than in most of the Cadillac's competitors so four adults can fit comfortably. High-tech gear includes Bose audio components, the OnStar communications system and an optional DVD-based navigation system. Materials quality is still a step behind the competition, though, and despite the cabin's generally upscale ambience, its layout feels awkward compared with the more cohesive designs in similarly priced peers.

Priced against the usual stable of European and Japanese competitors, the CTS is sized a notch bigger. While this is great in terms of cabin space, it keeps the car from exhibiting the same nimble feeling that BMW's 3 Series has honed to near perfection. Move it up to the less athletic midsize category, and the CTS gets overwhelmed in the luxury department by beautifully crafted cruisers like the Acura TL and Audi A6. For those looking for a car that deftly manages to blend the sporty handling of its smaller rivals with the comfort of their larger, less athletic siblings, the 2006 Cadillac CTS is a compelling combination. It may not be the class leader in any one category, but it certainly holds its own.

2006 Cadillac CTS models

The Cadillac CTS comes in a single trim level but numerous option packages enable buyers to add varying levels of additional luxury- and sport-oriented features. Standard equipment includes leather seating, side and head-protecting side-curtain airbags, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat, dual-zone climate control, a CD player, the OnStar communications system, ABS and traction control. Upgrades through the Luxury package include items like a power passenger seat, a two-driver memory package, heated front seats, HomeLink and wood trim on the steering wheel and shift lever. Additional options include a sunroof and an upgraded Bose audio package with a DVD-based navigation system and satellite radio. There are also two sport packages available. The 17-inch wheel package includes a sport-tuned suspension, restyled wheels and tires, a limited-slip differential, and the StabiliTrak stability control system. The 18-inch wheel package has these features plus stronger brakes and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

2006 Highlights

The Cadillac CTS receives only minor trim and package revisions for 2006. Most significantly, there's a new 18-inch performance tire-and-wheel package available for 3.6-liter V6-equipped cars. Like the 17-inch wheel package it includes HID headlights, a sport-tuned suspension, and stability control, but also has a tire-pressure monitoring system and stronger brakes. Other changes include a new XM Nav Traffic feature and enhanced driver control for the automatic transmission.

Performance & mpg

Two engines are offered on the Cadillac CTS: a 2.8-liter V6 with 210 hp and 194 lb-ft of torque and a 3.6-liter V6 rated at 255 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. Power is directed to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual or an optional five-speed automatic transmission.

Safety

The Cadillac CTS offers standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction control, seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants and side curtain airbags that protect both front and rear passengers; stability control is optional. In tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the CTS earned four out of five stars for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal impacts. Side-impact tests resulted in a four-star rating for front passengers and a five-star rating for rear passengers. The IIHS named the CTS a "Best Pick" after conducting its 40-mph frontal offset crash test.

Driving

Anyone expecting a soft, cushy ride from this Cadillac car is going to be surprised. The CTS is a true sport sedan, with a tightly controlled ride and sharp steering. The six-speed manual's shifter has a solid feel to it, and the 3.6-liter V6 gives the CTS some serious punch. Ride quality isn't quite as refined as that of some competitors, but even so, the 2006 Cadillac CTS makes for a swift and entertaining conveyance that should appeal to entry-luxury buyers looking for something a little different. If you want hard-core performance, however, you'll want to check out the high-powered CTS-V model.

Interior

Although the Cadillac CTS competes in the entry-level luxury sport sedan category, its physical dimensions more closely resemble that of larger midsize luxury sedans like BMW's 5 Series and Audi's A6. The result is a spacious cabin that more easily seats five adults. The bucket seats in front are supremely comfortable, offering a wide range of movement, supportive side bolsters and a power lumbar adjustment. Still, the CTS can't match its European and Japanese competitors for overall design elegance.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2006 Cadillac CTS.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

It makes we wanna SHOUT!!!
dobyns,03/21/2012
4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6M)
This CTS is so much fun to drive my wife and I have to debate every day who is going to drive it that day. With its' sporty exterior I turn heads every where I go. The factory sound system is amazing quality. The seats are extremely comfortable and the dual climate zones make it even better. My 3 children never complain of being squished in the back seat since we have gotten it and I don't have to worry about their safety with the 6-point airbag system. I think I am falling in love all over again! (Don't tell my wife) LOL
awsome car
dds,12/07/2009
4dr Sedan (2.8L 6cyl 6M)
recently i bought a 2006 CTS 2.8L i'm a mechanic for GM and i love this car!!. and 2.8L does compete with the 3.6L, there is hardly any chance of feeling the 60hp difference other than racing purposes. which buy the CTS-v not the 3.6L or 2.8L. they are poor in the snow if not treated properly (drive for the conditions) I have a corvette as well and people who compare 3.6L and 2.8L engine clearly don't know what a real sports car feels like. or are that ignorant, to do these type of comparisons. thank you to all the people who took the car for what it is made for and not blow it out of proportion, remember it is a four door sedan with a V6 either of them 3.6L or 2.8L. all an all beautiful car
CTS Lemon
cadictsawful,04/16/2013
4dr Sedan (2.8L 6cyl 6M)
I loved my CTS when I got it in 2006 because it was so beautiful. It never had a lot of power and the "traction control" would come on each time I pulled out from a stop. I could live with that. I started having issues around the 2nd year... most of which was covered. Now I am at year 7 and I have had nothing but issues for 2 years. I have had to put several thousand dollars in for repairs. Rear differential broke TWICE, Air bag issue, Wipers don't work, catalytic converter, misfires all the time, purge valve, spark plugs, and the list goes on. I still owe 4K because it was a lease at first. Shouldn't a Caddy last at least a decade or 120000 miles? Very sad and disappointing.
Incredible Car!
Caddygirl,08/25/2009
4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6M)
The Cadillac CTS is very comfortable, has power when you need it and has an overall sexy appearance. I have been quickly sold on Cadillac since purchasing this vehicle. I bought my Cadillac CTS with 32,000 miles on it. It was a leased vehicle and I purchased it as a certified pre- owned. The heated leather seats, wood trimmed steering/console and plush pile carpeting add a luxurious coponent to the superb handling. My only complaint is the plastic grill on the front but I believe they have addressed this in the 2008 and 2009 models. As they say on the commercial...."when you turn your car on does it return the favor?"...the answer is a resounding YES! I LOVE THIS CAR!

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2006 Cadillac CTS

Used 2006 Cadillac CTS Overview

The Used 2006 Cadillac CTS is offered in the following submodels: CTS Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6M), 4dr Sedan (2.8L 6cyl 6M), and Sport 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2006 Cadillac CTS?

Price comparisons for Used 2006 Cadillac CTS trim styles:

  • The Used 2006 Cadillac CTS Base is priced between $6,495 and$8,990 with odometer readings between 67712 and119604 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2006 Cadillac CTSES are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2006 Cadillac CTS for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2006 CTSES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,495 and mileage as low as 67712 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2006 Cadillac CTS.

Can't find a used 2006 Cadillac CTSs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Cadillac CTS for sale - 11 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $10,260.

Find a used Cadillac for sale - 3 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $15,467.

Find a used certified pre-owned Cadillac CTS for sale - 3 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $14,737.

Find a used certified pre-owned Cadillac for sale - 10 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $19,040.

Should I lease or buy a 2006 Cadillac CTS?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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