2008 Cadillac CTS: Talking Turkey with the TL
December 01, 2008
Would you park this car in your driveway? I could, happily, as the CTS continues to impress as the perhaps the most well-rounded GM product available in eons. We scooted down to San Diego from L.A. for the Turkey Day holiday, where I managed some real-world feedback regarding one of the CTS's closest competitors.
My bro-in-law's father-in-law Tom was also in S.D., having just piloted his month-old 2009 Acura TL out from Illinois. Fresh out of his seat in the TL, I stuck him in the CTS to get some feedback. His take? The first thing Tom noticed in the CTS was the tighter turning radius and far-cleaner dash layout. He felt the ELS audio system in the TL was superior to the Bose setup in the CTS (neither impressed me for the $$). Tom asked how he'd "download his phone" and I had to explain that our CTS did not have Bluetooth, but that it was available in late '08 models and all 2009 models. Overall, Tom was truly impressed by the CTS, and mentioned it was easily a car he could see himself (a retired exec) or many of his friends driving.
Hopping in his TL, I noted initial throttle response was not as sharp as in the Caddy (thank the direct-injection), but the TL pulled harder from the mid-range on up, and sounded far sweeter when you revved it out. The TL is well sorted, but the rear-drive Caddy has better steering feedback and more satisfying dynamics, not surprising considering how much power the front-drive TL sends through the wheels that also steer the car. Compared to the CTS, the new TL's interior is a button fest, and sitting in it after the CTS really makes you appreciate the Caddy's understated style, and more subtle application of technology. If you're a gizmo-freak, the TL is definitely the ride for you. For those who want a just slightly less tech-laden car, in a surprisingly classy package, the sweet CTS is worth a hard look.
Paul Seredynski, Executive Editor @ 17,566 miles