2008 Cadillac CTS: The CTS Lean
July 24, 2008
Our long-term Cadillac CTS looks pretty bad, in Michael Jackson's sense of the term. Bad enough that I'm tempted to do the gangsta lean when I'm behind the wheel. Trouble is, the CTS has other ideas, thanks to its unfortunate dead-pedal-to-throttle relationship. Forget the gangsta lean -- the "CTS lean" is what our Caddy imposes on its drivers. (Photo explanation after the jump.)
It's been awhile since we've busted out the brush tool on this blog, so I decided to bring it back for diagramming purposes. Here's what's wrong, IMHO. The dead pedal, (1), is angled too far forward, and it's also located too far forward of (2), the gas pedal. Consequently, in order to rest my left foot on (1), I not only have to point my toes forward like a ballet dancer (or like Snake Doc on the elliptical machine) -- I also have to slide the seat cushion up farther than I'd like in order to reach the throttle.
Result? My left leg's out straight, yet my right leg's bent, which makes me feel all out of whack. Diggin' the scene with a CTS lean, if you will. Adding injury to insult, the swooping center stack, (3), swoops right into my bent right knee -- and the encircled plastic trim in the photo is hard, not soft (BMW, Audi and even Hyundai are known to put soft stuff in this region), which makes me want to slide the seat back and give my knee some breathing room. Oops; can't do that, because then my left foot can't reach the dead pedal.
Am I nitpicking? I don't think so. There's an element of athleticism in the act of driving, and I think it's fair to expect a car with athletic pretensions, like the CTS, to offer a driving position that makes the driver feel planted and ready to go. In my book, this entails putting the dead pedal at a natural angle and on roughly the same plane as the gas pedal. Every other current sport sedan I can think of gets this right, with the exception of a certain CTS relative -- the Pontiac G8.
Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com @ 10,275 miles