2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: Day 1: West Hollywood, CA to Grants, NM
December 11, 2008
The CTS might be Cadillac's attempt at a German-style sports sedan, but it is also every bit the Turnpike Cruiser. There's an ease - a lightness - to the whole operation. The steering system doesn't tire you with the need for constant correction. The suspension doesn't crash. The body doesn't hop or float. She likes 80 mph and is unmoved by strong crosswinds. So far, the CTS is a good road companion.
This is especially true on the largely straight and flat southern route we've chosen for the trip, using I-10 and I-40 as our primary eastward paths. The Cadillac's navigation system suggested we use the center route, through the Rockies. This is because computers are stupid and don't know from snow. Has the Cadillac's nav system been stuck in a blizzard near Eagle, Colorado where semi-trucks slide helplessly backward down a steep grade? No sir, it has not.
Light traffic and relentless forward progress means that we didn't often worry about the CTS's poor rear-three-quarter visibility. Those fat C-pillars, which look so good from the outside, block out a fair amount of the world. We've therefore chosen to ignore what is behind us.
One other issue: The edge of the center stack irritates my right leg. It's too close and its edge is too sharp. I've modified my driving position so that the edge is tucked in the fleshy crevice between my right kneecap and whatever we call that skeletal knob about an inch below and outboard of my knee.
Other items of note: Arizona creeps me out. The place is overrun with cops (often in Ford Escapes?!) and roadside municipal spy devices. I was relieved to cross into New Mexico where I could have a not entirely tasty meal at a charming local eatery called "Denny's." Here the piped-in Christmas tunes largely drown out the teenage girls in the next booth chattering about their children.
Also, I saw the first and what I believe to be the only Mitsubishi Raider pickup truck in the wild, just north of Phoenix.
The CTS consumed a bit more than two tanks of gas to cover the 776.5 miles, and the Cadillac's trip computer claims we got 24 mpg during the trip at an average speed of 66.8 mph.
Daniel Pund, Senior Editor, Detroit @ 18,762 miles