2008 Cadillac CTS Long Term Road Test - Interior

2008 Cadillac CTS Long Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (2)
  • Comparison (1)
  • Long-Term

2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: Parting Shots

July 06, 2009


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It's time to say goodbye to the Caddy. The Long Term Test of our 2009 Cadillac CTS V6 DI is over. It's sold. And so, to fill the void until the Long Term Wrap is posted, we bring you another installment of Parting Shots.

Automotive Editor James Riswick: "I was very excited when we got our CTS, but it was ultimately a disappointment. Its wonky driving position, incessant squeakiness and chronic trouble spots darkened its many bright spots." James Riswick, Automotive Editor

Associate Editor Mark Takahashi: "After driving the CTS back-to-back with our Hyundai Genesis for our Luxury Sedan Showdown (http://blogs.edmunds.com/strategies/2009/03/luxury-sedan-showdown-2008-cadillac-cts-di-v6-vs-2009-hyundai-genesis-v6.html), I realized Cadillac was reliant almost solely on its reputation and market perception. They're years away from becoming competitive based on quality." Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor

Managing Editor Donna Derosa:"I'm gonna miss my funky old-man car."

Automotive Editor Brian Moody "I've noticed it's becoming increasingly popular to knock all sorts of cars for all sorts of little issues, the Caddy being one victim - that's too bad b/c the CTS is an excellent car all around. I'd rather have it than a BMW 5 Series.

I would gladly spend my own money on this car - the nav system is excellent and stereo is decent. I like the way the car looks with just the right balance of painted surfaces and chrome trim. The interior is nice too although I don't need that gigantic sunroof. Another bright spot - the direct injection V6. It's good enough to get many folks to rethink the need for a V8 in luxury sedan. Thumbs up from me - when driven the way a grown up would drive it, this car is wonderful."

Inside Line Editor in Chief Scott Oldham: I'd buy one. This car proves Cadillac can design and build competitive stuff. But it needs a V8 option. And not the monster supercharged LS9 in the CTS-V. What I want is a CTS wagon with an LS3 V8, rear-wheel drive and big OFF button for the traction control."

Executive Editor Michael Jordan: "So promising, but better as a slow car than as a fast one."

Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds: "I liked the CTS, and I think it proved that GM's 3.6-liter direct injection V6 engine is more than up to the task of filling-in for a V8. And the chassis and brakes are the real deal, too--I was able to prove that to myself when I had the chance to drive one at speed around the Nurburgring Nordschleife for a few laps during a private session.

The CTS had a well-integrated audio and nav system with an attractive and functional pop-up screen. But the CTS' thin veneer of plasti-chrome tackiness (and that cheesy legacy analog clock) would have been enough for me to sign the check and shakes the dealer's hand."

Senior Editor Erin Riches: "I loved the driving position, the state-of-the-art electronics and the rear-drive thing, but the continual electronic glitches, early-onset rattling and mushy brake pedal feel wore me down. Ultimately, the Pontiac G8 is closer to the Cadillac I want GM to build than this CTS."

Senior Editor Bryn MacKinnon: "I'll never get past the CTS' exterior styling. Unrelentingly blocky. It reminded me of something a kid would draw. I did love that rich red paint, though."

Vehicle Testing Manager Mike Schmidt: "If memory serves me correctly, those are the same seats I had in my refrigerator-box fort as a kid. And just as comfortable."

Automotive Content Editor Warren Clarke: "Fun to drive and nicely put together. However, its sheet metal leaves me cold, so you'd never find one in my driveway."

Associate Editor, Josh Sadlier: "The CTS is an "almost there" car. Performance-wise, it's already there, but the wonky pedal placement needs fixing, the squeaks and rattles are unacceptable, and the interior isn't as nice up close as it is from a distance. If there's a third generation of this car, that could be the charm."

Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant

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2008 Cadillac CTS: MPG, Squeaks and the Importance of Demographics

May 26, 2009

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When I got into the 2008 Cadillac CTS two weeks ago the average fuel economy on the dash was 17 mpg (our records show the lifetime average at 19 mpg). I zeroed it out and began my highway commute of 62 miles per day and now it's a pretty respectable 23.6 mpg.

It's my job to sell the long term cars when we are done testing them. I often get an earful from other staff members along the lines of, "Who would want to buy that piece of junk? Can you believe how many rattles it's got?" This makes it harder for me to sell the car since I have to believe in its value. And there is value in every car for someone.

Case in point.

I drove to Santa Barbara to attend my son's senior music recital and I had to pick up a family friend in the Cadillac. She is in her 80s. As she approached the car she said, "Ooo, a Cadillac!" The whole time she was in the car she was praising what she perceived as the luxury and comfort of our Caddy.

So, GM pretty much nailed that demographic. But then, I guess you knew that. And, no, she doesn't have blue hair.

But here's an area where the designers really dropped the ball. You can't get even one set of golf clubs lengthwise in the trunk! I was going to play golf with two friends and we had three bags and three guys -- not an unrealistic demand. We had to fold down the back seat and still the clubs weren't easy to get in. And when you pulled the bags out the clubs dumped all over the place and -- Well, it was a pain. My 2007 Honda Fit handles golf clubs better than the Cadillac.

As for the rattles and squeaks, maybe I'm losing my hearing. Or maybe a lot of the squeaks were the creaking of the leather. But I do agree with Erin Riches that the fabric covering over the wiring under the front seats which has pulled loose is very annoying.

By the way, the asking price for the Cadillac is over $30,000. Any takers?

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2008 Cadillac CTS: A Review of the Backseat

May 01, 2009


Among entry-level luxury sedans, the 2008 Cadillac CTS is pretty accommodating in the rear-seat department, but it's not perfect. The 3 Series is perfect of course, or maybe I'm kidding.

To start, I can easily do the sit-behind-myself test in the Cadillac, which is good since I'm 5'-10" -- so four average-size adults could ride comfortably in the CTS. Unfortunately, the bench is mounted low, so even though there's ample legroom for my 34" inseam, the seat-bottom cushion doesn't quite support my thighs. It's not terrible, but I might whine about this on a 5-hour road trip. Still, the fact that I'd even consider taking a road trip in the backseat of the CTS says plenty -- I wouldn't do that in our A4 Avant.

It's pretty obvious why the bench is mounted as low as it is when you assess the headroom situation. There's not a lot to spare over my head and I'm not the kind of person who needs a lot. Still, carrying a six-footer back here shouldn't be a problem (unless that person is also whiny about thigh support). For shorter people, it's worth noting that the low bench doesn't impede outward visibility too much (because the car's beltline is not too high). Also, the rake of the seat-back cushion is comfortable.

Rear-seat amenities in the CTS consist of individual reading lights and a fold-down center armrest with cupholders. I'm a little disappointed with the adjustable vents on the back of the console. I don't necessarily expect discrete temperature control at this price ($46,690), but some kind of rudimentary warm/cool adjustment would be nice.

P.S. I forgot to give the CTS big credit for having a lot of footroom under the front chairs. This is never a sure thing when you have deluxo-power-adjustable seats up front, and it makes a huge difference for long-legged people in back.

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Brakes Don't Feel Great

April 22, 2009


I've driven our long-term 2008 Cadillac CTS very rarely and whenever I do get into the car, my first thought is: "Why don't I drive this car more often?" The seats feel good, the driving position feels spot-on and the center-stack electronics feel state-of-the-art. And the exterior styling, while not to my taste, is like nothing else on the road.

Within a few minutes, though, this feeling is dampened by:

-all the rattles that have plagued our long-term CTS since the 10,000-mile mark;

-the glitchy audio/navigation system (XM shut down for 30 minutes last night -- it wasn't a signal problem; the screen just went blank. After a restart, all was well again).

Today, the brakes got on my nerves, too. They work. But the bite isn't immediate in our long-term car and pedal feel borders on mush. Our CTS just doesn't stop with the authority I'd expect of a sport sedan.

To be fair, our FE2 long-term car has different braking hardware than the FE3 test car we liked so much. We're talking smaller rotors (12.4-inch discs at each corner instead of 13.6-inch discs up front and 13.4-inch discs in back) and aluminum instead of cast iron calipers (same piston count, though, with two per caliper up front and a single in back).

Tires are undoubtedly a huge factor as well. Our CTS wears quite worn Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 P235/50R18 all-season tires, which don't really compare to the newish, high-performance Pilot Sport PS2s of the same size on that earlier test car. Even when these all-season Michelins were new, they were only good for a 117-foot stop from 60 mph (compared to 109 for the CTS with summer tires).

At the time, Chief Road Test Editor Chris Walton commented, "These brakes don't feel a bit like the previous CTS test car's -- especially during full ABS stops. Lots of hop and shudder as tires hunt. So much shudder, in fact, to throw the shifter from Drive into Neutral."

If I got my own 2008 or 2009 Cadillac CTS, I wouldn't bother with the mid-grade FE2 suspension version and its inferior brakes and tires. The additional $1,500 for the FE3 suspension, brake and tire upgrades (plus any additional cost for winter tires mounted on steelies) is worth it.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 28,034 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS DI V6 vs. 2009 Hyundai Genesis V6: Smackdown

March 29, 2009


"Gentlemen," Cmdr. Mike "Viper" Metcalf memorably advised, "This is about combat. There are no points for second place."

And so it is with our latest Edmunds Daily comparison test, which pits two of our long-term luxury cruisers against each other -- CTS vs. Genesis -- in a no-holds-barred battle for sybaritic sedan supremacy.

Check it out, and tell us which one you would have picked, and why.

Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Nice View Through the Roof

March 23, 2009


I kind of miss all the over-the-top names GM used to give its engines, transmissions and any other new fangled piece of hardware it was trying to promote - Fireball V8, Dynaflow transmission, etc.

Turns out, the General still pulls out a good name or two every once in awhile. You see, this isn't your run-of-the-mill sunroof, this is an UltraView roof. Opens up nearly 70% of the roof to both the front and rear passengers, says so right there in the brochure.

It's easy to forget about when it's closed as the cover fits so snugly, but when its open the effect on the cabin is noticeable. Sure, it only actually opens half way, but just having the clear glass achieves much of the same effect.

I also noticed that for a car with just over 27,000 miles on it, our CTS still feels rock solid. Yeah, it has its shares of small squeaks, but nothing that I wouldn't expect from a car with two years worth of miles on it.

Ed Hellwig, Inside Line @ 27,079 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Yes We Can

March 09, 2009

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Germanic ride/handling characteristics? Yes we can. Striking styling inside and out, with mostly high-quality cabin materials? Yes we can. Burly V6 with a properly sporting engine note? Yes we can (and no, Nissan/Infiniti can't). A car that's so good it doesn't require the familiar "...for an American car" qualifier? Yes we can.

But, um, yeah. Savage rattling and squeaking from the seats and a bunch of other places, even when the car's simply taking a set while cornering? At 26,250 miles, unfortunately, yes we can.

Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Squeak Squeak Squeak Senora

March 05, 2009


The Cadillac CTS has a visually arresting interior with excellent materials. It had a stitched dashtop long before the new $82,000 BMW 7 Series did. I'm not sure if I'm completely sold on the electronics lay-out, but I could certainly live with it. In other words, the CTS should be a perfect place to spend hours on the road.

Except that it squeaks more than a flock of mice that wandered into a River Dance rehearsal. It drives me nuts. Watch the video.

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Still into it

February 18, 2009

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With about 26,000 miles on the clock, the Cadillac CTS is still a very good car. The front seat flaps Erin complained about are obviously a punt but it wouldn't keep me from buying the car.

So far I have just two issues with the car. 1) Once every other week or so, my iPod won't sync to the audio system. 2) I wish there was a thicker cover for the massive sunroof - I'd like the choice to totally block out the sun, as it stands there's just one thin cover. At times, it simply lets too much light into the cabin

Dynamically, the Caddy feels as tight as when it was new. The car's on board computer is now registering 22.4 mpg pretty much all the time - that seems fair for a sedan as quick and roomy as the CTS and considering it probably gets driven harder than the average CTS. Finally, I still like the exterior look, some cars with dramatic design elements can begin to look dated or unusual just a year into a redesign - not so with the CTS. What do you think, does the CTS still look good or is it already a relic?

Brian Moody, Automotive Editor @ 25,746 miles.

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Shortcuts That Try My Patience

February 10, 2009


Although I liked hanging with the 2008 Cadillac CTS last weekend , I wasn't blind to the annoying little problems in our particular vehicle.

I didn't experience any of the recently reported nav system glitches, but just as Chris noted, the passenger-side mirror would tilt down as I backed out of a parking space and still be tilted down when I got on the freeway. This happened six times on Friday night, but then, the mirror behaved itself the rest of the weekend.

My front passenger also pointed out the issue in the above photo. This is the fabric cover that attempts to conceal the wires at the base of each of the Cadillac's front seats. It's not a very elegant solution and, as you'll see, it's not really even a solution anymore.

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Detroit to Los Angeles Part 1

January 23, 2009


I arrived in Detroit Saturday night after three days behind the wheel of our long-term BMW X5. On Sunday and Monday I attended media days at the Detroit Auto Show. Then, on Tuesday morning, Inside Line's Lead Senior Editor Ed Hellwig and I fired up our long-term 2008 Cadillac CTS and headed back to Santa Monica. Here is Part 1 of that story.

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Likes and Dislikes

December 05, 2008


Some things I like about our 2008 Cadillac CTS:

The day/night button for the nav screen (circled in blue in the above photo). You don't have to scroll through menus to find how to switch the nav to daylight bright or nighttime dim. Just push that button.

The volume and tuning KNOBS which are positioned above all the other buttons so that they're easy to grab without taking your eyes off the road.

How the driver-side climate controls are paired with the heating/cooling seat buttons, again for easy access.

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Talking Turkey with the TL

December 01, 2008

2008 Cadillac CTS

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

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2008 Cadillac CTS: A Long Way

November 17, 2008

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Let's consider the smallest Caddy's path to greatness...OK, that's enough. Cadillac, you've come a long way baby - the CTS is great looking, fun to drive and loaded with tech features that are both useful and cool. By the way, when I drove a V6 powered Cimarron, I don't recall totally hating it - was I bonked in the head since rendering my memory unreliable? Things...getting...dark - voices... distant....

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Floppy Top

October 21, 2008


Time has loosened the cloth sun shade in the Cadillac CTS. It's got a little give to it now. So, when you drive with the windows down, it flops around loudly in the breeze.

I've never been in love with this shade anyway. I like to be able to completely block out the blistering California rays. But this shade is designed to let in some light.

By contrast, the shade in our BMW X5 is so drum tight you could bounce a coin off of it.

What's up with that, Floppy?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Low Range? Like, No Duh.

October 16, 2008


Can somebody please tell me how the Low Range readout on the left is more informative than the needle approaching the 0 on the right. Both are telling me in not so specific terms to get some gas soon. But other cars in the Cadillac's price range have range readouts that will count down all the way to 0 (my wife's VW Passat included). And it's that last 30 miles or so when the Range feature becomes so much more valuable than the old analog gas gauge.

But not in our 2008 Cadillac CTS. At 35 miles to go the readout stupidly switches to Low Range. In other words it becomes useless.

The worst part? I wrote a similar blog about our long-term Chevy Tahoe nearly a year ago. You'd think GM would listen to me and address this obviously growing problem.

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Window Switch Woes, Part Deux

September 05, 2008

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Unlike the CX-9's window switches, those in our long-term Cadillac CTS are working just fine. The problem is the way they feel. It's hard to tell from the picture, but the top edge of each switch is sharp in an unfinished sort of way. I can't think of another car in which this is the case -- power window switches always seem to have rounded edges, because (duh) fingertips prefer rounded to sharp.

This wouldn't be particularly remarkable in, say, a Cobalt XFE. But in a luxury sedan with a sticker north of $46k? Ouch. If Cadillac wants to build a world-beater, it's got to dot its i's and cross its t's. Magrath's fit-and-finish observations (most of which I can confirm) and this window-switch gaffe have got me thinking that The Mechanic has a point.

Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com @ 11,493 miles.

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: Noisy

August 18, 2008


It's been about three months since I've been in our Long Term 2008 Cadillac CTS and I think that it's spent that entire time being driven over cobblestones. Even with the radio on, the slightest road imperfection causes the CTS to erupt with noise.

Here's a list of things that squeak or rattle in our CTS.

Driver seat (this is particularly bad when turning, braking or accelerating. Or entering / exiting the vehicle)

Passenger seat

instrument cluster (chrome surrounds buzz and rattle)

rear seats


center console

Shift lever

Nav screen (intermittent when rising)

The driver seat-back also feels as if it's sagging down slightly to the right.

Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 10,943 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS: The CTS Lean

July 24, 2008

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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

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2008 Cadillac CTS: What Does This Thing Do?

July 01, 2008

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I admit that this post on the 2008 Cadillac CTS hasn't got a lot of meat on its bones. But anyone who has ridden in the car with me for more than an hour or so has asked the same question: "What's this thing do?"

It happened again last night. I had no answer except, "Nothing, apparently."

My best guess is that it hides a portal that, once opened, would reveal a black hole and catapult us all into another dimension. Either that or it hides a bolt that holds the console in place.

I'm tempted to pry it off, but I fear I'll break something. The owner's manual is no help, but a quick read did eliminate the "shift-lock override" theory.

Any other bright ideas?

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 7,733 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS: A Nice Ride

May 27, 2008

I spent this past Memorial Day weekend in our 2008 Cadillac CTS. I hadn't spent much time in the CTS since I attended the launch of the car in Germany about 10 months ago, where I drove a 6-speed manual equipped FE3 on the Nurburgring.

My wife and I didn't take it anywhere near as spectacular, as we stayed in-town this weekend--too many races to watch on the Tivo and whatnot. But even on the freeway cruise to Griffith Park Observatory and on the roads around my neighborhood, the new CTS was still impressive.

Ride and Handling: Our FE2 provides a good balance of ride and control--not too stiff over LA freeway joints and aged asphalt, yet no hint of float or excessive body roll. The damping sits right in the sweet spot. The steering is well-weighted and precise and the Caddy has a good sense of straight-ahead. This is definitiely not your grandfather's Cadillac. Because I like a bit more sporty edge in my own cars, I'd still probably go with the FE3. But there is nothing sub-par about the FE2.

Powertrain: Decent power from the 3.6-liter DI engine. People still look a little downcast when you say "V6," but this is old-school thinking in this case. Direct-injection gives the CTS over 300 horsepower, a figure that ought to be more than enough for most folks. I certainly had no regrets. If only the 6-speed automatic transmission had steering paddles like the, ahem, Aura.

Interior: I like the sweep of the dash and center stack--it looks quite nice. Most of the interior materials and detailing are good. But for me the interior chrome accents are a bit much. I could deal with the number of them if they looked more like metal than so many chrome parts from an Aurora plastic model kit. And I wish I could ditch that analog clock.

Seats: My wife thought the seats were very comfortable, a rare event for her. And that wasn't merely because they had mutli-stage seat heaters, either. No, they genuinely fit her 5'4" frame quite well. I wasn't as in love with them myself, as it feels like my upper back and shoulders don't touch the seats at all. Nevertheless, I felt just fine after an hour or so behind the wheel.

Styling: With the track increase came flared fenders and a wider stance. The rounded flares make it look tougher yet much less slab-sided than before, and the edgy design theme now looks less overpowering. I don't know if I'll ever make peace with the grille, but it is growing on me.

Headlights: The adaptive headlights provide great illumination in turns and the high beams really toss out the lumens. The "light-tubes" in the front and rear make for interesting-looking parking lamps.

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2008 Cadillac CTS: I Just Couldn't Buy One

May 22, 2008

I couldn't wait for us to get our Cadillac CTS. I eagerly pestered Phil Reed about what color we were getting and what items we would be adding to the options list. After my initial drive of a short-term car, I walked away very impressed by the solid driving manners that established a new sport sedan formula that is distinctly American. Most of all though, I loved the CTS' high style marks inside and out, high-quality interior materials and intelligent electronics interfaces that set it apart from the pack. This would be the car I'd buy in this price range.

But then I drove the LT car several times, and although my initial impressions held up, a few major negatives started to de-cloud my initial glee, which led me to the conclusion that I just couldn't buy one.

First, the seat backs are too hard and I feel like I'm sitting against them rather than in them. The bigger problem, though, is the same one I have with a great many General Motors vehicles: pedal placement. The accelerator and brake are located too far apart in terms of both width and depth. When I adjust the seat to comfortably reach the accelerator, it requires an uncomfortable ankle-twisting motion for me to be able to fan my foot to the brake. If I adjust the seat to comfortably reach the brake, I can toe the accelerator, but now I'm located too far away from the steering wheel. Either way, I'm terribly uncomfortable.

I know this is a problem many folks do not have with the CTS and other GM cars, as their particular height and/our driving position isn't bothered by the placement. But the fact remains that the CTS' pedals are placed farther apart that a majority of automatic-equipped cars. Here's some photographic proof, with the Holden-made Pontiac G8 V6 as a comparison (chosen to show that this isn't a global GM design choice). All pictures were taken from almost the exact same position.

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Noisy

May 13, 2008

2008 Cadillac CTS

Our Cadillac CTS's interior is noisy. It's fine when you're driving in a straight line. (Well, except for the wind noise.) But when you're making a turn the leather creaks loudly. You hear "Creak, creak, squeak creak." Read that part out loud, it's my best onomatopoeia...

When driving in a straight line, there is some wind noise on the highway. I think it must be the awkwardly placed side mirrors. They sit kind of high and stick out like Dumbo ears.

Other than that, I'm smitten with the CTS. Perhaps it's because I grew up around General Motors products. My father always bought Chevys. My brother had a Pontiac. I had an uncle who had a new Cadillac every two years. (We're Italian.) When I was old enough I learned to drive on our special-edition Caprice Classic. We even won a Chevette in a raffle contest once.

Now, whenever I drive the Cadillac CTS, it feels like home. It's like one of my Dad's powerful, comfortable sedans but decked out in leather. Leather that creaks, that is.

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Rear Visibility

May 05, 2008

2008 Cadillac CTS -- Brent Romans

It's hard to document this in a photo, but the CTS's rear visibility just plain sucks. The C-pillars are quite thick and the rear deck is high. In absolute terms, there are certainly worse vehicles. But as midsize sedans go, the CTS is below average...

Our car has rear parking sensors, and those certainly help. I'm a bit surprised that Cadillac isn't offering a back-up camera on the 2008 CTS, though.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 4,978 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Perfect Old Man Car

March 31, 2008

Photo by Caroline Pardilla

When I was a kid, I remember my grandfather taking great pride in his Cadillac DeVille. That car just seemed to go on forever lengthwise but it was deluxe. Ever since then, every time I think "Cadillac four-door," I can't help but think "old man." I'm sorry, but that's just what I associate it with. So when I was given the keys to our new 2008 Cadillac CTS, I naturally thought, "OK, I'll be an old man for the weekend."

And when I jumped behind the wheel of this huge red sedan for the first time?

I'd be lying if I said that I didn't feel like an old man at all. I did, like an old man enjoying the fruits of his retirement.

I can imagine my grandfather enjoying this car. All the deluxe amenities that would have made him soo happy, like the 10-way adjustable plush leather heated/cooled front seats, keyless access where you just pull the door handle and it opens without hesitation, and that nifty nav screen that tucks away into the dash if you don't want to use the navigation function. Plus even with all the buttons on the dash, I was still able to figure out which button worked what just by looking at them. No need to read the manual. Imagine that!

And another thing I liked about our Caddy that I'm sure Grandpa would have appreciated, too: The quiet V6. I could accelerate and would only hear the quiet thrum of the engine.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 3,724 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6: Kick Start

March 11, 2008

I love that the Caddy's front seats slide back so far but there's a price to pay. I slide the seats farther back than I normally would because..., well, because I can. The result is a lot of kicking and front seat backs that are frequently dirty. Hopefully, this will turn out differently with adult passengers...

One day I will invent an alternative vehicle that's powered entirely by kicking the driver's seat from behind - hours of driving for free. Dora sandals optional.

Brian Moody, Road Test Editor @ 2,985 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6: Feel Good Inc.

March 10, 2008

The CTS doesn't shout but I get it, get it anyway. It's got just enough bling to get noticed but doesn't beg for attention. I typically like big cars - the CTS feels both big and small. It has a nice exterior footprint for strip mall parking and one lane bridges yet doesn't feel small inside - lookin' at you 3-series.

The interior feels large thanks to front seats that slide waaaay back - a tilt and telescoping steering wheel helps too.

Steady, watch me navigate - this is by far one of the best factory installed nav systems around, it might even be the best...

Nice map detail, bright graphics, useful traffic info.

Thank goodness we didn't get the FE3 suspension option - the ride on this CTS is perfect just the way it is. The CTS' engine/ride/interior combination has convinced me that I'd rather have this car than a 3 or 5 series. Give me the bargain any day.

Brian Moody, Road Test Editor @ 2,951 miles.

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Past Long-Term Road Tests