2008 Cadillac CTS Long Term Road Test - Miscellaneous

2008 Cadillac CTS Long Term Road Test

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Finding a Buyer -- It Only Takes One

July 01, 2009


Early in the selling process for the 2008 Cadillac CTS we wrote about how a woman emailed us with an offer for $20,000.

She wrote: I could/would go 20k on the cad. off the mark I know, but what the hell.

Some of the people who commented agreed with this woman saying that our Caddy wasn't worth anything close to the $28,500 we were asking.

Well, I'm here to seek vindication for Edmunds.com TMV and for the "Cad." We just closed a deal for it at $27,500.

Here are the details.

The Cadillac was a perfect storm of options and all those bells and whistles that cost so much when it was new (we bought it for $42,272) had largely lost their value in the 18 months that we owned it. As a friend of mine has observed, used cars are helped most by "the big three" options: leather, sun roof and CD changer. Our red Cadillac was also helped by having the 3.6-liter direct-injection V6 and 18-inch wheels.

So while TMV with all options was still around $30,000, we decided that with the current incentives on a new CTS driving the price down, we would offer ours for $28,500. We advertised the Caddy in Craigslist and on Autotrader and waited for the phone to ring.

And waited.

Except for the woman who offered $20K, we also had a local guy sniffing around for $28,000. Finally, we got another offer from an insurance broker from the Bay Area for $27,000. With these two offers in hand, I did a quick email negotiation and closed at $27,500. A day later, I picked up our buyer (who bought it based on pictures and good faith) at the airport. He gave us a cashier's check and drove off an hour later heading north.

A few days later I got this email from the new owner: "I think Cadillac had me in mind when they built the CTS. It was a sweet ride home and only took 4 hours. I loved every minute of it! I thought of going all the way to Sacramento just to keep driving, but I got hungry."

As a footnote I should add that the buyer told me he had been looking for this trim/color for a long time and had even hired a broker to get him one at auction. But then he saw our ad and jumped on it. We're glad he did because they weren't exactly beating the door down to buy it. But then, as they say about buyers, "It only takes one."

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Open Thread

April 28, 2009


OK, time to get all riled up.

Have you driven a CTS? Write your own review in the comments.

This car is coming near the end of its long-term test. Anything you'd like us to cover that we haven't already?

Anyone want to arm wrestle over which is better, the CTS or anything German?

Let the games begin.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Answers

April 27, 2009


View from the cockpit

You posed some questions in the comments of the previous post:

Steering wheel: Yes, it is rather large but it has power-adjustable controls and doesn't feel too oversized when driving. And the feature buttons are a nice thumb-size so there's no fumbling about when advancing tracks or changing volume.

CTS Wagon vs. SRX: Yes, the wagon will come here and the SRX is getting smaller. So, it will be a matter of preference. How high do you like to sit?

The plastic thingy near the shifter: Dan answered this is a previous post:
2008 Cadillac CTS: What Does This Thing Do?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2008 Cadillac CTS: And Another Thing...

April 13, 2009


Why is the Cadillac CTS's key only half intelligent? I like that the key can remain in the linty depths of my pocket to gain entry to the car (I only need to pull the door handle). But why must I press the lock button on the key to lock the car? There's no mechanism, sensor, or exterior button on the handle I can touch/brush to lock the car with the key in my pocket. Lame.

Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 27,563 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS: RWD vs. AWD Differences Revealed

March 02, 2009

555 cts red close.jpg

Right out of the gate, the first respondent spotted the difference between our two 2008 Cadillac CTSeses, despite a self-admitted alcohol impairment at the time (at least we're assuming it was alcohol.)

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Will I still love you tomorrow?

February 04, 2009

San Francisco CTS

The CTS will be going away soon and it's too bad. I'll miss it.

I really like the CTS: decent handling combined with great ride quality, good steering (all of the aforementioned better than the C300), good brakes, great interior design and features, and sharp exterior styling.

Do I mean sharp styling as in handsome, or as in sharp edges? Well -- both.

And this is the one concern area if I were to consider buying this car: will the car's sharp-edged styling hold up over time?

You see, when I buy a new car, I want to keep it for at least 5 years, maybe 10.
(Edmunds/IL readers, though, should buy a new vehicle every 3 years to keep this Economy going!)
But what about the design of the CTS? If I were to buy one and keep it, would it end up being a $40K regret down the road?

Allow me to paint a heavy-handed styling classification, in broad strokes:

1. There are some cars that look good when they are released, and look good 10 years later (e.g., Ferrari Daytona, original Viper GTS (blue with white stripes, of course), C4 and C6 Corvette, Datsun 240Z).

2. There are some cars that were ugly when released, ugly later (e.g., Pinto, most everything AMC, new Ferrari California, etc, the list goes on...).

3. There are a few cars that were ugly when they came out, then got (way) better looking (e.g., '84 Testarossa, and ??).

4. There are cars where the styling is neither good nor bad: you just don't care (e.g, most everything out of Japan). This category captures most of the vehicles on the road today, I think, as most people own vehicular appliances.

5. And there are some cars that are good looking now, but will not look good 10 years from now.

Where to classify the CTS?? In Category 1? Or maybe Category 5? -- where it will be joined by the new 370Z. I guess if I bought a CTS, I could always sell it when I got tired of it and eat the depreciation.

And there's always leasing.

Albert Austria, Sr Vehicle Evaluation Engineer @ 25, 000 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Detroit to Los Angeles Part II

January 24, 2009


Soon after our meat sweats in downtown KC we reached the heart of dustbowl country. Time to boogie. We had an appointment in Durango, Colorado to pick up a 1975 Ford F-250 Factory Highboy pickup purchased sight unseen by a very trusting Ed Hellwig.

The plan was to buy the truck in Durango and drive it back to Santa Monica, so we knew that the 800-mile run from Durango to L.A. would be more like a walk. This was when we could make up some time, plus Ed was worried that if we were late, the truck would already be gone to a higher bidder.

I assured him that the line of F-250 Factory Highboy enthusiasts looking for a well-worn, rusty truck in Durango in the middle of winter was a short one, but he wouldn't listen.

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2008 Cadillac CTS: MLKD Road Trip

January 20, 2009


Imagine, if you will, that the above photo depicts our long-term 2008 Cadillac CTS speeding north up California's 5 Freeway. Although a dead camera battery prevents us from showing you an actual photo of this past weekend's 1000-mile road trip, it did happen. And with nearly 25,000 miles on the odo, the Caddy still looks every bit as good now as it did in this year-old photo.

The CTS had barely cooled its 304-horsepower V6 from its three-day Detroit-to-L.A. run before we gassed up for Sacramento.

With two cross-country drives and a months' worth of nasty Michigan weather in between, the CTS remains a staff fave.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 24,429 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: Now with intermittent windows

January 06, 2009

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I am reliably informed that this is an imperfect world. I offer yet more proof of this in the form of the Cadillac CTS' rear-window operation -- or lack thereof.

At first I thought it was due to the punishing cold. Sometimes windows stick to the seals until they get warmed up and the electric motors don't have the juice to bust them free. That the rear side windows responded sometimes in the deepest darkest cold night but ignored my request once the cabin was warmed up blew a hole in that theory. Sometimes the windows rise, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they make a clicking sound but no motion and sometimes they do nothing at all.

It looks like the fault is in the driver's side door switches, because the windows usually respond to the rear door window switches.

With the CTS going home to California next week and since it doesn't make the car dangerous to drive in anyway, we'll probably just wait until we get back to LA to have them looked at. --Daniel Pund, Senior Editor, Detroit at 20,760 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: The Fob's Fob

December 29, 2008

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Now, it's a Caddy, baby. With the addition of this choice gold-tone key fob for the CTS', um, key fob, our BMW-fighting, rear-wheel-driving CTS sports sedan is now in touch with Cadillac's baroque recent past. We're shopping now for a vinyl top with landau bars (gold, natch).

Credit for the fob goes to the previous owners of my home, who graciously left the wreath-and-crest nugget attached to spare garage keys. It was commissioned by a south-eastern Michigan Cadillac dealer, which is apparently "Your Caring, Servicing, Selling Master Dealer." --Daniel Pund, Senior Editor, Detroit at 20,725 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: Shall we play a game?

December 23, 2008

At last count, 31 of you faithful readers have smacked Edmunds.com Advice Editor, Phil Reed for choosing to drive the summer tire-shod Infiniti FX50 to snowy Colorado recently.

a game sized.jpg

Today, with a fresh couple of inches of snow on the ground here in Detroit, I decided to play a little game I've tentatively named, "Exactly how wrong was Phil?"

The Point: To determine, in something approximating controlled conditions, exactly how much worse are summer performance tires than all-season tires when driving on snow.

The Players: I happen to have at my disposal our long-term Cadillac CTS, which I think I've mentioned on several occasions wears half-worn all-season Michelin tires that aren't particularly good in the snow. I also have in the office garage a brand-spanking new Infiniti G37 sedan, which carries Bridgestone Potenza RE050A summer performance tires with only about 1,000 miles on them. I know, I know, it's not apples to apples exactly. But it's the closest comparison that I could pull out of my, um, hat.

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: The Prodigal Son

December 11, 2008

In trying times such as these, great American families - think the Corleones and the Waltons - draw closer, gaining strength from their primal solidarity, their shared blood. And so it is with a great sense of duty that our ruby-red Cadillac CTS will over the next couple of days make its way back to its ancestral home in Detroit.

Caddy intro sized.jpg

Also, Southern California, where the CTS has spent the first 18,000 miles of its life, is filthy with dinosaurs (see picture). This makes the region nearly a quarter as horrifying as a Michigan winter.

According to the Caddy's navigation system, the trip from West Hollywood to Detroit is 2,282 miles. If we choose to do the trip crazed-trucker style, the nav system claims we'll make it in 31 hours and five minutes. That's going to require a sustained speed binge (averaging an aggressive 74 mph).

We'll update you with progress reports and/or speed-addled gibberish as we go.

Daniel Pund, Senior Editor, Detroit @ 17,988 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS: How Does It Compare?

November 24, 2008

CTS looking forward blog.jpg

We've had a lot of nice things to say about our long-term 2008 Cadillac CTS. What we haven't really gotten into is how it stacks up against other midsize luxury/sport sedans.

For example, right now over on the Edmunds blog we've got a 2009 Sport Sedan Shootout featuring the Acura TL SH-AWD, Infiniti G37 and Volkswagen CC VR6 4Motion. What would have happened if we'd thrown our CTS long-termer into the mix?

For one thing, the CTS would have been the most expensive by a couple grand. Also, its FE2 suspension and all-season tires would have been handicaps in the twisties -- the Caddy's 63.5 mph slalom run trails the VW by 0.2 mph and the sport-tuned Japanese entrants by a wide margin. However, I think the CTS would give the CC a run for its money in a beauty contest, inside and out, and its DI-V6 and real-world ride/handling balance are quite impressive.

Where would you rank it?

Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com @ 16,358 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: Piped light

August 26, 2008

Cadillac CTS Light pipe

I noticed the CTS tail lamps over the weekend for the first time. The press kit calls this lighting element a LED "light pipe" for the rear marker lamp. But for me and a few others here, it looks like an incandescent or fluorescent bulb; LEDs are pretty small. The Engineering Editor said that perhaps there are several LEDs distributed throughout, but the illumination seems too uniform for that. And the Director of Vehicle Testing said the pipe reminded him of this thing. In any event, the light pipe looks good and conveys the vertical styling theme of the tail lamps. Another great styling detail on a sharp car.

Albert Austria, Sr Vehicle Evaluation Engineer @ 11,461mi

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: We should have waited

August 15, 2008


(Photo courtesy of General Motors Corporation)

We should have waited. Our 2008 CTS has a lot going for it; looks, driving dynamics, kick-ass features. But it lacks a certain something. A certain wagonness. Trunks just don't do it for me. Not enough space, difficult access and stunted looks. Wagons are cool and I want this one. With a six-speed manual of course.

Click the link for the news story and more photos.

Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant

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2008 Cadillac CTS DI: City boy

July 22, 2008

Cadillac CTS.jpg

Although the Cadillac CTS is a supreme highway cruiser, it really enjoys the city life. The sharp, agressive styling stands out in the metropolitan streets, and imparts a sense of urban cool on its owner. "Where's my car?" I asked the valet after already waiting for 15 minutes. "Sorry, sir, what vehicle was that?" he said. I proudly replied, "Red Cadillac." Ten years ago, perhaps my response would have carried some embarrassment. But no longer. It was nice to not answer the valet with the trite BMW/Benz/Lexus response. The CTS confidently plays in the bigs with this trio. My only styling beef is with the wheels: they scream "Geez!"

Albert Austria, Senior Vehicle Evaluation Engineer @ 9744 mi

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2008 Cadillac CTS DI: MotoGP weekend

July 21, 2008

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I went up to San Francisco and Laguna Seca in the CTS this past weekend for the MotoGP race. I covered just over 1100 mi and got 25.0 mpg on the nose in a mix of highway, city, and curving road driving. It's a terrific highway cruiser and city car: great ride, decent handling, very good powertrain, and fantastic exterior / interior styling. I would choose the CTS over the ES and C-class, but not the 3-series and IS - they're better handlers. The CTS is a legitmate alternative to any of them. Several Edmunds/IL members were in MotoGP attendance, because they, like you, really love performance, whether on two wheels or four. You motobikers out there already know about that. Unless, of course, you ride a Harley...

Albert Austria, Senior Vehicle Evaluation Engineer @ 9298 mi

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Tell Me Why I'm Wrong

June 30, 2008

Our Long Term Cadillac CTS is well worth the $46,000 as equipped sticker price. It's fun to drive, has plenty of cool gadgets not to mention it is a really attractive car. Looks aren't everything but I can't stand having something that everyone else has, that's why I like the CTS. I find my self looking over my shoulder or out the window just to get a glimpse...

The pulled back headlights, and bulging fenders give it a tough look. I like the Audi A6 or Infiniti M35 for about the same money - I'll pass on the "me too" 5-series, especially in black or silver.

Think the CTS is too expensive? It's not. These days to get a really nice car you've got to spend $30,000 plus, to get something special you've got to spend more than $40,000. Am I wrong?

Brian Moody, Road Test Editor @ 7,539 miles.

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2008 Cadillac CTS: A Design Detail Done Right

May 20, 2008

Why does the latest CTS look so much better than the previous version? Take a look at those front fenders. They not only add a few curves to the front quarter panels, they give the whole front end a more hunkered down, planted look. The fact that the wheels almost completely fill the space beneath them helps too...

The Germans have known this for years, glad to see Cadillac is finally catching up with the times.

Ed Hellwig, Inside Line @ 5,410 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS: A Decade Later

April 28, 2008

2008 Cadillac CTS -- Brent Romans

When I first started working at Edmunds, the company was about a year into its first long-term evaluation of a Cadillac, a 1998 Seville STS. I remember that Seville having plenty of power and gizmos, but it was unreliable and marred by awful build quality. MSRP was $52,337.

Almost a decade later, we have a new CTS (with a $46,690 MSRP) in our fleet. You'd hardly know these two cars were from the same company...

Scott Jacobs, resident photog, had this to say about the Seville at the time: "I knew this wasn't my kind of car when a kindly elderly woman at the car wash told me how much she liked my Caddy."

In contrast: When I was taking the CTS's blog post picture yesterday, a gaggle of loitering teens on bicycles stopped to watch. "Sweet ride, man," said one. In terms of design, style and youth-appeal, this is the best modern Cadillac I've experienced.

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Past Long-Term Road Tests