May 26, 2009
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?
April 30, 2009
We haven't updated our Cadillac CTS' fuel economy in a looooooong time -- updating the fuel log just took me 30 minutes. But here's the damage.
Overall Average: 19.2 mpg
EPA Combined: 20 mpg
Best: 32.5 mpg (Bravo, Scott Oldham)
Worst: 9.9 mpg (Double bravo, Mike Magrath)
Longest Distance on One Tank: 401.2 miles (25.6 mpg by Dan Pund)
Most Fuel in One Tank: 20.598 gallons
(Update: As a sharp reader noted, the CTS only has an 18-gallon gas tank. Not really sure how the 20.598 happened. Maybe someone filled up their lawnmower on the company tab.)
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 28,313 miles
January 29, 2009
After taking the time to photograph our trusty steed in New Mexico and Colorado simultaneously we continued to drive west, me in the very dirty Cadillac CTS and Ed Hellwig in his new 33-year-old truck. Now our speed was limited to 68 mph so Ed could keep up, and we would need to stop every 150 miles so Mr. Hellwig could refuel.
At that rate, the Cad's average speed was plummeting, but its fuel economy was through the roof. On the final day of the trip I covered almost 800 miles of interstate, but averaged only 60 mph. Fuel economy jumped to 24.1 mpg. Good, but still way below the car's EPA highway rating of 26 mpg, no doubt due to the numerous elevation changes and high winds on our route.
More highlights on the next page.
January 26, 2009
We were going to, but then we remembered that the CTS is not an E85 drinker. Neither is the X5. But through states like Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa, E85 is all over the place. Back home in California we see thousands and thousands of Flex-Fuel Tahoes and Yukons around, but in Los Angeles E85 is like good Chinese food; it's just impossible to find.
December 13, 2008
While I was away, the ground underneath Detroit collapsed and the sky lit on fire and the end of days was right up Woodward Ave. Honestly, can't we just lock UAW president Ron Gettelfinger and Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker in a steel-cage so they might have it out for real? Only one will emerge under his own power. And frankly, at this point, I don't even really care which one it is.
Ah, but the CTS, right? Yeah, brilliant car. I really like it and it's not every car I would say that about after three days of non-stop driving across some of America's less-dramatic landscape. As my desire to reach home grew my patience with left-lane dawdlers shrank. Through Illinois and Indiana, where traffic was light, I set the CTS's cruise control to a speed that felt right in the Caddy but was apparently considerably higher than others on the road that evening. No problem: I got my system down and everything. 1. Approach slow car at good clip. 2. Make sure he knows you're there. 3. Flick off cruise and back off slightly. 4. Hit the resume button as he starts to swerve to the right. This method resulted in a minimal loss of speed for me and was unspeakably satisfying when it all went to plan. And when, it didn't, I always had the Caddy's 300-plus horsepower to power around the occasional comatose driver.
Make the jump for final figures and a special surprise!
Okay, so I lied. There's no special surprise. But here are some photos of things I saw on the road that may or may not be of interest to you. Also, I discovered that Yakov Smirnoff is still getting work in Branson, MO -- What a country!
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