2008 Cadillac CTS Long Term Road Test - Performance

2008 Cadillac CTS Long Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (2)
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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: It's OK to Lose to BMW

April 30, 2009

2008 Cadillac CTS 3.6 V6

A Cadillac doesn't need to handle like a BMW, providing Nurburgring corner-taking on American streets.

A Cadillac doesn't need to ride like a '98 Cadillac Deville, wafting down the road as if on American coastal waters.

The CTS thankfully does neither. However, I don't think it achieves the appropriate balance between the two that would represent what an American luxury car can be in the 21st century.

For one, it falls too far onto the copy-cat BMW side (at least with our FE2 suspension). I know what you're going to say: "But you car media types harp on anything that doesn't drive like a 3 Series. Mercedes and Lexus are treated like rotten bananas because they don't transmit enough steering feel."

Well, I completely agree. BMW produces wonderful machines and I'd be happy to own just about anything they presently sell (I'll skip the X's, thank you). But Mercedes-Benz produces wonderful machines as well, they just do things differently. Things are more relaxed, more refined behind the wheel of a Benz. You're less involved with the driving experience, but you're far from isolated. There's an impenetrable quality to the structure and an impeccable attention to engineering detail. Perhaps it doesn't score 10s on the fun-to-drive scale, but the C, E and GLK classes (to name a few) are beautiful automobiles created without worrying about where this or that car magazine placed it against the high-strung BMW.

Which brings me back to our long-term Cadillac CTS. Every time I drive it, I feel like I'm hanging out with a guy who's desperately trying to be cool, but ultimately can't hang with the in crowd. It rides too rough to be luxurious and isn't agile enough to be sporty. I think Cadillac would be better suited to benchmark Mercedes-Benz (or Jaguar) in regards to ride and handling, then spice it up with the type of style that only Cadillac can provide and the German brain could (or would) never create. Actually, when driving the CTS back to back with our long-term Genesis, I couldn't stop thinking that the Cadillac should drive like the Hyundai -- and that's not intended as a slag against either.

Don't get me wrong, the CTS is a nice car that moves the brand in the correct direction away from the correctly criticized front-drive disappointments of Cady's recent past. But putting on ear muffs when enthusiast publications sprout off Bavarian comparisons would do them good.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 28,313 miles

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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: 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: 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: There's Warmth in the Way It Drives

February 09, 2009


I finally got a weekend with our long-term 2008 Cadillac CTS. I enjoy being in this car. I like the sharp response when you jab the accelerator. The steering feels quick, too, and despite a slight gumminess off-center, there's a fluidity to it that most GM steering racks do not have (with a big exception granted to the current Cobalt SS ). In addition, the brake pedal is nice and firm, as is the ride quality.

Sometimes, though, the ride is too firm -- to the point that the chassis feels unsettled on the grooved concrete slabs of the I-405 freeway. During these times, the CTS seems less sophisticated than other sedans you (or I) might spend $46K to buy.

Yet, I find myself wanting to forgive the car for this compromise. There's a unity and a warmth to the packaging of the second-generation Cadillac CTS. It reminds me of the Infiniti G35/G37: Not perfect like a BMW or Benz, but simultaneously talented and flawed in ways that tug at your heart. The only thing is, I think the cheaper Pontiac G8 might tug at my heart more.

But, look, the baguette I bought at the farmers market fits in the cupholders. It stayed put under (moderate) acceleration and braking, too.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 25,372 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Detroit to Los Angeles Part III

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.

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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.

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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?"

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: The horror, the horror

December 22, 2008


What you see above you is an approximation of what Detroit looked like last Friday, and through much of the weekend that just passed. I apologize for the lack of an actual photo. The thing is, I've been a little too busy trying to not die and/or get somewhere or another in the Caddy.

Remember how in my last installment of the Cadillac CTS long-term blog, I described the car's Michelin all-season tires snow performance as "Fair?" Yeah well, I take that back. I'm now deciding whether their snow performance would more accurately be described as "Useless" or in the words of (I think) Emerson Fittipaldi "The Tires, They Are Sheet!"

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: Welcome home. Here's your shovel

December 17, 2008

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I didn't have to wait long to get a good test of the Cadillac CTS' snow-driving prowess. Detroit got a good dusting last night and we were out early enough to drive the Caddy on lightly traveled roads. I got to Woodward Avenue just in time for the transition from pure pretty powder to snotty gray slush.

Our rear-drive CTS wears Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 tires, which Tire Rack classifies as Grand Touring All Season rubber. Slush counts as a full season in the upper Midwest and I'm not sure that's covered in "All." We concur with Tire Rack's assessment that this model Michelin exhibits "Fair" performance on snow and ice. That ranking makes the HX MXM4 the worst-performing in the snow of the Michelin models in its catagory.

Spoiled by dedicated snow tires on my personal car, I find the all-season Michelins only borderline acceptable, at least in the brief time I've spent with them on slippery stuff. Even with a very light throttle foot, I'm getting a whole lot of traction control interventions (stability control intervention comes with a heavy foot), making forward progress, um, deliberate. On the upside, the CTS' traction control system comes on smooth.

More study is needed though. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go find a large, empty, snow-covered parking lot to practice my donuts and drifting winter-driving techniques.

Daniel Pund, Senior Editor, Detroit

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: Joplin, MO to Detroit, MI

December 13, 2008

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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!

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: Day 2: Grants, NM to Joplin, MO

December 12, 2008

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One of the dear friends we call a commenter, ace47, doesn't want to read any more about how the Cadillac CTS rides nicely or how its navigation system performs. Okay, ace. Here's something you haven't read before: Did you know that if you leave the Caddy's ignition in accessory mode while filling the car up with gasoline, you can watch the miles-to-empty readout climb as each drop of fuel fills the tank? Didn't think so.

Further, we're not sure if our man ace47 (let's face it: there's no chance he's a woman) knows that after you fill up the tank and go into the Norther New Mexico gas station and purchase a bottle of water and a coffee, the woman behind the register will ring it up and say, "Woo, boot da bead off da bat."

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: Day 1: West Hollywood, CA to Grants, NM

December 11, 2008

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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.

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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: Make that 136 mph

November 06, 2008

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All photoshop, I swear.

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Life is Good at 134 mph

November 06, 2008


Closed course, professional driver, please don't try this at home, blah, blah, blah. Caddy like go fast, and it still had more in it.

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief @ 16,147 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Another View of the Cockpit

September 24, 2008


Recently, a long-time friend informed me that he rented a 2008 Cadillac CTS in San Jose, CA, drove it to Santa Cruz on Highway 17, and loved it. This is a friend who has never owned a domestic-brand car. He's not really even into cars, but he has three requirements for the next car he buys:

1. Rear-wheel drive

2. Sharp handling (up to a point)

3. Able to accommodate his 300-lb bodybuilder frame

The CTS is the first moderately-sized sedan in a long time that he's been able to drive comfortably. (Sedans like the BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G35 have been struck from the list because they pinched his shoulders and restricted arm movement.)

I got into our long-term Cadillac CTS this morning and realized why my friend likes this car so much. The driver seat is broad and flat, and for an average-size adult like myself, there's the sensation of having a lot of room on all sides of you -- more so than I'd get in a G35, a 3 Series or even a 5 Series.

Although the driving position in the CTS isn't perfect, there's a lot to be said for this cockpit if you're on the big side. And I like the fact that the Cadillac can be this roomy without seeming too casual. Even though materials quality falls short of any BMW, there's no denying this is an elegant cabin.

Erin Riches, Inside Line Senior Editor @ 13,051 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Caddy Does Carmel

September 12, 2008

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Earlier this week, after a brief stopover at the Romans estate (above left), our long-term 'Lac and I headed for Land Rover's Off-Road Driving Experience in Carmel, roughly 6 hours north of L.A. If it's trail-busting tales you want, you'll have to wait for next Friday's Weekly Top 3 post over at the Strategies Blog. But if you're jonesing for a fragmentary yet hard-hitting assessment of the CTS qua road trip companion, you've come to the right place.

Stuff That Doesn't Work

The automatic triple-blink turn signal function when changing lanes to the right. Push up on the stalk and...nothing -- not even a single blink. You have to click it into place, as if you're turning at an intersection, and then click it back.

Stuff That's Annoying

Squeaky seats. Wonky driving position. Crude power window switches. And a navigation system that takes an extraordinarily long time to calculate your route -- we're talking upwards of 30 seconds in some cases, which can be a bit harrowing if you've just plugged in your address and find yourself approaching a key intersection with your electronic copilot still deep in thought.

Stuff That BMW Should Be At Least A Little Nervous About

The steering -- I really like it. It's virtually slop-free, there's a pleasant weightiness at speed, and the effort builds progressively around bends. And the body control -- it's really good, which is all the more impressive given that our car lacks the maximally sporty FE3 suspension. I took route 198 on the way up and route 58 on the way back (both highly recommended for enthusiasts), and the CTS delivered a command performance, faltering only in the tightest corners, where the Caddy's imposing heft and compliant suspension tuning conspired to upset its composure.

Stuff That Lincoln Should Be Petrified About

Everything. The CTS positively pwns the MKS in every significant way, except maybe Sync. Best American luxury sedan under $50k? It's not remotely close.

Stuff That Kicks A**

Rear-wheel drive, defeatable traction control, 300+ hp, and a gravel turnout in the middle of nowhere. Warning: gleeful doughnuts may cause scenic vistas to become temporarily obscured.

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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: Rev-Matching Downshifts

May 02, 2008

2008 Cadillac CTS -- Edmunds.com

The 2008 Cadillac CTS is available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Our test car has the latter. While most of us around here prefer manual transmissions for the more precise control they provide, the CTS' automatic does earn extra points thanks to its rev-matching downshift ability.

If you place the transmission in manual-shift mode and select a downshift, the transmission's controller will automatically raise engine speed (rpm) to match wheel speed for the lower gear. The result is a smooth downshift, just like a heel-and-toe downshift on a car with a manual transmission.

I've been playing around with the manual-shift mode. Its shifts are reasonably quick and the rev-matching feature is very cool. Of course, rev-matching for an automatic isn't new – some cars from Infiniti, BMW and Mercedes-Benz's AMG come to mind – but having it on the CTS certainly buffs the car's sporting credentials.

A (very) amateur video demonstrating our Cadillac CTS doing it's rev-matching 'thang follows after the jump.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2008 Cadillac CTS: The Reason

April 02, 2008

The CTS is not a perfect car, there are a few things I wish it didn't do. None of them are enough to get me to dislike the car overall. Cadillac's excellent 3.6 liter direct injection V6 is all the reason I need to recommend the car.

This engine is smooth, responsive and has plenty of punch when you need it...

Plus, am I imagining things or is there a bit of an exhaust note too? I'd gladly drive this car everyday. I'd gladly own one of these and I'm not old, I'm only.... uh, let's just say very late 30s - very late.

Brian Moody, Road Test Editor @ 3,900 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 DI: Track Tested (driver approved?)

March 20, 2008

No, we haven't decided to move our test track to a large dirt pitch. Rather, a certain Vehicle Testing Assistant forgot his camera and was graciously loaned a pretty CTS shot from one Mr. Mike Schmidt.

Click the "continue reading" link below to see how our CTS V6 (with direct injection) fared (at a paved track) in all of your favorite tests! 0-60, 1/4 mile, 60-0, skidpad, and slalom, all there for your reading pleasure.

0-30 -
2.5 seconds
0-45 - 4.5 seconds
0-60 - 6.3 seconds
0-75 - 9.7 seconds
1/4 mile - 14.8 @ 96.3

Compare that with the Full Test we ran on a similar CTS, one with the FE3 suspension and sticky summer-only rubber that ran a 6.5 to sixty and a 14.9 @ 94.6 mph. Why? Well, here's what Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor and test driver had to say, " As we suspected, there's a little more time to be found with some wheelspin (but not much) afforded by the M+S tires." On the Full test he remarked, "With traction control disabled, the grippy tires don't allow for an optimal launch because after initially spinning, they lock to the pavement and the car bogs off the line."

60-0 -
117 feet
30-0 - 31 feet

Again, compare with our previous test car's 109 feet from 60 and 28 feet from 30mph. What did Walton say 'bout our Long Termer? "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!"


.85 for the summer-tire equipped test car ran in our Full Test.

Comments: "Early onset understeer is the limiting factor here, while it's easy to maintain th earc without steering correction. Wheel is pretty talkative if a little light."

63.5 mph.

Like the skidpad, the slalom number here gets trounced by the summer-tire equipped car which blasted through the cones at a darned respectable 67mph.

Walton says, " A "less-is-more" technique works best. the car will drive sideways past every gate if you want it to, but that's not fast. Steering is precise and light, but the tires and chasis are not near as capable as the Michelin Pilot PS2 + FE3 suspension combo."

The CTS weighed in at 4,005lbs.

Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant @3,280 miles.

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Past Long-Term Road Tests