2008 Cadillac CTS Long Term Road Test - Audio & Technology

2008 Cadillac CTS Long Term Road Test

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Navigation Screen Deployment

April 28, 2009


2008 Cadillac CTS navigation screen deployment.

Dan Edmunds, DIrector of Vehicle Testing @ 28,200 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Understands My Plight

April 26, 2009


Driving home at rush hour in L.A. is always an adventure. It's like driving an obstacle course. Cars dart from lane to lane trying get home an inch sooner.

I was on my usual freeway route so I didn't bother with the nav system and didn't even have the map up on the screen. I was listening to rather loud music on my iPod and wanted the audio screen displayed. Then all of a sudden the music lowered and a soft, slightly melancholy voice said, "May I have your attention, in 1.8 miles, traffic jam."

Wow, thanks. That would be really helpful if I weren't already at a dead stop on the 405. But at least she sounded sympathetic.

I always find it disarming when features are working in the background when you didn't bother turning them on. I've had this voice talk to me even when I've had the screen closed.

Now, this traffic report isn't the CTS's fault. I've yet to find a real-time traffic feature that can actually give you traffic in real time. Some day.

Our time with the CTS will soon be coming to an end. I'm going to miss it, as will other members of our staff.

So, we're giving this car one last shot as Car of the Week.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: Date with the Dealer

April 24, 2009


First things first: Our CTS's on-board computer was calling for an oil change. It's one of those cars with the handy count down meter and unlike some cars I can think of (bmw) the CTS shows the time remaining in big numbers, not a flash across the screen for 3 seconds on start-up. Unlike the first service, this one was going to cost us. It was going to cost us $105.95 to be more specific. That pays for an all-synthetic oil change, fluid top off and check all external lights. So basically, it's an oil change where the six quarts of Castrol synthetic cost $47.70, the filter is $10.95 and then there's another $29.95 for labor. Then add $1.12 for hazardous waste disposal and $5.43 in taxes. While not a great price, add this up and the final cost was $95.15, about 10 bucks less than what we were quoted.

But that was the easy part. Next up were the tricky bits, listed in ascending order of trickiness:

1) The bum turn signal. "Internal contact resistance" was causing the problem and the turn signal switch had to be replaced. It wasn't in stock and took about four days to come in and then just a few hours to install.

2) Faulty glue on seats. Dan Edmunds experienced this back in May of '08, we just re-glued it ourselves. Then, Erin noted this on the passenger seat of the CTS, and by the time we'd brought it in for service the driver seat was doing the same thing. They re-glued the Velcro to the seat plastic and called it a day. Our fingers are crossed.

3) There's a small plastic trim panel between the rear-view mirror and the windshield that covers the bundle of wires coming out the multi-function unit. (It's auto-dimming and has onstar built in.) Well, there's supposed to be a trim panel there. It fell off the day before going in for service. Turns out the mirror itself was loose and the cover would not re-attach. The mirror was removed and reinstalled along with the trim panel.

4) Glitchy Nav / Audio system. Josh Jacquot wrote of it: "

The front left and right speakers (all four of them -- two on the dash and two in the doors) simply weren't working -- a problem even the untrained ear (mine) can recognize. The affirmation came when I manually dialed all the power to the left front speakers (see red circle on photo), at which point there was no sound at all. Punch it back a few clicks and the rear speakers and front center channel came back on line. Hmmm...

And again, just like Dan's experience, turning the car off and back on (rebooting?) cured the problem. Bill Gates wrote this solution and for it he deserves a swift kick in the nuts. This seems to me to be the worst kind of problem that can exist -- one that's electronic and intermittent. Good luck demonstrating that one to the service writer.

"No, really, I swear..."

And then Chris Walton posted, "No matter how many times I pressed the "Nav" or "Dest" buttons, the map and all navigation functions were AWOL. When I got home, I shut the car off for about 10 seconds, started it back up (essentially rebooting the hard drive), but still there was no nav. It didn't return until I started the car this morning."

And then Chris Walton had it happen to him again, so far the only person to experience the issue twice.

The dealer could not replicate the issue (surprise!) and all of our software is up to date. Short of driving it directly to the nearest dealer next time this happens-- not out of the question-- we're going to have to live with this one until GM can figure it out on some other cars and issue a TSB.

Total Cost: 95.15

Days out of Service: 2

Issues fixed: 3/4

Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 27,268 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: 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: Audio Slave

April 13, 2009


I quickly scanned all 86 (!) entries on the CTS (currently tied with the Smart for most blogged--though our former Fit Sport holds the record with 96), and found not one praising the CTS for the nifty pop-up touch screen. I love that its top edge is useful even when the screen is mostly retracted into the dash. Presets and audio controls are still accessed simply by touching the mini-screen. Cool. The problem is that the audio system gremlins persist.

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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: Even More Gremlins!

February 06, 2009


Driving home yesterday afternoon was frustrating. Not only because it rained (which always puts a hurt on my 40-mile commute), but also because the CTS seems to need a software update--badly. I didn't experience the glitches Josh did, but as you can see from the above photo, there's something finky going on, because there was no chance it was 32-degrees outside.

About ten minutes later, the true weather conditions appeared.

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Electronic Gremlins Persist

February 02, 2009


I drove the long-term CTS for the first time ever this weekend. Overall, a nice machine. As we've reported in various road and comparison tests, it's a capable handler and has adequate power.

But careful readers of CTS blog posts will remember a few unresolved issues with our CTS...

The first is an audio problem Dan Edmunds reported in June of last year. I happened to have the exact same experience last Saturday when I fired up the Caddy's otherwise spectacular Bose audio system.

The front left and right speakers (all four of them -- two on the dash and two in the doors) simply weren't working -- a problem even the untrained ear (mine) can recognize. The affirmation came when I manually dialed all the power to the left front speakers (see red circle on photo), at which point there was no sound at all. Punch it back a few clicks and the rear speakers and front center channel came back on line. Hmmm...

And again, just like Dan's experience, turning the car off and back on (rebooting?) cured the problem. Bill Gates wrote this solution and for it he deserves a swift kick in the nuts. This seems to me to be the worst kind of problem that can exist -- one that's electronic and intermittent. Good luck demonstrating that one to the service writer.

"No, really, I swear..."


Anyhow, there's more. Donna first noted the right turn signal malfunction way back in April 2008. This problem, we'll admit, hasn't been fixed because of our own delays. Well, sort of. We've had the car at the dealer on one occasion and skipped a second chance to resolve the issue knowing it would be out of service too long during the time it was scheduled to be driven back to California. So we're living with it. And the rear window switches on the driver's door which only function intermittently.

Good times.

Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor @ 24,944 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Detroit to Los Angeles Part IV

January 28, 2009


It was somewhere between Kansas City and Durango (I think; it's all a blur.) that we found actual value in the Cadillac's OnStar system. We couldn't believe it either, but the system's turn-by-turn feature is actually really cool.

Here's how it happened. We looked up a hotel on Mapquest. Asked for directions from our location and noticed the "Send to OnStar" tab. We clicked it, put in our account number and zap, the directions were beamed to the car. Instantly the display within the speedometer was showing directions and a voice was telling us where to go.

And the best part? The directions were right.

Think about it. You can load the system with dozens of destinations before you ever leave your house. This seems like a real reason to get a car with OnStar. What do you think?

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: Increasingly remote

January 13, 2009

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As a farewell to the CTS long-termer Detroit gave the Caddy one last blast of winter. As I write this, Messrs. Oldham and Hellwig are driving the Caddy back to California to finish out its stay in the long-term fleet. Either that or Hellwig is pushing the CTS out of a roadside ditch along I-94 that's knee-deep in snow while Oldham screams from the heated driver's seat, "Come on, guy, put down your purse and push!"

Anyway, the picture above reminds me of one the Cadillac's attributes that I haven't given proper public credit: the factory-installed remote start function. I know Cadillac, or even GM, is not alone in having a factory system. But I can tell you that the pricier BMW X5 that the boys left with me in Detroit doesn't have it. I will miss it. It protected me from countless cold-induced muscle spasms and made me the envy of my neighborhood. (Yes, even more than usual). -- Daniel Pund, Senior Editor, Detroit at 20,800 miles

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

December 12, 2008

Caddy lead sized.jpg

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: 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: Love the Nav, Love the Car

November 27, 2008

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I really like the CTS nav system with on exception. I wish I could pick "Full Map" (as shown here) and still see XM or iPod song info - like maybe at the bottom of the screen or something. Either way, it's not a deal breaker.

I've been driving this car for about one week straight and I cannot find anything significant to complain about - it is truly a terrific car.

The odometer is approaching 20k and there are no rattles or squeaks to note. The nav screen does make a little noise when it goes up and down but it seems like it only happens when the temp gets below, say 60 degrees.

Brian Moody, Senior Automotive Editor @ 16,803 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6: Hidden Robot Music

November 11, 2008

08 cadillac cts center stack It Came from Detroit.jpg

While indulging in some rare quiet alone time while parked in a strip mall, I heard a strange sound coming from the center stack of our long-term Cadillac CTS. It was like a tiny, long-forgotten sound effect from Tron, played by a tiny Eddie Van Halen on a tiny electric guitar. It's a lot like bad sci-fi movie robot noises. Deetledeetledootledeetledeetledoodleedeetle. It just kept going.

It actually took me a while to figure out where it was coming from. I had to really lean in close to the navigation controls to confirm where it was coming from. I didn't think of it again until the next day when I was driving around without the sound system on and heard it again. It was quite faint, but it was there. For the rest of my time in the CTS this weekend, I found myself constantly straining to catch an auditory wisp of the frantic notes. Anyone else every experienced this in a CTS? In another vehicle?

Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 15,520 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Real-Time Traffic Review

October 17, 2008


On Wednesday morning I had the unfortunate chance to make use of the Cadillac's real-time traffic feature, which is built into its navigation system. It was unfortunate because I was stuck in a big bad traffic jam (red dots), not because I used the system. In fact, the system worked great.

As you can see in the photo, it alerts you to which roads are clogged (red dots) and which are moving (green dots). It also tells you where there are accidents (yellow diamond shapes) and will route you around such holdups if you ask it to.

Unlike some gimmicks in new cars, this one works well and is easy to make use of. Put it on the worth-the-money list.

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief

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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: Hey, I Can See That Building From Here!

October 07, 2008

Cadillac Navigation Little Building -- Click for Bigger View

Remember when I said I could see the outline of my apartment building on the Scion xB's navigation system? Well, the Cadillac CTS tops that. This navi adds little 3D animated versions of really tall and/or noteworthy buildings. As you can see from the photo above, the digital version is pretty darn close to the actual thing. If you scan left on the map, another similar building down the street is shown along with a digital rendering of one of the LACMA buildings.

Although this mostly seems like a "Hey, look what we can do!" feature, it's probably not a bad idea to have renderings of notable landmarks to assist in navigation.

I really want to know how they do it, though. Does someone go around taking pictures of random, big buildings and then hand them off to 3D animators to create the buildings? And what does Manhattan look like? I'll have to check that sometime.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 14,157 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: Audio On The Fritz

October 02, 2008


Above is a shot taken this morning of the multi-media screen in our long-term 2008 Cadillac CTS. Everything is normal here.

Last night, though, the audio emitted nothing more than the sounds of flatulence, complete with little pauses and ripples just like the real thing. Changing channels, cranking the volume, switching among AM/FM/XM... nothing curbed the poop.

So many fart jokes to choose from that my mind is frozen. One might say... constipated.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 13,280 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: Subscriptions, Subscriptions

July 02, 2008

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Another night in our 2008 Cadillac CTS went without a hitch. It's a very nice car in nearly every way. My wife has never considered herself a Cadillac person, except perhaps in the rockabilly Kustom Kulture ironic sense. But she surprises herself for liking this one. "If only it didn't have so much cheesy chrome..." she mused, pointing to the plethora of shiny rings and bezels inside.

On another note, yesterday I had to approve a purchase request submitted for the renewal of the XM subscriptions in our CTS (yes, there are two) and it got me to thinking about subscription services in general.

On top of the car payment and the cost of filling the tank with gas, the CTS has no less than 4 subscriptions to renew if you want to keep all of the electronic toys up and running.

XM radio: $12.95 per month

XM traffic for the NAV system you already bought: $3.95 per month (or $9.95 per month if you reject XM radio.)

On-Star crash notification, emergency services, diagnostics: $18.95 per month.

On-Star turn-by-turn voice NAV and concierge services: $9.95 on top of the $18.95 base service (not available separately)

On-star calling minutes: 100 minutes = $39.95; 500 minutes = $174.99. A Verizon cell phone/On-star in-car shared minutes scheme is cheaper: 700 shared minutes costs $69.99 per month, according to the On-Star website.

Excluding the phone minutes, re-upping for everything in this car totals $45.80 per month, plus tax. Annual discounts bring it down to $501.80 per year, plus tax, and the XM prices drop even more if you have more than one car or receiver on your account.

The turn-by turn part of On-star seems redundant in this NAV-equipped CTS, and the only economical way to make use of in-car calling requires one to have a Verizon cell phone. But if you had that, why would you need separate in-car calling?

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2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: Ridin' QWERTY

June 19, 2008

As much as I dig the Cadillac's fancy-pants infotainment system there is one aspect of it that I just cant get used to: The alphabetic layout on the destination entry screen.

Now, I'm sure a lot of you are going to ask "what's the problem? Everyone knows where the letters of the alphabet are!", but if you ask this via our blogs, and you aren't using a Maltron or a speech-to-type system, then you've just proved my point. QWERTY makes sense in a keyboard layout, we all use it every day...

Just think how awkward typing would be if tomorrow you came into work and instead of your tried and true layout that you know blind, the keys had been rearranged alphabetically. It's tricky, and that's why a lot of navigation systems offer users the choice of alphabetical or QWERTY. Sorry Dvorak users, still no love for you on any system.

Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 7262 miles

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Our 2008 Cadillac CTS Has No Blue Teeth

June 13, 2008

With the July 1st hands-free mobile-phoning law just around the corner here in California, I thought I'd get acquainted with our 2008 Cadillac CTS Bluetooth pairing procedure. I exhausted all the intuitive hands-on paths within minutes and called (with a headset) back to the Mothership to ask if our CTS was even Bluetooth capable. "Nope, don't think so, but you should RTM and make sure before you post on it."

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Radio Tivo

June 02, 2008

On the commute to and from work I found one aspect of the hard-drive Bose audio system in our 2008 Cadillac CTS to be invaluable: I can pause, rewind and resume playing any radio program. I can skip commercials. It's radio Tivo, folks (well, not actually Tivo brand, but you get the idea.)

My 50-mile commute through the heart of LA can be terrible. I have two or three routes I can use, so AM traffic reports are a key part of my exit strategy. But I frequently find that the concentration required in traffic--staring at the bitchin' Camaro in the next lane, evading the idiot on the phone cutting me off, moving aside for lane-splitting motorcycles--often distract me from hearing the actual traffic report just when I need it most.

"Did he just say that big crash was on the I-5 south?" I wish I could rewind to hear it again. In our 2008 Cadillac CTS I can do exactly that. Su-wheet. In a single commute using it in context, the CTS's radio Tivo went from being an interesting idea to a must-have.

But I also experienced what might be the dark side of hard-drive, computer-based audio--a new way to "crash" a car, if you will. About halfway home, four of the five front speakers went out (the center channel still worked.) No amount of fader adjustment could bring them back. Once in my driveway, I tried shutting-off the engine, waiting 10 seconds or so and then restarting--essentailly rebooting the car.

It worked, and the CTS's stereo has been behaving normally ever since. We'll watch for this to see if it recurs. Perhaps it was a fluke.

But I have to say that I've begun to see scattered instances of odd problems that were cured by rebooting on other brands of cars with high-tech on-board systems. I'm going to have to start keeping a log because I can't remember specific examples. People may have been been conditioned to accept rebooting as a way to solve problems on a PC, but I don't think this is acceptable behavior in a car, ever. After all, I keep hearing that full-blown steer and brake-by-wire systems are coming.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 6,265 miles

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Now That's More Like It ...

May 30, 2008

Eureka! The *accessory iPod cord we ordered for our 2008 Cadillac CTS came in. Boy does it transform the iPod experience.

Load times take about as long as it takes me to reach up to the touch screen after I snap my iPod onto the cord--in other words, negligible. And the GM logo now appears on my iPod's screen.

None of the tracks end up in the gibberish "No Info" file--they're all where they are supposed to be. Menu choices for "Playlist" and "Podcast" are now here (although the latter is one menu level down under "Genre" instead of being at the top level as it is on an iPod--no big deal).

*more like replacement--read on ...

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2008 Cadillac CTS: IPod Connection Incomplete

May 28, 2008

Right on the front page of the Cadillac CTS webpage, a list of key features is touted. Number 5 on the list is "Full MP3 and iPod connectivity." Well, our 2008 Cadillac CTS has the optional 40 Gb hard drive and USB port necessary to gain "full iPod connectivity," but it ain't that simple.

Why? You can't use your iPod's own USB connection cord. Even though it seems to plug in properly to our USB jack, it doesn't work right. Warns against doing so in the manual, too.

The standard USB iPod cord every iPod owner owns doesn't talk to the CTS correctly, so about 40% of my songs and podcasts show up as gibberish, as seen below. And all those missing songs and podcasts show up as tracks on an album entitled "No Info." Wasn't that an 80's hair band? Another big tip-off that this is the wrong way to hook up is the huge "USB" logo that appears on the screen. It should say "iPod".

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2008 Cadillac CTS: Getting You "Through" the Traffic

March 18, 2008

It's always comical when you hear or see commercials where the product promises to help save time by "getting you through the traffic" in your area. Sometimes the commercial in question is for an aftermarket GPS nav system, sometimes it's for a radio station's frequent traffic reporting system, and sometimes it's for a vehicle's nav system. But in all instances, it's total B.S. With regard to our long-term 2008 Cadillac CTS, the car can most certainly inform you of traffic conditions in your local area.

But as far as getting you through these traffic conditions? Unless there's a teleporting or flying mode I'm not aware of on our CTS, I don't see this information actually helping someone save time in their daily commute across Los Angeles...

Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief @ 3,204 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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