Review: I'll never forget the first time I drove a Cadillac CTS. The
car had just been introduced and General Motors had a lot riding on its
success to help turn around the struggling luxury brand. At the time
Cadillac was a marque that desperately needed a shot of adrenaline,
because it primarily made boring land yachts for old people.
But the first CTS was
different. It was exciting. It had rear-wheel drive.
It had a captivating,
thoroughly modern body. It drove like a true sports sedan. It was an
amazing car that got everything right except for one glaring exception:
the interior was absolutely terrible.
Here was a world-class
car with an interior made from materials that would look repulsive on
the Wal-Mart clearance aisle, all black and cheap like a low-budget Bat
Man movie. At the time, I called the cabin a "plastic cave of death."
Fast forward to today,
and Oh My Gosh, things have changed. While the CTS still has a
world-class driving feel, the interior today is stunning. Simply
stunning. Like the best Audis and newest Jaguars, it has a cabin that
feels ridiculously opulent in its execution.
color stitching on the soft dash, huge swaths of rich wood that make it
look like an old English gentleman's club, soft lighting that subtly
warms up the space, and tiny, precisely assembled bits of chrome that
give it a modern zing.
This is how all luxury
car cabins should feel, and it's a great example of how much General
Motorís products have improved in just a few years.
The newest CTS is a car
that makes you want to spend a lot of time with it, so that's exactly
what I did on a quick road trip to the mountains. On the interstate the
CTS feels much more expensive than it actually is (it starts at just
$36,560) thanks to features like air-conditioned leather seats that keep
your backside cool, a hard drive that can store hours of music, and a
navigation system that's both easy to use and packed with features.
Better yet, it's a
luxury car that's actually fun to drive. It hugged the mountain roads
like the best European and Japanese sports sedans, hunkering down on
hairpins and accelerating with the kind of refined muscle you'd expect
in a super high-end luxury car, much less this entry-luxury Caddy.
A 3.6-liter V6 engine
thatís available with or without direct injection, which improves
throttle response, power and efficiency, powers the regular CTS. The
direct-injected CTS, which makes 304 horsepower, starts at $38,860. If
you want the ultra-performance CTS-V, which is really a totally
different Corvette-V8-powered beast, you'll have to pay $60,700 for its
556-horsepower bragging rights.
Standard features in
all CTS versions include dual-zone automatic climate control, a great
eight-speaker Bose stereo, keyless entry, OnStar, and XM Satellite
Radio. Some notable options include the cooled seats, navigation system,
remote starter, Bluetooth phone connection, and rear parking assist.
Like the president's
limo, the Cadillac CTS has a squared-off shape that looks luxurious and
sporty at the same time. It's a look that's aging well as the CTS
matures. The CTS' interior shows off what General Motors is capable of
doing. It has a rich, opulent look like a top-of-the-line European
luxury sedan, but it starts at a more reasonable price.
What was tested?
The 2009 Cadillac CTS Direct Injection with a base price of $38,860.
Options on the test car: Upgraded paint at $1,295, premium options
collection for $10,050. The total MSRP price as tested including the
$825 destination charge is $50,205.
Why avoid it?
Wide pillars behind the back doors hamper your vision when you're
Why buy it? It's
attainable luxury. The CTS drives with the excitement of a more
expensive sports sedan and has a cabin that can compete with the best in
Bottom Line: No
matter which CTS you pick, you'll be driving proof that Cadillac, and
General Motors, can build cars that compete with the very best carmakers
in the world.
By Derek Price © AutoWire.Net - San
Review provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Cadillac Home Page
Column Name: CTS aims
for 'Standard of the World'
Topic: 2009 Cadillac
Word Count: 742
Photo Caption: 2009
Photo Credits: Cadillac
CTS Internet Media
Series #: 2009 - 43
the Microsoft Word version here: 2009
Download the Original Image File here:
2009 Cadillac CTS