A 210-horsepower, 2.8-liter V-6 replaced the 220-hp, 3.2-liter V-6 in the entry-luxury CTS (Cadillac Touring Sedan) for the 2005 model year. A new six-speed manual became the standard transmission, but a five-speed automatic could be installed.
For 2006, the automatic transmission gains Driver Shift Control, and cashmere is a new interior color choice. A new XM NavTraffic system, included with the optional DVD navigation system, provides continuously updated traffic information in select cities. Sport Appearance and Sport Performance Packages include 18-inch wheels.
Launched as an early 2003 model, the CTS was built on a new Sigma rear-wheel-drive platform and featured square-edge styling. Suspension revisions and interior changes for 2004 were intended to soften the ride and reduce noise.
A high-performance CTS-V sedan debuted during the 2004 season.
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Styling themes for the CTS are rooted in Cadillac's Evoq concept car. Cadillac touted the CTS as "the first 100 percent application of Cadillac's art and science approach to passenger-car design."
Cadillac has described the CTS body as lean, bold and chiseled, incorporating "sharp edges and crisp intersecting lines" and a short front overhang. Measuring 190.1 inches long overall, the CTS rides a 113.4-inch wheelbase. Integrated, traditionally styled vertical headlights and taillights are installed. The large, shield-shaped, louvered eggcrate grille is reminiscent of Cadillacs dating back to the 1930s. Cadillac's wreath-and-crest symbol is incorporated into the grille.
Cast-aluminum wheels hold 16-inch tires. An optional Sport Package includes Cadillac's StabiliTrak electronic stability system, a sport-tuned suspension, a load-leveling rear suspension and 17-inch wheels. The Sport Performance Package includes 18-inch wheels, revised suspension tuning, xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights, StabiliTrak and a tire-pressure monitor.
Five people fit inside the CTS sedan. Wood is used only in areas where it will come in contact with occupants: on the three-spoke steering wheel, gearshift knob and door pulls. The seats have leather seating surfaces, and heated front seats are optional. General Motors' OnStar communication system is standard. Trunk capacity measures 12.8 cubic feet.
Under the Hood
Cadillac's 3.6-liter V-6 produces 255 hp, and the 2.8-liter V-6 generates 210 hp. Both engines work with an Aisin six-speed-manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic. A button for the automatic allows drivers to select Sport, Winter or Economy mode, and engine braking occurs in all five gears.
Six airbags are installed: dual-stage front airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags and roof-mounted side curtain-type airbags. Antilock brakes and all-speed traction control are standard.
Controversial CTS styling might be considered either alluring or alarming, but there's less to argue about when it comes to this car's excellent driving characteristics. An excellent, quick-shifting automatic transmission assists subtle yet bountiful performance.
For the most part, drivers can expect the feel of a European sport sedan, but the CTS isn't quite as refined as an Audi or BMW. Still, the CTS is exceptionally stable on the road and easy to drive around town. Steering response is on the sporty side, too.
Cadillac launched a performance offshoot of the CTS during the 2004 model year. Rather than the relatively mild-mannered V-6 engines that go into regular CTS sedans, the 2006 CTS-V gets a new, larger 6.0-liter V-8 that produces the same 400 hp and 395 pounds-feet of torque as the 2005 model. Only a Tremec six-speed-manual gearbox is offered.
The CTS-V was the first of several planned V-series models, which are developed by GM's Performance Division. Differences between the CTS-V and the regular CTS include a unique front fascia and a tightened suspension. Performance-tuned shocks, springs and stabilizer bars are installed on the CTS-V, and Brembo brakes use 14-inch rotors. The performance-packed CTS-V behaves as promised, accelerating with energetic haste. Back to top
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