Little has changed on Cadillac's CTS sedan for 2007, though the optional navigation system's NavTraffic overlay does gain some additional features.
Launched as an early 2003 model, the CTS was built on a new Sigma rear-wheel-drive platform and featured square-edge styling and a 220-horsepower, 3.2-liter V-6. Suspension revisions and interior changes for 2004 were intended to soften the ride and reduce noise. Cadillac also added a 255-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 to the options list in 2004, and in 2005 the base V-6 was replaced by a smaller, 210-hp engine. A manual or automatic transmission is available with either engine.
A high-performance CTS-V sedan is also available.
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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 monitoring system.
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.
An optional navigation system includes XM NavTraffic, which displays traffic congestion, accidents and other information. For 2007, NavTraffic incorporates OnStar Connections and Directions. The service includes spoken directions, concierge service, vehicle diagnostics and more.
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. Engine braking occurs in all five gears, which gives the transmission a sportier feel.
Six airbags are installed: dual-stage front airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags and roof-mounted side curtain airbags. Antilock brakes and all-speed traction control are standard.
An electronic stability system is optional — an unfortunate omission, given many CTS competitors include the technology as standard equipment.
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.
The controls are somewhat unorthodox, but the driver's seat is especially comfortable and adequately supportive. Headroom, elbowroom and leg space are abundant up front.
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 is the first of several V-series models 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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