Redesigned for the 2008 model year, the Cadillac CTS kept everything that was good about its first-generation model and seemed to improve on what wasn't — and not just a little. It competes with entry-level sport sedans such as the BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G37.
New for 2010 is a wagon variant. Cadillac also builds the high-performance CTS-V.
New for 2010
Changes this year include a new variant, the CTS Sport Wagon, as well as a new 3.0-liter V-6 base engine. It replaces last year's port-injected 3.6-liter V-6; a direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6 is still optional.
With the current design, the CTS became a more unified-looking car. The wheels were set 2 inches farther apart, which together with the lowered front bumper gave the car a ground-hugging, sturdy look. Higher trim levels have fog lights and xenon headlights.
Exterior features include:
- Dual exhaust pipes
- LED taillights
- Optional fog lights
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Optional 18- or 19-inch alloys
The design is modern, with materials that look and feel high-quality. Vinyl upholstery and a power driver's seat are standard, with leather upholstery and a power passenger seat optional.
Interior features include:
- Standard vinyl upholstery; leather optional
- Standard dual-zone automatic A/C
- Optional heated and cooled front seats
- Optional onboard hard drive with TiVo-like, real-time radio playback
- Optional 60/40-split folding backseat
- Optional dual-panel moonroof
Under the Hood
A new direct-injection 3.0-liter V-6 serves as the CTS' base engine. A 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 remains optional; last year's port-injected 3.6-liter V-6 has been dropped.
- Standard 270-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 with 223 pounds-feet of torque
- Optional 304-hp, 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 with 273 pounds-feet of torque
- Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic available with either engine
- Paddle shifters available with automatic
- Rear- or all-wheel drive (all-wheel drive available with automatic only)
- Both engines use regular, 87-octane gasoline
- Three suspension choices; most performance-oriented version can have 19-inch summer tires
Standard safety features include:
- Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system with traction control
- Six airbags, including side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for both rows
- Active head restraints
While the CTS is priced to rub elbows with compact sport sedans like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac says its CTS-V competes with those cars' respective big brothers, the BMW M5 and Mercedes E63 AMG. Maybe that's because the CTS-V makes 556 hp and 551 pounds-feet of torque.
Under the hood, GM's 6.2-liter V-8 gets an intercooled Eaton supercharger, and all power goes to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. With the manual, a dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch aim to enhance the left pedal's smoothness, but we hope the stick shift itself has improved over the regular CTS' clunky setup. As in the regular CTS, the automatic has paddle shifters on the steering wheel, and we're impressed that Cadillac is offering both setups.
The CTS-V adopts the STS' Magnetic Ride Control, which reads the road and varies suspension settings to match driving conditions. An optional Performance Traction Management system aims to optimize traction with an eye toward maximizing acceleration — as opposed to conventional traction control, which mostly tries to optimize traction. GM's electronic stability system comes standard and includes a competitive mode that dials back its intrusiveness, allowing you to perform stunts you probably shouldn't try outside a racetrack.
Styling changes from the freshly minted CTS include a larger grille and the requisite lower body cladding. The cabin features deeply bolstered Recaro seats with grippier suede-like inserts, as well as dark obsidian trim and a microfiber-lined steering wheel. Back to top.
CTS Sport Wagon
New for 2010 is a wagon version of the CTS, intended to compete with the likes of the BMW 328i and Audi A4 wagons. The CTS sedan's taillights stretch clear to the wagon's roof, with similar piped-in lighting effects. Cadillac says the roof rails conform to the roofline rather than protruding above it. Inside, the CTS wagon offers 25 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats. Folding down the rear seats brings cargo room up to 53.4 cubic feet.
The CTS wagon uses the same powertrains as its sedan sibling — a 270-hp V-6 or 304-hp V-6 — but both engines pair with a six-speed automatic transmission. The CTS sedan offers a stick shift. All-wheel drive is optional. Back to top.
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|Joe Wiesenfelder||Cars.com National||December 14, 2009|
|Cars.com Staff||Cars.com National||August 17, 2009|
|Scott Burgess||The Detroit Newspapers||April 10, 2010|
|Warren Brown||washingtonpost.com||March 21, 2010|
|Kristin Varela||Mother Proof||January 18, 2010|
|Jim Mateja||chicagotribune.com||November 29, 2009|
|Dan Neil||Los Angeles Times||November 6, 2009|
|Scott Burgess||The Detroit Newspapers||September 17, 2009|
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