Cadillac CTS: Brilliant luxury that offers strong value
The Cadillac CTS is the vehicle that really sparked the iconic American luxury brand's comeback a few years ago.
Sure, the Escalade SUV got a lot of attention for its size and gaudiness, but it was the CTS that showed the automotive world that Caddy still knew how to build a really good car that was well-appointed, beautifully designed and a pleasure to drive.
Now, at the end of this decade, the 2009 CTS continues to display all of those attributes, and can now be rightfully called one of the finest cars on the market.
The CTS distinguishes itself with its styling, such as the aggressive lines and muscular appearance found on the exterior and the smoothly contoured shaping of the instrument panel. Better materials were used inside beginning with the redesign that took place in the 2008 model year.
The interior now has quality upholstery and trim that oozes class.
In front, firm sport seats give good support, while the backseat area is a bit small but comfortable enough for two adults.
The CTS rides as smoothly as silk, and its handling is as capable and energetic as any luxury brand from across the ponds.
The CTS comes with a direct-injected, 3.6-liter V-6 that makes 304 horsepower, with base models getting a 263-hp version of the engine.
All-wheel-drive is available with either engine, but a six-speed manual is only available with the 263-hp engine.
A six-speed automatic does the shifting for the rest of the model lineup.
Options include an advanced hard drive-based infotainment system with the ability to rip CDs or record and play back radio broadcasts, new for 2009 Bluetooth connectivity, and an advanced navigation system that incorporates the XM NavTraffic feature. New for 2009 across all Cadillacs is a new option called Cadillac WiFi that can be dealer-installed.
The CTS is bigger than some of the other luxury cars it competes with in its segment, but that in no way compromises acceleration and handling.
The CTS is very well-balanced and has an especially well-tuned Stabilitrak stability control system.
Plus, with an EPA-estimated 26 mpg highway, CTS offers better fuel economy than some of its competition.
Our tester, which was fully loaded, made a compelling case for value, too, carrying a sticker price of around $49,000.