2008 Cadillac CTS Review

Wednesday July 9th, 2008 at 9:77 AM
Posted by: Francois

Performance
This is not a light car and this is not a V8 engine under the hood so don’t expect a rocket. But after we got used to the heavy accelerator pedal, we realized that this is one powerful V6 engine. It pulls with great urgency and growls all the way to the redline. The heavy car takes a few extra milliseconds to launch but it accelerates well and keeps on pulling.

Our test car had all-wheel drive that was unnecessary for our northern California driving conditions. We’ll ignore it on this write-up and forgive the extra weight and cost it adds to the test car.

2008 Cadillac CTS - backlit analog instruments

Of course under heavy braking, the weight of the car can be felt too as it takes a bit of effort to slow it down. It’s not a nimble car but it is peppy.

The upside with the weight of the car is that it is very stable and comfortable on the freeway and on uneven roads. The car feels planted and the suspension and the chassis soak up the road imperfections well.

Handling
Handling is hampered by the weight and the initial hint of body roll. But when we challenged the car on twisty mountain roads of Highway 35 and Highway 84, the car maintained grip and kept it’s composure. It took a bit of effort but the car got around the twisty corners quite fast. When the going got twisty, the CTS came out to play.

We preferred the steering to be tighter and quicker to match the handling abilities of the CTS.

Styling
The styling is bold, original and angular. The beveled lines are not for everyone, but we think it is the best looking Cadillac in the line-up and it is one of the better looking American sedans. This is a breath of fresh air as too many cars nowadays look like copies of each other.

The front spoiler comes down quite low and it is easy to damage on curbs. The angled side mirrors flow with the rest of the car’s profile but visibility is a bit compromised as the mirror is shorter than normal.

Value
We are quite pleased with the value of the fully equipped $43,000 Cadillac CTS. The interior is fully decked out and the enthusiastic V6 and sporty handling compares well to European sport sedans.

2008 Cadillac CTS

Conclusion
This car breaks the Cadillac mold. It is a driver’s car and it challenges the best Japanese and European offerings. The navigation and audio system is one of the best ones we’ve seen at any price point. Its biggest challenge is going beyond the older demographic of the typical Cadillac sedan buyer. We are confident the CTS will succeed and satisfying many first-time Cadillac buyers.

  Build Interior Performance Handling Styling Value Overall
Rating 4.5 4.75 4.5 4.5 4.75 4.75 4.6/A-


Specs:
Base w/1SB 4dr All-wheel Drive Sedan
Curb weight: 4101 lbs.
Engine Size: 3.6 liter V6
Horsepower: 304 HP
Torque: 273 lb-ft.
Drivetrain: All-Wheel Drive
EPA mileage estimates: 17 / 26 (city/highway)
Base Price: $33675
As Delivered: $43000

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