2012 Cadillac CTS Review
We drive Cadillac's best seller.No Comments
Can the standard CTS hang with the competition from overseas?
Meet Cadillac's Best Seller
When the head honchos at Cadillac began changing the lineup to counter the perception that the company had become an old man's brand, the CTS was conceived as the mid-size mid-luxury car that would rejuvenate the brand. We'd say that the CTS, which marked the debut of the brand's 'Art and Science' design theme, has done a pretty fair job of accomplishing the mission it set out to achieve.
The odd thing is that thanks to the fact that the car is available in coupe, sedan, and wagon forms, with hot-rod 'V' versions of all three available, the 'regular' CTS sedan kinda gets lost in the shuffle. Gearheads with deep pockets and lead feet will be tempted by the 'V' versions, of course, and the anti-crossover crowd will be seduced by one of the few wagons sold in the States. But what about those who want or need four doors, care not a whit about extra speed, and don't need a wagon's cargo space? Can the standard CTS hang with the competition from overseas?
Those standard features and a few more came to $48,290. Our car had the $2,810 CTS Touring Package, though, which added more options, including a few substitutions over the standard features. Gone were the heated steering wheel and split-folding rear seat--the split-folding seat was deleted and the heated steering wheel replaced by a suede steering wheel. Other Touring Package highlights included a 'sport finish' grille, chrome door handles, suede fabric inserts, wood trim, metal pedals, and a 'sport' center mounted stop lamp.
Our car also had a 19-inch summer tire Performance Package, with the 18s obviously being replaced by 19-inch wheels wearing summer rubber. Other items included in the package are paddle shifters, a performance cooling system, performance brakes, a limited-slip differential, and a performance suspension. That package ran up another $2,090, and a compact spare tire and wheel kit (replacing the standard tire inflator kit added another $350. The $5,250 in options brought us to $53,540 and the $875 destination took the as-tested total to $54,415.
That may seem like a lot, but compared to some of the German and Asian competition in the segment, and factoring in the equipment list, that's not too shabby of a luxury deal, although we hesitate to use the word 'bargain.'
Ride and handling trends towards the smooth side, as well, although there's a definite sporting flavor here. The CTS isn't a driver's car in the way that a 5-Series is, but it never runs from a challenge, either, and the experience is engaging enough. If getting the best driver's car means a lot to you, you might want to take a gander at the Infiniti M or the 5-Series, but the CTS does strike a nice balance between luxury and sport.
The styling will divide, the interior needs just a touch more class (but only a touch), and rear seat could stand to be roomier. But the CTS does many things well, and you can still tell your friends you have a Cadillac.
Except this time, they won't decide to move you to Del Boca Vista.