2011 Cadillac CTS-V Review

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2 Reviews
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The 2011 Cadillac CTS-V packs the Corvette ZR1's powertrain, and much of its excitement, into fashionable Coupe, Sedan, or Sport Wagon variants that are track-ready but day-to-day comfortable.

The formula: At its simplest, pack a version of the Chevy Corvette ZR1 engine into the Cadillac CTS and take aim at some of the leading sport machines from Germany, with the "V" designating the performance version of Cadillac's rear-wheel-drive midsize model, aimed squarely at the BMW 5-Series, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and the Audi A6. That formula had been applied to the sedan, and now it's been expanded to Sport Wagon and Coupe body styles. In any case, the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V involves far more high-performance changes than just the engine, and is built in small numbers, and considerably more expensive.

This year, the rakish shape of the new-for-2011 CTS Coupe brings an especially distinctive 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe. Only two years ago, the CTS-V was reformed into a more aggressive shape and performance-first machine, while picking up some of the manners given to the CTS before it. The CTS-V isn't as smooth as its contemporaries, it wears its hard-edge on its sleeves. The exterior won't appeal to everyone, but inside the CTS-V adopts a more rounded form with more comfort-friendly shapes. LED interior light highlights some of the softer shapes, while an interior design theme draws eyes and fingertips toward the center of the console. A very nifty retractable navigation screen is sharp and one of few optional extras offered.

So what's it like to drive? In a word, brilliant. Like its sedan counterpart, the lusty 556-horsepower supercharged LSA V-8 under the hood is docile and smooth around town, but absolutely stonking when unleashed. The ride quality is great, despite being able to deliver over 1g of lateral grip thanks to an inch wider rear track than the V sedan and big 19x9-inch (front) and 19x9.5-inch (rear) wheels wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires, plus Cadillac's magnetic ride control suspension.

The interior is several notches above the standard CTS, on par with the Germans in most respects—better in the dash area, thanks to the cut-and-sewn leather. The leather Recaro seats—finished in a breathable and grippy microfiber—are some of the best in the industry, and it delivers on nav and entertainment features too. The backseats are a little tight, but in all but Coupes (where it's mainly just tough to get into the back seat) there's enough space for two adults in reasonable comfort. The instrument panel is a love-hate thing; it's attractive, with some impressive features and design details, but rather cluttered overall, with the climate controls especially low, near the driver's knee.

The CTS-V is available in a single trim level, stuffed with as many goodies as you might imagine. Rain-sensing wipers, parking assistants, heated power adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate controls, xenon headlights, and a standard 40 GB infotainment system are all included. Bluetooth and USB connectivity help keep it flexible, and we'd recommend springing for the navigation system—it's one of the best we've found.

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February 4, 2016
2011 Cadillac CTS-V 4-Door Sedan

A 4 door ZO6

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Every thing I expected. I'm 71 and have owned numerous American GM muscle cars including 3 Corvettes. I actually drove it to the drags at Bradenton Fl. Didn't even adjust air in the tires and run a best of... + More »
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December 12, 2015
2011 Cadillac CTS-V 2-Door Coupe

This car is incredable fast and comfortable.

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This is the fastest comfortable car around. It has a really solid chassis and great driver feel.
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November 22, 2015
2016 Cadillac CTS-V 4-Door Sedan

2016 cts v four door

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This is a nice car it rides nice and the seats are comfortable
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August 3, 2015
2014 Cadillac CTS-V 4-Door Sedan

A Super Luxurious Corvette with Two Extra Doors?

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My 2014 Cadillac CTS-V, a White Diamond Tricoat four-door produced near the end of the second generation remains a powerful, luxurious yet masculine and totally reliable sports sedan. Whether running errands... + More »
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June 7, 2015
2014 Cadillac CTS-V 4-Door Sedan

Have Caddy Will Travel

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Great car for long trips. Makes country, curvy, hilly roads a pleasure. Downside: Nav system and OnStar maps are stuck in the 1990's. Upside: Great handling, ride and giddy-up.
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April 13, 2015
For 2014 Cadillac CTS-V

Great car.

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Consistent supercharger problems. Been replaced three times in a year and a half. That's the only problem. My previous three V's never had any problem.
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November 20, 2016
2012 Cadillac CTS-V 2-Door Coupe

I bought this car for the performance and fell for the style

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Has great looks amazing handling and performance I think since Caddy does not make a coupe in the V anymore I will just drive this one till the warrentys out then spend the trade money on a major performance... + More »
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October 23, 2015
2012 Cadillac CTS-V 4-Door Sedan

wow have to experience it to appreciate it

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recently purchased 2012 cts-v sedan with 6k miles. Ive owned bmw mercedes numerous models. With out question strongest car i have ever owned..If under full acceleration stay in straight line, or back will step... + More »
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April 13, 2015
For 2010 Cadillac CTS-V

Great Performance 4 Door Sedan

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My 2010 CTS-V has been great fun to drive and the performance has made me almost forget how much I loved my 2002 Corvette Z06. Even the fuel economy on the highway has been more than acceptable with a best 24... + More »
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April 12, 2015
For 2005 Cadillac CTS-V

Some inherant problems but an awesome 4 door sedan!

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If your looking for a cuchy riding Cadillac,skip the CTS-V! This 4 door sedan can go almost 170 mph and handles like a Corvette. In fact it has a Corvette drivetrain (Zo6 engine) and the massive Brembo brakes... + More »
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