The 2008 Cadillac CTS's performance didn't disappoint any of the reviews we read, and reviewers were positively beaming about the CTS's handling. It "drives like a proper BMW rival,"said Motor Trend, while Car and Driver found it more comfortable than similar Infiniti and BMW sport sedans. ForbesAutos found lots to commend in the CTS' road manners and crisp steering and called it predictable and forgiving at the limits of grip.
Edmunds tested a CTS with a high-performance FE3 suspension, with a package including 18-inch wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 summer tires. They point out the same tires are fitted to some Porsches, and the treads impart a lot of the CTS' excellent handling, and contribute to very short braking distances.
Even with the top 304-hp engine, the 2008 CTS is slower than rivals, reported Edmunds, thanks to 300 extra pounds of curb weight. ForbesAutos.com says the Cadillac doesn't "bubble with enthusiasm" but finds it "delivers more than enough energy."
A number of reviewers also noted that Cadillac recommends premium fuel the direct-injection engine. ConsumerGuide tested both 3.6-liter engines and found that the direct injection engine turned in much better fuel economy.
Testers unanimously liked the 6-speed automatic. They liked its smooth shifting and quick reactions. Car and Driver reports the Sport setting is good for "aggressively downshifting under braking." CNET confirmed the automatic downshifts based on hard braking in corners, which makes it a joy to drive on the track.
Car and Driver also tested the six-speed manual transmission but said that abrupt shift action, an abruptly engaging clutch pedal, and a high center console all detracted from the experience, and said that "even with a new shift linkage for shorter throws, the manual isn't nearly as fluid as those from BMW."