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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Four stars, frontal impact; five stars, side impact
Good," frontal offset test and side impact test
Optional advanced traction-control system
In order to compete with the best of the Euro-sedans, the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V comes packed with top-notch safety features. This super-Caddy doesn't disappoint in safety, offering a multimode electronic stability system and a wealth of airbags.
The 2009 Cadillac CTS-V itself has not yet been crash-tested by either NHTSA or the IIHS, but for all intents and purposes, it can be assigned the same ratings as its twin, the standard Cadillac CTS. The Cadillac CTS and, by virtue of its nearly identical chassis design, the Cadillac CTS-V earn less-than-ideal scores from NHTSA in frontal-impact tests: four out of a possible five stars. However, the Cadillac CTS-V achieves a perfect five-star rating from NHTSA for side-impact protection. The IIHS is also highly impressed by the Cadillac CTS-V's crash performance and awards the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V the highest possible rating, "good," in both the frontal offset and side impact categories. In fact, the IIHS likes the Cadillac CTS so much that they declare it a Top Safety Pick for its "good performance in front, side, and rear tests and standard electronic stability control." With such a genealogy, it's easy to see why the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V should score very well if either NHTSA or the IIHS decide to test one.
Standard safety features abound on the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V and include some very high-tech systems. Cars.com reports that some of the more mundane safety features include "four-wheel-disc antilock brakes" and "six airbags, including side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for both rows," along with "active head restraints." Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com rave about the standard stability control system, which Automobile Magazine says has "three levels of computer control: full on, competition mode (traction control off and stability control allowing more leeway), and full off." The Cadillac CTS-V also offers an "optional advanced traction-control system called Performance Traction Management," according to Motor Trend, "which will allow the driver to select up to six different traction thresholds."
The 2009 Cadillac CTS-V stacks up pretty well in terms of crash-test ratings and safety equipment, but overall visibility is a drag on its safety score. ConsumerGuide is disappointed to find that the "rakish roof line hurts visibility...with thick rear pillars being a particular hindrance to the outward view."
The 2009 Cadillac CTS-V is incredibly powerful, but offers all the safety of a high-tech sport sedan.