World Class Cadillac CTS

August 9, 2010

Remember when Cadillac was “The Standard of the World”?  With cars like the 2010 Cadillac CTS Performance Collection, GM’s top division may soon claim that moniker once again. Available as a sedan, wagon and now, in coupe form, the CTS can serve most people with its variety of guises.

The mainstream Cadillac CTS is a mid-size rear-wheel drive four-door sedan, seating five adults. Its sizing is just right for nearly everyone at 191.6 inches length, 72.5 inches width, height of 58 inches and riding on a 113.4-inch wheelbase. Its weight of 3,874 pounds is about right for the classification and the nimbleness of this car certainly makes the CTS feel lighter than it is.

Cadillac has two engines (3.0-liters and 3.6-liters) for the CTS sedan: we tested the 3.6-liter direct injection V-6 that makes 304 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 273 pound-feet of torque at 5,200. There’s plenty of oomph off the line and the Caddy is deliriously happy cruising at 80-85 mph, where it returns in excess of 25 mpg. This car is rated at 18/27 mpg from the 18 gallon tank and accepts regular unleaded fuel without complaint.

A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on the car and features both floor-mount and paddle shifting for those who like to do it themselves. A six-speed manual is also available. In regular driving the shifts are imperceptible; put it in manual mode and a sporting nature surely takes over.

Cadillac fits four-wheel antilock braking, stability and traction controls that help keep this sedan performing its best in poor weather and aid confidence on twisty roads. It rates four stars for driver protection in a crash but five stars for all other crash aspects other than rollover, where the Feds give it four stars again. Of course there are front, side and head curtain airbags fit for passive safety.

2010 Cadillac CTS

2010 Cadillac CTS

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Cadillac uses a true proximity key for the CTS sedan and that negates the need to pull the fob from one’s pocket to enter, exit or start the car by turning a knob where a key might fit. The driver can also use the remote start to heat or cool the car on approach. 

All seams and closures are excellent on the 2010 CTS 3.6-liter Performance sedan. The doors have appropriate heft to them and thunk like they should. The driver’s office has black gauges with white numbers and red pointers. The speedometer reads to 160 mph; 7,000 on the tach is redline. There are also temperature, fuel and oil pressure gauges provided for driver info, in addition to the customary trip computer.

This particular Cadillac CTS has Recaro seats for its front seat occupants. That is one of many options that hauls the entry fee of $42,390 to a total of $52,390. The Recaro performance seats are coupled with metal pedals for $2,800, deleting the split fold rear seats (could have used them at IKEA during a shopping trip).

There is also a performance luxury package at $2855 that includes an audible theft deterrent system, LED interior ambient lighting, heated and cooled seats, power tilt/telescope steering wheel, keyless access, remote start, rear park assist (no camera), Sapele wood trim and automatic cabin odor filter.

In addition, Cadillac fits 19-inch summer performance tires for $2,090; In this case they were Continental 245/45R rubber riding on twinned 7-spoke alloy rims, a very pretty package that didn’t hinder the ride overmuch.  This package also includes the sport suspension system, (wood and leather) steering heel mounted paddle shifting, performance cooling system and performance disc brakes. The final option is an under-hood appearance package, which is essentially shrouding with a Cadillac emblem for $110.

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