There’s a reason why Cadillac’s CTS keeps being picked as Car of the Year by everyone from Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) to Motor Trend Magazine. This midsize luxury sedan has dazzling good looks plus the heart and soul of a true champion. Anyone lucky enough to drive it will get the kind of attention usually reserved for rock stars or TV celebrities. I was so popular with my friends and relatives the week I drove a CTS, you might have thought they were lobbying to be in my will.
While my favorite CTS is the CTS-V coupe, which is so thrilling to drive it is probably bad for my blood pressure, the sedan with a 3.6 liter V6 engine producing 321 hp that I tested still provided plenty of excitement. The CTS performed perfectly with its 8-speed automatic transmission set on sport, magnetic ride control, 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, all season run flat tires, Brembo performance brakes, and StabiliTrak and traction control.
And what a treat for the eyes! The test model came in a beautiful Red Obsession Tintcoat and jet black/Morello red accents for the interior. Full leather heated and ventilated seats were included in the Premium Collection edition, with performance front seats. The controls were even more enticing, with several people saying it seemed to offer more options than a state-of-the-art video game or a flight simulator cockpit.
The CTS came with a 12.3-inch reconfigurable cluster, Cadillac User Experience (CUE) with navigation, 8-inch full color touch display, head-up display, keyless push button start, adaptive remote vehicle start, front and rear park assist, automatic parking assist, and tri-zone climate controls. The CTS also boasted power tilt and telescopic steering column, heated leather wrap steering wheel, magnesium paddle shifters, rain-sense windshield wipers, LED interior ambient lighting, LED vertical accent lighting, Ultraview sunroof, and power rear sunshades with manual rear side window shades.
With its AM/FM stereo, CD player, Bose with surround sound, SiriusXM and HD radio, and great navigation system that kept me on target for a round-trip drive from Dallas to Austin (with OnStar always available for more personal directions) I felt surrounded by comfort and security. Safety features included multiple driver and passenger airbags, head curtains, and 4-way adjustable front head restraints. The driver awareness package included the side blind zone alert, one of my new favorite features. The automatic lift gate, another favorite feature, also proved its value many times on my trip.
The CTS 3.6L Premium had a MSRP of $64,500, but the eye-catching red tint coat and complementary interior touches brought the total price for the test model (with destination charges) to $68,070. Mileage was estimated at 18 in town and 29 on the highway, for an average of 22 mpg. I seemed to average a little better than expected since the trip to Austin put a lot of highway miles on the speedometer.
However, anyone buying this terrific vehicle is probably not too concerned about spending an estimated $500 more in fuel costs over 5 years. As the slogan goes, “What price beauty?” not to mention outstanding performance.
Jo Ann Holt is a journalist and car columnist based in Dallas and a member of Texas Automobile Writers Association (TAWA).