Designed to Impress: The 2017 Cadillac CTS

The 2017 Cadillac CTS is a prime example of a luxurious sedan that comes with a fair price tag. Available with a compact turbo engine and two V6 engines, this model delivers class-leading performance. All-wheel drive and the Magnetic Ride Control highlight the vehicle’s versatile powertrain.

As a lavish sedan, the Cadillac CTS is loaded with high-tech features like the CUE infotainment system with Wi-Fi and navigation. More than 10 accident-avoidance features also make this sedan a class leader in active safety. Of course, leather upholstery and heated seats are among the high-end amenities that are installed in the CTS.

Price

The 2.0 L Turbo CTS is the base trim, with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of approximately $48,000. For a base trim, it has some premium options such as the Luxury package with a tri-zone climate control system and illuminated door handles.

Available with the Driver Awareness package that includes cutting-edge safety technology, the 2.0L Turbo Luxury model is priced at just under $57,000. Having standard technology like the CUE infotainment system and Bose sound system, the 3.6 V6 Luxury edition also costs about $57,000.

As the most sophisticated model in the CTS lineup, the 3.6 V6 Premium Luxury exceeds the $60,000 mark. It boasts the Surround Vision system, Automatic Park Assist and UltraView power sunroof.

Performance

Having an I-4 configuration, the 2.0L turbocharged engine in the Cadillac CTS generates a maximum of 268 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Twin scrolls are installed in the small turbocharger that surely packs a big punch. Direct Injection works in sync with the Variable Valve Timing (VVT) mechanism to maximize power on each combustion stroke.

The 3.6L V6 engine is capable of producing up to 335 horsepower and 285 lb-ft of torque. For maximum performance, you can select the 3.6L Twin Turbo V6 engine that pumps out 420 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. Featuring an air-cooled system, this six-cylinder engine offers a similar output as many V8 engines in other premium sedans, sports cars, SUVs and pickup trucks.

As a luxurious sedan, the Cadillac CTS is naturally available with all-wheel drive. If you’re looking for sporty performance, then perhaps the rear-wheel drive is the best option. Unlike most sedans on the global market, the CTS is actually not available with a conventional front-wheel drive.

A limited-slip differential can be installed to enhance traction in demanding conditions. Besides getting a good grip on the road, the CTS offers a smooth and quiet ride thanks to the Magnetic Ride Control. This technology monitors the road hundreds of times per second in order to make the appropriate adjustments to the suspension system.

A 50/50 weight distribution significantly improves the performance of this sporty sedan. With eight gear speeds to choose from, it should be easy to handle this agile model. The racing-inspired front Brembo brakes guarantee a short stopping distance even on wet surfaces. Just as most Cadillac models, the CTS sedan is equipped with the StabiliTrak technology that lowers the risk of skidding and swerving on slippery roads. This is a traditional vehicle stability management (VSM) system that keeps the car on its track in inclement weather.

Fuel Efficiency

The Automatic Start-Stop technology is included with the turbo engine that drives the Cadillac CTS. When paired with all-wheel drive, this compact engine offers a fuel economy of 29 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in the city. The rear-wheel drive configuration increases the efficiency to 30 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in the city.

Besides having the Auto Start-Stop function, the vehicle’s 3.6L V6 engine comes with Active Fuel Management. When combined with the AWD, this six-cylinder engine yields a fuel economy of 27 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in the city. Switching to RWD will increase the rating to 30 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in urban settings.

Safety and Technology Features

The Driver Awareness package adds several advanced safety features to the Cadillac CTS. Powered by a camera, the Forward Collision Alert issues loud beeps and flashing signals when there’s a high risk for a front crash. Installed in the front bumper, a radar sensor communicates with the Following Distance Indicator.

The Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Warning help you stay within the boundaries of a marked lane. Additionally, the Lane Change Alert can lessen the risk of a side collision when you attempt to merge into another lane. Similarly, the Side Blind Zone Alert can detect another vehicle that slips into your blind spot.

When backing up in the CTS sedan, you can rely on the Rear Cross Traffic Alert to avoid hitting any other vehicles. A rear vision camera also provides valuable feedback when you are in reverse. Driving in dark conditions shouldn’t be a major hassle when you have the IntelliBeam headlamps. You can also drive confidently through precipitation as the RainSense windshield wipers automatically operate at the appropriate settings.

If you need additional active safety features in the Cadillac CTS, then select the Driver Assist package. The Full-Speed Adaptive Cruise Control can deactivate and restart based on traffic patterns. As an industry-leading technology that can prevent crashes, the Front/Rear Automatic Braking is perhaps the most impressive safety feature in the vehicle. The Driver Assist package also includes the Automatic Safety Belt Tightening, which responds to sudden deceleration.

An 8-inch color touch screen lets you access the signature CUE multimedia system in the Cadillac CTS. With a tap of the responsive monitor, you can browse the built-in GPS navigation system that displays 3-D maps. You may get additional directions via Google Maps by syncing an Android smartphone through the Android Auto portal. Similarly, Siri Eyes Free makes it easy to link an iPhone with the CUE platform. Delivered by OnStar, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi network is another premium connectivity option inside this luxurious sedan. A wireless charging pad is available to conveniently charge mobile devices without using the available USB ports.

Connected to SiriusXM Satellite Radio, the vehicle’s 13-speaker Bose audio system delivers great music. This signature sound system comes with the Active Noise Cancellation technology that improves acoustics.

How it Stacks up Against the Competition

The Cadillac CTS is more sophisticated than many other luxurious American sedans, such as the Chrysler 300. Even when equipped with the HEMI V8 engine, the 300 still can’t match the performance of the CTS. However, the Chrysler 300 is available with premium handling features such as AWD and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

With a starting price of more than $50,000, the Infiniti Q70 can be fairly compared to the Cadillac CTS. This Japanese-made sedan boasts cutting-edge technology like the InTouch multimedia system with GPS navigation and Bose audio system. Available with a V6 engine or V8 engine, the Infiniti Q70 is just as powerful as the Cadillac CTS.

Pros

  • The sophisticated CUE infotainment system has a user-friendly interface.
  • Mobile-friendly design with Wi-Fi and full support for Android and iOS.
  • Multiple packages add plenty of accident avoidance features.
  • Comfortable amenities like the 20-way front seats and tri-zone climate control system.

Cons

  • The sporty RWD configuration doesn’t perform well in urban settings.
  • The head-up display (HUD) and 12.3-inch HD cluster can be distracting when too much feedback is shown.