All photos by General Motors
Cadillac has been working hard the past decade to get back in the game against the best competition in the world. The company has had some success, and the 2011 CTS Sport Sedan has helped them rack up decent sales numbers. In order to increase Cadillac's sales further, though, they need the CTS to be a leader. We'll let you know whether we feel the CTS is up to the test.
We drove a Cadillac CTS Sedan that had a black raven color exterior and 18" painted aluminum wheels, which together made this car look more grown up than I expected. The front end is the best looking exterior design feature of the CTS Sedan. The fascia is distinctive and bold and really adds some character to the car. The low stance and muscular fenders with the fog lamps and Cadillac crescent give an appearance of both luxury and performance. The rest of the CTS is somewhat of a letdown. It appears the exterior was slapped together and the rear end looks bloated and out of place.
Our test drive model had cashmere leather seating that didn't have the quality feel you would expect from Cadillac. We did like the look and feel of the leather wrapped steering wheel but were surprised that the gear shifter wasn’t more sturdy and solid. The dual-zone climate control was basically at your fingertips and the CD/DVD player with a Bose 5.1 surround sound system sounded excellent. As always, OnStar has you covered in more ways than you know, until you need some assistance. From safety issues to finding the best Italian restaurant in the area, the service can be a big help. I did, however have some issues with my left leg as it kept bumping into the driver’s side door handle. The handle sticks out and is very hard to the touch. Overall the interior is decent, but it doesn't flow like some top-tier competitors. The color combo and interior design in the model we tested were a little bland, but still looked sharp
The 3.6-liter V6 direct injection with a 6-speed automatic has the power and smoothness that you would expect in a car that costs $42,740. The CTS with the 3.6-liter delivers average fuel economy at 18mpg city and 27mpg highway. I spent some time on the highway and found the Cadillac CTS has the power to keep you confident when passing and hitting the gas pedal from the on ramp. The overall ride was smooth, and I was left with the feeling that the vehicle wanted to hold onto the Cadillac luxury past but breakthrough into the performance crowd. During some nifty city driving the CTS felt heavy, especially when taking some sharp turns.
The 2011 Cadillac CTS Sedan is much better than the previous model and we commend GM for making the big investment to improve the car. We also want to mention again that the front end of this car is downright delicious. You get the feeling that the CTS wants to be a sportier version of the luxury archetype and reinvent the Cadillac name, but I just don't think they are there yet. I can't get past the less-than-stellar and hard leather seats Cadillac approved for the CTS as it lowers the perception of the car when you first enter the cabin. The CTS still needs some improvement if Cadillac wants to capture the under-50 crowd.
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