Cadillac CTS Line Offers Three Distinct Models
Since its redesign in 2008 the Cadillac CTS has seen its lineup swell from the original mid-size luxury sedan to a new wagon model (2010) and now a two-door coupe (2011). Cadillac has grown the CTS family in order to better compete against the entry-level European models that have traditionally dominated this segment of the premium market. Have the updates and changes to the Cadillac CTS put it in a better position to increase its market share and continue to rebuild Cadillac's image as a luxury brand? Let's take a look at some of the most interesting aspects of the 2011 Cadillac CTS.
Photos courtesy of Cadillac
#1. 2011 CTS Offers a Choice of Two V-6 Engines
Both Cadillac CTS engine options boast six cylinders. Entry-level editions of the vehicle are outfitted with a 3.0-liter unit that is good for 270 horsepower and 223 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission that sends that power to the rear wheels is standard equipment, while a six-speed automatic is available as an option. All-wheel drive can also be ordered with the 3.0-liter, although checking that box demands the installation of the auto transmission (featuring manual shift controls). Also on tap is a 3.6-liter motor that produces 304 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices remain the same (although the automatic is included free of charge with this engine), and all-wheel drive is retained as an option. Fuel economy for the base 3.0 and the more powerful 3.6-liter come in at an identical 18 miles per gallon city and 27 miles per gallon highway in the CTS sedan.
#2. Cadillac CTS Comes in Five Trim Levels
The 2011 Cadillac CTS 3.0 base sedan starts out with all of the expected premium features, including dual zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, leatherette seating surfaces with power adjustment for the driver and an eight-speaker CD / satellite radio entertainment system. Moving up to the 3.0 Luxury trim adds items such as heated seats (and a power passenger's seat), full leather upholstery, and ambient interior lighting, while the 3.0 Performance builds on the Luxury equipment list through the addition of a tighter sport suspension, 18-inch wheels, bigger brakes, a limited-slip differential and HID headlights.
The 3.6 Performance trim offers the same features list as the 3.0 Performance and also provides a hard drive for storing digital music files and a surround sound entertainment system. The 3.6 Premium represents the top tier Cadillac CTS model and comes with rear parking sensors, a cooling feature for the front seats, a panoramic sunroof and a navigation system as its highlights.
#3. CTS Interior a Cut Above Typical GM Products
Cadillac designers made a concerted effort with the second-generation Cadillac CTS to improve on the quality of the materials used throughout its interior, and the fruits of their labor are evident in the passenger compartment of the 2011 model. Three round gauges dominate the view immediately in front of the driver, with vehicle speed taking center stage and flanked to the left by a tachometer and to the right by a triple-split dial showing engine temperature, oil pressure and fuel level. The Cadillac CTS center stack features a pop-up navigation / vehicle information screen that can be hidden away so that the top is flush with the dash when not needed. An analog clock and the vehicle's climate and stereo controls are prominently positioned in the middle of the console, while large HVAC vents provide additional styling on either side. Soft-touch materials abound in the CTS, and wood and leather trim are available throughout much of the cabin.
#4. 2011 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon Offers Family Option
The Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon was introduced in 2010, and it became the first station wagon to have ever been offered by the American luxury brand (not including coachbuilt cars). Powertrain choices for the CTS wagon match those of the CTS sedan - two V-6 engines developing 270 and 304 horsepower, along with available all-wheel drive - while the vehicle's interior also offers almost the same amenities and options.
The major differences can be found in the styling and practicality of the Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, which features an extended roofline to cover the rear cargo area as well as a unique rear fascia that incorporates taller tail lamps and a large rear hatch. Inside, there are 25 cubic feet of space available behind the second row of seating - fold that forward, and the amount of storage inside the Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon more than doubles to 53.4 cubic feet.
#5. 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe Lops Off Two Doors, Sharpens the Styling
The all-new for 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe presents a bold face in a family of vehicles already noted for extroverted styling. Seen from the front, the CTS Coupe maintains a very similar appearance to its wagon and sedan siblings, but in profile it presents a sloping rear roofline that meets thick haunches and a short trunk deck that leads the eye down to a unique rear fascia featuring center-mounted dual exhaust outlets. Hidden door handles that activate via a pushbutton are inset into a recessed space at the edge of each exterior door, helping the Coupe maintain its slab-sided look. Inside the Cadillac CTS Coupe those familiar with the CTS sedan will notice that the switchgear and instrumentation is a dead ringer for the four-door model. The Coupe offers two rear seating positions which do well when it comes to leg room but which can't match the sedan's headroom due to the acute roof angle.
#6. V Models Inject High Performance DNA into CTS Lineup
2011 sees the Cadillac CTS-V Series gain two additional members, as both the two-door CTS Coupe and the CTS Sport Wagon (coming soon) get the CTS-V sedan's high performance treatment. What sets the CTS-V apart from the standard model? All three V Series editions are outfitted with a 6.2-liter LSA V-8 engine that makes use of a supercharger to squeeze out 556 horsepower and 551 lb-ft of torque. Channeled through either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, the Cadillac CTS-V sedan offers the most blistering driving experience of the trio, ripping off 0-60 mph times of 3.9 seconds and quarter mile time slips in the low 12-second neighborhood. Braking and suspension systems are upgraded to better handle the increased engine output, and optional Recaro sport seats can be installed inside the CTS-V to grip the body tight while performing high-g maneuvers.
#7. Affordable Performance is Available
For those not inclined to spend the extra cash on a CTS-V, it is still possible to gain a handling edge over the standard Cadillac CTS package. The CTS Coupe, CTS sedan and CTS Sport Wagon are each available with the Performance Package, a $2,090 option that upgrades the vehicles' wheels to 19 inches, installs high performance summer tires, and provides steering wheel-mounted shift controls for vehicles equipped with the automatic transmission. A more robust suspension system is slipped under the CTS platform when this package is ordered, along with a limited-slip differential to help minimize wheel spin. The Performance Package also upgrades the CTS cooling system and adds performance brakes.
#8. Other Packages Available to Personalize the CTS
The Cadillac CTS offers additional customization options for the 2011 model year. The CTS Appearance Package features unique 18-inch wheels, metal brake and gas pedals, suede-look leather on the steering wheel, shifter and door panels and exterior chrome accents to go with a special front grille. A spoiler and clear tail lamps are also available, as is the Performance Luxury Package which provides LED ambient lighting within the passenger compartment, heated and ventilated rear seats (on models not already offering that feature), as well as power tilt and telescoping steering, remote start and a rear camera with rear park assistance. Other appealing standalone options include the previously mentioned Recaro sport seats and an Ultraview panoramic sunroof.
#9. Cadillac Premium Care Maintenance Included
Premium Care Maintenance was added to all vehicles in the Cadillac lineup for the 2011 model year, and the CTS naturally benefits from this new program. The 2011 Cadillac CTS comes with free maintenance for the first four years or 50,000 miles of ownership, performed by Cadillac dealership technicians. What exactly is covered under the Premium Care Maintenance program? Cadillac will provide you with free oil changes, rotate your tires every 7,500 miles, and replace any filters that may require servicing (such as the engine air filter or the cabin air filter). Cadillac also offers free inspections during this period.
#10. Cadillac CTS Enjoys Top Marks for Safety
The 2011 Cadillac CTS was selected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as a Top Safety Pick, indicating that it had scored the highest possible rating in both its front and side impact tests, as well as in its newly revised rollover test which is designed to quantify roof strength. The Cadillac CTS offers six airbags, in addition to traction control and StabiliTrak electronic stability control to prevent things from getting out of hand while driving in treacherous conditions. The availability of all-wheel drive also offers those living in northern climates the chance to add additional traction and security to their daily commute.