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The Cadillac CTS is a four-door, five passenger luxury sedan. By the end of the 1990’s, it was clear that Cadillac needed to seriously rethink their strategy in terms of where the brand stood in the global pantheon of luxury cars. While the quality issues of the 1980’s were largely behind them, the company was still catering to a largely older audience who were more concerned with large cars and a soft ride than they were with technological innovation or performance. In an effort to recapture the youth market, the decision was made to slowly shift production over to rear-wheel drive cars which were smaller and more exciting to drive.

The 2009 Cadillac CTS has been one of the great success stories to emerge from this new design initiative. The CTS has a sharp, angular appearance which speaks to the quantum shift that has occurred at Cadillac with respect to styling and engineering. The sedan also targets the entry level buyer with a vehicle size that is comparable to the BMW 5-Series, yet pricing which clearly targets 3-Series shoppers.

There are three different power trains available in the CTS. The base model of the vehicle is equipped with a 3.6 liter V6 with variable-valve timing which makes 263 horsepower. A direct-injection of this engine is also available which increases power to 304 horsepower and also reduces emissions by up to 25%, depending on driving style. For those who want to stay in step with even the most powerful European sports sedans, the 550 horsepower CTS-V is the most performance-oriented Cadillac ever produced, featuring a 6.2 liter supercharged V8 under the hood. Each version of the CTS comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, and a 6-speed automatic is available as a option. While the CTS-V is rear-wheel drive only, all other trims can be had with option all-wheel drive

The CTS makes a serious effort when it comes to providing buyers with the same comfort and luxury options which they have come to expect from Mercedes, Audi and BMW. The options list includes heated and ventilated leathers seats, an entertainment and navigation system with an LCD screen and metallic or wood accents. Portions of the interior are even hand assembled in order to ensure maximum fit and finish.

This four-door sedan also offers a driving experience which is far removed from the typical Cadillac image. The direct injection V6 provides excellent acceleration coupled with a tight chassis which feels equally at home blasting through sweeping mountain passes as it does cruising a downtown boulevard with elegance and style. The real performance story, however, is the CTS-V. Not only does the overwhelming horsepower impart the vehicle with lighting-quick throttle response, but magnetic ride control suspension and huge Brembo brakes transform the platform into a serious competitor for the AMG and BMW M lineup.

Riding a wave of critical acclaim and boasting excellent value through Cadillac’s competitive pricing, the CTS has been the company’s primary tool for changing their image in the mind of drivers both young and old. Unlike the failed Catera experiment of ten years ago, the CTS is the real deal: a Cadillac which is both beautiful and puts a smile on the face of everyone who drives it.

The 2009 Cadillac CTS has several significant changes over the previous years, including the introduction of all-new colors and significant changes to the CTS-V trim. The Cadillac CTS-V is a redesigned trim powered by a 6.2 liter, V8 engine with 556 horsepower. It goes from zero to 60 in 4 seconds even, making it the fastest Cadillac ever offered. The CTS-V has two transmissions available. The 6A has paddle shifters and the 6M has a two-disc clutch. The CTS-V Series Performance Collection has been discontinued from the available options.

The 2009 CTS models have new color options available with the discontinuation of Blue Chip, Light Platinum, Radiant Bronze and Sunset Blue. The new colors available are Black Ice, Radiant Silver and Blue Diamond Tricoat. The Tricoat and Black Ice colors require an extra charge if chosen.***** Other items deleted from the newest CTS models are the windshield washer heated system that was included with the 20008 models and the sunroof from the CTS-V. There is now OnStar with Bluetooth integration available as well as a shift knob included in the CTS-V. The new Personalized Exterior Appearance Package is a promotional package option that is new this model year. It is available on the CTS but not on the CTS-V. There was a seating package option removed from the 2009 models as well as the spare wheel and tire.

Both trim levels, the CTS and CTS-V, have manual and automatic transmissions available. Both options are six-speed transmissions. Both trim levels are rear-wheel drives. The high performance of both CTS trims are highlighted by their 19-inch wheels, Brembo brakes and two ride control modes available for different driving types. The Sport and Tour modes make the Magnetic Ride Control system highly customizable in different terrains. The high-performance seats enhance the ride no matter which mode is chosen.