Cadillac’s line of V-badged cars is essentially America’s answer to models from the likes of BMW M, Mercedes-Benz AMG and Audi quattro. In some respects the Cadillacs are better and in others, they aren’t.
But there’s one area the Cadillacs can’t be beat in the luxury performance segment, and that’s bang for your buck.
With a starting price of $63,215, the Cadillac CTS-V, the only V model currently in Cadillac’s lineup though it comes in sedan, coupe and wagon bodystyles, isn’t exactly cheap. However, when you consider that it comes with a supercharged V-8 dishing out 556 horsepower and 551 pound-feet of torque, a powerplant that will make many supercars jealous, you'll quickly start to realize just how much performance per dollar you’re getting.
Either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic can be equipped, but we’d stick with the manual due to the sheer fun you’ll have making the most of that V-8 engine. Around town the CTS-V feels smooth and docile. However, drop the hammer and it’s like unleashing hell. Zero to 60 passes in less than four seconds and top speed should be close to 200 mph though we weren’t brave enough to test it.
If you rarely ever have more than one passenger we’d definitely go with the CTS-V Coupe, simply because of the style and presence the vehicle offers. However, both the sedan and wagon are good-looking vehicles, especially the latter due to its practicality and rareness in the wild.
The CTS cabin carries over here, and consciously or not, it plays up a V-shaped theme. It's a striking look though the layout of some of the controls isn’t the best. There’s also a lot of shiny trim, which adds to the over-the-top American feel though it could send shrinking violets off to something a little more subdued.
The good news is that the CTS-V comes with a long list of standard features including HID adaptive headlamps; rear parking sensors; heated front seats; dual-zone climate control; and Bluetooth. Navigation remains an option, unfortunately.
If you’re considering the CTS-V, you should also take a look at the E 63 AMG (available in sedan or wagon) or C63 AMG (available in sedan or coupe) from Mercedes-Benz, as well as BMW’s M5, which is all-new for the 2013 model year and comes with a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual clutch.
For the complete details on the 2012 Cadillac CTS-V line, visit our sister site The Car Connection for the full review.