Ask us to name midsize luxury cars, and the net result will be a pretty big list. Add “sports” into the descriptor, and the list gets a bit smaller; add “value” into the mix and the field is narrowed even further. Atop that list, however, are Cadillac’s CTS-V models.
Available in sedan, coupe or wagon form, the CTS-V series gives buyers a lot to like. Outside, there’s the distinctive CTS styling, beefed up with enhanced aerodynamics and flared fenders to remind you that you’re driving the fastest offerings in Cadillac’s product line. Inside, the same design, materials and fit and finish we praised on the CTS prevails, but with even more trim options.
To be honest, very few customers will shop the CTS-V for its good looks or interior layout. The real reason to buy a CTS-V lies beneath the hood, in the form of a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, good for 556 horsepower and 551 pound-feet of torque and mated to the buyer’s choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Mat the accelerator pedal, and thrust is indeed impressive, with the run from 0-60 mph taking just a tick less than four seconds. Equally impressive is the song of the supercharged V-8, making the CTS-V sound more like a muscle car than a luxury car.
Unlike Cadillacs of old, the CTS-V is perfectly capable of carrying some serious speed into a corner. While the steering is heavy and a bit on the vague side, grip from all CTS-V models is truly impressive, with all capable of delivering over 1g of lateral acceleration. Thanks to the car’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension, there’s no ride comfort penalty for the car’s impressive performance capabilities, particularly with the dampers set to “Tour” mode.
Even stock seats are quite good, although Recaro sport seats are available for those who will actually run track days with their CTS-V (and trust us, the car is up to the task). There’s plenty of room for front seat passengers, although those relegated to the rear seats may find leg room to be sub-optimal. If you’re considering the coupe, it’s probably best if you try getting into and out of the back seat yourself. It’s not easy, and if you routinely haul three or four adults, the sedan or wagon may be a better choice.
If we had a complaint about the CTS-V, it would be that switchgear feels cheaper than it should in a mid-pack luxury car. Fuel economy is pretty dismal too, with the manual-equipped CTS-V sedan rated at just 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway. Point the car at the horizon on a clear road and mash the accelerator to the floor, however, and these sins are quickly forgiven.
The list of standard equipment on the CTS-V is generous and includes things like Brembo brakes; Magnetic Ride Control suspension; 19-inch wheels with summer-only tires; HID headlights; dual-zone automatic climate control; heated and power-adjustable front seats; Bluetooth phone connectivity and a Bose audio system. If that’s not enough, options include things like a sunroof; Recaro sport seats; suede steering wheel and shift knob and Midnight Sapele wood trim.
For complete details on the 2013 Cadillac CTS-V series, see our comprehensive review on The Car Connection