In the midst of its second generation, the Cadillac CTS has fully established its position as a world-class luxury sedan. The 2011 CTS builds on that status with materials, build quality, features, and most of all, styling, that's fully capable of taking on the best Germany and Japan have to offer. In its CTS-V guises, it's one of the most incredible performance vehicles on the market. For those reasons and more, MotorAuthority rates the 2011 Cadillac CTS a 9.
The dramatic styling of the CTS is at once instantly recognizable and timeless. Unlike the retro-themed looks of some other eye-catching American metal, the CTS favors a high-tech, forward looking design statement that will likely age gracefully. The addition of Coupe and Wagon body styles further develops the design language with new interpretations.
Performance is another strength of the 2011 CTS, though it does have its rough edges, too. The 306-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 engine is strong and ready to rev, though it can sound a bit unpleasantly mechanical at the upper end of its range. The six-speed automatic transmission, once a marvel of programming and predictive algorithms, seems to be showing its age as more sophisticated seven- and eight-speed transmissions deliver more fluidity and better fuel economy.
Upgrade to the CTS-V range--available as a sedan, coupe or wagon, just like the regular CTS--and you open a door to a whole different world: a door to near-supercar levels of performance. The CTS-V sedan, in fact, laid claim to the title of the world's fastest sedan until just recently, when marginally outpaced by the Porsche Panamera Turbo--a car costing roughly twice the CTS-V's price. The supercharged, 556-horsepower V-8 is brutally effective when called on for speed, but at the same time surprisingly docile around town. Styling for the V models adds a performance-focused flair, with mesh grille panels, unique wheels, lower ride heights, and unique aero bodywork.
Inside the CTS lineup, you'll find a design that's attractive to many, but probably not all. Unlike the rather minimalist approach of some German brands, the Cadillac adds spritzes of chrome trim at every opportunity. The shape itself is pleasing and flowing, though the center stack's morass of buttons can be daunting at first. The seats are mostly comfortable, though the rear is a bit snug--a common criticism in this class. Materials and fit and finish are good, as you'd expect in the midsize luxury segment.
Features and options abound. Every trim level offers what amounts to "loaded" levels of equipment, with options available to add even more. All 2011 CTS models come with standard power doors, mirrors, and locks; dual-zone automatic climate control; cruise control; tilt/telescoping steering wheel; power driver seat; air filtration system; automatic headlights; and an AM/FM/CD/XM stereo system with auxiliary input.
The wagon adds a power liftgate that closes at the touch of a button. Options in the range include a panoramic sunroof, Bluetooth, navigation, and a hard drive-based infotainment system. Suspension and wheel packages are also available.
For an in-depth look at every aspect of the 2011 Cadillac CTS, read the full review at TheCarConnection