2011 Safest Luxury Cars – Cadillac CTS

In a study released this month, Consumer Reports found that 65 percent of consumers rate safety among their top three priorities when considering a car, the highest of any purchase consideration factor. (Quality came in as the second-highest factor, with 57 percent of respondents saying they cared about it most.) Those safety-conscious drivers would do well to consider the BMW 5-Series, Cadillac CTS or Subaru Legacy — we rate them as three of the safest cars on the road today.

Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon: First Drive

Credit for this post goes to: Matt Hardigree with jalopnik.com

Get your sports car outta the way of this Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon. I’ll outrun you, and then, when you’re crying about it, I’ll offer you a tissue from the jumbo Kleenex box I’ve just picked up from Costco.

Cadillac CTS-V

Looks great and man does it drive nice

Each CTS-V variant (wagon, coupe and sedan) is a leather-wrapped cruise missile targeted with laser precision at those still insisting America can’t beat the world’s best, let alone be the world’s best.

But given the choice, we’re taking the one with the big ass.

If an M1 Abrams tank is to a Roman chariot what Dallas Cowboys Stadium is to your middle school soccer field, do you really need to question why Cadillac built a CTS-V Sport Wagon?

The engineers at GM went out of their way to make the V-Wagon as much like the sedan as possible, and were unwilling to call the vehicle a “V” if they had to make any compromises. Looking the part was easy given how much sheet metal it shares with the sedan. Swallowing the same 6.2-liter supercharged and intercooled V8, which enthusiastically pumps out an identical 556 hp and 551 lb-ft of torque across the range, wasn’t much of a challenge either.

Where the engineers had to work was in the suspension department. The CTS-V coupe and sedan regularly bitchslap Sir Isaac Newton with their magnetorheolgical dampers, but if similarly aligned in the wagon they’d end up poking through a support in the cargo space. A tiny laser-cut hole, as well a slightly smaller anti-sway bar, helped give the Sport Wagon the same handling prowess it needed to be a true V.

All told, the Sport Wagon will hit a top speed of 190 mph and lunge to 60 mph from a dead start in 4.0 seconds, making it quicker by four-tenths than the Shelby GT500 and on par with a Tesla Roadster (neither of which can haul a small refrigerator). There’s torque everywhere, meaning you can throw down in any gear.

At $62K a piece, all three variants are supposed to be equal, but that won’t stop many from arguing the

CTS-V Wagon

Perfection in a Wagon

CTS-V Coupe is the real halo vehicle for the brand. These people are wrong. Or old. Lots of companies will sell you a high-powered 2+2 coupe. Only Cadillac is audacious enough to offer America a wagon this fast.

And audacity, as we all know, is the one true quality that sets America apart from the rest of the world.

Laguna Seca is a holy place. You’ve got to drive across a mountain pass into the clouds to get there. Pulling through the front gate it was like entering heaven… if heaven had a nicely catered buffet and the Michelin Man waiting for you.

Ten years ago there wouldn’t have been a single Cadillac sedan you’d have even considered taking into the parking lot of this track. Now there’s a wagon from the General’s luxury brand designed to tame it.

After a few orientation laps, including a remarkably poor one with a producer from Motorweek I’m relieved has a sense of humor about our recent jokes at their expense, I head back out to the track with the intention of proving, if only to myself, that having five doors isn’t a disability.

Around turn four all the CTS-V’s remarkable dynamics are there. A touch of understeer gives way to an easily controlled swing of the ass accomplished with a righteous application of acceleration. The wagon adheres to the time-honored horsepower maxim: In thrust we trust. With the stability control set to “competition mode” it’ll do this all day without letting you get too far out. If someone turns all the nannies off without telling you, as happened to me, you can rotate the hatch all the way around.

Up the hill I quickly climb close to 110 mph then scrub some speed before slamming on the brakes into the corkscrew. Contemplate that for a moment. This isn’t a Lotus. In fact, at 4,390 pounds of luxurious weight, it’s more like two Elises, yet there’s so much power available it can drag you it into the sky with ungodly speed.

One thing I should probably mention at this point: If you’ve only driven Laguna Seca in a video game like Forza 3, it’s really built on the side of a hill. This means that you’re dropping all that mass down the slope of a track that feels like a cliff. However, even on a too-fast lap, the Sport Wagon never bottoms out. Its unpronounceable dampers keep it as taut as a USC Song Girl with an addiction to crunches.

Cadillac offers six-speeds in both automatic and manual flavors, and sadly, most will probably choose the former. There’s nothing wrong with it, except it’s just not as tight as the sublimely straightforward six-speed twin-disc manual that shifts like a hot suede-handled knife through butter.

If there’s one part of the car that eventually gave out after repeated laps it was the brakes, which finally tired of the abuse we’d given them. But only after dozens of hot laps did the giant Brembos start spewing smoke and exhibiting a touch of fade. A couple of cool-down laps and they were again ready to take more clamping.

At some point, the CTS-V Sport Wagon’s going to end up at the Nurbürgring and it’s going to put down a time close enough to the sedan to prove a little added weight and a lot of extra sex appeal don’t contribute to anything less than the world’s most fearsome production station wagon.

Every time someone comes out with a quick vehicle that’s even slightly subdued in the looks department it’s hailed as a “Q-ship” in honor of the Anglo-American naval practice of arming cargo ships to look like regular merchant vessels so they can surprise and kill some lazy Germans.

This cliche term’s been used to describe everything from a Honda Accord V6 to a Mazdaspeed3. Both times by Motor Trend. In the same article. Those are not Q-Ships. The former isn’t deadly and the latter isn’t stealthy.

We’ve already covered how the CTS-V wagon will kill you, but now it’s time to get into how it’s stealthy. Up front you’ll maybe notice the power bulge (as small as they can get away with) and the spaced out grille (those intercoolers need air). The exaggerated-yet-subdued rocker panels from the CTS-V sedan are also present along the side.

But if you’re driving it correctly people won’t get a chance to see much of these angles. They’ll see the rear. And the rear is identical to the CTS Sport Wagon with the V6, which means exhaust tips are the same diameter. This was done as a money-saving measure, but the result is great. Other than the slightly lower stance and giant PS2 Michelins poking around the rear fascia, it looks stock.

This doesn’t mean you can’t make it scream power. They’re offering both yellow Brembo calipers and black wheels, and I promise you someone will buy white-on-black-on-yellow. It’ll look great, but those who end up with a silver V-Wagon with black/silver rotors will fly off into the distance leaving so many 370Z owners scratching their heads.

Show me another car with more than 550 lb-ft of torque that doesn’t look like its got more than 550 lb-ft of torque.

The Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon almost didn’t happen. First, the bean counters killed it. Then the Carpocalypse killed it. When GM emerged from bankruptcy each division was given a green light to resurrect old projects. Completing the CTS-V triumvirate with a wagon was at the top of then Product Czar Bob Lutz’s list for Cadillac.

Cadillac’s not saying how many they need to build to turn a profit, but I believe they’re being honest when they say it doesn’t really matter. How many times do you have to go into space to be an astronaut? How many times do you have to bed a Victoria’s Secret Angel to claim you had sex with a supermodel?

The day I’m driving the CTS-V Wagon with a select group of automotive journalists is also the same day GM launched the world’s biggest IPO. It’s the next step in freeing itself from the psychological burden of a government bailout.

Since the world would’ve likely been deprived this wagon without it, I’m declaring “Mission Accomplished.”

2011 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan Review

In an effort to take advantage of its recent return to popularity, Cadillac decided to build high-performance versions of several of its cars. Collectively called the V-Series, they are meant to be high-powered, tight-handling, all-around track-tuned performers in the vein of the European performance marques, such as BMW’s M series and Mercedes-Benz‘s AMG lineup.

The Cadillac CTS-V was the first and easily the most successful example. The first-generation CTS-V had the wild power output to go up against the Germans, but came up lacking a little in terms of polish and engineering sophistication. The second-generation CTS-V, though, is a totally different beast. Packing a ferocious 556-horsepower supercharged V8 into the grown-up and dynamically advanced second-gen CTS, the result is the very definition of a world-class super sedan.

Current Cadillac CTS-V

The current Cadillac CTS-V is the high-performance version of the CTS sport sedan. While its predecessor certainly got your blood pumping, the new edition is like a defibrillator attached to Niagara Falls‘ hydroelectric plant. Under its angularly sculpted hood lives a detuned version of the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 found in the manic Corvette ZR1, which in the Cadillac produces 556 hp and 551 pound-feet of torque.

The CTS-V also gets a bulging hood, flared front fenders, 19-inch wheels, huge brakes and big silver mesh grilles. Similarly, the cabin adds piano black trim and Alcantara faux suede surfaces to the civilized edition’s already high-end ambience and materials. Most of the CTS’s vast array of standard and optional luxury features carry over, meaning you can burn rubber and listen to AC/DC on the surround-sound stereo at the same time.

With the six-speed manual transmission, the Cadillac CTS-V cranks out neck-snapping acceleration in the range of 4.3 seconds from zero to 60 mph and a 12.4-second quarter-mile time. (A six-speed automatic with wheel-mounted shift paddles is optional.) That’s obviously high-end sports car territory, but it also schools the super sport sedans from Germany. Plus, it does it for less money.

There’s much more to the CTS-V than simple drag strip runs, however. The nasty axle hop and overwhelmed chassis of the previous generation are gone, replaced by a more thoroughly refined car that handles its power with skill and grace. Credit the fact that the CTS is a drastically better car than the one it replaces, but also major suspension improvements and the Magnetic Ride Control that allows for an impressive balance between ride and handling. Adaptable transmission, steering and suspension settings serve to make sure the car is best tuned for whatever driving conditions are being experienced.

Used Cadillac CTS-V Models

The current CTS-V represents the model’s second generation and was introduced for 2009. It has received no significant changes since then.

Produced from 2004-’07, the first-generation Cadillac CTS-V was a powerful, rear-wheel-drive midsize luxury sport sedan available in one body style and trim. The V6 engine from the standard CTS was swapped out in favor of the same engine found under the hood of that era’s Corvette. Prior to 2006, the CTS-V was powered by a 400-hp 5.7-liter V8 engine. For its later two model years, it featured a 6.0-liter V8 making virtually the same output. A six-speed manual gearbox and limited-slip differential were standard, and no automatic transmission was available. Put the pedal down hard and you could expect to move from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds.

As in the current car, the performance upgrades went far beyond the bigger engine. Additional highlights included a tightened suspension, massive Brembo performance brakes and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels with performance tires. More subtle adjustments included a strengthened engine cradle and hydraulic engine mounts.

Cadillac tried to gussy up the CTS’s normally dull interior to make the V-Series sedan feel special, but there was only so much it could do. The original instrument cluster was replaced by more upscale dials and computer readouts, which even spit out real-time driving dynamics, such as lateral G-forces. There were also aluminum and satin chrome accents on the dash. The more heavily bolstered front seats were comfortable and supportive during aggressive driving. As in that generation’s regular CTS, the backseat is spacious, which makes the CTS-V more useful on an everyday basis than its similarly priced compact rivals from Audi, BMW and Mercedes.

In road tests, our editors found this generation of Cadillac CTS-V to be exciting but lacking the polish of its European competitors. It went like stink, but its handling was hardly world-class and foot-to-the-floor acceleration caused a clinical case of rear axle hop. It could be an adventure, but some folks like that. In the end, a used original CTS-V could be an affordable way to have a fun and fast time.

*Credit review goes to Edmunds*

2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Review by CarandDriver

When the 2011 Cadillac CTS coupe debuted at the Los Angeles auto show, it was practically a given that General Motors would follow up with the ultra-hot CTS-V coupe at the Detroit auto show.

With the CTS-V sedan’s supercharged powertrain and other go-fast mechanicals fitted to the two-door’s wedge-y profile, the V coupe will be a sexy and formidable alternative to other existing performance coupes, the mightiest of which is BMW’s M3. As with the regular CTS coupe, the V shares the sedan’s 113.4-inch wheelbase, while being both two inches lower and shorter and with a one-inch-wider rear track.

The V coupe is identical to the V sedan from the base of the A-pillar forward, carrying over the aggressive front fascia with gaping air intakes, the V-signature mesh grilles, and the bulged hood that covers the 556-hp, 6.2-liter supercharged V-8. As with the V sedan, a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions will funnel power to the rear wheels. Also carrying over are large Brembo brakes—15.0-inch front, 14.7-inch rear—the specifically tuned suspension with driver-adjustable magnetorheological shocks, a limited-slip differential, and 19-inch alloy wheels shod with Michelin PS2 summer rubber. The V coupe also adds a taller center brake light that doubles as a spoiler and a unique rear fascia that frames the two large center exhaust outlets.

Opening the doors is accomplished via Corvette-style touch pads. Once inside, the interior is familiar to those who have seen those of the base coupe or sedan. V-specific touches include optional Recaro sport seats, black center-console and door trim, wheel-mounted paddle shifters for automatic models, and suede-like seat inserts. While optional on the sedan, the faux suede material is fitted to the coupe’s steering wheel and manual shifter as standard equipment. A new Saffron interior-color option—exclusive to the V coupe—is available as well and offers contrasting seat inserts and leather stitching.

Performance should be at least as blistering as the sedan’s—we’ve tested the four-door to 60 mph in as little as 3.9 seconds—and we expect the V coupe to be just as serious a challenger to the M3. We don’t have specific pricing yet, but figure on a $3K to $5K premium over the four-door, which starts at $61,545, when the V coupe goes on sale this summer.

2011 Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon Review

Following the successful launch of its redesigned CTS sedan, Cadillac launched a Wagon variant of the luxury car in 2009. Created as an alternative to larger utility vehicles, the CTS Sport Wagon promises the same stylish good looks and competent handling as its sedan counterpart, but with the added utility and cargo space of a wagon.

Because of the wagon’s sedan roots, it actually rides on the same 113.4-inch wheelbase as the sedan. However, despite having a larger rear cargo area, the wagon actually measures in 0.3 inches shorter than the CTS sedan.

The Sport Wagon is highlighted by Cadillac’s signature edgy styling, including a V-shaped rear deck and liftgate. Cadillac’s integrated roof load management system allows for a little extra exterior cargo space, and also pays tribute to the brand’s iconic rear tailfins of the ’50s and ’60s. New optional 19 inch wheels round out the CTS Sport Wagon’s exterior appearance.

Inside, the Sport Wagon’s interior mirrors the CTS sedan’s, save for the extra cargo room aft of the rear seats. With the rear seats up, the wagon provides 25 cubic feet of cargo space, with that number expanding to 121.9 cubic feet when the rear seats folded away.

Because the wagon is so closely related to the sedan, drivetrain offerings reflect those offered in the sedan. That means a 263 horsepower 3.6-liter VVT V6 is standard, with a 304 horsepower version of the same engine — although equipped with direct injection — optional. EPA ratings should check in at 26 mpg highway. Both six-speed manual and automatic transmissions will be offered in the Sport Wagon, as will rear and all-wheel drive layouts.

Annual production of the wagon should total between 10,000 and 12,000 units, with half of those vehicles earmarked for markets other than the U.S.

*Credit for the review goes to leftlanenews.com*