how important the entry-level luxury car market is to the success of any premium
carmaker, Cadillac up and bet the farm last year on the CTS sport sedan. And although
its hyper-angular design does not resonate well with everyone-yet-the CTS has
at the very least succeeded in waking America back up to the luxury automaker
that was once known as the Standard of the World.
admittedly, the CTS feels a touch too heavy to be called the standard of the sport
sedan world, but we can tell you that there's a lot to like about the way it drives,
the way it feels inside, and yes, even the way it looks. We, for example, appreciate
how the camera-lens headlights creatively incorporate the stacked headlight theme
of past Cadillacs into a setting that recalls something entirely different than
a Cadillac headlight. We also appreciate how the rising character lines and high
decklid assign it a sense of forward movement. It's a design that looks dynamic
in metallic colors, and is absolutely striking in black.
interior of the CTS is almost as techno-themed as the exterior, yet it's more
comfortable and user-friendly than you might expect such a geometric environment
to be. Some secondary controls are unusual and take some getting used to, but
overall, we like the way that creative ways that designers have pushed the envelope.
The front seats in particular deserve accolades, being some of the best we've
sat in. Also, the standard equipment level is very high, including leather upholstery,
a year of OnStar service, dual-zone climate control and six air bags. Optional
goodies include a moonroof, a navigation system and even XM radio.
matter what your take on the styling happens to be, the CTS becomes a thing of
beauty when you twist the key. Its only engine is a 3.2-liter V-6 (220 hp) that
comes with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission and
rear-wheel drive. Cadillac engineers did overtime honing its driving dynamics
on the world's most challanging racetracks, and it shows: handling is absolutely
terrific, particularly with the speed-sensing steering and sport suspension that
come with the Luxury Sport package (which also includes stability control).
expressive and thoroughly capable, the CTS is a sharp car indeed. Make ours black.