Cadillac CTS Coupe : 2011 - test drive

Cadillac’s most dramatic expression of Art & Science.
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MSRP Engine HP Manufactured
$38.990 3.6L V6 304.0 2011
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There were moments after the concept was shown at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit were it was rumored that this vehicle would not make it to the streets. It was received with such open arms that GM almost had no choice but to change it's mind. The Cadillac CTS Coupe really is Cadillac’s most dramatic expression of Art & Science. This car has great strength of character. It seems confident from how it performs to how it stands still.

cadillac cts coupe 11

2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe.

While the official starting MSRP for the Cadillac CTS Coupe is $38.990 (good luck finding one at that price), our test vehicle was stickered with a Standard Vehicle Price of $47,010 and grew to a final price of $51,030 after adding a few options, like the 19" Summer Tire Performance Package for $2,090, with includes 19" summer only tires, 19" polished aluminum wheels, steering wheel mounted shift controls, performance cooling system and performance disc brakes, the Thunder Gray Chromaflair (paint) for $995, the dealer installed Underhood Apperance Package (underhood acoustic insulation) for $110 and the destination charge of $825.

The center stack cluster had an odd redundancy in how the NAV buttons behave and are handled. The button that you assume is for the NAV by how it is graphically shown is in fact for raising the screen. If you want to use the Navigation, you then have to press a second button labeled NAV. If you lower the screen while using the NAV, and raise it again (by pressing NAV), it reverts to the Radio (XM on my case) and you have to push the second NAV button to see the map. The traffic alert was something I thought I would like, but in every case, when it warned me of a traffic jam two miles ahead, I was already in it, in most cases standing still or going extremely slow. It was no help at all.

In the short five days that we has this vehicle, I grew quite fond of it. I like it, alot. There are so many little things that are right in this car that they begin to feel part of your behavior. The way the electric door handles work (which are right off the Corvette), the ease of how the trunk lid raises and closes so effortlessly, the comfort of the seats, the quality that surrounds you and even the equally distributed handling of the overall ride. It is a very pleasing experience. It makes you feel like you made the right choice. I can't imagine anyone buying this car and having buyers remorse.

The quality and fit-and-finish of the interior is fantastic, front the stitching to the subtle lighting, it is a real joy to be in. The design can be argued... Not that it is bad or poor in any way, it simply different, which when compared to the Audi A5, can not win. Naturally, this is a matter if opinion, so it really means nothing because there are some that will prefer the CTS environment, and some that will not, and there is nothing wrong with that.

On one evening, we went to dinner, and as we were eating and looking out the window to sneak a glance at the car, it was glistening in the dark, under the dimly lit parking lot lights and was looking so eagerly awaiting the driver. It just feels (looks) like it is ready to prance at any given moment. It is one of the things I love about the coupe. And the thing that my wife, and most women I ask for an opinion express that they hate. And I stress hate, because I called them on the use of such a drastic word, suggesting that they perhaps simply didn't care for it, but they would quickly correct me and stated that, no, it was correctly stated as "hate".

While men seem to embrace the design language quicker, it's not a shoe-in, in fact, the very week I had the car, two friends of mine both considered the CTS Coupe, but both passed. One in favor of the Infinity and the other for the BMW.

At night, the Headlight clusters look like razors on fire, waiting to cut thru anything that might cross their path.

The raked windshield gives it a very aggressive an edgy appearance, it almost looks like it's been chopped. It does have a rather significant blind spot, but frankly, it's a price I am willing to pay (as I do in my M3 convertible) for this kind of style.

Even thou the CTS-V Coupe is even more superior than this 304hp Coupe, I prefer the "v" shaped Egg-crate grill on this vehicle, compared to the "x" shaped "chicken wire" grill found on the "V".

cts grill

The CTS V Coupe front grill (top), and The CTS Coupe front grill (bottom).

It's got a huge trunk too with plenty of room for just about anything. Once you take a peek at the rear, the classic "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix A Lot will have you proclaiming "I like big butts and I can not lie" as you rumble down the hip areas of your hood, humming it loud and proud.

I almost never get to sit in the back, and in this car, it would be a shame not to becasue the seats are outstanding, despite the fact that entry to the rear is a bit difficult. But hey, you're in luck, because they also make a sedan, so there is no reason to take a poke at the car for that. It's a coupe.

The key competitors for the Cadillac CTS Coupe, which went on sale in August of 2010, are the BMW 335i Coupe, the Audi A5 and the Infiniti G37 Coupe.

It is as good or better than anything else in it's class, and some above it. When you take everything into consideration, I would seriously consider this vehicle. With regards to the others, my vote would be in the following order as to the vehicle of choice...

audi a5 coupe 11

2011 Audi A5 Coupe.

audi a5 coupe in 11

2011 Audi A5 Coupe interior.

bmw 335i coupe 11

2011 BMW 335i Coupe.

bmw 335i coupe in 11

2011 BMW 335i Coupe interior.

infiniti g37 coupe 10

2010 Infiniti G37 Coupe.

infiniti g37 coupe in 10

2010 Infiniti G37 Coupe interior.

However it is not clear by simply looking at the list because they are so close. The Audi is steps ahead in my view for a variety of reasons... the interior being first (it's pretty hard for anyone to beat Audi, especially during the current high the brand is experiencing).

Key design features include:
• Classic hardtop styling, with no conventional B-pillar
• Touch-pad operation for the doors removes the need for conventional door handles, creating a technical, clean profile
• A windshield laid at a faster angle (62.3 degrees) and a long, nearly horizontal backglass area combine to create a dramatic profile
• Sculpted lower front fascia with unique brake-cooling vents
• Rear fascia with mesh lower grilles
• Center-outlet exhaust with twin dihedral-shaped tips that pass through the rear fascia
• Signature vertical lighting, highlighted with LED light pipes
• Rear spoiler integrated into the signature center high-mounted stop lamp
• Sculpted roof-mounted antenna for OnStar and XM Satellite Radio.

It offers EPA-estimated fuel economy of 18 city and 27 mpg on the highway.

Cadillac CTS Coupe : 2009   
Cadillac CTS Coupe : 2011   New Sports Coupe Is Cadillac's Most Dramatic Design.
Cadillac CTS Coupe Inspires Cool Hunting's New iPad App   
Cadillac CTS recall   
Cadillac CTS Coupe : 2013   
Cadillac CTS Sedan : 2014   Longer, lower and leaner.
Cadillac   Official site.
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