Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.
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2009-2014 Cadillac CTS-V Performance Mods Discussion, Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone. in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2009-2014; ...
  1. #1
    M5DriverNY is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.

    Well I have been absent since the whole dealership debacle but I just got the car yesterday. GM Cadillac representatives have called me and admitted and apologized on the poor dealership behavior not only in my area but across the USA. They assured me they are in the launch phase of an entirely different training and philosophy for customers so they get treated right. The admitted how this has been hurting GM sales across the board and its obvious they need to step it up. I was fortunate to find a great dealership and salesperson who went beyond my expectations to make me happy. They even delivered the car to my home. World class all the way and they made this deal happen in 48 hours. If anyone in the NY Tri State needs a great dealer PM me.

    I have put the car through its paces. Last night I took it easy since I need to get used to the car itself. Not easy with a 6k RPM versus my M5 9k. Today I woke up at 5am and have driven the CTSV 600+ miles. I have driven on every road imaginable which was for sure a real road test.

    I am going to make several comparisons with other cars not to try and start a flame war but to lend my experience since I have owned and driven so many.

    On a smooth road the CTSV excels, at 90-120 MPH even through mild turns the car just feels awesome. It honestly kills any AMG car to date in every respect. Much quieter and comfortable than the M5 by far.

    Now here is what really bothers me. In city driving on bumpy roads the suspension just doesnít handle and absorb the energy well. It almost feels like the suspension cant take it. Its not the unibody stiffness because the car is super stiff and we all know that. It has to be the spring/shock rates or the design of where and how the suspension is mounted to the cars chassis.

    Now the only other car that has this issue is the Jaguar XJR 2004-2009 with the aluminum space frame and air suspension. I have owned a 2005 XJR and the car felt exactly the same over rough roads which made no sense to me. Its like the suspension ĒHangsĒ over bumps and cant match the irregularities. Its quite annoying and makes the front end feel frail. I have been driving so soft because it feels like I am going to bend a rim or break something when the steering feedback shudders over the road. The 2005 XJR steering and response is almost identical to the CTSV. What confuses me is the Jaguar has air springs and the CTS has conventional coil springs/shocks. Very strange.

    In a turn on a bumpier road the rear end skips badly in the CTS just like my 05 XJR did. I have adjusted PSI on all tires a few times today and nothing seemed to help. Its just the design and nature of the car and for anyone who can relate on this feel go drive the XJR and you can compare yourself how similar these cars feel to one another.

    Now I still have my M5 and my M5 is rock solid over every surface and not a single rattle even after 2 years with me killing the car.

    CTSV is nicer looking than the M5 inside and out. CTSV is a more comfortable highway car for sure. M5 spanks it when driven hard in the corners and just feels more secure and solid over my local roads which is a shame that the CTS is brand new and the suspension shudders so much. Sorry it just does and if anyone fails to believe and is local PM me and I will drive both cars on the same roads , same style and you be the judge.

    I overheated the CTSV brakes several times today and it also made me realize and everyone should as well. Just because you have Huge Brembos doesnít mean the cars brakes are the best. My older AMG cars had the same brakes and stopped much better. Why? Its got to be more than the calipers and rotors itís the master cylinder, brake booster and proportioning valving that really makes brakes kick butt. The CTS pedal feel is mushy and vague.

    I overheated my AMG brakes 2 times at 150+ speeds and I never overheated the M5 brakes.

    Summary of my CTSV review: The suspension in the city sucks and the brakes donít impress me. The rest of the car is just awesome. GM needs to address these two areas if they really want to spank the European cars even better. CTS engine is awesome and the power beats every European car in the segment.

    I can honestly say the CTSV compares more with the E63 AMG and the Jaguar XFR. In regards to the E63 or even C63 the CTSV is just better built and better driving. The AMG engineers believe in stuffing a large engine in the standard platform with no real science behind it which makes for a fast boulevard cruiser than a real drivers car. The Jaguar rides much better in the city and doesnít feel jittery over bumps. The Jaguar XFR steering also has more weight and direct feedback which I honestly like better. GM just feel over-assisted. The XFR has more body roll and feels heavier but they should be comparable in weights, power is very similar to the CTSV so I think this is a true direct comparison. The AMG cars in my opinion stink, they are fast as a bullet and look nice but thatís where it ends for AMG.

    The M5 does everything you demand perfectly however it comes at a huge compromise: Cost, comfort, boring styling and lack of practicality and bad stock options from oil corporations.

    So as of now I plan to upgrade the CTSV with the D3 springs soon and some brake hardware. Itís a sweet car and for the money an awesome car. The CTSV is $30k less than the AMG, and M5 so that alone says a lot. I just think in the city it feels frail and I donít think the car will hold up well over a few years dealing with these roads. GM please fix the brakes and suspension anchoring and this car will excel for years to come.

    As of last week I am also keeping my M5, sorry I just cant let the car go its so exhilarating to drive but now I have the CTSV, I can use the M5 sparingly and not feel beat up all day long so itís the best of both worlds. If I want real abuse Il take out my Camaro or Porsche.

    I really hope the springs help the cars suspension a lot. For anyone who feels the same in regards to my review and who has tried aftermarket parts I would like to hear comments in regards to how well these parts improved these two key areas. Not trying to start any arguments via this thread so if your biased leave the negative comments out. Just my hands on experiences with all the cars mentioned above.

    Enjoy.

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  3. #2
    lawnstripes is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.

    i take it you played with the sport mode and also the competition settings?

    glad you got the car-- agree the new 5 series are soooooo boring

  4. #3
    garfin's Avatar
    garfin is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by M5DriverNY View Post
    Today I woke up at 5am and have driven the CTSV 600+ miles. I have driven on every road imaginable which was for sure a real road test.
    I overheated the CTSV brakes several times today and it also made me realize and everyone should as well. Just because you have Huge Brembos doesnít mean the cars brakes are the best.
    I certainly appreciate reading your comments, observations and conclusions, especially given the experiences you've had driving other marques...
    ...but I can't help but be a bit curious as to the why and wherefore behind your observations with respect to the performance of the V's brakes - especially after overheating them on the 1st day?
    Obviously, you've had enough experience to compare the V's brakes with other cars that are comparable. I've had a fair amount of seat time in other cars on a track to know that the brakes on this V are purdy darned good!
    Of paramount signifigance, I would be very interested in knowing how you bedded in the new brakes on this car, and what you did on the first day to cause them to overheat.
    It would also be very informative if you could describe the behavior of the brakes on their being overheated with respect to fade, pedal presuure, mushiness, stopping distance etc. Did the fluid boil over?
    Looking forward to your further comments!

    Best regards,

    Elie

  5. #4
    swiseuf is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.

    Thanks for the write-up. I always appreciate the feedback from folks who can offer insight on the good AND bad. You sound to fall in line with many of the auto writers out there who are very impressed with the CTS-V value, but tip their hat to the M5 when it comes to the ultimate overall driving experience.

    Your comments on the brakes are interesting and I think you hit the nail on the head about the supporting hardware. In my limited track experience, it always seemed to be issues like fittings and hoses that caused the biggest issues when the cars are run hard. If you aren't upgrading to the correct fluids and wire braided/SS hoses, you are kidding yourself. Its the total package that makes the difference.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. #5
    M5DriverNY is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by garfin View Post
    I certainly appreciate reading your comments, observations and conclusions, especially given the experiences you've had driving other marques...
    ...but I can't help but be a bit curious as to the why and wherefore behind your observations with respect to the performance of the V's brakes - especially after overheating them on the 1st day?
    Obviously, you've had enough experience to compare the V's brakes with other cars that are comparable. I've had a fair amount of seat time in other cars on a track to know that the brakes on this V are purdy darned good!
    Of paramount signifigance, I would be very interested in knowing how you bedded in the new brakes on this car, and what you did on the first day to cause them to overheat.
    It would also be very informative if you could describe the behavior of the brakes on their being overheated with respect to fade, pedal presuure, mushiness, stopping distance etc. Did the fluid boil over?
    Looking forward to your further comments!

    Best regards,

    Elie
    Elie I had multiple high speed stops 120 + to around 60 and after the 3rd time the pedal got very springy and mushy and the fade was horrible. The car also pulled hard to the left when I applied more pressure which made me nervous as the pavements became rutted.I pulled off multiple exits since I was WAY up North and let them cool for several miles. I then gradually stopped 2-4 times with plenty of cool down and the brakes still didnt have the bite that I am used to. It could be a brake compound change I dont know but my 2010 Camaro does stop better and has better pedal feel. My M5 bites so hard that it pulls you out of the seat and there are 22k miles on the rotors, pads and fluid.

    I did a search on this forum and others regarding this and others feel the same way. I also see others have upgraded the HPS pads, lines and fluids and most saw limited or no change in the braking. This only can mean the systems main hardware maybe doesnt mate the brembos I dont know.

    I didnt kill the car today since its brand new but I did push it many times throughout the day. When I pulled in tonight the wheels were BLACk they almost looked black chrome and the front rotors smoked slightly. Was a very long day.

    I am certain I can fix these brakes but the suspension over bumpy NYC roads is what alarms me most now.

  7. #6
    cbloveday's Avatar
    cbloveday is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.

    M5Driver,

    I used this procedure to brake in my brembos when I added semi metallic pads, new rotors and stainless steel brake lines.

    From 60mph, gently apply the brakes a couple of times to bring them up to operating temperature. This prevents you from thermally shocking the rotors and pads in the next steps.

    Make a series of eight to ten near-stops from 60mph to about 10 mph. Do it HARD by pressing the brakes firmly, but do not lock the wheels or engage ABS. At the end of each slowdown, immediately accelerate back to 60mph and then apply the brakes again. DO NOT COME TO A COMPLETE STOP! If you stop completely and sit there with your foot on the brake pedal, you will imprint pad material onto the hot rotors, which could lead to vibration, uneven braking, and even ruin the rotors.

    The brakes may begin to fade after the 7th or 8th near-stop. This fade will stabilize, but not completely go away until the brakes have fully cooled. A strong smell from the brakes, and even smoke, is normal.

    After the last near-stop, accelerate back up to speed and cruise for a while, using the brakes as little as possible. The brakes need only a few minutes to cool down. Try not to become trapped in traffic or come to a complete stop while the brakes are still very hot.

    If full race pads, such as Hawk DTC-70 or Performance Friction 01 are being used, add four near-stops from 80 to 10mph.

    After the break-in cycle, there should be a slight blue tint and a light gray film on the rotor face. The blue tint tells you the rotor has reached break-in temperature and the gray film is pad material starting to transfer onto the rotor face. This is what you are looking for. The best braking occurs when there is an even layer of of pad material deposited across the face of the rotors. This minimizes squealing, increases braking torque, and maximizes pad and rotor life.

    After the first break in cycle shown above, the brakes may still not be fully broken in. A second bed-in cycle, AFTER the brakes have cooled down fully from the first cycle, may be necessary before the brakes really start to perform well. This is especially true if you have installed new pads on old rotors, since the pads need time to conform to the old rotor wear pattern. If you've just installed a big brake kit, the pedal travel may not feel as firm as you expected. After the second cycle, the pedal will become noticeably firmer. If necessary, bleed the brakes to improve pedal firmness.



    No doubt the brakes can be improved upon but they are pretty good for OEM.
    grab some hawk pads, ss brake lines and off you go.

    Regrding the suspension, there are the $400 springs from D3 that others have gotten.

    One point I'd like to make, I think no matter what car you or I buy, we'll want to imporve upon it. I bought the Dinan stage 2 for my 07 M6 cause I wanted to improve upon it. You'll be able to bring this CTS-V up by a very small investment.

  8. #7
    thatcoder is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.

    pictures are also mandatory sport.

  9. #8
    nota4re is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.

    Like others, I too appreciate the perspective as I sit here on this Sunday morning contemplating a CTS-V purchase - perhaps even later on today.

    Regarding the suspension, it is definitely not a cure-all but I have to wonder how much better tires would play in your evaluation. As I understand the current tires are run-flats and as such, have stiffer sidewalls and a higher overall weight. It would seem that a high-quality, non run-flat tire might improve the situation though we all know it won't cure it. However, the improvement may be significant.

    Regarding the brakes, there's no getting around that the CTS-V is a heavy car. Second factor is the brake pad compound and the third large factor here is how the brakes were bedded in. If the brakes were not bedded in properly (especially high-perfromance brakes), there could be some added brake performance that is never realized.

    Again, loved the review. Somehow they just seem all that more believeable when everything is not perfect. As many have said, it seems that GM has provided a great platform at a very competitive price point. Combine that with a healthy aftermarket and we can certainly customize to our own particular flavor!

    OK, I think I about have myself talked into one of these...

  10. #9
    DrumStix is offline Cadillac Owner
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    Re: Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.

    103 ft from 60-0 as a benchmark is phenomenal in the caddy. M5 does not best that.

    As for the magnetorhological shocks not reacting fast enough to bumps, what is faster than a computer?

    It's a matter of feel I think. The Caddy is going to be a bit more reserved than a high strung M5, until you tweak it and make it a bit more raw. Still, the stock performance figures in every category do not lie.

  11. #10
    DrumStix is offline Cadillac Owner
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    Re: Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by M5DriverNY View Post
    Elie I had multiple high speed stops 120 + to around 60 and after the 3rd time the pedal got very springy and mushy and the fade was horrible. The car also pulled hard to the left when I applied more pressure which made me nervous as the pavements became rutted.I pulled off multiple exits since I was WAY up North and let them cool for several miles. I then gradually stopped 2-4 times with plenty of cool down and the brakes still didnt have the bite that I am used to. It could be a brake compound change I dont know but my 2010 Camaro does stop better and has better pedal feel. My M5 bites so hard that it pulls you out of the seat and there are 22k miles on the rotors, pads and fluid.

    I did a search on this forum and others regarding this and others feel the same way. I also see others have upgraded the HPS pads, lines and fluids and most saw limited or no change in the braking. This only can mean the systems main hardware maybe doesnt mate the brembos I dont know.

    I didnt kill the car today since its brand new but I did push it many times throughout the day. When I pulled in tonight the wheels were BLACk they almost looked black chrome and the front rotors smoked slightly. Was a very long day.

    I am certain I can fix these brakes but the suspension over bumpy NYC roads is what alarms me most now.
    Horrible way to seat performance brakes. If you upgrade the hardware, please follow the proper seating regimen.

  12. #11
    M5DriverNY is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrumStix View Post
    Horrible way to seat performance brakes. If you upgrade the hardware, please follow the proper seating regimen.
    First day i did seat the pads in properly I know how to do that.

    Regarding someones reply regarding the tires being runflats I dont think the PS2 are because I have them on my Porsche. But Il double check later. I am going to mess around with tire pressure today.

    I do think different tires would help. I am using Nitto NT05 on my Camaro and it made a huge improvement over road noise and ride. Issue is they dont last long so I will need 3 sets of rear tires per year.

    What gets me is my Camaro is fully worked with all race suspension and larger wheels and it handles the local bumps better than the CTSV. Its so strange.

    I see D3 makes a coil over kit has anyone tried this out yet? This could be a perfect fix but Id like to hear some feedback before I go that route.

    Going snap some shots later for everyone so hang tight.

  13. #12
    Razorecko is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.

    ^ I think what you're feeling is the effect of the magnetic spring system. It feels like it absorbs some bumps and gives you a floating feelings over others. This gives a very confusing feeling to the road condition. The d3 lowering springs I put on my v drastically cut this feeling and gave it a more positive road feel.

  14. #13
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    thebigjimsho is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.

    If you're an enthusiast, the V's brakes have all the capability you'll need. But you'll need to change the pads. Simple as that. Throw on some HP+, or similar, and it's an improvement...

  15. #14
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    zero26039 is offline Banned
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    Re: Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.

    What dealer did you buy from?
    What color?
    And what part of ny are you in?

  16. #15
    M5DriverNY is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Finally My CTSV is in my garage. Detailed review below for everyone.

    Forum doesnt like my photos it wont let me upload due to size. Oh well.

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