: Cadillac paid me $50 to test drive a new model of my choice.



I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-01-10, 04:52 PM
So, I was at a classic car show in St. Paul a few weeks ago, and there was a promotional event there from Cadillac, with a new SRX and CTS Coupe on display, and there was a little sales survey I filled out and got an invite to go test drive a new Cadillac of my choice at any of the local participating Cadillac dealers, and then get a $50 American Express gift card in the mail. I went over to the best dealer in town, Key Cadillac (that's the one we went to at the meet), and drove a 2011 CTS4 Sedan, equipped with the luxury collection.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs004.snc4/33579_656055155042_199104188_36702178_2619552_n.jp g

What did I think of it?

The car is very beautiful, one of the best looking cars on the market IMO, and it's beautiful inside as well, with that gorgeous sapele wood contrasting with the cashmere leather interior, and it's loaded up with TONS of sweet features. It drives beautifully, very solid and rigid and handles oh so nicely. For me, it's personally a little too firm riding, but it's got a good amount of room inside and a fair amount of power. It wasn't as punchy as my supercharged 3800, but it's a lot smoother and quieter. It's horsepower (270) peaks at 7,000 rpm and torque (223 lb/ft) at 5,700 rpm. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely one of the nicest luxury/sport sedans on the market now, but not really my style. I like my cars bigger, softer and plusher. Given a choice (cost not of object), between this and that Mark V I drove a few days ago, I'd take the Mark V. It's just more style. Big, brash, clumsy and soft.

Sure was nice to drive that brand new CTS though. Thanks for the $50 AmEx gift card though Cadillac! I spent some of that money on a nice new "valet style" Cadillac keychain right at Key Cadillac today!

orconn
10-01-10, 07:30 PM
"Big, brash, clumsy and soft" sounds you describing a women!

Congratualtions on your test drive, glad it made you happy with your Regal!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-01-10, 07:53 PM
Oh yeah, comparitively speaking, the Regal was softer sprung and softer seated than the CTS.

gary88
10-01-10, 08:32 PM
This may be the shortest Chad-review ever!

77CDV
10-01-10, 10:22 PM
Sounds like he thought it compared to tapioca pudding: nice, but not exciting. Also a little lumpy.

Florian
10-01-10, 10:26 PM
the new CTS's styling is pure crap. The only reason I dont have a new CTSv is due to this fact...I simply cannot get over the ass ugly front end of these cars. I will wait for the V3

F

Jesda
10-02-10, 02:48 AM
I'm totally infatuated with the latest cts, but you need the direct injected motor to elevate it from high end commuter to something fun.

Aron9000
10-02-10, 03:56 AM
With the motor on that car, its kind of like that Wendy's commerical, "Where's the beef???"

With a somewhat heavy car like that with an automatic trans, you need torque and low end grunt to move it nicely. WTF is up with that powerband, 270hp at 7000rpm, 223lb-ft tq at 5700rpm. Sounds like a motor that would be great in a Pontiac Solstice, not something that weighs 4000lbs+ when its loaded with 4 people and their luggage.

SDCaddyLacky
10-02-10, 06:22 AM
With the motor on that car, its kind of like that Wendy's commerical, "Where's the beef???"

With a somewhat heavy car like that with an automatic trans, you need torque and low end grunt to move it nicely. WTF is up with that powerband, 270hp at 7000rpm, 223lb-ft tq at 5700rpm. Sounds like a motor that would be great in a Pontiac Solstice, not something that weighs 4000lbs+ when its loaded with 4 people and their luggage.


Aint that the truth! I'd take my 94 FWB any day over the new CTS. Not just for the looks, but for the comfort and interior space. Cadillac hasn't made a true full size comfortable plush car since the Fleetwood. The DTS has good interior dimensions, but nothing like what the last gen Fleets gave you. All the seats in new cars are rock solid, nobody can just make softy seats anymore, and that sucks big time, especially for older people that are looking for very soft seats.

Hey Chad, how was the interior materials in that CTS? Was it great, okay? Did some trim items have cheap plastic? How would you compare the quality in that CTS to say....the 80's-92 Broughams, and the 93-96 FWB's? What about the leather seats? Were they of high quality, or did it feel sorta like low grade pleather? It seems to me that there isn't a whole lot of really soft places to touch on those things, and by looking at some interior pics online, everything has a cheap look to it even for that high end Cadillac.

Also, did the body have a solid feel, like the doors, were they heavy duty feeling like the way the fleetwoods feel? Just wondering because all new cars have this really cheap exterior look to them, this goes for all the new luxury cars as well.

I'd go as far as saying that I would rather have a 98 Deville with really soft seats, and a plush ride than that CTS. Im just not into sporty luxury cars, unless it's old school like an Eldo!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-02-10, 07:38 AM
I'm totally infatuated with the latest cts, but you need the direct injected motor to elevate it from high end commuter to something fun.

After '09 or '10, they've all got a direct injected V6. The base one is the 3.0L DI, and the optional one is the 3.6L DI. There is a difference of 30hp and 50 lb/ft of torque between the two.


the new CTS's styling is pure crap. The only reason I dont have a new CTSv is due to this fact...I simply cannot get over the ass ugly front end of these cars. I will wait for the V3

F

That's exactly how I felt about the V1.


Sounds like he thought it compared to tapioca pudding: nice, but not exciting. Also a little lumpy.

No, it was definitely a nice car, exciting perhaps, but not my style of Cadillac. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely the best car in it's class, and the best small Cadillac ever by a large margin, but small luxury cars just don't do it for me. I mean I kinda like the E46 and E90 BMW's, but even those, being the benchmark everyone was shooting for, aren't really my cup of tea. I couldn't do an old BMW like Rick keeps buying, too small and too rough riding.


Hey Chad, how was the interior materials in that CTS? Was it great, okay? Did some trim items have cheap plastic? How would you compare the quality in that CTS to say....the 80's-92 Broughams, and the 93-96 FWB's? What about the leather seats? Were they of high quality, or did it feel sorta like low grade pleather? It seems to me that there isn't a whole lot of really soft places to touch on those things, and by looking at some interior pics online, everything has a cheap look to it even for that high end Cadillac.

Also, did the body have a solid feel, like the doors, were they heavy duty feeling like the way the fleetwoods feel? Just wondering because all new cars have this really cheap exterior look to them, this goes for all the new luxury cars as well.

Interior materials were of a very high quality, better than anything Cadillac has made in recent memory. The leather was top notch, and featured hand sewn french stitching, there was lots of use of real sapele wood and aluminium trim to contrast against the wood trim. Lots of soft-touch materials on the dashboard that had a unique pattern in them so they didn't look like anything you'd find in a Chevy or Buick. The body also had really solid feeling as well, doors shut with a nice thump (not as nice though as an older M-B) and there were no squeaks or rattles once underway.

They've got the improvements in quality down, now we need some improvement in size. :D

drewsdeville
10-02-10, 09:15 AM
They've got the improvements in quality down, now we need some improvement in size. :D

But interior sizes are larger now than they've ever been, especially in comparison to the 80's. An increase in size now wouldn't be very logical. The only thing they could really do is bring back the 7ft of overhang over the wheelbase as in previous decades, but that wouldn't gain you much.

With refined methods in maximizing cabin space vs exterior space, I only see cars continually getting smaller. Refined suspension geometry and isolation methods make the ride quality point moot.

As an example, my girlfriends Malibu rides far better than my '95 Deville, and I just put new struts on it 2 years ago.

I, for one, welcome the smaller sizes. I'm tired of driving boats (coincidentally, I put my '95 up for sale this week). I've been doing so since I could drive. It feels too much like work.

orconn
10-02-10, 09:21 AM
That CTS reminds me of a girl with big hips and a small bosom, possibly functional, but definitely bottom heavy! So many of the contemporay designs seem to be afflicted with proportions that may be good for breeeding but don't look good in a bikini!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-02-10, 03:17 PM
But interior sizes are larger now than they've ever been, especially in comparison to the 80's. An increase in size now wouldn't be very logical. The only thing they could really do is bring back the 7ft of overhang over the wheelbase as in previous decades, but that wouldn't gain you much.

It'd gain you trunk space, make the engine easier to work on, and stand out from a styling standpoint. While it's good to use common sense and logic when designing cars, logic doesn't make cars beautiful. If everyone designed cars from a purely logical standpoint, we'd have a lot of cars that look like LS400s, Camrys and Corollas. But even those have a certain style to them nowadays...



With refined methods in maximizing cabin space vs exterior space, I only see cars continually getting smaller. Refined suspension geometry and isolation methods make the ride quality point moot.

As an example, my girlfriends Malibu rides far better than my '95 Deville, and I just put new struts on it 2 years ago.

Uhh, what? Explain that one further.

How does your girlfriend's Malibu ride "better"? Better can mean a lot of things. To me, a perfect riding car is one much like my S320. Smooth, but not too soft and mushy. It could take a corner good too without too much leaning or understeer. I assume that's what you mean.[/QUOTE]

jedhead
10-02-10, 03:50 PM
the new CTS's styling is pure crap. The only reason I dont have a new CTSv is due to this fact...I simply cannot get over the ass ugly front end of these cars. I will wait for the V3

F

I agree with you. I do like the front end on regular CTS better than the V. One of the reasons why I am keeping my STS-V longer.

Bob

ryannel2003
10-02-10, 03:57 PM
Having worked at a Cadillac dealership for 3 years I've driven plenty of CTS's and they really are excellent cars... probably the best Cadillac has produced in the past 20 years. Excellent combination of style, quality, and performance that can easily match or even beat the German's at their own game. I had a few gripes with these cars that made it impossible for me to want to purchase one after my Seville.

*I found the seating position horrible. The seats were rock hard covered very thinly with leather, and if you rest your leg up against the door panel the leather ends nearly the top and the rest is covered in hard plastic. Very uncomfortable. The center stack also protrudes in the way and makes it hard to rest your right leg against.
*Unless you purchase the top of the line CTS, all the other models come with cheap looking plastic covers in place of the fog lights. The model Chad drove also has this problem. Looks unfitting for a $45k car. Same with the choices of wheels. Base models have horrible looking wheels, while higher end versions have excellent wheels.
*I personally hate the way Cadillac packages these cars. If you want a luxury model with iPod, you have to purchase the navigation system. If you want a Performance model with wood trim, you have to buy a $3k package. If you want the nicer wheels you have to purchase the Performance model. You can't separately option wheels, wood trim or iPod. It's all included in packages.
*Each year this car has been out Cadillac has removed some type of feature. I don't like how there is a knob to turn on the cars without the key. Should be push button start.
*The quality of materials in certain areas is less than stellar and after 2 years there are rattles in certain areas of the car that are annoying. Some of the new cars built come with mismatched panels or lapses in quality. I'm not saying this is just a Cadillac thing, but it shouldn't be happening in a $40k+ car. I will say, all Cadillac's since 2006 have been much better built than previous models. 2000-2005 Deville's and 1998-2004 Seville's were a low point in Cadillac quality IMO. Some were perfect, some were ok (mine), some were horrible.

I know alot of these things are nit-picky but if I had a choice between an '05+ STS (even though I don't like the style) or an '08+ CTS, I'd take the STS. It's more comfortable, rides much better, and is much cheaper to buy used.

hueterm
10-02-10, 08:15 PM
My next CPO is going to be an '08 or '09 STS-V -- hands down....August of 2012 when the EXT is paid off (assuming I don't pay it off early, but I have a crazy low interest rate, so I think I'll wait...).

drewsdeville
10-02-10, 08:51 PM
It'd gain you trunk space, make the engine easier to work on, and stand out from a styling standpoint. While it's good to use common sense and logic when designing cars, logic doesn't make cars beautiful. If everyone designed cars from a purely logical standpoint, we'd have a lot of cars that look like LS400s, Camrys and Corollas. But even those have a certain style to them nowadays...



Uhh, what? Explain that one further.

How does your girlfriend's Malibu ride "better"? Better can mean a lot of things. To me, a perfect riding car is one much like my S320. Smooth, but not too soft and mushy. It could take a corner good too without too much leaning or understeer. I assume that's what you mean.[/QUOTE]

Well, it's subjective, but I find the mentioned overhang to be outrageously gaudy, not exactly stylish.

Developing my "skills" working freelance where I don't specialize in any one type of vehicle, I have no trouble working on newer cars with tighter engine bays, and I see it all. Sometimes is takes some improvising, sometimes it takes some forethought, sometimes it even takes an extra step or two, but it's nothing that I let kick my ass. Design trumps physical space anyway...ever work on a Ford panther? It's a great example to use because physically, there's tons of space under the hood, but in ways it's a nightmare to maintain. To change the pan gasket, you have to lift the whole engine. The rearmost sparkplugs on the pass side aren't any easier than the rear bank on a tight FWD. To change the right side valve cover gasket, the motor has to be lowered or most of the HVAC system has to be removed, take your pick. Hell, how about the starter on a 4.6 panther? It's horrible. Ease of maintenance is all in the design. There are smaller cars with engine bays tight on space that are far easier to maintain than the panther, even with it's vast openness under the hood.

As far as cargo space, my girlfriends Malibu yet again bests by Deville, with a comparable trunk size in addition to folding rear seats, which I don't have. Her car is the only one out of ours that will hold both of our bicycles.

While the Malibu does handle MUCH better, that wasn't what I was referring to. As far as straight up ride, the Malibu wins yet again. It's far more isolated, especially on large bumps (like a speedbump) and is able to do so in more of a controlled manner, without any following "bob" on rough roads. It's not tight riding, it's not mushy riding, it's just a great balanced ride.

As mentioned, this is all subjective. I'm not trying to say that the Malibu is the best car in the world, but I think that the Malibu is a great example of advancement and refinement applied to modern technologies that ultimately best the predecessors in almost every way. The Malibu bests my Deville in everything that the Deville was supposed to excel, and the Malibu is only a midsize.

Advancement is important, it keeps things moving and forces further progression. If they stuck with them old '70's and '80's designs, we'd still be driving the junk that they put out back then :P