: After a week in a base 2013 CTS loner, while my car is in the shop....a few things..

06-23-13, 12:58 PM
1) There are a lot of little things that the V has on the interior that really take the car to the next level. The base interior is ok, but doesn't seem nearly as put together.

2) The door pulls on the sedan are garbage. I feel like they would break off if I tried.

3) The car drives and rides very nice.

4) The base seats are a LOT softer. Comfort is relative, as they don't hold you in like the recarro. They aren't bad seats though. I can see why some would option for them. Personally I like the race car look and feel of the recarro, and I don't have weak abs.

5) The microfiber suede option is a must. It just adds softness that is very must needed in an otherwise very cold, hard interior.

6) The handling on the car is quite good, but feels underpowered. Obviously driving the V makes diving other cars feel like nothing; but I refer the snappy feel of the newer Eclass 4matic. The CTS needs a mid level power option with a V8 or other more powerful option - perhaps the Vsport will be this for those who don't need a track car. The car isn't slow, and perhaps it's just been far too long since I've driven anything under 300hp. By the numbers the cars isn't slow. The AWD and tire equipment work well in the rain.

7) The CTS really is a pretty sold car. It's quiet on the road. It's not plagued by road or wind noise. The tire and suspension tune keep it grounded and silky smooth.

8) I'm really glad I went for the coupe. There is something about the sedan interior volume and shape, door trim, location that just seems kind of small. It's just in my head as the coupe is smaller. The coupe just has a much sportier feel when sitting in it, like a car made to go fast. I haven't driven a V sedan, so perhaps with recarros and other trim it wouldn't feel as grandpa-ish.

9) One forgets how special the V is when mashing a car with almost 300 hp feels like driving a 95 hp econobox. One doesn't realize how grounded, tuned, planted, controlled etc the steering and suspension in the V is, until your forced to drive a regular car for a while. I imagine getting my car back is going to be like driving my V for the first time in terms of going "good god this thing is fast". It's amazing to me that 560hp somehow starts to feel "regular" when it's your daily driver. That's just insane.

10) I will concede that when comparing the base CTS interior, paint, trim, built price wise to infinity, BMW, Benz, and particularly AUDI, its a bit behind. However, it does cost less, and for the same money, only the infinity in my mind really becomes a better option. The G series fully loaded is a bit more car for your $$ - but ride rough compared to the CTS and are small. The V feels like a much more expensive car, and it is. The new generation of Cadillac have really bridged this gap, I just hope they don't price themselves out of contention, and lose all of their unique style.

06-23-13, 01:23 PM
Glad you wrote this up - saves me the trouble of doing something similar! Although I like the push-button door openers on the coupe (they remind me of my Z06 with the similar style), very few people complain about the door handles, which are universally the same in all sedans and wagons of any variant.

The interiors are likewise the same (literally identical less the button door openers on coupes) between base and V models, but I agree the suede option is definitely worth the $300 over the standard "leatheresque" interior, steering wheel and shifter. One important note is that the leather wheel is easier to hold/grip; it's just more grippy to me than the suede. Interestingly, the base CTS models have a heated steering wheel (the button is on the wheel where your stabilitrak button is on the V); with the magnetic ride control console button becoming the stabilitrak settings in base models.

The base CTS suspension to me is exceptionally more soft and giving - body roll is significantly enhanced, which - IMHO - compounds the "grandpa" feel of the car's performance relative to the V's touring mode magnetic shocks. However, I believe this is purposeful for the base model, as many people interpret this as "comfort" and the V's as "harsh." I think a simple shock and sway upgrade on the base wagon would enhance it's sportiness with decent power. 300+HP can be plenty for that car (specifically in a manual trans). The auto is very docile for sure and feels literally half-as-fast on acceleration as my manual transmission V.

CTS base braking is perhaps 70% as effective as that of the V-series in similarly weighted cars, and that's me making up a figure to account for the typically higher speeds I reach in the manual CTSV. :D

As for the seats - I believe Recaros are an option on the base models for some years, but they obviously shine in the V. The base seats are no more than adequate: they feel no softer to me at all, just larger - almost like they were designed for a really fat guy's ass. If anything, I'd say the base seats feel harder to me relative to the Recaros. Zero side support and I feel like I'm sitting on a bench seat relative to the Recaros. When adjusted properly, the Recaro's are easily the best production car seat I have ever experienced: firm, supportive yet comfortable and I only get numb legs if I leave my wallet in for extended trips.

For reference, I am comparing a CTS Wagon (auto) with a CTSV Wagon (manual) - I own both and drive them both regularly. The base CTS is a great value, but the suspension and power are easily worth the price of admission for getting a V variant. I have driven sedans (never bothered with a coupe), but body style preferences aside I think the base CTS would be much more entertaining to drive with a more V-like suspension.

If I ever replace my springs or go with coil overs, I would definitely put my take-offs on the Wife's wagon.

Mr. Hyde
06-24-13, 05:29 PM
I bought a 2011 CTS Coupe (3.6) new, ordered it with a manual. Just bought a new V...no comparison. The V6 is underpowered to move so much bulk of a car. The only thing I [will] miss is the heated steering wheel when it gets cold.

06-24-13, 06:40 PM
I like all your points, especially #10. It really should be a question of value more than strictly price or quality.

Since I've had my V I haven't driven anything else. I'm dreading the next time I'm on a business trip and have to drive a rented Camry or Malibu.

06-24-13, 09:37 PM
As a guy who just got out of a Nissan 370Z and into my Vagon, I can't see the Infinity G being anything even nearly comparable to a V-coupe. The G is a teenager with wealthy parents type of car. It also costs significantly less than a V-coupe. I'd expect you'd compare the V-coupe to a coupe M3 or a Jag XK-R.

06-24-13, 10:37 PM
I've rented CTSs with base suspensions and FE3s. With a 3.0 and a 3.6. While I would miss the speed, a CTS w/ 3.6 and FE3 is a very good, and competent, car...

06-24-13, 10:46 PM
Imagine how much better a CTS would have been with an LS3 :)

I think the Vsport will go a long way to legitimizing the new CTS as direct competition for the E Class and 5 Series sedans. It fills a hole that I'm surprised Cadllac left open so long.