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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to buy a 2012-2013 CTS AWD 3.6l sedan but am having a hard time seperating the trim levels.
Seems the base and standard trims are out for me due to engine options, also any wagon, coupe, or RWD is out of the race. Luxury has no benefit as well from what info I can gather

So I'm trying to decide between the premium and performance trim levels.
My understanding is the premium is the better trim level as it has more options and the "performance" trim has no added performance value at all.

Anyone help me sort them out?
 

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2011 CTS Wagon Performance
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I believe one of the only differences in the Performance edition is the FE3 suspension, which I understand makes it ride a little tighter and handle a little better. Mine is a Performance, and it rides / drives more like a BMW 3 series than any Cadillac I've ever driven before. A month ago, I found a post online somewhere that described the differences...I'll see if I can re-locate that and post it.
 

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2011 CTS Wagon Performance
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Go ahead, blame me. Everybody does 🙄
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There are still some choices/options to be made in both premium and performance trim, but premium would be the upper echelon collection of the two.

You can download older brochures and read what each collection consists of in the rear of the literature.
 

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2011 CTS Sport Wagon
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I believe one of the only differences in the Performance edition is the FE3 suspension, which I understand makes it ride a little tighter and handle a little better. Mine is a Performance, and it rides / drives more like a BMW 3 series than any Cadillac I've ever driven before. A month ago, I found a post online somewhere that described the differences...I'll see if I can re-locate that and post it.
Performance trim doesn't automatically include FE3 suspension. There is an additional "summer tire performance package" that includes FE3, which was a separate option only available with RWD.

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2011 CTS Wagon Performance
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Performance trim doesn't automatically include FE3 suspension. There is an additional "summer tire performance package" that includes FE3, which was a separate option only available with RWD.
Yes - Dave is right.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you. I came across that post earlier, just wanted to make sure I understood correctly.
The magnetic ride or FE3 option is out for me due to me wanting/needing to AWD option so it sounds like I'm on the right track.
Here's what I'm looking for:
3.6l (preferably 2012-2013 due to the HP increase but would take 2010-2011 if I found the right car)
AWD
Bose premium sound system
HID lighting
Moonroof
Anything else I should be looking for as far as options go?
 

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2011 CTS Wagon Performance
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I'd say go as new as possible. There are several known issues with these cars - as with any car - so check those all thoroughly. I'd heavily prefer cars that have had loving owners who changed the oil every 3K, and NOT according to the on-board monitor, due to the timing chain stuff on 3.6. Well, on either engine, really. Check the headliner for evidence of leaks if you go ultraview. I think the Bose is great. I personally like the tan interior - mine has 180K on it and it really still looks like new inside - it holds up well. I wish mine had the ventilated seats instead of just the heated ones.
They are very nice driving, and great looking cars - worth the headaches of the issues - at least so far.
 

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2011 CTS Sport Wagon
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Fe3 isn't magnetic ride, MR wasn't available on 2nd gen. If you like supportive seats, I would look for one with the touring package which includes the recaro seats from the V.

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Discussion Starter #11
Fe3 isn't magnetic ride, MR wasn't available on 2nd gen. If you like supportive seats, I would look for one with the touring package which includes the recaro seats from the V.

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Ah yeah the FE3 is just a stiffer suspension in the rear wheel drive versions. Gotcha
 

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2014 ELR
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Some great info, includes lots of the RPOs to know about. Paddle shifters, big brakes, 19" wheels, summer/all seasons, etc:

 

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2011 CTS Coupe FE3, 2003 Thunderbird, Gone 2013 ATS, 02 Deville
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Cadillac performance model could have had options chosen that makes it the same as or more than a premium model. I have a performance model with $10,000 in options.
In Nevada, the DMV charges you an excise tax every year, they use the car model list price, not the sales price to calculate tax. So I saved a lot of money every year, by getting a performance model car and adding options to make it just like a premium model for taxes.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've noticed when looking at both the performance and premium trim options it seems all the premium trim packages have the wood interior trim as the performance models do not.
Is the wood interior trim on all the premium trim packages?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think I will be happy either way with the performance or premium trim package. Honestly not much difference between the two as far as my needs/wants are concerned.
I don't like most of the color options which really limit my pool of vehicles. Black, white, or maybe silver are the only colors I would go with.
 

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2011 CTS Coupe Premium
Orlando - We take orphans
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Interesting, Florida taxes on weight so options make no difference. Can download the brochure for the model year of interesst and will list exactly what comes with which.

This is from the 2011 coupe brochure:
586098
 

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2011 CTS Coupe FE3, 2003 Thunderbird, Gone 2013 ATS, 02 Deville
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I've noticed when looking at both the performance and premium trim options it seems all the premium trim packages have the wood interior trim as the performance models do not.
Is the wood interior trim on all the premium trim packages?
My performance model has a double interior option Luxury interior one and option interior 2, so it has the wood trim. and I bet there are some premium models out there with things that got deleted because the owner did not want it.
The best way to find out what the car has or does not have is to do a build sheet on it located in the trunk or get the window sticker.
see attached.
 

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2011 CTS Coupe Premium
Orlando - We take orphans
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"build sheet on it located in the trunk " think you mean the SPI (service parts information) sticker in the trunk. Rectangular white sticker with the VIN at the top.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I was trying to figure out the trim level differences as Cadillac does not make it easy to decipher but that is also due to the huge amount of options offered not to mention sport, performance, or touring packages available on different trim levels as well.

Think I got it figured out though since my criteria includes a 3.6L, AWD, sedan, bose premium sound system, and sun roof is looks like I am looking for a performance or premium trim package. Be nice to find the vented seats as well

I appreciate all the input, seems like the Cadillac crowd is a much better bread of owner than some of the other forums I have been on in the past.
 

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2009 SRX V6 RWD, 2011 CTS Premium Coupe
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I was trying to figure out the trim level differences as Cadillac does not make it easy to decipher but that is also due to the huge amount of options offered not to mention sport, performance, or touring packages available on different trim levels as well.

Think I got it figured out though since my criteria includes a 3.6L, AWD, sedan, bose premium sound system, and sun roof is looks like I am looking for a performance or premium trim package. Be nice to find the vented seats as well

I appreciate all the input, seems like the Cadillac crowd is a much better bread of owner than some of the other forums I have been on in the past.
You want the summer tire package. The suspension is great while still being more forgiving than the one in my Grand Prix, the brakes are fantastic, and the wheels look about 100 times better than the Performnce wheels.
 
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