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Cadillac CTS/CTS-V

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  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    But they sure did look cool.
  • GBrianKGBrianK Posts: 211
    What were your reasons for purchasing the LS over the CTS? I am stuck between a used 5 series and the CTS. Not sure which would be better. CTS is faster, parts are readily available here, labor is cheaper and it is brand new. 5 series has better steering, seats are more contoured to my body, and has better longevity.

    My local Caddy dealer is pushing hard to get me into one, especially since I have Supplier Discount.
  • Where is 'here'? BMW parts availability has never been a problem for me, and for discretionary parts purchases (that is, modifications and basic stuff like filters, brake pads, etc. that you can stockpile in advance of doing the work) the best (that is, most flexible, most knowledgeable, and cheapest) suppliers (e.g. Pacific BMW) are mail-order anyway. I've now got a nice aspheric LH mirror on one of our 5s, and a storage-bin console assembly for the other, both standard Euro-market stuff BMW doesn't use in the US. True, I think, in the GM world as well (go Google for 'Dal Slabaugh') though my experience isn't as extensive there.

    I've seen BMW, Ford, Honda, etc. dealer service labor rates all in similar territory, what do Cadillac dealers in major metro areas typically get? I can't imagine they're charging much less, their overhead and labor costs aren't any lower, and IMO only in very rare cases should one be going to the dealer for non-warranty service anyway.
  • touring model that will not be sold domestically. The equivalent here is the Dodge Magnum.

    Thanks to v8lincolnguy for pointing that out.
  • Doesn't it seem a little strange that MT missed the mark on the 300M as car of the year and then C&D followed that up by naming the 300M to its 10 best cars for 2 years running?

    The 300M was never meant to be a drag racer, and at 7.7 seconds, it's 0-60 mph proved that.

    It was meant to be a entry level luxury sports sedan and offers excellent value for the price. As an added bonus it handles like a sports car (fwd not withstanding) and has impressive acceleration from 50-80 mph (where you really need it).

    The 300M was not a 1 year wonder, although in the past 5 years it has been caught and passed by new entries in the market.

    But, for the combination of a certain level of luxury and performance, it remains one of the best values on the market. It is not the most luxurious and is not the best performer, but it offers a good balance of both, IMHO.

    However, I guess this is a moot point now tha DC has discontinued the LH (cab-forward) cars...
  • GBrianKGBrianK Posts: 211
    I am attempting to use my Supplier Discount to purchase a CTS. Does anyone know about other incentives currently available? I have seen a $1000 Factory to Dealer rebate for GM Employee/Supplier/Dealership Discount. I also have a SmartBuy currently and if I remember correctly you also get an incentive for "Owner Loyalty" I think.... Thanks!
  • $$$ was the reason. I simply cannot afford an 04 CTS equipped as I would like right now. I really wanted rid of my lemon Intrigue and found an 01 LS-V8 with only 25K at a great price so I bought it. I figure I'll drive the LS 2-3 years and then probably do a CTS. Who knows what kind of improvements they will have on them by then. And who knows, maybe I'll get "that big promotion" between now and then and can just move on up to a CTS-V:)
  • GBrianKGBrianK Posts: 211
    Glad to hear you got out from under your Intrigue....I got out of mine after owning it for a year and four months....Took the hit of a lifetime in value, but got rid of a nightmare...

    I would like to up the tire size on my CTS, but after speaking to a guy at the local tire join i'm wary of doing so. Something about ABS sensors, speedometer, etc.... Ideas?
  • If you're planning on just stepping up the tire size the guy at the local tire store is right...DON'T do it. If you're planning on putting larger diameter wheels and lower profile tires you have several options. The trick is to up the wheel size while lowering the tire profile so that the outer diameter of your tire stays the same (along with your spedometer reading). You can also go a little bit wider with no problems assuming the new wheels have the correct offset.
    I'm running 245/40/18's with no problems (I did end up ditching my Continental Extreme tires in favor of Bridgestone RE750's however, but that's another story).

    intrepidspirit: There are several things that I didn't like about the 300M...none of which included acceleration or handling. Overall it is a decent car and an OK value. My main gripe with the car is the overall quality. Sure, it might be an "entry level" luxury sports sedan but the fact is that it's the BEST car that Chrysler makes. I couldn't get away from the feeling that I was driving a big Neon with leather during my 300M tour of duty. The rattles and poor paint quality would have been acceptable to me for a lower priced car but were intolerable for the 300M. On the other side of the coin, the CTS is the cheapest car Cadillac makes yet the quality is very good...to me that says something about the difference between Chrysler and Cadillac as car companies. Cadillac is in an entirely different league. Another example would be the mailings my wife (PT Cruiser owner) and I (CTS) recieved after one year of car ownership from the manufacturers. Her letter was a piece of junk mail urging her to buy an extended warranty...mine was a nice card from Cadillac reflecting on a happy 1st year of ownership. I get mailings inviting me to "premiere events" and she gets junk mail trying to sell her unnecessary maintenance and/or another new car. Don't even get me started on comparing Chrysler vs Cadillac service as there is NO comparison.......
  • bxd20bxd20 Posts: 68
    What is the current best guess on when the 3.6 with 6 speed will be ready? I have to decide whether to fix and or upgrade some things on my Contour SVT or just start saving for the CTS.

    As far as tires are concerned, you shouldn't change sizes on a whim, but if there's a characteristic of the car you'd like to change it's an option. For example, assuming there's room to clear the suspension bits one could change from 225/50-17 rubber to 245/45-17 without affecting ABS or speedometer (not any amount worth mentioning anyway). You should see better straight ahead traction in braking and accelerating but your at the limit handling numbers would likely decrease and you'd have a softer ride with slower reacting steering.

    Brian
  • eaton53eaton53 Posts: 356
    Great car, but it's got all of the inherent high performance FWD issues. The CTS is a much better car... I'd start saving.

    Your car will be ready for 2005, which probably means about a year from now.
  • When going to larger tires there's several factors to consider. The only time ABS considerations will normally come into play is if you RADICALLY change tire rolling radius (revolutions/mile) or get into different-diameter tires front/rear (not something you'd want to do.) I personally don't know of any ABS systems that will be tripped up by a change of tire with a near-stock rolling radius - don't think even the lame Delphi pseudo-ABS GM used on lower-end products gets any WORSE (hard to imagine) with a stickier tire...

    You don't want to change diameter significantly because it will affect EVERYTHING - performance, speedometer accuracy, ride, etc. Check the revolutions/mile number for the OEM tires and stay within a couple percent.

    If you go wider on the stock wheels, you want to make sure that the tire will still be adequately supported. Unless you have a specific reason for doing so, I would never use a tire whose design wheel width was more than 1/2" wider than the wheel you want to put the tire on.

    The Tire Rack site generally has all the details you need for the tire lines they carry. The most important dimensions are (a) design rim width (b) revs/mile and (c) section width.

    Some critical points to remember about tires:

    1) A good small tire will stick, turn, ride, etc. better than a cheap big one. Some tires are better deals than others, but in general you get what you pay for.

    There aren't a lot of choices in the OEM 225/50-17 size, but one which Tire Rack catalogs is a Michelin MXX3 - one of the two or three all-time superglues of the tire world. The E36 M3 guys cried rivers when Michelin stopped making them in the M3 sizes. I'd bet (no experience, mind you) a CTS on stock-size MXX3s will be quicker than a CTS on most larger tires.

    2) A wide tire on a narrow wheel will ride great, stick badly, turn in even worse.

    In theory you could go to a 245/45-17, the diameter/revs per mile are right. What's the width of the wheel? Some 245/45-17s show a 7.5in design rim width though all the OEM applications I'm aware of for that size used an 8in wide rim. Of course, that still doesn't guarantee you won't have fender-contact issues to deal with.
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Posts: 535
    I was cruising down Rt 9 and my eye noticed the gas gauge plummeting from near full to empty . It hasnt moved from the bottom . Looks like the sender unit in the tank has failed . Has anyone else experienced this ?
  • wwhite:
    Haven't had that experience with my CTS. However, the story sounds familiar. I think it is the same one I told my dad when he was raking me over the coals for not refilling the tank on his new '56 Olds when I was in high school. "Honest Dad, it showed almost full when I brought it home last night. There must be something wrong with the guage." :>)
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Posts: 535
    I filled it for a baseline . the gauge didn't budge , the full range on the DIC is reading "low"
  • bingomanbingoman Posts: 373
    Might be the sender wire connector disconnected.

    Reminds me of a good way to theft proof a car. Put a hidden switch under the dashboard to cut off power to the fuel pump. If anyone attempts to steal the car they get just far enough to find themselves in a awkward position and will probably abandon the car and run.
  • automoleautomole Posts: 154
    I haven't experienced the full to empty plummeting but I've frequently experienced the 1/4 tank to empty 'plummet'. Is anyone else as annoyed with the gas gauge as I am?

    Once it hits just below 1/4 tank I can drive for a short distance and then the gauge drops like a rock to below empty and the DIC chimes and says "Low Fuel Range". I've also noticed that when you get under 30 miles or so DTE (distance to empty) the only information you get is a generic "Low Fuel Range" message. Now my questions for the GM engineers are "why do I give a crap how many miles I can drive when I have a full tank of gas?" and "why is it when I'm near empty and desperately NEED to have a DTE estimate the only message I get is 'Low Fuel Range'?"

    GBrianK: I can't speak about the stock 17" wheels but if you've got the base model 16's my guess is that you're pretty much out of luck fitting wider tires on the stock rims. I looked behind my stock wheels and found I could barely fit my pinky between the inside sidewall of the tire and the strut. Again, there are options if you want to go with larger aftermarket wheels. Good luck trying to find an 8" wide 17" diameter rim for the CTS...I found it very difficult to find anything wider than 7.5" in an 18" rim that would fit the CTS. FWIW I would have just as easily gone with a narrower 18" tire (225/45/18) and a 7.5" wide rim if it wasn't for the fact that there was a MUCH better selection of tires to choose from in a (245/40/18) size. I'd personally avoid the MXX3's due to the 140 treadwear rating and high price but jemiller and I disagree on EVERYTHING! ;)
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668
    Is there a reset button for the message center? On my LS whenever you get a warning message (low fuel, oil change, ac filter change, etc.) you have to hit reset to get rid of it at which point it returns to the normal display.
  • Stock 17" set up is 225/50/17 for a total dia of 25.85. Research I did awhile back indicated the following would be workable combinations;

    for 19 in. rims
    245/35 for a total dia of 25.8 in., but if you plan to install the Eibach spring kit drop it back to 235/35

    for 18 in rims
    255/45 for a total dia of 27 in.

    Two CTS variant models were equipped as follows:

    CTS-R - 245/40/18
    CTS-M - 255/40/19

    The CTS-V is slated to sport 245/45/18

    Dropped my CTS off for an oil change this morning. Only three CTS's on the lot that I could see. All were the 3.6L autos. One lux pkg and two std. The lux was stickered at 35K and change. The std's were $32.5K. Colors were cashmere, silver and black.
  • jemillerjemiller Posts: 183
    As I said, it depends on what your goals are. If long treadlife is a priority, then you're trading off adhesion to get it. A valid thing to do in many cases, though I don't think it makes much sense to go out and buy big 18in wheels then look for big fat tires with a 300+ UTQG treadwear rating.

    Likewise all-season tires - I have no use for them, I live in California and the only time I'd ever go to the snow they wouldn't be adequate anyway. Others may drive in conditions where light-to-moderate snow conditions make all-season tires useful.

    By the way, the pinky you can get between the tire sidewall and the spindle (is this front or rear?) is probably 10-12mm, which assuming that bump or jounce travel doesn't reduce that clearance (something you'd have to verify - if the piece immediately inboard of the tire is the spindle/hub carrier - there aren't struts in a CTS - then the clearance should not change) is really quite a bit of clearance. In some applications you'll see as little as 3mm (1/8") clearance used without trouble.

    GM used to have some very extreme tire-chain-clearance requirements in their internal design criteria, which left you with little 205/70-14 tires in fenderwells big enough for something 12in wide.
  • golfnut5golfnut5 Posts: 202
    I have owned several GM and Ford vehicles. GM's fuel gauges seem to stay on full for what seems like forever, but once near 1/4 tank drops like a rock. Ford's fuel gauges come off full rather quickly, but hangs on 1/4 tank for what seems like forever. I like the Ford setup better, I know when I am on 1/4 tank I have plenty of time to find a filling station.
  • automoleautomole Posts: 154
    ...yes it isn't the space between the front strut (or I guess I should say "front coil over high gas-charge monotube damper" AKA strut/shock) but it isn't really the space between the spindle and wheel either. I'm referring to the clearance between the "arm/link thingamajiggy" (spindle/hub carrier?) that connects the upper control arm to the spindle/hub/brake assembly. If memory serves me right I'd say it's closer to 8mm than 12mm but that's just my very loose guesstimate. My point wasn't that the clearance would change (there obviously isn't any problem with the stock setup which was what I was referring to) but that you'd be pretty much 'screwed' if you intended to put tires on the stock rims that were much wider (a couple of centimeters) than the factory size.

    As for the tire selection, it's agreed that you're trading adhesion for treadlife *to an extent* when selecting tires although I'd venture to say that in any case the tire with the better treadwear rating would also have better traction after a year of spirited driving
    (in my experience bald tires typically have poor adhesion characteristics :) )
    A more difficult choice for me was to find a tire that balanced wet/dry performance since much of my driving is in the rain.

    I also think it's equally ridiculous to put racing tires on a 4 door sedan with a V6 that does 0-60 in 7+ seconds and has traction control. "Hooking-up" has never been a problem under any circumstances in my CTS ;). I'd also guess that a less-sticky fat tire on an 18" rim might do better than a super-sticky tire on a 16" rim on the skidpad but that's just my 'hunch'. In any case, my personal reason for going with 18" rims was due to the fact that I felt handling could be improved while also improving the cars appearance. IMO my car handles MUCH better (even with my lowly Bridgestone RE750's with 300+ UTQG) and more importantly (since I'm admittedly a somewhat superficial SOB)...it looks friggin' cool.

    golfnut5: Ford's setup IS much better. I've never had any problem knowing when to get gas until I bought the CTS. With the CTS's gauge empty looks the same as 15 miles until empty.

    calicadi: I'd go with the 245/40/18 over the 255/45/18 due to the fact that it's closer in diameter to stock and about a centimeter more narrow for easier fit.
  • On my Intrigue, it dropped pretty quickly to E once you were down to the 1/4 mark, but you could drive FOREVER on E with the light on. Not something I recommend, but several times I drove quite a way when the needle was all the way down and the light was on. On my LS, once you get to about 50 miles remaining, the low fuel warning comes on and you can't get a driving range anymore. I think that they do this because the driving range is not an exact figure and they want to prevent people from seeing that they have say 40 miles left, then do some high speed driving and significantly reduce that range in a matter of minutes. I know with the Lincoln's V8, that is very easy to do:)
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668
    When you see "low fuel", press reset and it will go back to the Miles to Empty reading. It will reappear every 10 minutes.

    If you have something you want to hide, put it in the owner's manual. Apparently nobody reads them anymore.
  • jemillerjemiller Posts: 183
    Yes, agreed, you're not going to go that much wider with 8mm clearance, you might get a half-inch more rim/tire width if you paid very careful attention to wheel offset.

    Just from the spec sheets the 245/40-18 looks like the right size for the 6cyl car, you could go to a 245/45-18 but then your revs/mile goes down a little vs the OEM size which unless you've got bags of low-end torque isn't what you want.

    Anything much larger e.g. 255/45-18 and you've got to be concerned both with clearance and with the impact on overall gearing.
  • GBrianKGBrianK Posts: 211
    Hey folks:

    Just finished my 24 hr drive...On a scale of 1 (sucks) to 5 (amazing):

    Engine - 6 (The engine is begging to be pushed)
    Transmission - 5
    Interior Materials - 4
    Seat - 4
    Steering wheel - 3
    Suspension - 4
    Fuel Economy - 3
    Computer ease of use - 3
    Stabilitrak/Traction Control - 5

    The 3.6l is definitely a winner and the transmission is perfectly mated to this car. I clocked 0-60 in 6.7 sec. in Sport mode. Bravo GM!

    The interior materials are not bad. I can see why folks complain about the headliner (easy to get it dirty). Many of the styling cues were stolen...ahem, borrowed from Saab. Everything from the SID (otherwise known as DIC to Cadillac), climate control, security system, right down to the air vent controls are right out of Saab's parts bin. This is a cost cutting measure and Cadillac has done a great job in adapting it for the US market.

    Seats were comfortable, but could have used more lower lumbar support. Cadillac has designed the seat for a wide variety of body sizes, so that may be a sacrifice to get a universal seat.

    The steering wheel is TOO BIG. What is this, a Deville? I know, I know they probably borrowed from the parts bin. It needs to be smaller and with more defined grips at the 10 and 2 positions. Also, where is the tilt/telescopic function? If Cadillac is listening, borrow the steering wheel set-up from the new 9-3. When I got comfortable seat setting with the pedals, the steering wheel was too close. And vice versa.

    The suspension was tuned almost perfectly, although it let through a lot of small pavement inperfection. Cadillac came very close to the set-up used in the 5 series BMW.

    Fuel economy isn't all that good. Luckily, you can use Regular unleaded (at least according to the dealer). Never tried it...wonder if performance suffers? Nevertheless, it probably would be better if I was to settle down on the accelerator.

    There are WAY to many things to do within the computer system. And if you are not technically saavy, don't leave home without your owner's manual.

    Setting for Stabilitrak/Traction Control is perfect. After reading a few posts on this and other sites, I decided to deactivate TC. As this is the first rear wheel drive car I have drive extensively, I was quite surprised how it reacted when I hung a right out of a lot at 3/4 power. Talk about fishtailing! I decided that TC is a must, especially when driving in winter.

    Overall, GM is made a MAJOR stride to change with this vehicle. Everything in it is a major improvement over grandpa's crusier. Unfortunately, Cadillac is still attemting to cater to the above 50 crowd.
  • My verdict on the CTS was about the same as yours except the engine would have been a 3 or 4 as the one I drove was an 03 with the 3.2. It appears the new 3.6 is a real winner. I've grown fond of the V8 power in my Lincoln, but I don't think I'll have any problem giving up 2 cylinders if I go with a CTS is a few years. I'm a gadget freak(sort of) so I really liked all the extra things the DIC in the CTS will do. If Cadillac is still catering to the "over 50" crowd with this car, then I guess I'm older than my age says I am(28). Other than the lack of a manual with the new V6(and that should be fixed next year) I see nothing in the CTS that would make it appear geared toward the older customer. And if Cadillac dealers are still catering to that customer, well you can't blame them completely as that is their bread and butter. As long as I get the attention and service that the 60 year old customer there in front of me gets, I don't care if everyone else at the dealership is over 60. I'm there for my car, not to pick up women:) Anyway, glad you enjoyed your 24 test drive. I certainly did with mine. On a side note, while driving by the Caddy dealer this morning they had an SRX right out front. Not a bad looking SUV(or whatever it is) at all.

    akirby, I'm one of the few people to actually read owners manuals. I have spent some time with the LS's manual and had forgotten that you could reset the low fuel warning and get a range. How low of a driving range will it give you? BTW, have you ever used regular(87 octane) in your LS? More on that over in the LS forum.
  • jemillerjemiller Posts: 183
    As anyone who's seen my posts around here know, I think fairly highly of the CTS mechanically but don't much like the shape. Mainly I hang around hoping the CTS-V proves to be as good (to my [non-permissible content removed], not some magazine reporter's) as its mechanical specs would indicate (it definitely looks better with the big wheels and simpler nose, but the tall hoodline is still bum.)

    That said, here's an upcoming CTS competitor that IMO is an out-of-the-park home run on shape.

    http://www.imakenews.com/autospies/e_article000188711.cfm

    The roofline is a little Audi-ish, but everything else looks perfect - the bulging fenders are reminiscent of '60s GM practice, the low hoodline and smooth-yet-aggressive nose cap are sweet.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668
    I've seen it go to single digits but never got it all the way to 0.

    Don't use 87 in ANY car that's designed for 91+ including a CTS. You won't save any money in the long run because your fuel economy will decrease and you'll decrease power also. Whether it hurts the engine over the long run is moot because it doesn't really save any money in the first place so there's no reason to do it. If you can't get 91 it won't hurt to run a tank of 87 every now and then but I wouldn't make it a practice. Penny wise and pound foolish.
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Posts: 535
    In my opinion it looks like a run of the mill Lexus . Kind of bland dont you think ?
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