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2008 Cadillac CTS

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  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    1487,

    Have you heard any rumors about the CTS-V besides powertrain ????

    Rocky
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Yes, I KNOW they haven't tested the 2008. Nobody has. But thye sure seem like they are chomping at the bit to find one to test when they can.

    The CTS they liked how it drove - but yeah it's understandably dated compared to the competition given that it's at the end of a cycle.

    Personally, though, the only things that irked me were the huge amount of plastic(give me velour or something other than tupperware!) and the lack of MP3, which, while minor, it seems as if GM and Mercedes are just years behind the trends - as if a car stereo is something they have to offer and would rather just ignore entirely.
  • biker4biker4 Posts: 746
    This is from CTS press release on media.gm.com. Check other models and you'll see that every DI application achieves superior fuel economy given the same overall displacement and gear ratio of it's port injected counterpart (obviously, with all things being equal such as weight). People seem to be missing the entire point of direct injection which are free horsepower and lower consumption.
    Nowhere on there does it say the DI engine will have better millage than the regular engine. Yes, you'd get a millage increase if all things were the same - but there's a 50 HP diff between the engines. You get either free HP or better millage but usually not both.

    See the diff between an ES350 (regular) and IS350 (DI) - they're about the same weight (3500lbs) , both have a 6AT (and basically the same engine). Granted the ES is slightly more efficient due to FWD but that is a small diff. The ES (272HP) is rated at 21/30 while the IS (306HP) at 21/28. So the IS does get 34 "free" HP but the millage is not any better.
  • You gave us the wrong link and I couldn't find it over there.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Yeah, I thought it was just me....Glad I'm not the only one. ;)

    Rocky
  • topgun7topgun7 Posts: 409
    Sorry guy to interrupt your fun of BMW vs CTS/STS discussion. But isn't this an 08 CTS forum? There are plenty of board comparing different models. Why don't you guys take the difference to one of those board or through private email? It is a big waste of everyone time to read through all your posts about who say what. By the way I don't care what you guys think about how other model perform. I am not buying one of those model and neither did you guys. If you have some CTS information to share. Please do, I love to hear about it. Otherwise, have a life instead.
  • topgun7topgun7 Posts: 409
    Sorry guy to interrupt your fun of BMW vs CTS/STS discussion. But isn't this an 08 CTS forum? There are plenty of board comparing different models. Why don't you guys take the difference to one of those board or through private email? It is a big waste of everyone time to read through all your posts about who say what. By the way I don't care what you guys think about how other model perform. I am not buying one of those model and neither did you guys. If you have some CTS information to share. Please do, I love to hear about it. Otherwise, have a life instead.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    yes we are past that if you haven't noticed. You are kind of late. There is only one ocassonal visitor to this forum who wants to discuss things other than the CTS, we he's not posting everything stays on track.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Sorry - the url works for me. Um.. just search on youtube for "CTS Top Gear".

    But yeah - the new one - I sure hope GM makes it have a nice and tactile interior. Really - an interior like a S-class isn't more than a thousand or so more to do - it's mostly replacing pastic areas with bits of chrome and leather inserts and such. If GM can figure this out and stop doing the Alitma/Civic/etc routine of making stuff that looks expensive but it hard as a rock plastic and go with old-school cloth and leather and chrome, the naysayers will evaporate - because they already make superb engines and the cars drive great for loads less than the European choices.

    90% of a BMW 5 series for 2/3 the price - if they can match the 5 series interior, BMW's gong to have problems.(the 3 series - it's fine, though - no real competition, yet, though a lot of peope are trying)
  • thebugthebug Posts: 294
    Personally, though, the only things that irked me were the huge amount of plastic

    plekto: So, so many poster's are talking about not liking the plastic parts of an interior, that I just have to ask, don't all cars have plastic interior parts? I mean to date I haven't seen or been in a car that didn't have plastic included in the interior design. Further, many have mentioned that the said plastics look and feel cheap. Maybe I'm just missing something here. Please explain.

    thebug...
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Almost all care these days have hideous interiors.

    Take a Mercedes C Class. At least the break it up and put leather inserts and handles and chrome bits on the door panels. The plastic feels like almost a substrate or base for the other bits to be put on top of(ie - it's there to hold it all together). Still too much plastic, but not attrocious. The Mini also goes to great lengths to minimize plastic touch and feel.

    GM - it's a big swath of plastic in your face. Texturing it doesn't do as much as a nice piece of carpet or cloth did in the mid 80s.

    Luxury to me means little or no plastic on the interior. Otherwise, it's just fake luxury. Cubic Zirconia as it were. For $40-50K, we certainly should get a few hundred dollars of cloth and leather and wood and such.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    Please explain.

    Simple domestic bad, import good. Nothing else matters.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Okay - Audi - good. Volvo bad. Mercedes - some cars good, SUVs apalling. Ford - bad. GM - Cadillac good(CTS aside) - Buick barely acceptable GMC SUVs - pretty good(best USV interiors, IMO - hybrids/crossovers not included as "SUV"). Most everything else apalling. Honda - apalling. Toyota - also apalling other than the Avalon which is acceptable. RX-8 acceptable, if barely. Lexus - decent.

    It's not Domestic versus Imports. It's that 80% of ALL makers use far too much plastic to satisfy the bean-counters.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    So, if you have looked, is the 2007 SRX's interior good or bad? The 2006 (and earlier) was much like the CTS's.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,913
    But let's just stick to the CTS in here, please. There are plenty of comparison topics available for those who want to talk about other models.

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  • thebugthebug Posts: 294
    It's not Domestic versus Imports. It's that 80% of ALL makers use far too much plastic to satisfy the bean-counters.

    plekto: I think it's more then just for the sake of the bean counters. Mostly we have made the manufactures turn to plastics, and things in the like. We the gov/public have demanded better fuel mileage, safer vehicles, all at a low, low price. Plastics are light and inexpensive. Heck, I remember when the dash of a car was made of solid metal, and this in the pre mandatory seatbelt days.

    I don't know about your CTS, but my CTS (I have the 03) has a very nice interior. In fact, the design of this interior was a major selling point for me. The dark solid color is easy on the eyes, it's easy to keep clean, very roomy, and IT DOESN'T SQUEAK OR RATTLE. That's one of my crazys.

    I spend about fourteen hours a day in the car (it's my office) so all those factors are very important. The new CTS design has a little more bling, but I think it will be okay in all black. I really hope you can get it without all the chrome on the outside. If not I'll live with it.
    In my experience with cars, the more parts they attach, the more part available to rattle loose and fall off later.


    Luxury to me is a solid and smooth ride, superior sound sound system, lots of gadgets, advanced telecommunication systems, style (and that's subjective of course) and a comfortable and ergonomically sensible interior design. That's what I have found in my CTS. Can't wait to get the new edition. Hope to be driving one Nov 07.

    In regards to plastics, (as basf would say), perhaps the face of luxury has changed.

    thebug...
  • darnacdarnac Posts: 31
    "IT DOESN'T SQUEAK OR RATTLE. That's one of my crazys." That is one actually two of my crazys as well and why I like my 2005 CTS Sport so much. I cant say the same of my 02 C-class I traded in.
  • If you look closely at a picture of the new 08 CTS dash linked below, there are buttons for xm, hdd, and REC. Does that mean the 08 CTS can record satellite radio onto the hard drive? Some portable satellite radios like the inno can record up to 50 hours of xm programming, anyone know how this and something called tuneselect actually works? I imagine this feature would do for satellite radio what DVR and Tivo does for TV, makes it 10 times better and more convenient allowing people to skip everything except the good new songs they want to hear. Since satellite radio plays tons of overplayed songs we've already heard hundreds of times, this xm recording feature would be the only way to listen to nothing but great new songs from start to finish every minute you're in your car. Does 08 CTS have this satellite radio recording feature and does any other car available today or in the near future have it?

    http://img300.imageshack.us/my.php?image=x08cact01717d1339bjg8.jpg
  • Okay - Audi - good. Volvo bad. Mercedes - some cars good, SUVs apalling. Ford - bad. GM - Cadillac good(CTS aside) - Buick barely acceptable GMC SUVs - pretty good(best USV interiors, IMO - hybrids/crossovers not included as "SUV"). Most everything else apalling. Honda - apalling. Toyota - also apalling other than the Avalon which is acceptable. RX-8 acceptable, if barely. Lexus - decent.

    It's not Domestic versus Imports. It's that 80% of ALL makers use far too much plastic to satisfy the bean-counters.

    --------------------------------------------

    They use plastic to satisfy you.

    Everybody likes to talk up a storm, but most luxury buyers are overextended already.
    They can't even afford the allegedly "cheapened" cars.

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    The difference in materials between a luxurious interior and a stark one that looks luxurious but fails the second you touch it, since it's an illusion is....

    Not even a thousand dollars in materials.

    It's not rocket science, afterall, to make a car with plusher seats and some cloth on the door panels and so on.

    My sister's old 1988 Park Avenue was far more luxurious than any modern Volvo or Mercedes C class. Something's wrong if twenty-year old technology beats the new stuff.

    Plastic sucks, plain and simple. It's a clear cop-out by the manufacturers to squeeze profit at the expense of the consumer.(and dont even get me started on the joke bumpers have become)
  • That would be a great feature if it does. I would quit paying for the XM after recording what I like (not particularly interested in new stuff).

    Where did you get that picture? I hadn't seen one with that much resolution before.

    Are those the radio preselect buttons below the nav screen?
    Never seen radio controls so spread out before.
  • . . .being first (if no one knows or few if any remember, etc) doesn't mean very much any more (if it ever did.) When I read the copy and looked at the pictures of the new CTS (in Motor Trend and the other usual suspects), my first thought was "wow" I actually like the styling.

    I liked the bumping up in power, the 300 HP option, the 6 speed transmissions (2 of them!) and AWD. The interior was damn near Audi-like it looked so good and the pearl orange color in Motor Trend and the Pearl Red (?) color in the Car and Driver blurb looked great.

    I read the text about the features, amenities, lighting touches, etc. Coupled all of that with my own personal knowledge about the LPS cars (I have a 2005 Audi A6) -- and came to the conclusion I really liked the car, especially if the price (non V version) with all the technology goodies doesn't go too far past the mid forties.

    Then I started down the mind game of ticking off all the "new for 2008" features this CTS boasts.

    They all seem to say the 2008 CTS will be brought up to 2005 LPS standards.

    I thought that was kind of pitiful AT FIRST.

    I mean pretty late to the 6 speed transmission game (speaking of the auto.) Pretty late to. . .uh, well, heck, it jus' doesn't matter.

    No one (for all practical purposes) 'cept a handful of us will know that the CTS has simply done a very nice job of copying (uh, better word: innovating!) the German and Japanese (well most of them) Lux cars.

    Someone a couple hundred posts ago said something like 90% of a BMW 5 series at 2/3rds the price (SOMETHING like that, anyway.)

    Now, me, I looked at the CTS perhaps more as a 3 series or A4 or C class competitor.

    Then I read and re-read the points about wheelbase, track and so forth and I backed up about 10 yards and squinted and sure enough, I thought for that moment the CTS was possibly a 5, A6 or E class "player." Then I stopped squinting and wondered if perhaps it also could be considered as vying for a Chrysler 300 customer too.

    The heck of it is, the CTS may actually be a worthy place to put your money compared to an A6 or 5 series or E class -- it certainly appears to have a lot of the creds (and a 6 speed manual, holy cow Batman!)

    My guess is this will be a great car and IF compared to a 5 series it MAY come off as the bargain of the bunch. Perhaps not so much if compared to the 3 series or the new B8 A4, or C class though.

    Here's the issue -- when one can lease a $53,000+ Euro car for 36 months with no cap cost reduction for a number beginning with a 6 and it isn't even possible to do that number at 48 months for the $43,000 'merican car with $2500 upfront, well the 'merican car just SEEMS to be so much more expensive even when it is $5 - $10,000 less at MSRP.

    Most of these cars are leased (or so says the dealers here in River City); the MSRP's sometimes seem irrelevant, its the mo pay that seals the deal. And, the mo pay, apparently, can be so low on some of these buggies because the residual is so high.

    This MUST NOT be the case with the CTS (at this juncture.)

    We are, hopefully, at a huge point of inflection -- and the CTS is substantial evidence that we MAY be. I WILL consider one -- for I would rather go with an American car if "voting for it" (with my dollars) is voting for the best car for the money, not just a patriotic vote. I would and will be up for the red, white and blue if they (this CTS for example) can equal the competition at less money (see above) or better the competition for the same money.

    No one will remember that the Audi A6 that was being built in July 2004 in Germany had "most all" of the "new and exciting" features and content Cadillac is going on about in this new CTS. And, for those of us that do remember, so what? Now, if the Europeans (or Japanese) raise the bar again in 2008, about the only thing that will make this new CTS attractive to some will be a deep, unhealable discount.

    I'm going to conclude with: "THE GLASS IS HALF FULL!" :surprise:
  • Your reasoning is as convoluted as your writing.

    The CTS is roomier than a 5 series. It's more distinctive inside and out, and probably more comfortable than any of the cars you mentioned. It's less expensive to maintain than the Germans, and probably more reliable. Ok, it doesn't have the imported cache (aka snob appeal).

    How often do 99% of LPS buyers actually drive their cars at the limit, which is where the differences lie?

    Current CTS's are advertised with leases in the $300-400 range (ok, that's the small engine). I've heard from a salesman that they get a bigger commission from a lease, and you know where that money's coming from--You.
  • The roominess is relevant how? There are any number of cars that are roomier than a 5 series, roomier than a CTS and cost a lot less than the new one (apparently.)

    The CTS may strive to be a luxury performance car -- and lord knows I hope it will live up to what it is apparently going to be marketed as. I will assume that someone looking at a 5 or an A6 or an E class may not even look at a CTS, they MAY look at an STS, however.

    The CTS may well compete with the three Germans and the primary two Japanese cars in terms of roominess. But, the CTS is bringing content, features and build quality that the Germans and Japanese in this SIZE class have had for years.

    The CTS needed to step ahead of the competition, NOT only ahead of itself.

    The BMW has zero maintenance costs for 50,000 miles, the Cadillac costs more than zero. Audis until this year also included free maintenance, now it is a one time charge of $550 for 50K miles.

    You are correct, the CTS is more distinctive (TO YOU -- this is completely subjective, i.e.) inside and out. Hopefully it will be distinctive to a lot of new and returning customers.

    Comfort, however, is a bit more objective, and all of the other cars mentioned are more comfortable than the current CTS. The new CTS, hopefully and "probably" will be more comfortable than the current CTS.

    It may achieve parity [speaking of comfort] with these other 2004 design era cars. The problem is, all these other cars (including the BMW 3, Audi A4, Mercedes C class and Infiniti G class, to name three -- the three the CTS will compete against) have or will have new, updated cars coming to market at the same time the new CTS launches.

    The 5 series buyer who shops the CTS is "probably" rare.

    The Audi and the BMW in their current releases are very reliable -- "probably" the new Cadillac is or will be as reliable (and hopefully they will ALL get moreso.)

    Snob appeal like distinctiveness is another characteristic that is in the eye of the beholder -- do you think the BMW or Lexus has snob appeal? I don't -- in fact I grew up thinking Cadillac was a word used to describe something that had reached "the top." Cadillac was the "zenith" of cars. I think it still is -- or will be -- with this next release of CTS, STS, etc, competitive with almost anything from anywhere.

    To gain market share the product must be equal to or better than and the value proposition must be high to attract buyers who will, in 3 - 4 years, become repeat buyers.

    If I want a car in the $300-400/mo range, I can get a Chrysler 300 limited with AWD and a few options ticked off and have a roomier car that has the 5 speed transmission, a comfortable ride and a rear biased AWD system from the Mercedes E class circa 1999.

    The Americans ARE getting it -- but with the new CTS it is a work in progress (based only on the car magazine previews); a 2004 era car finally brought to market in 2008.

    Only if the Germans and Japanese don't move forward will the Cadillac be able to be competitive without some financial incentives. I think Cadillac will push to be more competitive with this new car via the financing program, i.e.

    The other guys in this list -- the direct CTS competition -- the A4, 3, G, IS (and maybe the ES) and C from Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Lexus and Mercedes will certainly NOT stop moving forward, do you think?

    The "roomier class" of cars you suggest the CTS [should] competes with were, in late 2004, already at a content level that the upcoming CTS touts will be coming in the 2008 model.

    Cadillac has (or one can assume) with this new car, as Chrysler has with its 300, demonstrated it is capable of producing a high quality rich content vehicle replete with features the German and Japanese companies were putting in their entrants 3+ years ago.

    Yet, I still maintain this is NOT a bad thing -- because no one will remember that Infiniti's G and M were offered with AWD years ago, that Mercedes cars had up to 7 speed automatics and that all the BMW's and Audis now come with 6 speed autos and even offer the option of DSG or SMG clutchless manual transmissions.

    Fuel Stratified Injection, too, was put into Audi's A3, A4 and A6 years before the new CTS.

    No one will remember how most of the new Cadillac's "gee whiz" features and content are so last generation. The technology is still good, it is, for the CTS, a substantial and meaningful upgrade to be sure.

    Indeed these upgrades should sell a bunch more CTS's -- I certainly hope so.

    The thing is Cadillac needs to pull ahead of the entry level lux cars it will surely be compared with -- with this car it merely seems to be pulling even with the 2005, 2006 and 2007 MY cars -- and it is doing so with an MY 2008 car.

    Customers may not know that this upcoming CTS, although leapfrogging itself, still remains one lily pad behind the cars that "the market" will compare this new Caddy to.

    Somehow, I'd bet they'll figure it out -- and Cadillac will have to resort to discounting or hoping that there will be a few souls who will find an A6 or 5 series or E class "out of reach" and settle for a car that, after all, is roomier.

    Here is my guess: the new CTS will show up in comparo after comparo in Automobile, Car & Driver, Motor Trend and Road & Track -- it will be compared with the BMW 3, the Audi A4, the Mercedes C, the Acura (whatever), Infiniti G and Lexus IS.

    Why?

    Because the roominess of the "car in question" is not as much of an arbiter of automotive class as we may want.

    The Hyundai Azesis (or whatever) is bigger than a BMW 7 series -- no really! They do not, generally speaking, find themselves on the same shopping list.

    I'm still rooting for the new CTS and will be looking at it very closely. But I will be comparing it with the then new Audi A4 and Mercedes C. If I start looking at the 5 series or A6, I'll check out the STS.

    Drive it like you live! :surprise:
  • so do you think that the CTS is particularly a man's car or a woman's car? and what age range do you think this car will ultimately appeal to? i would really like a chance to talk to you more about the 2008 CTS. and what the car says to you (I'm worried too many people will see it as an old person's car) are you looking to buy a luxury car or are you just a luxury car guru.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Two things will put it clearly at in the running, RWD and a manual transmission. To a sizeable segment of this market, having both is an absolute requirement.

    The BMW maintainence/warranty also isn't free. You pay so much more for a 5 series that you could replace dozens of things on the GM before you even break even. The GM also has a longer warranty on the drivetrain as well, which is nice I guess(never had major problems with any GM engine I've owned until it was over ten years old anyways).

    And when the warranty is over... Yeah. And "always lease" is a cop-out. A car should be reliable after the warranty is finished as well.

    But cost is a big factor. The number of luxury, RWD midsize sedans with a manual transmission is pretty small these days. Under $40K - even fewer.
  • I have no clue as to the gender of the average CTS buyer. I also have no clue as to the age either. The CTS -- and I rent the CTS or the SRX whenever I am given a choice -- is a good attempt to create an entry level lux sedan. It has remained mostly fresh looking and modern.

    I was never a fan of the center dash stack of the CTS, but I don't find it particularly emasculating or Tom Boyish either.

    A CTS-V is one sweet secret hot rod. But at $50,000 an Audi S4 vs a CTS-V just made the V seem overpriced. There were also some potent Bimmers that could be had for that kind of scratch too. The Cadillac needed to be of higher value -- and, moreover, it was up against stiff competition from Europe (and possibly Japan.)

    The CTS was and is a fine car -- and with attractive leases (finally) the local Cadillac store was seemingly selling the CTS like hotcakes -- but only if the new Audi store, right next door, didn't attract folks in for a test drive of a new A4.

    Of course, if you needed the roominess, well the Cadillac did win that contest hands down over the Audi.

    But the driving experience was good for CTS, very good for most folks -- until they got behind the wheel of the German car from Audi, BMW or Mercedes.

    Again, only if the CTS lease price was substantially less, did it seem to avoid being dissed.

    I believe the new CTS will -- for a time -- give the entry level lux cars a run for their money. Then the inevitable gushing (in the magazine comparos) about the similarly priced 335i or 335xi will begin to seep into our collective awareness and the CTS will have to fight back with 100,000 mile warranties and sub-vented leases.

    All of this, despite its apparent criticisms, is, I think, good for Cadillac, GM and the buying public.

    This is a giant step for Cadillac, in some ways bigger than the first CTS -- for this is Cadillac's, GM's and the American car companies rising up from the near-dead.

    And the nearly broke.

    Hell, if the CTS with 300HP a sport suspension, technology package and AWD can be had for a number beginning with a 5, it may well be just the compelling argument Cadillac is hoping for.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Try a number starting at under $40K.

    Peolpe seem to forget that while GM could build a BMW 5 series, their whole goal is to do what Hyundai is to Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, and simmilar brands these days. Making 80%-90% of the same car for 2/3 of the price.

    Why pay silly money for a 5, a GS, or a E, when you can spend 10-20K less and get a car that drives almost as well plus costs a fraction to maintain. So much less that you might consider actually buying it instead of leasing it.

    Oh - I saw $299 leases on the 2006 models the last time I was in the Cadillac dealership. Payments to *own* a CTS were about the same as a lease on a 5 series - or very close to it.
  • New Cadillacs have a bumper-to-bumper, 6 year, 100,000 warrantee.

    I'm 6'2" and one of the shorter and thinner ones in the family. I haven't tried recent ferrin cars, but I didn't fit well in the old ones. Most Japanese headrests would hit me in the back, and older Benzes didn't have enough headroom in the front and no foot room in the rear. Size is Important. I was about to add something snotty but I won't.

    Don't you think most premium car sales are based on snob appeal? Sometimes disguised as buying "quality."

    If you visit Cadillacowners.com, most of the traffic is young guys with CTS's. I would call it a guy's car, but the 08 is certainly more feminine in appearance.

    Take a look at Mercedez-benz-usa.com; the horror stories of lemons and bad service are almost unbelievable.
  • Wow! OK, one thing at a time.

    Cadillac is NOT Hyundai. Cadillacs are not 80% to 90% of the same car at 2/3 the price.

    Is a Chrysler 300C AWD with all the toys 80% to 90% of an Audi A8 or a Mercedes S class? Well it is probably 1/2 the price and about the same size. But the 300C, nice as it is, is not in the same automotive class as the others.

    The CTS is in a class (currently) that is aimed at the premium ENTRY LEVEL Euro and Japanese sporting sedans: think A4, 3, G, C etc. Its relative size being close to a BMW 5 does not make it a Luxury Performance Car any more than the hemi in the 300 makes it a ultra luxury performance car, size notwithstanding.

    I want this to be so, but that doesn't make it so.

    Silly money? There are thousands of BMW 5's sold in the US every month. Audi has just finished another up year, and so on. Lexus sells hundreds of thousands of cars, about 75% of them in the US.

    The cars -- like the 5 or the A6 do cost $5 to $10 thousand or more dollars than a CTS generally.

    But the STS, not the CTS is the car in the LPS class.

    A well equipped STS w/AWD overshoots $59,000 by about one Yugo.

    The CTS large as it may be isn't YET in the LPS class. It is a respectable wannabe. I re-read the new write up about the CTS, it is very desirable, more masculine than its predecessor would be my personal take, more attractive to the male of the species. The availability of a manual transmission, like BMW is a clue. The Audi A4 and BMW 3 can be had with a stick. Only the 5 series Bimmer in the LPS class can be so equipped.

    The CTS is priced and marketed to be the "more better" BMW 3 series -- and if it can beat the value proposition of the German, it will win a profitable share of customers -- perhaps some of them away from BMW.

    The issue, may be, for a time, an age issue. The Cadillac CTS like all the family still driven by folks above the target age of any car company. This is changing for Cadillac and that is a good thing.

    The XLR, hmmm, I've not ever seen one of them driven by a man or woman with "their own hair" if you get my drift.

    And, I do believe that the CTS, SRX, XLR and STS cars are able to be considered in the same breath as many ferrin' cars. The danger lies in making a class leap.

    If the CTS is able to compete with the BMW 5 in performance and beat the pants off it in value that is a good thing. However, there is scant current evidence that the CTS can do this.

    But the upcoming CTS if priced right (however you acquire yours) ought to give one pause when considering a more expensive BMW 335 or A4/S4 -- but then again there's that pesky newly announced C class Mercedes which seems to just ooze quality. And even Mercedes horrible track records are pretty much out of the realm of current events.

    The public has selective memory. After all, Mercedes, somewhat like Cadillac has a reputation that seems, somehow to overcome even the most shrill shrieks of its unreliability. Sure enough, the Merc is now climbing up the reliability ladder.

    Cadillac MAY have been more reliable, but it was also seen and widely reported (as if saying it made it so) as a higher quality vehicle. Quality, reliability and durability are three separate but related traits. People at this price point often buy quality, for they lease for such a short term that durability isn't too much of an issue and well, reliability of any of these cars means, fundamentally, one visit to the dealership every 10 - 15,000 miles (except for Infiniti which still demands to see you at least once every 7,500 miles.)

    A 0% Interest Cadillac CTS that was sold to you for $30,000 would be $500 per month for 60 months. The maintenance, were you a 15K mile per year person would be scary as would the repairs (although the 100K warranty obviates this for the most part.) BMW on the other hand is free maint for 50K miles and you only need to keep it 36 months, so you are always driving a new car. The BMW lease, typically is much lower than any American car lease and well, the payments to own that CTS (that is about the same as the 5 series) are not an apples to apples comparison.

    Equip the Cadillac, if possible, with similar packages and options as you can the Bimmer, then run the numbers.

    The BMW will be over $51K the way I would want one. The Cadillac would be over $40K. The Cadillac for 36 months on a buy would be over $1,000 per month at 0% interest. The BMW at some number under $55K would be less than $600 during much of the buying year and always under $700 per month -- for 36 months. To get the CTS to $500 per month would mean extending the payments to at least 80 months!

    This is not a definition of VERY CLOSE TO IT, is it?

    Compare the CTS to the A4, the 335, the IS or ES Lexus, the G35 from Infiniti, the C class from Mercedes -- then see where the value proposition lies.

    The theory goes the Cadillac should have the lower or lowest TCO (total cost of ownership), but now that the cars we are comparing the CTS to are in its same class (Premium Entry Level Luxury Sporting Sedan), the CTS just seems so damn much money (at present.)

    This impression is further exacerbated by the fact that the 2008 Cadillac will be brought to 2005 content and feature level when directly compared with its German and Japanese competition. And, damn if it isn't so, Audis new A4 will be hitting the showrooms just about when the CTS hits, ditto the new C class from Mercedes and the beat goes on.

    So yes, the new CTS is a quantum leap and probably will be a great car (it already is on paper.) It is more masculine than the outgoing car, more aggressive but also more emotional, less angular in some ways -- it will probably stir both genders to buy on looks alone.

    This honeymoon effect will last at most 6 months. The inherent goodness of the car will certainly propel sales. In some respects I would be happy to graduate to an American car even if I were merely trading in my 2005 vintage German for a 2008 American with most of the same features I had grown used to in my then 3+ year old German car.

    My point is not to dis the Cadillac, it is to point out the short shelf life of cars and features. Cadillac, to set the world standard again needs to bring its cars out in the same time frame as the other guys.

    They are, IMHO, late to the game in many of the features and functions they are pounding their chests over. Soft lighting, foot well lighting -- what next a passenger side mirror that dips when the car is put into reverse? My 1980's vintage German car did that for pity's sake.

    Rear heated seats? A tilt and telescoping steering wheel, lane departure warning a back up camera, front and rear parktronic a 6 or more speed autoshift that rev matches. Voice command of "everything?" ABS+brake Assist plus ESP plus, plus plus -- they say the American cars will have these things by 2012. I had ABS in 1986. My buddy had it in his 1985 BMW.
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