Mercedes-Benz C300 vs. Cadillac CTS

snagssnags Member Posts: 27
edited March 2014 in Cadillac
I was wondering if anyone is like me going back and forth between the 300 and the CTS.

Both seem to be great cars . Has anyone driven both and formed some opinions? Thanks.


  • daschedasche Member Posts: 11
    Haven't driven one yet but last night I was driving behind a CTS on the highway... the CTS styling is quite stunning, especially the tail lights at night... it had me gawking, just like the looks I get in my C300. :shades:
  • surfacesurface Member Posts: 6
    Yes, considered and test drove many cars including the new CTS which made it to our final short list. Actually spent 4 months shopping, test driving, & researching this time around before making a purchase. The new redesigned CTS is the only Caddy that has attracted my interest in many years... but alas, they lost us on the details and I bought a fully loaded C300 Luxury Mercedes-Benz about a month ago from one of Edmund's "Premier" dealers... and got a good deal below Edmund's TMV price. If you decide on the C300 and are in Calif., I highly recommend Gary Gunter at Mercedes-Benz of Palm Springs.

    The CTS had a couple of features available which we really liked, but were not available on the C300. The main one being the "remote engine start" as we live in the desert, and that is a really "cool" feature (pun intended) to have the car already cooling down before getting in it. But in all car buying decisions there are some compromises. I even went to an after-market place that specializes in installing remote engine starts for virtually any vehicle and found out that the technology on the C300 is so advanced that the last year they could come up with an effective install was 2002-or-4 (I forget precisely, but a no go for '08). As it turns out, the C300 feature of remotely rolling down all the windows & opening the sunroof really does vent the closed-up heat before getting in and I love the power rear window sun-screen.

    We liked the steering feel better on the C300 than on the CTS (we even liked it better than on the BMW, which surprised us). I was primarily looking for a small sedan for my wife, and the redesigned CTS was getting pretty close to the limits of her comfort zone... and we both felt the C300 had a better visual command while driving (we both felt more connected to the exterior environment). I did have the Dealership install Mercedes-Benz "QuickPark" sensors on the back of the C300. Despite the larger outer dimensions of the CTS, my head hits the roof sitting in the back seat, ...don't have that problem in the backseat of the C300.

    The seats in the CTS seemed softer and more plush which is good initially, but not so good on long trips. I like that Mercedes-Benz really did their homework on proper support to keep your bones properly positioned (even down to proper & equal pressure on your pelvic bones!!).... after a 1,000 miles, I can really say they are the most comfortable car seats we've ever had, and that's important to us with back problems & arthritis wanting to take up residence in our bones.

    We both really love the sunroof on the C300, while we both hated the sunroof on the CTS, yet to get the features wanted on the CTS you had to get their crappy sunroof. There was a dead moth that you could see through the CTS sunroof cover, that even the saleman couldn't get out. You could see it because the shade cover didn't block the sun completely... not good, especially living in the desert. Also, my wife sits very upright & proper... and in the CTS the headrest pushed literally against the back of her head. The only solution was to take the headrest out and turn it around backwards... which the salesman did. But then that was pretty tacky, and diminished whiplash protection. The C300 has proactive headrests which gives better protection, and my wife is able to adjust the power seats in a way that it isn't pushing on her head, which she could not achieve in the CTS.

    In the end, the C300 won us over in all areas that mattered the most to us. As I said, the CTS lost us on the details. My wife has confidence issues when she can't get a visual on the end of hood and the star on the C300 negated that problem. You really don't realize all the details of the C300 until you get one, then it's like new discoverings of something really topnotch every few days.... like the holes around the taillights that vent trapped air from under the car at higher speeds effectively working like a built in "spoiler".

    Also, really like that 7 speed auto on the C300... 'bout the best on the road IMO. Also like that I can map out any trip on Yahoo Maps on any computer and send it directly to my car with the Multi-Media Package and TeleAid Package. Also, the fully loaded C300 actually is cheaper that a fully loaded CTS. Also the C300 is a flexfuel engine so I don't worry about running into gas that's mixed with ethanol. Also, I have a pretty good idea that my C300 will still look current at the end of it's warranty and beyond... Who knows how dated the CTS will soon be looking, based on Caddy's track record? We also developed some "longevity" concerns while doing our research on the Caddy... that doesn't seem to apply to the Mercedes.

    Consumer Reports negative ratings on the Mercedes seem to apply mostly to minor electrical stuff, and I notice that a lot of the problem areas are on equipment that doesn't seem to be available in the USA versions of the newly designed C300 currently. For instance, you can get memory steering wheel, seats, & mirror, and Keyless Go in Canada, England, ...well, just about everywhere but here. I could be wrong, but I wonder if that's to get future better "ratings" from Consumer Reports here by eliminating some of the most troubling issues of past reliability?

    Anyway, we payed cash on the bet that we'd be happier with the C300 than the CTS... and so far we are happily convinced we made the right choice. Hope this helps your decision process favorably. If you looking at a lease situation for only a couple of years, I'm sure you'll enjoy either. But if you are buying it, I'd strongly recommend the C300 over the CTS.
  • snagssnags Member Posts: 27
    really appreciate your reply it was very comprehensive.I test drove a CTS with the DI engine and generally was not that impressed.

    I agree on the visual aspect of the c300 vs the CTS. Dont know why they make the seating such that you cant see the hood. Guess im just old fashioned but Im like your wife in that regard.

    since my first post I have all but eliminated the CTS but have added the G35 ,which has a lot of features for a lot less then the CTS but am still considering the MB.

    Thanks again for your reply.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZMember Posts: 5,335
    Thanks for a helpful comparison.

    The thing I like about MB (at least the C) is that they still offer a manual transmission. The reliability record certainly hasn't been anything to write home about recently, and I've been stung before by buying a car in its first model year, so I'm very reluctant to go with a C, at least this year.

    Hope you continue to enjoy your Merc.
    '08 Acura TSX, '17 Subaru Forester
  • vic10vic10 Member Posts: 188
    Even though they panned the manual transmission on the CTS, overall--including interior detailing and space--they rated the CTS higher (In the four car comparison, number 1 was BMW 3-series, number 2 was the G35). Goes to show it's all a matter of personal preferences. Many have criticized Cadillac for not making a MB or a BMW clone. I like that there's a choice in this price range. Viva la difference!
  • lenbrovermanlenbroverman Member Posts: 18
    I test drove the MB300 in both the luxury model and the sports model. I loved the look of the sport model but found the ride too harsh. I was at that time driving an 2005 Audi A6. The luxury MB300 rode better but was not nearly as sharp looking. On a whim I stopped by and drove the Cadillac CTS DI with all wheel drive and it blew me away. Although like all cars it has its idiocincracies but I thought it looked and drove far better than the MB. I presently own a new CTS and love it.
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    Consumer Reports compares CTS with C300 in its March 2008 issue, which is available at you local library or news stands everywhere.
  • adnanzadnanz Member Posts: 10
    The ride, styling, needs vs requirements vary greatly in this segment, as well as any other. I took delivery of an 08 DI CTS w/premium Luxury package with the FE3 sport set up (Summer Tires). I've driven the C300, G35, 325 and 330, and from Lexus the 250&350. All are great cars in their own merit. For me and my wife, the CTS fit what we wanted, required, and was a good compromise in every sense. I would not buy a Japenese car (my own reasons), my wife isn't too thrilled about the domestics, German fits well but kind of boring (for us) regarding the interior, and performance, outside stuff, etc...the CTS just seemed like the perfect match for both of us. I've had the CTS for about a little over a month, just waiting for the weather to get better up here in the Northeast to really 'enjoy' the car but all in all I love the car so far....hoping and praying it holds up over time.
  • 604doc604doc Member Posts: 182
    Have you found the FE3 suspension to be too stiff like some of the magazine reviews have suggested? Good luck with your car!
  • adnanzadnanz Member Posts: 10
    ummm...its relative because I usually drive an Explorer so the ride on the CTS is very smooth, but recently I got to compare apples to apples in the sense that my father in law is out of town and he parked his 02 GS300 (Lexus) at my house, so I've been driving that around and really got to compare two different luxury car set up. I know the GS is in a different category, but still. The steering on the GS feels very light and easy to turn, that's I guess a signature of Lexus. Also, the ride is very smooth, for it's almost floaty. The CTS's steering isn't as 'free' but I feel it gives me more response from the road and gives me a better feeling for the road and its conditions (somewhat near the response you get on a BMW). The ride part of it, I honestly does not feel its too stiff, it 'reloads' fast over continuous bumps, stays glued over bumps over turns, and corners, doesn't dive or roll. It's smooth, but not too smooth...and yes you will notice the bumps, but no threat of coffee splashing out. One thing, the car 'feels' heavy. I don't think its the 3900lb of the car, I love cars, but no where near the technical know-how of some people on the board here so I don't know what that feeling is...may its the 18" summer wheels being glued to the pavement feeling...all in all, I think I did OK by doing the FE3, I wanted the extra stuff it offered...just wished it had a little bit more ponies...350 HP and 325 torque would've been ideal...there's always the CTS-V though =)
  • 604doc604doc Member Posts: 182
    Thanks for the response, great post! I know what you mean by "relative". I'm driving a Jeep Cherokee now, and it feels every little bump. My wife's 13 year old 325i feels great in comparison. Enjoy your car!

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