From £26,990
Well priced and well equipped, but running costs are high

Our Verdict

Cadillac CTS

Latest Cadillac offers a premium interior and decent driving dynamics, however for the price this four cylinder CTS can't compete with its German rivals in Europe

What is it?

The less powerful version of Cadillac’s mid-sized executive offering. Like the brawnier 3.6, the 2.8 uses a V6 petrol engine and supplies drive to the rear wheels via a standard six-speed autobox, but it makes do with just 209bhp compared to the 3.6’s 308bhp.

On the plus side, the 2.8 gets the same ultra-generous standard specification, including an advanced touchscreen-controlled satnav and multimedia system.

The only big visual difference between the two cars is the fact the 2.8 gets non-chromed alloy wheels, which many will regard as a bonus.

What’s it like?

Despite giving away 100bhp to the 3.6-litre version, the CTS 2.8 feels like a better all-round package.

Largely this is down to the fact it comes without the standard sports suspension of the more powerful car, the softer springs yielding a dramatic improvement in ride quality.

It’s far from pillow soft, but the 2.8’s compliant springs and dampers will feel far closer to European buyer’s expectations of what a Cadillac should feel like than the over-hard 3.6.

The engine lacks the punch of it’s bigger-capacity sister, but it delivers peak torque at lower engine speeds and is more than strong enough to deliver wafty progress, and the softer chassis settings give the 2.8 a quieter cabin at cruising speeds than the 3.6.

The automatic gearbox works well enough under low-intensity use, but suffers from an excessively keen kickdown.

Disappointingly, the 2.8’s fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures are almost identical to those of the 3.8, and both are a magnitude worse than similarly-powerful European rivals, incurring highest-rate VED and company car tax.

So, should I buy one?

The 2.8-litre CTS makes a respectable case for itself, especially considering the saving it represents over the harsher-riding 3.8.

But the high running costs mean that the CTS will only become a really rational purchase with the introduction of the V6 diesel version.

Mike Duff

Join the debate

Comments
2

19 August 2008

Even with a diesel engine, who in their right mind would spend their own cash (or anyone else's for that matter) on this car?

I'm sorry, but I just dont get it. Its just wrong.

20 August 2008

I might be tempted. I think the styling looks great and it is a bit different from a run of the mill BMW or Merc. By the sounds of things it is great to drive (I've learnt that the faintest praise from Autocar tends to mean that a car is a bloody good drive!) and well kitted out. With the inevitable dealer discount, it looks good to me. However, I'd rather hang on for that 3 door coupe they had at the motor show, called the XLR or something.

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